Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 22nd
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

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.