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Infectious Confections | By Bhairavi Bhatt


On a recent weekday morning, Bryan Nelson slid out tray after tray of chocolate temptation at The Chocolate Lady, the downtown shop he owns with his wife, Jeannie. There were chocolates in the shape of miniature tuxedos, gummy bears covered in white chocolate, chocolate-dipped strawberries the size of a child’s fist and Kitchen Sink bars containing, yes, every kind of sweet but the proverbial kitchen sink. Across the street, the sweet-yet-potent smell of chocolate mixed with coffee lingered in the air at Rude Awakening. Owner Molly Arnold specializes in coffee, of course, but she has also stocked her shop with organic gourmet truffles and imported chocolates: striking combinations such as sea salt and caramel with milk chocolate and milk chocolate with a hint of wasabi. And for those willing to go a step further, European sipping chocolate is a cup of heaven on its own. Mexican spiced cocoa is a treat, too, with a splash of cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. Cape Fear Chocolate in Westwood Shopping Center was the next stop on our tour. Owner Mike Smith is proficient at providing a variety of fresh homemade chocolate truffles that are decadent, full of flavor and chocolaty, of course his cheesecake truffles are amazingly creamy and complement the milk chocolate coating as they melt in your mouth. Other truffle varieties include raspberry haze, a raspberry sauce covered with white chocolate; brownie truffle, a homemade double chocolate brownie covered with milk chocolate ganache; and a whisky truffle that comes with a kick. But Smith’s house specialty and recent creation is chocolate-covered bacon. It may sound like a strange combination but the smell alone is divine. Cape Fear Chocolate also specializes in military chocolate molds made to honor soldiers and their dedication. From chocolate soldiers to chocolate-covered gummy worms, the innovation is endless and there are even more shops dedicated to providing chocolate novelties such as cakes, cupcakes, brownies and more. Bakeries such as Sweet Boutique on Walter Reed Road provide just that. Owner Nicole Sullivan is a pro at making truffles, tarts, a Swiss-chocolate brownie sandwich and chocolates cakes, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream cake with chocolate ganache, a cake called Chocolate Oblivion and white chocolate and lemon cakes, to name a few. Whatever suits your fancy, Fayetteville’s chocolatiers are happy to provide.