Candy Girls: Dietrich's Chocolate & Espresso

This week, the Candy Girls went out on assignment to Dietrich's at 1734 East Evans Avenue in the University area. Having heard of the shop's rich, decadent treats, we had to do a sampling of all of the fresh, homemade chocolates that owner Erich Dietrich makes at his store. Dietrich has been in Denver for 32 years and making candy for over 40 years, so surely he must know a thing or two about what goes into a rich delicious truffle or chocolate-covered goodie. Here's our review of what we sampled:

Toffee This is a light, buttery confection that breaks cleanly and easily under a blanket of milk chocolate and chopped nuts. We might prefer a slightly darker-flavored toffee, but this is perfectly delicious, with just the right amount of saltiness to offset the sweet. 4 out of 5

Wildflower Honey Truffle The chocolate for this truffle in the specialty line comes from local chocolatier, Steve DeVries, who roasts his own beans and sells the basic chocolate to shops who work their magic with it. This truffle is coated with a milk chocolate so smooth it literally begins melting in your hand. Turns out this makes it the perfect consistency to melt right on your tongue, too. The filling is thick and melty, but not heavily flavored; the tang of honey comes in right at the end. 4 out of 5

Chili Chocolate Truffle "Are you feeling brave?" owner Erich Dietrich asks us, as he procures an innocent looking chocolate truffle. Brave? We ate those strawberry maltballs from the dollar bin, didn't we? The truffle goes down sweet and smooth, with a fiery finish that builds slowly and then lingers long after we've swallowed. Not exactly 3-alarm, but then again, that's probably best when we're dealing with chocolates. 4 out of 5

Pecan Blueberry Dark Chocolate Part of Dietrich's new "Healthy Food" line of chocolate, the large chunk of dark chocolate encasing pecans and blueberries was both delicious and, apparently, diet food. Dietrich says that when you eat the new line of chocolates that he began making last November, you are "guaranteed no weight gain." The rich chocolate was awfully satisfying, with the perfect balance of sweet fruit and nutty pecans, so we figure that if you eat one piece of this every night instead of, say, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone from up the street, you probably would come out ahead, calorically speaking. 5 out of 5

Pistachio Marzipan Marzipan is a bit of an acquired taste, and we weren't sure how well the pistachio and dark chocolate would combine with the thick, rich, almond-y flavor, but this actually turned out to be a delicious and unique candy. The inside of the candy is a bright green marzipan, but despite the color and the name suggesting that this would be pistachio flavored, it was actually almost impossible to discern any hint of a flavor beyond the marzipan and chocolate. 3.5 out of 5

Milk Chocolate Covered Caramel This caramel seemed to be lacking depth of flavor, and while the chocolate covering it was nice and smooth, it would have been helped by a richer or saltier caramel to help offset and compete with the strong chocolate taste. 3.5 out of 5

Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle The caramel used in this turtle seems to come alive with flavor when paired with the dark chocolate and pecans. The nuts don't appear to be salted, but they give the candy a nice balance with an abundance of crunchy nuts and just the right amount of gooey caramel and rich chocolate. 4.5 out of 5

Dark Chocolate-Covered Pretzel The dark chocolate is unsurprisingly the star of this one. It's layered on thick, which makes the medium-sized pretzel a hefty treat. The pretzel itself is a tad dry for our tastes, and it could have withstood more salt for more of a salty/sweet punch. 3.5 out of 5

Dietrich's Chocolate & Espresso is open Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Truffles are $1.25 each, Healthy Food chocolates are $7 for a half pound and for Father's Day the shop is selling a bucket filled with chocolate tools for $9.50. The shop serves breakfast from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on the weekend. For more information, call 303-777-3358 or visit this site.

- Aubrey and Liz

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