Lecia Duke > Chocolate Diva
Lecia Duke, Chocolate Diva
Offering me a finished product, Duke said, ‘Pop the whole chocolate in your mouth. You’ll be able to taste and recognize the liquor and savor its flavor. That’s the difference.” We enjoyed the ‘wow’ sensation as the chocolate gave way to the Sam Houston Bourbon. Exquisite!
Chocolate Atlas – Sandra Scott is a frequent contributor to travel publications and to Creators Syndicate and has co-authored two books on local history.
Lecia Duke founded and incorporated Quintessential Chocolates in 1984, a specialty chocolate company producing exquisite Liqueur Praliné chocolates under its own brand, under license from well recognized market leaders, and for select clients, under their own private label.
Quintessential Chocolates Co. Inc. introduced to the US confectionery market, a new confection based on this process and they still remain the sole American producer to this day. She became the first food group licensed by Brown Forman Beverages to produce a Jack Daniel’s Whiskey filled Chocolate utilizing this centuries old European process referred to as “Limoba” (Liquid Moisture Barrier).
After apprenticing under a Swiss Master Chocolatier to learn this specific process, she added an American twist: flavors suited to the American palate, an unprecedented and original approach. They also believe, they were the first chocolatier worldwide to create a liquid center filled with both a wide spectrum of wine varietals and non-alcoholic liquid centers. To date over 300 distinctively different flavors have been made including numerous spirits, wine, non-alcohol flavors and even cocktails.
Each batch of Quintessential Chocolates is handcrafted using their own variation of the Swiss technique of casting the liquid center. Spinning a fine sugar shell, only a few crystals thick, around the liquid center creates an edible moisture barrier that traps the liquid, allowing for and preserving a thinner chocolate shell while creating a larger volume of liquid inside. The “zuckerkrust” (sugar shell) traps the volatiles of the liquor/wine that would normally oxidize, evaporate or migrate through a simple chocolate shell. In this way, the unique identity of each essence is preserved until the chocolate shell gives way to the rush of liquid. You have enough oxygen in the roof of your mouth to burn off the tiny amount of alcohol, so it feels like you have had a shot.
You can easily recognize and distinguish between two straight bourbons, knowing which one is handmade.