Memphis chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix has been called the "real life Willy Wonka" by Forbes Magazine. He runs a small designer chocolate boutique in the Cooper-Young neighborhood, but this dude is big-time. He designed golden pralines as gifts for attendees of the Oscars this year (each chocolate retailed for $79 because he used real gold!). But he sells much more reasonably priced chocolates at his shop and online store and through Neiman Marcus. Each piece is hand-painted and handcrafted with crazy flavors like orange dreamsicle, sweet potato, caramel apple, key lime pie, and barbecue.
Most of the Phillip Ashley chocolates aren't vegan, but just a couple months ago, he released the Vegan Collection — 12 handmade vegan chocolates in six different flavors (there are two of each flavor). At $40, the collection was a little pricey for a gift to myself, so I asked Paul to get it for me for our anniversary last month!
He placed an order a couple days before our anniversary, but since they're handmade, it took a few days before they were ready. Phillip Ashley will ship chocolates anywhere, but since they're local, I swung by the store to pick them up. Here's the vegan label. Love all the veggies!
Phillip Ashley Chocolates come in all sorts of molded shapes, but all of the vegan ones are in the shapes of little leaves.
The flavors are El Matador (Mexican hot chocolate), Love Potion (French vanilla lavender), Mother Nature (sweet potato avocado), No Tortoise No Hare (salted caramel pecan praline "vegan turtle"), Tiger Lily (blood orange balsamic), and Spirited (cognac).
All but one of the flavors are truffles. The one non-truffle chocolate is the No Tortoise No Hare (LOVE that name!). It's a vegan turtle candy with a chewy salted caramel and bits of pecan inside. I really love this. I'd say it's my third fave!
My very fave, though, was the Tiger Lily — the blood orange balsamic. I love the pairing of sweet citrus and just ever-so-slightly tangy vinegar with the deep dark chocolate.
I didn't photograph the insides of the others, because they all look pretty much like the Tiger Lily on the inside. But Spirited (cognac) was my second fave. It has a very strong alcohol flavor, and y'all know I love my booze.
The Mexican chocolate one has just the right amount of heat, and the French vanilla lavender was perfect for a bedtime snack. As for the sweet potato avocado, it tasted to me the most like a traditional plain chocolate truffle, as you couldn't taste the veggies much. But the those two creamy veggies made for a very creamy chocolate filling.
I love these chocolates! I've been hoarding them a bit, only allowing myself just one per day (or one every couple days) so they'll last longer. I did share one with Paul (just one!).