When it comes to chocolate, third-generation pastry chef Uzma Sharif is a straight shooter.
After years of catering and serving as head pastry chef at Puck’s Cafe, she recently pulled the trigger on her own storefront/studio in Pilsen.
Her arsenal of small-batch confections includes dark chocolate- and cocoa powder-dusted California almonds caramelized with Madagascar vanilla and sugar, chocolate bonbons (Italian espresso, Kashmiri chai), and 58 percent dark chocolate-enrobed Australian candied ginger.
Summer specials are equally addictive: milk and dark chocolate butterfly bonbons sprayed with colorful cocoa butter, toasted hazelnut crunch bars, and candied rose mendiants (chocolate discs topped with pink petals).
In the back, Sharif — who’s also a chocolate instructor at Triton College — holds hands-on chocolate 101 workshops (basic ganache, truffle-making) for small groups.
Get fired up.
Chocolat Uzma Sharif, 1823 South Halsted Street, at 18th Street (312-694-3471 or chocolatuzma.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Chocolat Uzma Sharif