Chocolate Redefined: Exotic Flavors Meet Tantalizing Textures
23-year-old CEO and Founder, Shaineal Shah, launched Xocolatti in 2010 and has been transforming the way we eat chocolate. Using the best ingredients from around the globe for their extraordinary quality, flavor and texture, Xocolatti carefully sculpts stunning, delicious truffles, slates, clusters and gelato. They are unique and different from other chocolatiers on the market because all of their chocolates are handmade using top quality ingredients sourced from around the world. Shaineal adds, “But what really makes us different are our unique flavor combos and our idea that each of our products should entice all of your senses.” Hence, that is why all of their chocolates are different in color, texture, taste and even smell. Xocolatti is “the new interpretation of chocolate because it is chocolate re-imagined.” Using Valrhona cocoa beans, all chocolates and sweets are made in Port Chester, Westchester County in New York.
Shaineal was inspired to start a chocolate company as he always had passion for the culinary arts. Naturally a creative person, he also enjoys sculpting, painting, creating, cooking, and drawing while maintaining a passion for business and the family jewelry company. He says, “So with all that in mind, chocolate was a perfect medium for me to start something on my own as oppose to joining the family business.” Shaineal focused on chocolate, not because he has a sweet tooth, but because it is such a great medium to sculpt, paint and create confections. While Shaineal never officially trained at a culinary school, his mentor and teacher is his mother, an exceptional cook. His mother inspired and taught him how to make chocolate. In addition, he did a lot of reading and experimenting while creating and testing his chocolate line. In late 2010, Shaineal took a pastry arts course in French Culinary Institute to further expand his knowledge of desserts and chocolate.
Each truffle is individually designed and crafted by hand, guaranteeing a small, artful creation that awakens senses with taste and distinct texture. “Both playful and sophisticated, complex in flavor but simply delicious,” Xocolatti uses only the finest ingredients. Pisto truffle, said to be “both tasted and admired,” is exquisite as the soft interior is milky white from its blend of pistachio paste and milk chocolate. The jewel is topped with Persian pistis, deep green baby pistachios from Iran, the birthplace of the pistachio. It melts in your mouth with immense pistachio flavor and holds great texture from the chopped pistachio exterior. The Olive oil basil truffle is subtle in flavor but rich in texture as the ganache is infused with fresh basil and Sicilian olive oil. The truffle imparts an almost natural sweetness from the blend of basil and olive oil while the dark chocolate exterior is the perfect finish.
The alluring Rose Cardamom truffle is floral and seductive as the blend of cardamom with dark chocolate, infused with rose petal compote transforms into an aromatic truffle with a beautiful composition of flavors. Cardamom is considered the queen of all spices and a stable in almost every household in India, its native country. The Gianduja truffle will wow hazelnut lovers as this ganache is made from hazelnet and Gianduja, an Italian paste made from cocoa. Blended with pralines, this evokes the confectionery style of Turin in the 1950s. The center tastes like a jar of Nutella as it bursts with hazelnut flavor while covered in milk chocolate and coated with roasted caramelized hazelnuts. The Sake truffle is smooth and aromatic with the milk texture of ganache complimented by the dark chocolate shell. Inspired by Awamori, a sake unique to Okinawa, this combination is unusually delicious. The sake is barely noticeable but leaves a lingering aftertaste. Other unique and recommended truffles are the Malagasy truffle, Coffee Nutmeg truffle, and Passion fruit truffle.
Xocolatti’s most popular items are the Sake truffle, Rose Cardamom truffle, Pineapple Habanero truffle, Hazelnut Clusters, Mango Paprika slates and Rose Pistachio slates. Their slates are a modern take on the traditional chocolate bar as these unique yet beautiful slates are meant to be snapped, cracked and shared. “Classic nuts and fruits are combined with unusual spices and flavors such as paprika, saffron and rose petals.” The Tiramisu slates offer just the right amount of sweetness as the coffee-infused white chocolate is coated with a dark chocolate cocoa powder. Take your taste buds on an adventure with the Saffron Nut Chikki slates, Masala Milk slates, and Mango Paprika slates. But our favorite that comes with high recommendation are the Rose Hip Pistachio slates, exotic and tantalizing in every possible way. The fragrant aroma of rose petals and imported Iranian pistachios adorn this delicious base of white and dark chocolate. Upon receipt of shipment, they recommend consuming chocolates within ten days of purchase, although the shelf life of truffles is two weeks and two months for their bars. All products are vegetarian and egg-less.
Expected the unexpected with Xocolatti and you get their one-of-a-kind clusters. Appearing like the jagged outline of a rock formation, these bunches are easy to eat and addictive. We selected the Dark Chocolate Clusters as another winner and favorite as they are a dream in themselves. These clusters are earthy and bitter as dark chocolate should be, with just a hint of sweetness. Buttery and crunchy wafers dipped in a sea of dark chocolate to form rock-like clusters are downright sinful. It just takes one bite to become a believer. Nut lovers will adore the Hazelnut Clusters, a perfect marriage of milk chocolate and hazelnuts. “As airy and light as it is earthy, covered in milk chocolate for a perfect combination of crunchy and creamy.” It is no wonder this is one of Shaineal’s personal favorites. Xocolatti thinks and creates outside the box as some of their products change the way chocolate is eaten, like the Crumbles, which are to be eaten as a shot or as a mouth freshener. This rich mix of textures and flavors are fabulous by the spoonful or sprinkled over ice cream. Be sure to try their Sparks, scrumptious, crumbled butter biscuits covered in a dazzling golden coating. Perfect to garnish favorite desserts or enjoy as they are.
Nothing is more exciting in the culinary world than special seasonal varietals, which is something Xocolatti is familiar with. They offer gelato when it gets warm in addition to hot chocolate. Their gelato flavors change every time a new batch is created while the slates and truffles also change every couple months. Xocolatti is still relatively new since their recent store opening in October 2011. Previously focusing their efforts on marketing and selling at their store, they have now started going to stores to promote wholesale orders. For the future, Shaineal hopes that in five years Xocolatti will be in luxury high end hotels and retail shops nationwide and worldwide. He is looking to open more stores in New York City and possibly even Los Angeles. In parting, Shaineal says, “Come to our shop…it is a totally unique experience by itself! And don’t be afraid to try our crazy flavors as they are masterpieces.”