Thursday, January 27, 2011

a quick lesson in Chocolate

Valrhona -- As if I the Rhone (river, terroir, valley, ad nauseum) didn't cause me to drool already... it also gave us the Pastry Chef who created Valrhona Chocolate Manufacturer. Now, if you will excuse me for just one moment -- I am going to get really geeky.

Valrhona focuses on high grade luxury chocolate, and chocolate confections. I believe they even offer education for pastry chefs that want to focus on chocolate and chocolate making (that would be one hell of a birthday present!) It is a good thing that I've retained a minoot amount of the French that I studied for four years, because honestly, I could shop their sight for hours.
And, as if they weren't fabulous enough, they take it to a whole other level...
Valrhona actually makes "vintage chocolate". Think Champagne (assuming that you understand the diff between NV and Vintage Champagne) -- they utilize beans from only one year's harvest and only from very specific plantations. Essentially, the Grand Cru's and Premier Cru's of the chocolate world. IE. South America, and the Caribbean. I'd love to get my hands on some "Gran Couva"!

Now, enough of the geeky-ness. The bottom line is that this is some gorgeous chocolate. And, it is what I will using in the "Espresso Valrhona" cupcakes for Valentine's Day! What goes together better then perfect French chocolate and decedent Italian espresso? Not much. In fact, I like to close my eyes and pretend that I'm in a villa somewhere between Provence and Tuscany when I take that first bite.

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