This past weekend Dude, Sweet Chocolate owner Katherine Clapner and her crew that scatter across the three Dallas and Fort Worth locations celebrated the local chocolate maker’s fifth anniversary. Each store held a party that included a vast tasting of Dude’s products, a potent warm and mulled cocktail made with a variety of fresh fruits, and tunes spun by local DJ legend Eddie Murphy.
Clapner spoke about bigger plans she has for her company, including the addition of some pretty unusual and fun flavors of ice cream. She previously offered push up pops at the various locations with some tasty flavors such as a foie gras and chocolate nib, Juniper Berry and Smoke, Burnt Tarragon and White Chocolate versions to name a few.
Clapner likes to keep the flavors of her all dark chocolate offerings fun and innovative, but will always include staples such as her Crack-In-The-Box that is a melange of nuts and chocolate, and our most favorite Albatross fudge that has a hearty infusion of blue cheese flavor. She continues to make up batches of chocolate covered bacon each quarter as well. But the true passion that Clapner enjoys is making new varieties with unusual flavors such as her current line up that includes a healthy shot of the very peaty and smokey Laphroaig scotch, or the Belle Helene truffle that is a play on a pastry dish she made while working at the Savoy Hotel in London. A Belle Helene is a dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and crystallized violets. It was originally created Auguste Escoffier around 1864 and named after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach. Clapner’s version at the Savoy was wrapped in a puff pastry, which she says she may make a limited amount to sell at Dude, Sweet. For now, enjoy the Belle in truffle form.
Clapner was obviously excited to celebrate her fifth year at her own business and goes to great lengths to apply credit for her success to her very enthusiastic staff. She plans to continue growing the company, supplying her many fans a unique taste that is un-compromised and totally unique.
While guests shuffled about the shops this weekend they were treated to a vodka-laced mulled fruity concoction. Look for a special truffle to be offered this holiday season with the left over fruits soaked in the spirit. Clapner believes there will be about 80 packs which she will number. You will want to be first in line for that special truffle.