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Saturday June 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday June 21, 2014 MYT 11:57:07 AM
by ron j. backus
Chocolate Truffe mousse Vanille Miel - the complex Wildflower honey enhances a ganache of white chocolate combined with light vanilla mousse. Covered in dark chocolate and topped with creamy white chocolate flakes.
Godiva’s new range of signature chocolate truffles would please Lady Godiva herself.
EVER heard of this phrase, that life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re going to get? This is true when it comes to a box of high quality chocolates: you never know which delish, secret ingredient is hidden beneath the crisp crust of the truffles.
A box of chocolate truffles especially, has always had a compelling, hypnotic effect on people – at least that’s true of me.
Coupled with a name that has two formidable nouns – God and diva – the brand Godiva is irresistible. And that was before I learnt of its fascinating history.
Lady Godiva from Coventry was said to have ridden a horse around the streets of the town wearing only her long tresses to save the people from crippling taxes which her husband Lord Leorific had threatened to impose. The virtuous Godiva pleaded for the sanctions to be lifted with her dignity.
Joseph Draps, the founder of Godiva, believes that his brand personifies the passion and love of Lady Godiva for the people. High quality chocolate and exquisite varieties are the hallmarks of Godiva which make it one of the top 10 chocolatiers in the world.
Belgium has been the capital of chocolate for over a millennium, owing its fame to the invention of the praline, a chocolate shell with a soft centre, in 1912. Godiva has the distinction of being Belgium’s most famous chocolate company; founded in 1926, Godiva is now an international brand spanning 80 countries.
Each region is presided over by a chef chocolatier who crafts chocolate dreams to keep the Godiva brand strong. Its Beijing-based chef, Philippe Daue, described the brand in three words: quality, passion, heritage.
He added that Godiva is the only chocolate company in the world which has a team of chefs in every region to develop chocolates to be sold in the local markets.
Daue, who is Belgian, joined the Godiva family in December 2012.
A fourth generation chef and son of a famous chef from a two Michelin-star restaurant, he was the executive pastry chef of several leading five-star hotels around the world before joining the company.
“Chocolate should be a complete experience,” said Daue when he was here at the Godiva outlet in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur. He asserted that it’s not just the chocolates but the packaging itself that has to be properly done so that the person on the receiving end feels the emotions intended.
Daue gets his inspiration from just about everywhere. “When you walk, look around and you will find shapes and colours that will inspire you.”
However, chocolate inventions shouldn’t be made to personal taste, but rather, to what the local consumers delight in. With his presence in China, tea flavours have captivated him; the Matcha Tea Mousse is one of his creations and he is experimenting with other Chinese tea flavours, fruits and spices which are well known in Europe such as wolfberries.
“When combined with chocolate in the right balance, it can be very exotic,” he mused.
Every truffle tells a story
With all that amazing history of producing the world’s finest chocolates, this year Godiva uncovers their legendary delicacy, the signature truffle chocolate collection, to great anticipation.
What exactly is a truffle? Chocolate truffles – or truffe, as the French call it – are little balls of delight, you can say, traditionally coated with a layer of rich, luscious chocolate with a centre of soft, velvety ganache, butter cream or even chocolate mousse. It is usually given a finishing touch comprising cocoa powder, icing sugar or crispy chocolate flakes.
The eight new sensational, bite-sized truffles are guaranteed to have the melt-in-the-mouth texture truffles are famed for, and each have been crafted with carefully chosen “secret” ingredients. These truffles are unique to chef Daue because it has Asian elements and Belgian heritage; some of them follow trends, while others are timeless combinations.
The Milk Chocolate Mousse Truffle derives its nutty hints from 43% of luxurious Venezuelan chocolate, surrounded by milk chocolate. It is rolled in fine cocoa powder giving it that powdery cocoa feel, which is a sheer delight.
The Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffle is sheer luxurious caramel blended with an unexpected ingredient – the gourmet sea salt, sel de Guerande. It is also covered in both milk and dark chocolate, topped with little dark chocolate pieces. This is one of the prettiest truffles in the collection and tastes divine.
For something with a distinct Asian twist, the Matcha Chocolate Mousse Truffle is a truly inspired Godiva original. The exotic matcha tea mousse, covered in milk and dark chocolate, is then rolled in Japanese matcha powder. An explosion of green tea in your mouth is guaranteed.
Another indulgent treat can be found in the Champagne Chocolate Truffle, which at first glance gives you a festive, wintry vibe. The intriguing combination of white and milk chocolate ganache with a splash of champagne gives it the ultimate kick. It is covered in milk and dark chocolates, and rolled in snowy ivory sugar. The perfect truffle with a glass of champagne.
The exclusively designed new truffle collection sees a classic dark brown gift box, embossed and engraved with a gold pattern, wreathed in a matching ribbon. It is available in four different sizes, containing between six and 24 truffles.
Savouring fine chocolate
SEE – Observe the packaging as quality chocolates will be packaged with quality material. The bar should have a radiant and consistent gloss, without any white or grey blemishes. An appealing colour should be expected.
HEAR – Break the piece in half and it should resonate with a resounding and satisfying “SNAP!”. An exhibit of a fine gradient along the broken edge must be evident.
SMELL – Sniff it especially at the break point. There should be a strong, intense and pleasant cocoa aroma. If the chocolate or the room is too cold, lightly rub the chocolate with your fingers to release the aroma.
TASTE – Place the chocolate on the tongue, and allow it to warm up to body temperature. Let it melt. Chew only to break it into smaller pieces so that it begins to melt on its own. This step is crucial as it allows the cocoa butter to spread evenly in the mouth. As the chocolate melts, concentrate on the flavours that are enveloping your tongue. Melting chocolate will release more volatile elements for the taste buds and olfactory senses to pick up. The ultimate act is to close your eyes and enjoy this moment of bliss.
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