Super Strict Scores [understand my S3]: 7.5
Rose & Framboise: 8
Fleur de sel: 7
Darcis are a Belgian chocolaterie run by Jean-Philippe Darcis [Darcis official homepage] who has taken to not only churning out chocolates as good as any you will come across no matter how lofty your circles, but also producing bean to bar chocolate. wattwurmnashi could not find out if the chocolates he uses for his pralinés are bean to bar made but even should they not be, they too were exquisite & didn’t let their precious inners down.
Right from the start, Darcis impresses through optics: the packaging is a luxurious 3-tiered, 6 a piece wardrobe. The flirtation with geometric, abstract patterns as seen in the outer materials is also reflected in the pralinés, putting a contemporary, graphic design spin on otherwise classy visuals. With the exception of the white chocolate heart imprinted one, because hearts are lame.
Let’s have a look at the top tier:
Java milk chocolate + passion fruit ganache, milk chocolate enrobing
Passion incarnates the perfect balance: the passion fruit ganache is sour without being obnoxious & beautifully balanced by slightly sweet Java milk chocolate. This praliné has a more natural but at the same time effortless passion fruit taste about it than other passion fruit pralinés tasted so far.
Rose & Framboise [rose & raspberry]
milk chocolate + raspberry paste + rose ganache, milk chocolate enrobing
This praliné is very subtle & not as fruity as Passion but distinct. The 2 R’s are more reticent than Passion’s passion fruit. A very good equilibrium between rose & raspberry has been struck, no 1 being stronger than the other. The milk chocolate keeps in the background until the end when it has a distinct nutty taste about it which is unexpected & maybe a bit uncalled for.
Fleur de sel [sea salt]
caramel with sea salt from Guérande, dark chocolate enrobing
Popping this into my mouth, my immediate, initial impression is that maybe it is too chocolatey, the caramel not being strong enough. The chocolate used for enrobing this praliné is quite strong & powerful but the caramel comes round almost immediately & gets on top of the chocolate. It has very good texture, is neither runny nor chewy but somewhere in between. The salt is not too strong, just the right amount to give the caramel a kick. The flavor profile reverts back to mostly cacao in the finish, with the chocolate also carrying intense notes of black fruit. It has a bit of a dry texture, maybe something smoother with more cacao butter & higher melt would go better with the soft caramel filling.
pear paste caramel, dark chocolate enrobing
The 2nd highlight along with Passion, Poire is a mindblowingly delicious pear caramel. Pear isn’t exactly a strong flavored fruit & its taste is subtle as expected but very natural & slowly building, just like the real thing – pear nailed. The chocolate is deemed the same as with Fleur de sel but is a better match here.
apple paste caramel, dark chocolate enrobing
Compared to Poire, the Pomme is also good but not as nice. The apple tastes like sweetened green apple but with lemon as stabilizer or something, it doesn’t taste quite as authentic as Poire’s pear. It doesn’t develop as much as Poire so considering the rather intense chocolate it strays on the [too] weak side.
hazelnut + almond praliné, white chocolate enrobing
Very classic praliné of the smooth type, i. e. no courseness/crunchiness. The praliné taste is good but the white chocolate coating is too thick for the thin interior & subdues the praliné a bit too much through its sweetness.
Top tier chocolates alright, & that even though wattwurmnashi is generally not a caramel fan! Stay tuned for the other 2!
Darcis official homepage: http://darcis.com/