EHCHOCOLATIER – BEST SWEET TOOTH SATISFIER
145 HURON AVE.
If chocolatiers were accorded authority in line with level of ecstasy their confections provide, then Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney might just rule the world. Co-owners of EHChocolatier, they have been feted repeatedly for their flavors, methods, and presentation, and just to walk into their little shop is to see all of your chocolate-flavored dreams come to life.
Hsieh says she loved candy as a girl, but it wasn’t until she went to culinary school and studied pastry making, and then opened her own dessert shop, that she embraced the true potential of chocolate.
“I think, for me, chocolate is much more than eating chocolate—it’s working with it, it’s really a beautiful medium,” she says. “In some ways by limiting ourselves to just chocolate, it opens you up wider in terms of being creative within the structure of chocolate.”
And that creativity is on clear display in the glass-front cases at EHChocolatier, in ways both familiar and startlingly new.
CARAMELIZED WHITE CHOCOLATE BAR:
Starting with Valrhona white chocolate, Hsieh says the process of caramelizing it is long and involved. A tray of chocolate goes into a low-temperature oven for a few hours, and every five minutes or so it has to be pulled out and mixed to ensure it stays smooth. Eventually the milk proteins caramelize and you get “this dulce la leche phenomenon,” she says. They add a little salt to the chocolate before tempering, then added crushed-up candied cacao nibs for texture and a hint of bitterness. The result is a white chocolate utterly unlike anything you’ve experienced.
DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA:
A newer addition to their offerings, the homemade granola started out with a mix of honey and maple syrup for their binding and sweetening power. But when a customer asked if it was vegan, they decided to experiment with taking the honey out and adding more maple syrup. When testing proved it to be just as good as the original, they made the switch permanent. “If there isn’t a difference in taste,” Hsieh says of such experimentations, “we’re happy to make the switch so more people can enjoy it.
Call them turtles, call them pralines, this classic confection of nuts, caramel, and chocolate has been tweaked in EHChocolatier’s signature manner. “The caramel we make for our clusters, we take it darker,” explains Hsieh. “We use Knob Creek Bourbon in it so it has more depth. And we always, always, always roast and candy our pecans with maple syrup and salt. Each part we try to touch on so when they all come together, our goal is for them to feel like it’s the best pecan cluster they’ve ever had.”
This story appears in the Scout’s Honored 2019 print issue of Scout Cambridge, which is available for free at more than 220 drop spots throughout Cambridge (and just beyond its borders) or by subscription.
Like what you’re reading? Consider supporting Scout on Patreon!