x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The Style List: Crème de la ganache

The Hermès of chocolate is now available in Dubai.

La Maison du Chocolat is famous for its sinful ganache. Courtesy La Maison du Chocolat
La Maison du Chocolat is famous for its sinful ganache. Courtesy La Maison du Chocolat
When the Parisian pastry chef Robert Linxe decided to use all his savings to open La Maison du Chocolat, a chocolate-only boutique (a shop in a basement, more like) in the 70s, it was a daring move because, inconceivable as it might sound now, chocolate was more of a seasonal delicacy than a year-round staple then. Within the decade, however, Linxe’s heavenly nuggets of confection had earned him the moniker “Wizard of Ganache”, and several more Maisons followed suit, in Paris and Cannes, as well as in New York, London and Tokyo. Last month, the Maison – dubbed the Hermès of chocolate – made its Middle East debut, with a shop in The Dubai Mall.
The philosophy of treating chocolate-making as an ever-evolving art is what has kept the brand’s delectable spirit alive, according to La Maison du Chocolat’s head chef, Nicolas Cloiseau, who holds the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France chocolatier.
Ganache is what this French confectionery does best – as each bite of Quito, the signature plain filling, or Salvador, the raspberry-flavoured, dark-chocolate ganache, confirms. But there’s plenty more besides. Milk chocolate that’s creamier than cream? The intense flavour of fresh mint leaves; cinnamon; vanilla; orange? The crunch of a caramelised coconut praline, perhaps? They’re all here, and cost up to Dh973 per box or “Coffret Maison”.
Using the best vintages of Venezuela’s highly sought after Criollo cacao beans, the company’s one-of-a-kind creations are handmade and flown in fresh from Paris every week.
“We are bringing a taste of French luxury lifestyle to the region. The Maison offers a perfect reflection of the dreamlike universe of delicate artistic creations,” says Wissam Al Mana, the executive director of Ikram Group, La Maison du Chocolat’s partner in the Middle East.