Box Chocolate Review

Éclat

Info Details
Country USA   (West Chester, PA)
Style Classic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
From the Executive Provocateur / Devil's Advocate behind the Good & Evil chocolate bar duo Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert. Plus an acolyte of Pierre Marcolini whose influence can be tasted.

Christopher Curtin is Éclat.

Some crib pieces in the collection but several standouts too from this chocolatier who continues to up his game.
Presentation   4.5 / 5
round-globe truffles (a couple leakers among them) tucked in a smoked-brown box
Aromas   4.4 / 5
heady combo of cream-cocoa cuisine
Textures/Melt   7.8 / 10
Shells: snapping medium to heavy gauge that give fills a shellacing
Centers: traditional cream ganache
Flavor   44.3 / 50
some awkwardly shy; a few quite extroverted; & others of adroit balance
Quality   24.8 / 30
Mixed line (hi-, fine, middling, & only rarely scrapes the lower depths)
Selections
Couverture: Callebaut; Marañón Canyon Cacáo
Peruvian Pure Nacional Truffle -- spotlighting Marañón Canyon cacáo; heavy on the cream to the point of a butter ball but with a dry tannic tickler at the finish; inconsequential

Shiraz -- Dark robe / Milk ganche; lots of black & brown notes to this well-proportioned yet potent combine (berry / fig) with tertiaries of vanilla & cask; all-pro

Milk Enrobed in White – cream-on-cream enticing & that’s that

MilkMilk Choc cloud with cinnamon lining; subtle (almost anise-thetized) yet surprisingly clear & convincing

Static Caramel – firm & light in a Milk sack

Salted Caramel – fluid scotched-butter magnified by grey salt pellets framed in Milk; strong signature

Nougatine – traditional Milk & a classic Nib crunch verging on a self-destructing wafer

Twin Peak Gianduja – raw hazelnuts up-top interfere with the lower depths, creating top-heavy imbalance

Black Sesame Ginger – ginger right out of the box; extracted herbal strength; mildly warm & too surrounding

Champagne – hidden spirit in Dark ganache under powdery Milk robe; no bubbles, no misbehaving; just restrained & regal

Dark-on-Dark – a speakeasy berry-cream that gives good tannin in a roasted length

Honey – quick cut-thru & out; fabulous mouthfeel worth the sensation alone but flavor evanescent & leaves wanting

Raspberry – liqueur competing, clashing (the very definition of 'éclat'), seemingly conquering, then finally conforming to the Dark knight; drama without much song

Black Tea – winning contrast of cream, tea & Dark Choc that stretches against each other, though never pulls apart

Dark Caramel -- oozy center-filling runs out & away from the snappy, brittle shell until they finally merge in the meltdown for some toffee with lavender edge; accomplished

Reviewed Spring 2010
Revised December 10, 2012
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