Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Feb 07th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Two Sweet for Words

dining_chocolateBehold the beautifully luscious treats of local chocolatiers, Richard Donnelly and Ian and Mary Rose Mackenzie
Behind an attractive storefront on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, Richard Donnelly makes internationally award-winning chocolates and truffles. At the front door, customers gather in the small retail space. Bookshelves and tables hold pre-packaged sweets, and a glass cabinet displays available truffle flavors. In the open kitchen, chocolate is being mixed and candies are laid out for packaging. Much of the work here is done by hand—the hand of a master.

After studying with Master Chocolatiers in Europe, Donnelly established this creative kitchen in 1988. From fruit to spices and liqueurs, there are numerous unexpected flavors to choose from. I decided on a six-item custom truffle selection and a dark chocolate candy bar ($25). Thick, velvety chocolate ganache filled each truffle. The first one carried the essence of cardamom, a spice seed important to Indian cuisine: its earthiness balanced well against the rich chocolate. Chipotle chilies added a spicy, smoky bite to another piece. A hint of lavender flavored the chocolate bar (1.6 ounces), making it taste like a sunny afternoon in Provence.

Donnelly's also offers a line of sauces and mixes, including a mix for his mother's chocolate cake and frosting.

There are recipes on Donnelly's website such as chocolate ice cream sauce, pie dough, and baked and barbecued ribs. But if you really want to experience the effort that goes into Donnelly's truffles, from careful selection of ingredients, to the detailed treatment involved, his recipe is there. You can even purchase the imported European couverture (coating) chocolate from Mr. Donnelly himself.

Donnelly Fine Chocolates, 1509 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 685-1871. Visit donnellychocolates.com.


On the other side of town, the Mackenzie family has made candies since 1984 in their building which serves as both kitchen and large showroom. What began as a mother's hobby outgrew her home kitchen, at which time Thelma and her husband Colin Mackenzie purchased the property on the corner of Soquel Avenue and Frederick Street. Artwork for the original candy molds was designed by Thelma. Eight years later, son Ian attended candy-making school back east, returning with wonderful new ideas. Mackenzie's later added an automated mold-filler which substantially reduced labor costs.

Walking through the door, the aroma of chocolate was warming. Three glass cases illuminate individual confections and the fourth wall holds boxes of chocolate assortments. In a cabinet, a chocolate Eiffel Tower stands beside a chocolate motorcycle.

Whimsical chocolate banana slugs, both solid and filled with treats such as peanut butter are big sellers. Some are even colored yellow. I selected a half-pound heart-shaped gift box ($14.95) with a red ribbon.

I also selected three truffles ($2.40). Inside the little hill of dark chocolate, thick, rich ganache tasted like chocolaty orange marmalade.

Mackenzie's Chocolates, 1492 Soquel Dr., Santa Cruz, 425-1492. Visit mackenzieschocolates.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits