Chocolates for a Cause: Compartes Chocolatier and Relief Beads for Darfur
While having your cake and eating it too is a rare treat, Compartes Chocolatier's "Chocolates for a Cause" means you can have your chocolate, eat it and provide much-needed assistance to Darfur. The African collection consists of African-inspired flavors (our favorites were Cardamom and Coconut and Organic Red Rooibus Tea) and each truffle is imprinted with an outline in the shape of the continent. The box of chocolates comes with a Relief Beads one-of-a-kind bracelet handmade from sand in Africa. Proceeds from the sales go to benefit Relief International, funding extensive programs including refugee camps, medical clinics, education and women's centers.
A five piece box and bracelet is $20 online from Compartes or you can visit their Brentwood, L.A. store (details below). You can also order a Relief Beads bracelet separately from the Relief Beads site.
While you're at it, you might as well sample some of the other premium chocolates infused with inventively delicious flavor combos that Jonathan Grahm, the 23-year-old chocolatier behind Compartes, offers. A best-seller and one of the first to disappear from our box, the round Peanut Butter, Honey and Sea Salt truffles (pictured below right) are a salty-sweet mouthful of dense homemade peanut butter with a hint of organic honey and a subtle crunch. We imagine it's something an artisan chocolate-maker might come up with after munchies-inspired experiments in the kitchen. (In fact, there's more than a few Compartes items that lend that impression.) A box of eight is $22 from Compartes.
Like the sweet and savory appeal of the peanut butter truffle, the Smoked Salt flavor (Jonathan's persona favorite) combines a silky dark ganache with a hit of the puckering, savory seasoning.
Other options include more traditional pairings, like coffee, vanilla, hazelnut and caramel, but there are also several other more adventurous and seasonal varieties (Pomegranate and Plum, Violet Marshmallow, Peach and Rosemary) for those who like to experiment. With chocolate-dipped fruits, nuts, toffees and other treats, Compartes offers something for pretty much any palate.
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