Box Chocolate Review

Emanuel Andrén Gastronomy

Info Details
Country Sweden   (Lilla Edet)
Style New School      (with Classic pretense)
The chocolate world flaps around these days all abuzz over the latest pairings. Most are ill-advised. Worse, they often orphan chocolate off as the poor step-cousin to other "sophisticated" specialties. Chocolate 'n bacon, chocolate 'n goat cheese, chocolate 'n beer &, of course, the overwrought chocolate 'n wine.

Who in their right mind would waste their bar on a bottle? Maybe single-malt scotch but not the simple stuff of grapes. Please. Chocolate for a variety of factors hovers above such inferior goods.

So when this invitation (enclosed below) came along -- pairing it with private jets on an aircraft carrier -- something in the air suggested that chocolate had truly arrived.

Just the perfect accessory for cocktail party fodder: "Hmmm, what are you doing with that extra billion you made last week?"

"Got a new pair of wings. Ideal for jetting in & out of the tropics to take on board some of that wild-harvested cacáo from the Rio Beni. Here, try some."

Emanuel Andrén: Chocolatier to Swedish Royalty... & the unofficial truffles of the LearJet Bombardier 85.

Presentation   4.5 / 5
sheer elegance except for the plastic tray containers (Emanuel, c'mon now, go all in, buck up, & lose those for something commensurate)
Aromas   3.2 / 5
berry composed with back-strap leather & plastic polymers
Textures/Melt   5.9 / 10
Shells: heavy segregation between hard shells &...
Centers: ... soft-to-runny gelées
Flavor   40.7 / 50
Underpowered couverture serves as fat-lipid agent for Textural FXs.
Felchlin's Criolait amounts to a cream-puff of a Milk Chocolate even at 38% cacáo-content; curbs the intensity levels.
Because of that it seems, incorrectly, that Arden overplays his hand with the infusions which supply most of the complexity in the flavor sets.
Quality   22.8 / 30
Conception trumps execution in this super posh box.

Highly selective, A-1 elements + an absolutely comprehensive listing of ingredients right down to the chocolate type & percentage. Quite rare for the boxed-chocolate category where most never even list the manufacturer of their chocolate base (typically some bulwark like Callebaut or Belcolade).

Technical flaws (especially evident in the shell-to-center juxtapose) & pairing decisions (particularly ill-suited couverture) thwart overall creativity however.
Couverture: Felchlin; Valrhona; Oialla
Elderberry - notes of apple, pear & lychee dominate this marmalade set within a White Chocolate dome of gummy texture & a caulk by-taste; persistent berry however exacts the last zing at the finish

Black Currant & Aronia -- berry high & tart & quite stringent until meeting up with White Chocolate whence it transmutes toward a dried seed of golden raisin to prevent an all-out cloy

Sea Buckthorn - another gummy-marmalade, this time with the apricot-inflected Sea Buckthorn set in an MC ganache & a White dome that adds a whole hive of honey to this jelly confection

Passion Fruit - hi-pitched citrus in a dense trap of cream-laden Milk Chocolate; the combined dairy & cocoa butters capture the passion nicely; executed with success

Calvados - truly one of the uniquities of the world, specifically of Normandy; pomme brandy (distilled apple) reduced here to a cloying confection; slow starter with a bizarre crunch element (a sugar cube), & only a streak of evanescent alcohol overwhelmed by an adipose Milk Choc base that creams its way to White Chocolate taste to mute the proceedings; resolves well enough however on a sweet-cider / betty crumble impression

Laphroaig - cement shell / wet center never comes together until the complete meltdown whence alcohol (thanks to its nutsome barley / peat smoke) vaporizes the couverture (a hyper blend of Valrhona's Abinao & the pre-blend Guanaja) into caramelized-honey tones; proof-positive that whisky & chocolate go together like... well, whisky & chocolate (i.e., love 'n sex) & oily all over

Zino Platinum Cigar - a confused playground; tobacco, rum & Tabasco® sauce ignite some fun smoked-out club FXs

Appleton Estate VX -- skip the powdered sugar & pass the rum please; Jamaica's super-blend of 15 rums tied together mainly by Felchlin Sur del Lago from Maracaibo, Venezuela; both liquors (cocoa & rum) splash around in orange impressions, then caramelized Nibs add a light exfoliating touch to the Texture; absolutely excellent

Reviewed November 8, 2012

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