Illy Double Espresso on Ice
Toasted Almond Croissant
Toasted Chocolate Croissant with Chocolate Ganache
Fig & Red Wine Bundt Cake
Milk Chocolate, PB&J Layer Cake with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Truffle
Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie
Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cluster
Pink Lemonade BonBon, Caramel Sea Salt Truffle, Honey Truffle
Almond Butter Toffee
Fond of Jin Caldwell’s work at JinJu in the Container Park, but rare to visit due to the location, it was with great excitement that a trip was made to JinJu Chocolate, Espresso, Dessert on South Rainbow Boulevard, the expanded space now allowing one of the city’s best Chocolatiers an opportunity to truly show what she and her team can do.
Translated as “treasure,” but also obviously a play on its proprietor’s name, the new JinJu is found just South of Warm Springs Road in a quickly filling shopping complex, the corner-pocket location featuring the work of local artists and a Coffee shop soundtrack with each handcrafted confection presented elegantly in glass cabinets, a fully stocked Espresso station offering a variety of shots and styles in addition to Teas and blended beverages.
Open at 9am daily, fresh baked goods joining Cakes, Cookies and Confections shortly thereafter, it was approximately ten o’clock on Saturday that the shop was entered, Jin and her assistant exceedingly pleasant and happy to describe the concept as well as each item at length to each patron, only one Middle-aged woman arriving during a thirty-five minute stay throughout which a dozen items plus an Iced Double Americano were tasted.
First and foremost a Chocolate maker, the process described in layman’s terms on one wall with everything from Truffles to Bars to BonBons and larger creations available, it was nonetheless that baked goods commanded attention as a good way to start the morning, both styles of Croissant toasted to order with the Almond version far more subtle than many amidst layers of lamination while the Cocoa-topped iteration proved a far more decadent investment as the warm pocket was subsequently piped full of molten Dark Chocolate.
Opting to next taste some of Chef Caldwell’s cakes, a total of four available daily at $5.25 per slice, one would be labored to find a better price for a Bundt Cake as elegant and well-crafted as the one crafted from Figs, Wine and Chocolate, one of two wedges probably enough for one sitting even when served with a beverage while the other seems well suited for a glass of Wine later that evening, the Milk Chocolate PB&J slice perhaps a bit sweeter than it need be, the best parts those mellowed by salty chopped Peanuts.
Taking parts of each Cake to go and adding to them by way of a Brookie, Cookie and several Chocolates, those familiar with Chef Caldwell’s work from before will be happy to see all of her signatures returned along with several new options, the Honey Truffle a bit muddled in my opinion while the Salted Caramel and Pink Lemonade were both explosive and smooth in their delivery, the latter ordered largely because it seemed preposterous but actually helping to accent the bitter notes of the cocoa against the citrus cream filling.
Not particularly wowing with the cookie, larger chunks of chocolate likely a better choice considering the quality of her JinJu’s tablets and bars, suffice it to say that the shop’s take on Baked’s famous hybrid is every bit as tasty as the original and probably even better in-house warmed up, the Toffee a bit more flaky than some of the more buttery British versions encountered while the Pecan Turtle as well as the new Macadamia Nut Cluster were both a nice balance of flavors and textures benefitted by the quality of Jinju’s Cocoa Beans.
FOUR STARS: Expanding South Rainbow even further, the Boulevard already featuring the likes of Rosallie, Peridot, Gelatology, Sugar Bee’s and Drago Sisters, Jin Caldwell has created a beautiful space from which to offer longtime signatures while also exploring the boundaries of her creativity, future visits undoubtedly necessary to further explore.
RECOMMENDED: Chocolate Croissant, Fig and Wine Bundt Cake, Brookie, Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle.
AVOID: Honey Truffle tasted mostly like Chocolate while the Cookie was just a cookie.
TIP: 10% off the next order coupons available via indoor flyer, Grand Opening coming soon.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.