On our way to last Thursday’s Tweet-up we stopped by Charles Chocolatier at 15, rue Montorgueil in the first arrondissement. Their speciality is the Bûche à l’ancienne, 70% Cacao made from a chocolate-based praline of hazelnuts from Piedmont (Italy), peppered with bits of hazelnut, and whole and crushed pistachios from Sicily, all enveloped in a 70% dark-chocolate coating. However, instead of purchasing the bûche (in the shape of a log), we decided to try their pavés, which are similar in concept, but have different shapes.
The Pavé de bûche is the round confection shown in the photograph. The dark-chocolate exterior was firm to the bite, while the interior was smooth and melted readily in the mouth. It contained chunks of pistachio.
The Pavé de feuillante is the bar-shaped confection. It contained fine, crunchy praline.
The square-shaped confection is the Pavé de gianduja. It had a supersmooth filling of gianduja, a paste made from ground hazelnut and chocolate. My partner found that the flavor of the gianduja was less intense than the flavor of the other pavés.
All Charles Chocolatier chocolates are handmade. The chocolate shells and the fillings contain no animal fat, only cocoa butter. The absence of cream or butter makes the interiors a little more pasty than one finds in other chocolates — whether or not you like this will depend on your individual taste.
None of the confections were very sweet. Americans who are accustomed to intense sweetness in their chocolates might not care for these.
They are, after all, French chocolates! Vive la différence!