The other day we entered our favorite chocolate boutique—Mococha on rue Mouffetard—where the owner Marie Gantois immediately announced some wonderful news. She was featuring the products of Vincent Guerlais, a chocolate maker in the town of Nantes, and would we like to try some? We purchased a small box containing twelve pieces of assorted ganaches and pralinés and took them home to taste.
As soon as we bit into the first chocolate, we knew that Marie had a winner. Each had a firm, yet delicate shell, and the interiors were smooth (ganaches) or crunchy (pralinés). We both liked the one named Ganache infusée au thé earl-grey. Although I found the flavor of tea a bit too subtle, Monique thought it was prominent, yet not overpowering. The Praliné fleur de sel contained delightfully crunchy salt particles mixed into a soft hazelnut purée. Gianduja noisette et noix de coco contained grated coconut suspended in gianduja, a chocolate-hazelnut paste. Although gianduja and coconut are an unusual combination, we found the flavor to be heavenly. Monique’s favorite was the Grand cru pur Madagascar, a single-origin dark-chocolate ganache that she found to be buttery and slightly fruity.
For the last three years in a row, Vincent Guerlais has won the Meilleur Chocolatier Français award conferred by the Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat. Marie will feature the chocolates in her shop until the end of April.
Vincent Guerlais has two shops in Nantes:
11, rue Franklin
Marché de Talensac
Mococha is located at 89, rue Mouffetard in Paris. The telephone number is 01.47.07.13.66.
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