Dark chocolate has been quite topical on the health platform front due to this group of chemical called flavanols. If you are interested, you could look for some clinical trials on flavanol-rich chocolate. Basically some studies* have shown that these chemicals, naturally present in wide variety of fruits and vegetables, could boost your health (with special focus on weight loss). And what is chocolate made of? Cocoa Beans, the seeds of Cocoa fruit. So it goes without saying the higher cocoa content the chocolate, the better it could be for you.
Introducing Pierre Ledent, 4th generation Belgium-born Master Baker and winner of multiple awards including two International Gold Medals for his skills and the luxury chocolate brand that bears his namesake. Founded in 1994 and won many hearts of mortals alike, the outlet has finally landed in Malaysia.
Pierre Ledent has visited KL last weekend and a small group of us (mostly girls, notably) spent a sunny Saturday afternoon in Chinoz, Bangsar Shopping Centre sipping coffee while sampling these chocolate pralines. Boy, were we in for a treat!
Pierre is incredibly dedicated to his craft and he standards are high. He constantly travels around the world to source the best ingredients. He uses at least 70% Cacao Beans from certified origins. Same standards apply for other ingredients, for example, Vanilla only from Bora Bora islands or Pistachios from Sicily. These pralines are all air-flown from Belgium and they are housed in a specially designed chiller clever double as display case. When you have chocolate this good, only 2 to 3 bites would be enough to satisfy the cravings.
He treats his chocolate pralines like precious jewels. That’s why these pralines are presented in exquisite hand made jewel boxes. It is perfect as a gift for that special someone, or in singular box, perfect door gift for your dinner party.
We started with the White Chocolate Praline, beautifully crafted as a seashell. White chocolate is made predominantly with cocoa butter, sugar and does not contain cocoa solids hence the pale colour. I’d usually steer clear of it because it’s often overly sweet, and the cheaper version is often chalky and gross. Not the case with Pierre Ledent though. Filled with caramel, and with a hint of sesame within, it’s smooth and melted instantly in my mouth. Next please!
The coffee was Illy, served black. Blended from arabica beans and hails from Italy, it’s relatively easy drinking, a little bit tangy with slight smokiness. The reason it’s served black is because sugar and milk would only cloud the sense of taste when it comes to chocolate tasting.
Many would probably expect biting into a big lump of almond, but he has taken it one step further by marinating them and crushing them into almost crystal candy like pieces. The combination of texture is interesting and pleasantly surprising. One sip of the coffee followed by another bite, and the flavours changed. Interestingly it did not make the coffee more bitter, or the chocolate sweeter, as one would have expected.
I’ve always preferred dark chocolate so there’s no surprise that the Dark Chocolate with Walnuts praline has become my favourite. Once again the walnuts were crushed in the same fashion. Using walnuts with chocolate is a rare but clever choice as the slight bitterness complements the dark chocolate really well. I feel that this pairs better with the coffee as the complexity of chocolate mingling with the hint of smokiness creates a whole new flavour profile.
Just when we thought we were nearing the end of the session, these appeared in front of us. The Spicy Chocolate, he said. And that was enough to pique my interest as a chili lover. Next to them a special Chocolate Stout brewed by the Monks.
Ideally, we should consume chocolates in a colder climate and 16 degree celcius would be perfect. But alas we are in Malaysia so we could only imagine that these morsels would be perfect for a chilly evenings. The spicy note is subtle and only hit you after about 10 seconds, a combination of piri piri and two other type of spices I can’t even pronounce. Safe to say this would be quite a potent aphrodisiac ala Chocolat the movie. The chocolate stout’s enhances the bittersweet ganache. Perfect!
There was a little competition going on that afternoon, in that the person who tweeted the most would get a mysterious gift and that motivated my uber-kiasuness.
After flooding everyone’s timeline with #PLedent tweets, I won the most
annoying person tweets award! I would like to thank my Samsung Galaxy S2 for its adequate battery life and Chinoz for the free wifi. And Belgium for producing fine talented Chocolatier such as Pierre.
Pierre Ledent chocolate is located at Jason’s Food Hall, Ground Floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre. Next time I shall try their Macarons too.
*Disclaimer: Most of these studies are preliminary but there is at least one randomised double blind control trial available. I have not done a thorough medline search though.