December 4, 2007
Chocolate in the Northern Mines

Though I'm not as nuts about chocolate as a lot of people, I did find the Devil's food cake at Paul Martin's American Bistro in Roseville the other night outstanding. Then I rechecked the dessert menu to make sure I'd read it correctly. The chocolate, says the menu, is from Dorado Chocolates of Grass Valley.

This was news to me, but it didn't take long to connect with Ken Kossoudji, who after a career in high-tech sales and marketing in Silicon Valley returned to his family roots as a chocolatier. For nearly four years now he's been making two basic lines of chocolate - Signature-D for dark European-style chocolates, American Classics for more traditional confections.

This time of year, says Kossoudji, two of his more popular items are thin slices of pear that have been dried, soaked in Key-lime juice, and coated with dark Venezuelan chocolate, and his hot-cocoa mix - housemade marshmallows encased in dark chocolate for dropping into a cup of hot milk until the chocolate melts and the marshmallow becomes creamy. I may not be very enthusiastic about chocolate, but those marshmallows tempt me to jump in the car for a trek to Grass Valley this very moment.

Dorado Chocolates, 104 E. Main St., Grass Valley, is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Call (530) 272-6715 or visit the shop's Web site.

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