travel

{take me away № 07 | la maison du chocolat}

by

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{creator of legendary chocolates}

Movies have been made, novels have been written, and even songs have been sung about chocolate—celebrating its tradition, its magic and its wonderment.

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And whether you prefer creamy, milk chocolate as smooth as silk, or enjoy the stark bitterness of a deep and intensely flavored dark chocolate, some say chocolate preferences can say a lot about a person. For whosoever has a love affair with chocolate, shall always . . .

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If you plan to travel to Paris, Cannes, London, New York, Tokyo, or Hong Kong, you might make a stop at the legendary chocolatier, Robert Linxe’s La Maison du Chocolat.

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Originally founded in Paris, and “with over thirty years of expertise and ever evolving creativity”, some might say the perfection of Linxe’s creations is unrivaled, and that the experience alone is worth a trip.

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Made only of the purest, freshest ingredients, legendary chocolatier Robert Linxe’s mouthwatering confections are noble, artistic creations that capture the essence of chocolate in its truest form and exalt its taste in every exquisitely memorable bite . . .



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Now, for the first time ever, Linxe reveals his bewitching chocolate dessert recipes and chocolate-making knowledge in this sumptuously photographed volume.

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And if you cannot make it to one of their elegant boutiques but would love to try their creations, you will be happy to learn that La Maison du Chocolat also has a lovely online shop, just in time for the holidays.

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From exquisitely packaged advent calenders (in cube shapes) to finely boxed champagne truffles, there are a number of delicious things one may order. Alternatively, if you wish to offer their chocolates as a gift for particularly special occasions, they present a nice range of packages and gift sets—from baby showers to weddings.

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However, if you cannot make it to one of the locations yet, you may travel deliciously, through the senses, through one of their beautifully composed books, such as: La Maison du Chocolat—Tanscendent Desserts by the Legendary Chocolatier.

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The book invites fans of the chocolatier to re-create the beautiful artistry that La Maison is so well known for, for the very first time. In the book lies an introduction to Linxe’s artistry and craft, along with 65 irresistible recipes.

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There are quite a variety of delicious things, from candies and cakes to creams, soufflés, macarons, mousses, and even authentic drinking chocolate, all with a signature balance of beauty and exceptional taste.

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R E C I P E S

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And for fun, we tried two delicious recipes from the book—chocolate ganache and chocolate-dipped dried fruit and petite biscuits.

Below, you will find the recipes and instructions for both, as well as the results of our baking. Both are a wonderful treat to share with guests around Christmastime, or just because . . .

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In the book, the ganache is placed in a tart shell, which is ideal. However, many people are intimidated with the preparation of pastry, and so, we have prepared a simpler ganache dessert, equally delicious and appealing, especially when served with small Italian Amaretti biscuits—as a balance to the ganache. The fruit is a nice addition or can be served alone with coffee or a dessert wine.

As ganache is quite a rich dessert, an espresso cup size portion is the right amount for individual servings.

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{chocolate ganache}

6 ½ ounces of bittersweet chocolate
(2 ½ ounces ciana, 2 ounces maracaibo, 2 ounces orinoco)
2 ounces milk chocolate (merida)
½ vanilla bean [optional if not infusing; if infusing see below]
½ cup of heavy cream

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01 | Break the chocolate into pieces and place on a chopping block. Chop the pieces finely with a knife and place in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.

02 | Split the vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle. Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 seconds, then remove from the heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Remove the vanilla bean.

03 | Let stand for 30 seconds, the whisk to combine in a circular motion, starting from the middle and working out, until thoroughly blended. Pour into espresso cups or small vessels.

Note: If infusing, set tea strainer with earl grey tea or earl grey tea bag in the heavy cream and allow to infuse (approximately 2-3 minutes); we used a Rooibos Earl Grey. Reheat heavy cream as above and add to chocolate, continuing as recipe instructs.

When ganache is set, top with a pinch of maple-infused sea salt if desired.

4 espresso size servings


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{chocolate dipped cookies & dried fruits}

½ pound of bittersweet chocolate[we used pure Belgian chocolate]
various dried fruits
[we used dried apricots & dried papaya for color]
Italian Amaretti Biscuits

01 | Finely chop the chocolate and place two-thirds in the top of a double boiler to melt. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat just before it is completely melted. Add the remaining chopped chocolate in small batches, mixing well after each addition, until completely melted.

02 | When the last traces of chocolate have melted, prepare a small sheet of parchment paper. Spoon a small blob of chocolate. If it hardens in a few minutes, the chocolate is at the right temperature for proceeding with your recipe. If it takes longer, leave chocolate until cooler. On the other hand, if the chocolate hardens too quickly, reheat by placing on top of a double boiler for a few seconds.

When chocolate is ready, partially or fully dip the cookies and fruits into chocolate as preferred.

03 | Place on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes, then remove and leave to set at room temperature. The chocolate should have a hard, glossy appearance.

{p.s.} more recipes : chocolate truffles // more truffles // tarts

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{images: 1 & 8 – versailles via the cherry blossom girl // 2 – socialite mommy //3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 – photography by Michele Carles for La Maison du Chocolat—Tanscendent Desserts by the Legendary Chocolatier // 4, 6, 8 – via the cherry blossom girl, lace boots by valentino //all baking images – photography & styling by Sarah and Jacquelyn Klassen // recipes: La Maison du Chocolat, with adaptations}

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curling up with her mother in their home library, exploring fashion and décor magazines, reading Jane Austen novels, and looking through beautiful books. Educated in design and marketing, Sarah has a great deal of experience in the realm of design, decorating and retail. She enjoys writing, travel, bike riding, boutique shopping, and exploring her beautiful city with her soul mate. Considered approachable and warm, if you meet her on the street, she’s likely to engage you in lively conversation.
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