The unappealing texture of candy-heart messages has left the mouths of sweethearts free to inquire about where this relationship is going. Avoid verbal communication with mouthfuls of fine chocolate: for $10, you get $20 worth of artisan truffles and confections at Kakao Chocolate. Riverfront Times hailed the enchanting confiserie as the Best Chocolate in St. Louis in 2008, and Sauce put it on The List in December 2009.
Kakao's chocolate bars and barks, truffles, and other confections are handmade on-site and feature local ingredients, including Mattingly's beer, sunshine, and feelings. While some menacing candy makers inject artificial space-whale fat into their whale-fat pies, Kakao eschews all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Fresh cream, honey, and sugar create the buxom, butyraceous taste of its caramels ($6 for a four-pack), and chocolate bark ($3) is chipped off the cacao tree with an axe.
Orphans and puppies borrow their unwavering gaiety from the manifold grandeur of Kakao's truffles. Ranging in flavor from spicy dark-chocolate chile vanilla to misty lavender, these decadent gobs are all hand-swirled in creamy ganache and coated with Kakao’s specialty chocolate. Seasonal truffles include both French raspberry liqueur and rose petal for spring, and stout, smoke (with tea with smoked sea salt), pumpkin, and eggnog for fall and winter. Get an assortment of the rich treats in a six-piece box ($9), or surprise your sweetie with a 10-piece heart-shaped coffer ($17).
Valid for South Jefferson Avenue in-store purchases only. Must redeem in one visit. Kakao is closed on Sunday and Monday.
The Riverfront Times named Kakao's treats the best in 2008, Sauce Magazine featured the deliciousness, and the St. Louis Beacon profiled owner Brian Pelletier. Two Yelpers give three stars, and eight out eight Urbanspooners like it:
- [Brian Pelletier] has explored the frontier between caramel and toffee. Most miraculously of all, he's discovered how to make a half-inch cube of chocolate melt on the tip of your tongue and suffuse your entire body with pure joy. – Riverfront Times
- Experiment now with cashew butter-cream cheese blintzes topped with Kakao chocolate to make something new for Valentine’s Day. Or skip the cooking and simply spread them on toast. Either way, your happy meter should spike. – Pat Eby, Sauce Magazine
- He doesn't sell the chocolate typical of candy bars, but confections like truffles of such varieties as lavender-vanilla, chile-vanilla, and Turkish coffee with cardamom. His handmade, chocolate-covered caramels feature a dab of sea salt on top, and his bark -- thin, crunchy sheets of chocolate -- are sprinkled with such un-candy-bar stuff as caramelized ginger and coffee. The caramels, topped with sea salt, are the top sellers. – Susan Skiles Luke, St. Louis Beacon