[Photographs: Erin Jackson]

One lesson I quickly learned during my three day trip to Portland is that it pays to make note of a few places where you can duck out of the drizzle. When you've already had your fill of coffee and it's too early for a beer, Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe is a worthy spot for a pick-me-up. A good choice is one of their adorable animal truffles, which are filled with a dense, fudgy ganache and enrobed with a thick layer of chocolate.

Four different formulations are available: white chocolate toffee mice, milk chocolate bunnies and labs, extra-bittersweet black cats, and honey bees (milk chocolate and honey ganache, enrobed in tinted white chocolate). Whether or not you take a perverse joy in biting (or slicing) their heads off is completely up to you.


Truffle carnage! Note: the bee's head is upside down, so it only looks like it's screaming.

The animal truffles may be some of the most elaborate-looking chocolates in the shop, but flavor-wise, they're satisfying without being complicated. I found all of the truffles to be sweeter than anticipated, so if you prefer dark chocolate, definitely stick to the black cat. If you can pull the trigger on only one, and are a fan of sweet, milky chocolate, make it the honey bee. The honey gives the milk chocolate ganache more dimension and nuance.

Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe
5 locations in Oregon, full list at moonstruckchocolate.com

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax


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