La Maison du Chocolat’s latest creations are anything but garden variety.
When it comes to making unique pairings with the rich flavors of chocolate, one of the first things that comes to mind are fruits. The tartness of lemon, or the rounded sweetness of raspberry, for example: these are the common combinations that we are used to. But what if some daring, Wonka-like character were to burst forth from his lab, having merged chocolate with the other side of the produce aisle? How would the familiar flavors of chocolate mix with the tastes of caramelized onion, olive, pepper, or mushroom?
Thanks to the experimental flair of La Maison du Chocolat’s Master Chef, Nicolas Cloiseau, gourmets with a taste for something new can now answer that question for themselves. The “Chocolate Revelations” series offers a series of unique flavor pairings that will make you reconsider what can be done with the ingredient. Cloiseau is no stranger to innovation in cuisine: the holder of the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) is forever pushing the boundaries of expectation, while always looking to provide a taste that will appeal to a wide audience. After a successful experiment last year—the delicious recreation of the flavor of several different cocktails—this new collection offers a bewitching marriage of sweet and savory.
These small, four-gram morsels created from praliné and dark chocolate ganache offer brief voyages of flavor. They begin with the familiar notes of chocolate, only to be followed by an intriguing set of tastes: the delicate aroma of olive oil, the woody notes of porcini mushroom, or the crisp sensations of red pepper. The collection is meant to be sampled in the following order, each combination yielding a unique set of pleasures. But once you’ve found your favorite, feel free to indulge. After all, rules were meant to be broken.
Five Unique Creations
Hazelnut praliné with porcini mushroom
One is pleasantly surprised by the woody notes of this dynamic duo. The lightly salted slivers of porcini unveil echoes of mushrooms, leaves, and humus. The silky texture, almost like fresh butter, is a perfect match for this hazelnut praliné.
Ganache with caramelized onions
The creamy notes of chocolate prolong the sweet and tart notes of spring onions infused into the cream of the ganache. The balsamic vinegar caramelises the fine slivers of fig and prolongs even more the sweet and savory sensations. The crisp notes refine the complementary facets of this almost “cooked” chocolate.
Dark ganache with red pepper
The red pepper compote offers a gentle introduction for this dark ganache confection. The salty rush of the Guérande fleur de sel entices the nuances of chocolate and pepper with a kick of Espelette pepper to fully express themselves at the finish.
Praliné with black olives and olive oil
Delicate notes of olive oil unleash at once a palette of fruity flavors. Slivers of fresh moist black olives in the almond-hazelnut praliné maintain the edge of this naturally salty fruit in chocolate. The delicacy of a praliné, in harmony with the lightly briny accents of the olive in all its forms, is a perfect example of a perfect union.
Plain robust ganache, dash of Guérande salt
This robust dark ganache envelops the palate with intense notes of tannins in this predominately Venezuelan chocolate, while the crystalline notes of the salt amplifies their expression.
Try them for yourself at the following locations.
Omotesando Store: 3-10-8 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, 107-0061 Tokyo
Open: Daily, 12 am–8 pm
Roppongi Store: Roppongi Hills West Walk 2F, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, 106-6108 Tokyo
Open: Daily, 11 am–9 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm)