If you are like me, a candy bar just won’t cut it. My dad says that I’m a food snob, but I just don’t think that he understands me. Luckily for me, a new store in the River Market, Cocoa Belle does. Its grand opening is this Saturday, and let me tell you this: Cocoa Belle is for serious chocolate lovers. Carmen Portillo, Cocoa Belle’s owner and chef is a Little Rock native and a graduate of The Notter School of Pastry Arts in Orlando. Now she’s made her way back home to share what she has learned in school, and I, for one, am so glad that she has.
Portillo tempers her own chocolate and makes truffles of too many varieties to name. She uses all kinds of ingredients that one doesn’t immediately associate with chocolate treats like cognac, liqueurs, and even herbs. Her signature dark chocolate truffle is made with her own custom blend of chocolate and is topped with flecks of gold leafing. One other sweet that stands out is the Key Lime Pie Truffle. It is made with a white chocolate key lime ganache and has a graham cracker and key lime zest crust.
You can find Cocoa Belle in the River Market right next to Shaka Smoke Lodge starting this Saturday at 7 am. Ms. Portillo looks forward to meeting you and I know that you look forward to meeting her chocolate.
The only downside? Our diets don't need this right before bikini season.