Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Petite Maison: Chocolat Chaud

This isn't the hot chocolate time of year, is it? It's more the lemonade time of year--but I will make the exception and give attention to my latest chocolate find. At a store arranged primarily in decorating things (furniture, pillows, pictures, dishes), there is also a corner with food items. Among these food items you will find Petite Maison's Chocolat Chaud. And it is beautiful. The dark brown tin comes with words and patterns in blue and a small handle for carrying. If it were bigger (it's only about six inches), I would say it could make a cute lunch box. How about an evening bag?

Petite Maison is one of the labels of Wildly Delicious Fine Foods, which is a Canadian company. I don't come across many Canadian chocolate products. While Wildly Delicious doesn't sound like a very serious name, Petite Maison does seem to have some attractive products, as far as I can tell from their online page. And there's no arguing that this hot chocolate tin looks as if it is good quality. One would certainly hope so since, at this particular store, the price was $20. That comes out to $2.50 per serving, which is not much compared with what you would pay for a fine drinking chocolate at a cafe or wherever but is much compared with average hot chocolates. 

As you can see, the mixture is made up of tiny chocolate drops and powder. I'm not sure what brand Petite Maison uses, but it appears, the way that the ingredients list is put together, that they get the chocolate drops from another company. They add sugar, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and waxy corn starch. At home, you stir three tablespoons of this mixture into simmering water; you let that simmer for a little longer so that it can thicken. All very simple. The chocolate you come up with is thicker than what I'll call the regular hot chocolates, but it isn't a super thick suspension of liquid.

In flavor, there are brownie notes, rich and warm rather than very dark. I would imagine that would make it more welcome and less intimidating to the average person. There isn't anything bitter to it, just nothing sweet or mellow. The "Rich & Dark" label isn't misplaced; this just isn't an intense dark experience. I do find myself wondering whether or not it is lacking in depth. It reminds me of eating a 60-something percent chocolate, where you feel like if it were just a bit darker there would be more complex and entertaining flavor notes. Maybe it's just me. As usual, I prefer just half a serving to treat it more as something to savor through sipping. And when I am done, I will still have the tin to swing happily back and forth by its handle.

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