Box Chocolate Review


Info Details
Country France   (Chelles)
Style Classic      
The official name – Fabrique Chapon – says it aptly, as these constructions feel & taste fabricated. Not in any prefab way. Just in the way the seams, joints, & fissure are exposed & laid bare in a bit of a chocolate Pompidou Center.
Presentation   4.3 / 5
masculine & mischievous
Aromas   3.8 / 5
let’s count the ways one can shape & smell praline.... (how did that jelly jam get in here?)
Textures/Melt   8.9 / 10
Shells: crisp wafer - crêpe
Centers: excellent – smooth & substantial
Flavor   38.7 / 50
pronounced, especially for a French maker; pointing to Chapon’s regional difference, honing the craft well outside Paris
Quality   23.9 / 30
Upper mid-level; borderline serious / fun high-candy... with some dizzying peaks.
Couverture: Noël
Cassis – strong, sharp & uber-sweet; blackcurrant races off, against a seemingly pistachio praline base (or couverture very much in that profile); an over shot
Caramel Violette – all flowers until rising tide of caramel washes out & back into dry cocoa powder for a united trinity of flavor; sensational
1er Cru Noir Amer –dense & concentrated w/ massive accents of molasses & café; unbelievably fortified for a ganache
Marron – chestnut purée; super-sweetened; chocolate catches up only to take an edge off sugar at the finish when its Dark base marries the chestnut for cherry overtones
Xéres – new, now it needs to be improved; busts out coffee syrup, over a chocolate base that already has resident café notes; melt creates some dilution, too little though to avoid the granulated dregs in the backend
Dome Fondant – oil-rich almond / pistachio savor, cut in a grey sea salt grinder (sel de guerande – considered the champagne of salts), which also neutralizes chocolate; outstanding nevertheless
Frisson 65% - paste or butter of praline; thick, smooth but unexciting as the nut sits ponderously heavy in the profile; any tingle or shiver comes from crystal salt in mid-palate
Rocher Praline Lait – soft nuts, soft savor (salt again), soft Milk Choc - all make for a soft un-impression

Le Gamin et Le Chocolat Bars:
Lait – superb caramel rival to Cluizel’s; Milk merely a constituent rather than a main flavor; true chocolate compound
Lait avec Noisettes – neither the simplex of the Lait (predictably), nor complex like a rich gianduja; instead a bot of a nosh-pit
Noir aux Eclats de Café – tremendous scale; bold coffee dominance backed up by muscle; highly-extracted, turbo addict-strength
Noir 77% -- paradoxically dry & greasy mouthfeel; unremarkable

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