An uncommon truffle from Santa Cruz chocolatier
Health-conscious chocolate lovers have lots of artisanal dark chocolate bars to choose from, but what about truffles? Santa Cruz local Becky Potter hopes to fill that niche with her new company, Pure Heart Chocolate, which she started in July with the help of a successful GoFundMe campaign. Her truffles are raw, dairy-free, gluten-free and low in sugar—but they are still quite decadent (and delicious). Her chocolates are available at New Leaf and through her website. Owner and one-woman-operation Potter reveals all.
Is it common for truffles to be made from raw ingredients?
No. Most truffles contain cream in the ganache and preservatives and sugar. You’ll be able to find them on shelves and they’ll be good for a couple of years. These are different. They’re fresh, raw, perishable chocolates that are best eaten anywhere from immediately to two weeks. They don’t contain any preservatives.
Do they taste different?
You can really taste the cacao. They’re not too sweet, which is different. They’re more about the other ingredients. I have a lemon ginger flavor that, instead of lemon oil or flavoring, has lots of lemon zest, lemon juice and fresh ginger. It’s an uplifting flavor. It’s really nice with the chocolate shell. It’s all about the experience—it’s something that you’re not expecting. And it kind of melts in your mouth. You almost don’t have to chew once you bite into it.
What’s your cacao percentage?
I haven’t done the math, per se, but it’s in the 90s. It’s mostly cacao powder and cacao butter. And I just add the slightest amount of sweetener to that. The main ingredient is cacao. I’m getting my cacao powder and butter from Ecuador. It’s organic and [employs] sustainable farming methods.
How many varieties do you have?
I’ve got seasonal flavors that I’m working with. I have a couple of standbys: The Bittersweet Triple Chocolate, and the Verve Espresso. Those I can make year-round. There’s the Rose Cardamom, which I’m still working on. There’s a Strawberry Pink Peppercorn, that’s more of a summer flavor. It’s a cashew butter base, super creamy on the inside, and I use fresh whole strawberries. So it’s a very familiar flavor. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. The Pink Peppercorn is just a little bit of perfect spice. It’s one of my favorite flavors. A lot of people were asking for it this last event. They’re going to have to wait for summer.
UM, YES PLEASE Local chocolatier Becky Potter in her kitchen with a batch of her raw, dairy-free truffles. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER