Break into the chocolate box
It’s OK to break someone’s heart. But only if it’s an edible chocolate one containing luxurious bonbons. Four years ago, Brigitte Browney, owner of Cocoa Pod Chocolates in Natick, created her signature “smash cake,’’ chocolate molded in the shape of a giant cupcake filled with a customer’s choice of confections. It comes with a wooden mallet so the recipient can smash it into tasty shards. Think of it as a chocolate lover’s piñata. This week, Browney is offering a dark or milk chocolate heart box that can be filled with cherry kirsch, kir royale, lavender vanilla, and passion fruit chocolates (2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chocolate for $90.) The smash cake made its TV debut last fall on Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa.’’
Jamaica-born teacher-turned-chocolate maker Browney experiments constantly, turning to ingredients such as ginger, lemongrass, and rose petals, and purees of pomegranate, cassis, and blood orange. Popular items include salted caramel chocolate hearts, almond rocks, and truffles flavored with champagne, rum raisin, maple pecan, and Earl Grey tea. “It gives me pleasure to make something that people love,’’ says Browney. Cocoa Pod Chocolates available at Beacon Hill Chocolates, 91 Charles St., Boston, 617-725-1900; and Gallery 55, 55 S. Main St., Natick, 508-740-0260, or go to www.cocoapodchocolates.com.