This Stuff Must Be Made With Gold: Knipschildt Chocolatier Chocolates

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This eight-year-old company sells a variety of confections and goodies made with only the finest, freshest ingredients and highest standards of excellence. It's no wonder these delicious delights are referred to as having "a little bit of heaven in every bite."

The creator of these heavenly concoctions is Danish-born and educated chef Fritz Knipschildt, who now runs his company out of Norwalk, Connecticut. After receiving additional European training in France and Spain, Knipschildt ventured into the U.S. in 1996. There, he worked as a private chef, stunning all of his clients with his unique and daring uses of sweet and spicy flavors in chocolate making.

Three years later, after years of experimenting with chocolate in his one-bedroom apartment, Knipschildt opened his own store. Now, with a 6,000-square-foot kitchen as his breeding ground for exquisite chocolate creations, Knipschildt is reinventing the way the world savors its chocolate.

Probably the most intriguing product that Knipschildt Chocolatier sells is its famed $250 dark chocolate truffle with a French black truffle inside. It is made of 70% Valrhona cacao that is fused into a creamy ganache with truffle oil. The truffle is hand rolled with a dark truffle on the inside and then dusted with cocoa powder. Mmm...is your mouth watering yet? These specialties are only available by preorder, so hurry and call, fax, or email in your order if you want to enjoy these bites of bliss soon.

If you're not so keen on spending approximately $2,600 for a pound of these babies, then maybe you'd like to consider something more affordable. Knipschildt has a wide selection of individual chocolates of all shapes, flavors, and sizes which can be purchased for $60 per pound.

The individual chocolates have names like Amanda, Helena, and Carrie, suggesting Knipschildt may have a thing for naming his creations after ex-girlfriends. Regardless, each of these intricately formulated pieces is a matchless and pleasurable delicacy.

Knipschildt pairs delicate fruit flavors with exotic spices and fragrances in his chocolates. The Charlotte features apricot and basil ganache, the Elizabeth is composed of a passion fruit and ginger ganache topped with crystallized ginger, and the Kelly contains strawberry and lemon-thyme ganache.

Other odd and surprisingly tasty creations are the Patricia, a narrow, cone-shaped ancho chile and tangerine ganache piece; the Hannah, containing burnt caramel and Hawaiian sea salt; and the Antoinette, filled with rosewater and dark chocolate ganache.

Assuming Knipschildt did name these masterpieces after ex-girlfriends, perhaps the chocolates' ingredients represent each woman's personality. If so, the breakup was probably much rougher with Patricia than it was with Antoinette. Just a speculation.

Currently, Knipschildt Chocolatier supplies approximately 900 vendors worldwide, including Whole Foods Market, Dean & DeLuca, The Chocolate Room, and other small specialty stores.

In 2005, Knipschildt expanded his sweet success by opening Chocopologie, a cafe and retail store that offers guests an inside look at how these handmade treats are made the old-fashioned way. While wandering through the establishment, visitors can view different processes that go on in the exciting world of chocolate.

The first window features the packaging team packing the chocolates in handmade boxes and sending them on their way. The following four windows showcase every step the chocolate goes through as it is prepared. These steps involve composing the ganache fillings, tempering the raw chocolate, and cleaning the individual molds.

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