In the wise words of Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Fortunately for me, this box of chocolates were not mysterious at all. I was invited to a press event at La Maison Du Chocolat to taste their summer collection of goodies. I sampled their chocolate, macarons, sorbet, and the most amazing cake!
I tasted the chocolate in order, from light to dark, with a quick rinsing of my palette between each piece, in true wine tasting or coffee tasting fashion. This was certainly a nice change of pace from my usual act of scarfing down as many chocolate pieces as I possibly can. =)
This year’s summer collection is inspired by Chiberta, a small town in the heart of the Basque Country. According to the website, Chiberta is located in the south western coast of France, and is actually first region to welcome cacao in 1609.
We started with Etzia- a creamy milk chocolate ganache flavored with wildflower and chestnut honey from the Basque mountains. I was pleasantly surprised by the honey flavor, as it was bright, with a lingering sweet aftertaste. I think that’s what honey is supposed to taste like, actually.
Next was Txokolate Iluna or “Solemn ganache” – an intense plain dark chocolate ganache with smoky notes. My “sensitive” palate couldn’t pick up on the smokey hints, but the chocolate was super dark and delicious.
Then I tried the Praliné Macaron – a smooth and silky rare praline made with almonds and slivers of dark chocolate macarons. Nutty, sweet and delicious.
Then there was the Almond Paste with Patxaran, a dark chocolate with almond paste and the traditional Patxaran liqueur. A mellow flavor of almond paste enhanced with the fruity aromas of anise. The liqueur and anise were very subtle, leaving the almond paste to be the star.
Finally, there was Espeletako Piperra, capturing the intensity of the Basque reds, this bonbon perfectly balances the flavors and colors of red peppers, red Espelette pepper and dark chocolate ganache. Instead of a spicy punch of spice in my mouth, I got some muted spiciness.
Then we moved on to something so dear to my heart – macarons. I’ve only succeed in making them once, and will eventually try making them again when it’s cooler outside. Macaron Sylvia – chocolate shell, milk chocolate ganache, notes of biscuits and honey, is a part of their summer collection. The raspberry and pistachio macarons are offered all year around.
At this point, I was full of sugar, happy, and ready to call it a day. But one forkful of Salvador raspberry mouse cake – dark chocolate mousse, and semi-cooked raspberry with a delicate chocolate biscuit, decorated with fresh raspberries and a semi-sweet chocolate palette convinced me that this was the best.cake.ever. I really wish I could have some right now!
I was too full to try anything else, so I was sent home with a large box of chocolates, a row of macarons, the remaining half of the most delicious cake and 1 mango sorbet. I noticed that on the sorbet cup, you open the lid and a little spoon is hiding on top. Isn’t that really cute?
Now, onto the prices. A small box of the summer collection chocolates are $24, while a large box is $60. Macarons are $2.75 each, and $16.50 for a box of 6. The raspberry mousse cake is $8/per serving, or $48 for 4-6 serving cake. The sorbet and ice creams are $4.50 per scoop. The summer collection is available in stores and online until Labor Day.
After trying the amazing offerings from La Maison Du Chocolat, I’m afraid that I will find it difficult to go back to just any chocolate. While I won’t be able to indulge in these chocolates every single day, but it certainly makes a wonderful gift for special occasions!
A special thanks to Horacio for hosting me even though I wasn’t able to make it to the group event!
There are two other locations at 63 Wall Street, NY and also at Short Hills Mall in New Jersey.
Disclaimer: I was provided with the opportunity to attend this event at no cost to me. No monetary compensation has been granted for writing a review. I do not write on behalf of anyone else; all thoughts and opinions are my own.