After my recent tour of the Pirre Marcolini factory I came away with a large selection of goodies so I thought I’d review the most time-critical first: the thirty-four piece selection box. When I chatted with Pierre he put across his concept that ganaches should be served much smaller than is traditionally the case. His reasoning is that a selection box should offer a vast variety of flavours and allow you to enjoy as many as possible without feeling satiated. Far too often I have trouble reviewing a whole box, even if it’s only twelve or so, because they’re just so large and rich. Here they’ll about half the normal size and offering a more relaxed experience.
The first I tried was what I think was the Palet Or which was a ganache of some description. But even though the menu booklet was comprehensive, I couldn’t spot this one. It was just as bittersweet as the Palet Or but didn’t contain any caramel coulis. Even though I couldn’t pinpoint it, I still love the soft, direct flavours which were unhindered by other flavours.
This was then followed by a delightful Earl Grey tea ganache which even though it was slight in appearance managed to pack a punch. There was also an orange edge but as that subsided the tea element came to the fore. Again this was a very refreshing ganache.
And then the framboise Valentine’s hearts which must have been popular as they’re still making them. These had a white chocolate shell painted red but with a sensational raspberry centre. It was like swimming in a warm sea. It was absolutely perfect.
And then it was time for some marzipan. I just adored this one, the texture was incredibly soft and almost like cake. Although the flavour was intense to start it declined and didn’t at all taste artificial as much of the marzipan I taste does.
This one was an interesting affair. It was a subtle, yet delightful ginger ganache. Again the flavours were soft and just dabbed your taste buds. I can really see these as after dinner chocolates as they’re not overwhelming in terms of flavour as the Lauden chocolates are.
I have fallen in love with this saffron ganache. Once again the flavours are subdued but tantalising. Pierre chocolates are sophisticated. They don’t thrust their flavour upon you, instead they just gently blow flavour over your taste buds. Incredible.
I’m sure the next was a violet ganache. Here the flavour was more pronounced. Still delicate, but you don’t have to search for the flavour.
I then tried his Grand Cru ganache which was resplendent with flavour and is a combination of dark chocolate with the cacao coming from Venezuela, Ghana and Peru. This was a great deal punchier than the others and I nice gear change from the soft flavours of the previous.
I tried this mango ganache in his factory and loved it then. But I love it even more now. We’re back down to more subtle flavours; however Pierre allows the true mango characteristic to come through incredibly well. I just can’t fault this one.
And the four spices ganache was fantastic too. I wish I’d have found one I didn’t like. But the cinnamon here was really capped off the whole experience wonderfully. I’ve still got over twenty left in the box, but they’ll have to wait until later.
If you’re ever in Brussels you’ll just have to check his stores out.