L’Artisan du Chocolat Couture: Understated and elegant

L’Artisan du Chocolat produce a range of gourmet chocolates for the discerning chocolate devotee. The brand was established by Gerard Coleman who originally trained as a chef and pastry chef in Dublin, London and New York. He later headed off to Belgium to train as a chocolatier with Pierre Marcolini, indulging in his chocolate passion before returning to London and establishing the company in 2000. He opened the first L’artisan du Chocolat shop on Lower Sloane Street in 2002, allowing him to bring his exotic creations to a wider audience and in 2006 relocated to Kent.

Gerard’s aim is to produce a luxury product crafted for pleasure and has been labelled as “The Bentley of chocolate” by Gordon Ramsey, along with receiving high praise from other top chefs.

Gerard sources rare cocoa beans harvested from South America, the Caribbean and Asia with distinct flavours. He transforms these into bars adding cane sugar and dried milk from the British Isles and is one of the few British artisan chocolatiers who produce chocolates from ground cocoa beans rather than purchasing in ready-made couverture. Soft centred chocolates are infused with cream, fresh herbs, flowers, spices, nuts and fruits. He has produced unusual flavours such as tobacco chocolates, first dished up at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck.

The range includes Single origin bars, TBars, Fairtrade, Organic and 100 percent chocolate.

On this occasion I sampled the Couture Box – made by infusing flowers, spices and herbs in cream to create a ganache and the Assorted Os Collection – think discs in white, milk or dark chocolate with liquid centres with fruit fillings, liquid caramel and honey.

The chocolates are all aesthetically pleasing and beautifully presented. In fact, it seems a shame to eat them at all.

The Couture chocolates come in over 45 flavours including orange, ginger and rose or unusual varieties such as banana and thyme, black cardomom and chestnut tree honey. The flavours are fairly delicate and not overwhelming and though the uniqueness won’t be to everyone’s taste there is something delightfully understated about them, much like the zen design of the chocolates and packaging itself. I am not usually a fan of fruit flavoured chocolates but I enjoyed these immensely simple, elegant and distinctive chocolates.

The Assorted Os were equally delicious with their sharp flavoured liquid interiors. I particularly relished the salted caramel and honey.

Overall I was pleased with L’Artisan du Chocolat’s offerings and share the top chef Heston Blumenthal’s sentiments “How could anyone resist them is beyond me?”

Chocolate Lover Rating:  


The Chocolate Hater says…

The Chocolate Hater: I am not a fan of fruity chocolates or unusual flavours so these didn’t do much for me, but I appreciated the elegant design and the richness of the cocoa, for someone who hates chocolate anyway!

Chocolate Hater Rating:   

 

For more information and to purchase L’Artisan du Chocolat chocolates visit www.artisanduchocolat.com.

 

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