‘Dripping its weight in gold, the cookie crumbles, Succulent chocolates tower over mankind,Caramelized strands of rope entwine in harmony,Songbirds tweet a sweet chocolate rhyme, o’ sweet one hand me your time, Candy castle stuffed with sweet delights,No more sweet than the secret hidden treasure, A chocolate room laden with the good brown, Belgian, Swiss, the French are good too, The king sits at the centre, his chocolate crown melts, Pooling at his royal feet he takes a lick, sweet god he cries,What is this sorcery, the finest chocolate in the land no less?Truffles sire, made from Belgian cocoa, rest assured its handmade,The revelers rejoiced and the trumpeters played,The court ate till sundown, when the chocolate was gone,Falling into false sleep, the court snored, as Planete Chocolat hovered nearby,Like elves they worked into the night, truffles, pralines and seasonal chocolates too,There was no rest, there was work to be done, the court awoke from their slumber,Rubbing their eyes they could not believe it, the world as they knew it had been replaced,Chocolate thrones and cocoa trees lined the courtyard, chocolate waterfalls chirped merrily,o’sweet chocolatier reveal yourself they cried, but he never came again and the world was back to normal once more.
‘The king of chocolate sits upon his cocoa throne, discussing ways in which the state can benefit from high-quality top range priced chocolates, made from 100% cocoa butter. Gone are the Snickers and the high street chocolates of the past, consulting his cookery books he notices a pattern; Belgian chocolate crops up again and again, regularly commended for its smooth and creamy consistency but why? Belgian’s gateway to a troubled colonial relation with Congo in the 1800’s allowed them to access cocoa plantains and bring them back to Europe, to produce high quality Belgian chocolate,but as the king discovered that wasn’t the only reason why Belgian chocolate is considered to be the best our world has to offer. As he flicked through 19th century history, the king realized that his homeland was famed for engineering; mechanical systems were created to mix the cocoa buttons into a thin paste to create a ‘smoother, velvety’ and if he might call it ‘sensuous provocation’ of modern chocolate. Soon, the truffles and pralines were to be invented and won over the hearts of the general public. He smiled remembering his ancestor Jean Neuhaus II’ who introduced pralines to the public in 1912, while truffles were an exciting exquisite delight, whose soft ganache centres were a semi-emulsion of inviting liquid. Whispering to the chocolatier beside him, he commanded him to make the finest truffles the world has ever seen, taking care to avoid conservatives or GM foods.
Thus Planete Chocolat was born, a hedonistic team of talented chocolatiers who-with the kings guidance- curated a selection of truffles, pralines, gayettes which lacked neither in flavour, nor appearance. Having collaborated with ‘World’s Best Praline’ (2009) and ‘Belgian Chocolate Master’ (2008,2010) Ryan Stephenson, his seductive talents enabled him to boost Planete Chocolat’s global profile and give them the accreditation they deserved. During the six month workshop with Ryan, the chocolate giant honed winning Belgian formulas that put its Swiss counterparts to shame and used artistic molds to breath life into each individual chocolate, to fashion them into works of modern art. Their exceptional range of truffles is no exception; combining 21 truffles in a box, each section is split into seven exquisite truffles. The perfect gift for a loved ones birthday, richly flavoured (speculaas, coconut, pistachio, cocoa) ganache, uses a traditional recipe which mixes cream, vanilla and cocoa powder to allow the semi-emulsified liquid or ganache to have a creamier, more luxurious consistency. Melt in your mouth, each truffle would make the king proud, with the sweet, tropical texture of the coconut ganache marked as a stand out while the pistachio is the weakest truffle, whose pistachio emulsion was slightly too heady for my liking. The coconut ganache effortlessly fuses lightly textured coconut wafer, with thin coconut shavings, layered over the top of a succulent, semi-coconut cream centre. Often hailed as a superfood, coconut has been reinvented as a wickedly delicious treat to capture and ‘heighten’ our taste buds. Coconut Truffle
While the coconut emulsion was reminiscent of an upmarket ‘Bounty’ bar, the fragrant spiced speculaas uses an aromatic blend of Indian and Belgian spices, often associated with St Nicholas’s feast (December 6th). Using the same creamy vanilla and cocoa texture casing, the speculaas ganache was pleasantly flavored with strong caramelized undertones, while the spiced shortcrust centre offered a delicious and much needed texture contrast to the softer wafer casing. Bearing resemblance to the nations much loved ‘Gingerbread’ man, the speculaas’s subtle spiced undertones would compliment similarly spiced chai latte, whose overarching ginger and cardamom notes creates an exotic, heady mixture fit for a Christmas feast. The pistachio truffle was exotic gone too far; the overly thick pistachio dusting was hard to swallow and the semi-emulsion filling did not compliment the thick casing, layered over the top of the ganache. Because I normally love salted pistachio’s my intolerance to pistachio truffles was rather surprising but of course the combination of thick cocoa and creamy filling is not a textural preference I would have, considering I am more attracted to wafer thin but rich treats. The pistachio truffles were too rich and there was not enough balance between ‘wet’ and ‘dry consistency. That being said, aesthetically speaking the green shavings made the pistachio truffles look more pleasing than the beige and brown tones used for the others.
Although the pistachio truffle was not to my taste, the cocoa truffle’s ganache was delightful combining an exquisite mix of dark and milk chocolate in one emulsion. That being said, the first half of the truffle was a little difficult to stomach, with the same thick cocoa dusting, although my friend stated that she loved the thickness so it all depends on your personal preference. For me, not being a lover of dark chocolate anyway I was pre-disposed to not like the cocoa truffle but found to my surprise that the filling itself was enjoyable. I was not keen on the bitterness of the wafer crisp and found the speculaas and coconut truffles to have more sweetness, something which I prefer in chocolates but I did enjoy the cocoa ganache filling as stated. All 21 truffles come in a gorgeous keepsake box that bears resemblance to Godiva chocolates and is kept safe in a plain black velvet drawstring bag, to disguise your chocolate from prying eyes. At first I was a little disappointed at the bag, thinking that the chocolates would be squashed because it was not in a box but thankfully I was proved wrong and it was protected under a sheet of tiered plastic. Inside the bag was a beautiful hand written note, thanking me for reviewing the truffles which I thought was a lovely sentiment and showed that they personalize each selection to the customer who has brought them.
Pros– Rich, high quality flavour that is authentically Belgian – Award winning formulas that are guaranteed to win over even the most stoic of anti-chocolate supporters – Boxed packaging is synonymous with the image of ‘chocolate’ as upmarket and classy – Speculaas and Coconut truffles are stand outs, with rich creamy flavour and consistency – Free Chocolate Delivery To The UK
Cocoa Truffle Cons– Initial velvet drawstring bag is a let down, would prefer it if the chocolates were packaged in the box only – For 21 truffles the price is extremely expensive L– Pistachio, Speculaas, Middle– Coconut, R– Cocoa