Bringing Europe Home

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European Chocolate–Vive la Différence!

February 14th is a chocolate-dipped day.  This year, dip your day into the chocolates of Europe.

WHAT IT IS

We know there’s a difference between European chocolate and a bag of Halloween candy—but what is it?  Basically, it has to do with the quality of ingredients.  Cheap chocolate will use cheap ingredients, such as oils and vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter, and that leaves a different “feel” in the mouth.

Fine European chocolate is created from fine ingredients, such as Swiss dairy and Ivory Coast cocoa.  It will leave out soy lecithin emulsifiers and corn starch, letting the cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and milk do the talking.  What will they say?  “We are delicious!  We are quality!”

 

BRING IT HOME

You lucky Atlantans—you have the best of France at your doorstep.  Neatly tucked into the corner of an office park across from the Chamblee MARTA station (on yet another Peachtree Road), is Maison Robert.  This charming establishment is named for Robert Reeb, who is a third generation pâtissier-confiseur-glacier from Metz, France, and it is choc-full of chocolates and other delights.  (I left with a box of chocolates and a bag of croissants!)

 The confections are exquisite.  They are hand-made on the premises, using imported European chocolate and European recipes (Robert studied his craft in Switzerland for ten years).  The chocolate creations include truffles of Grand Marnier, cognac, and  rum-raisin; Kirsch fondant; hazelnut bûchette; and vanilla marzipan.

 

 

These candies are gift-wrapped in a variety of ways.  Robert’s wife, Patricia, has an eye for specialty items and has created lovely packaging for Valentine’s Day.  There are small and large baking dishes, ramequins, tea pots, woven ceramic bowls, ornately cut soapstone dishes, beautiful boxes, and paper-mache hearts, all filled with Maison Robert’s sublime chocolates.

Best of all are the chocolate heart boxes.

Made entirely of dark or milk chocolate in a basket weave or marbled pattern and topped with marzipan roses, they are too pretty to eat–but too delicious not to!

Robert and daughter Katia (a fourth generation pâtissier-confiseur) offer classes in the making of chocolates and pastries.  Their classes begin after Easter, when the high chocolate seasons have ended, and are limited to six students each.  They  teach students how to make ganache and temper chocolate; they also offer classes in the making of some of their novelty chocolates, such as their popular chocolate bird houses.  Check out their website, at www.maisonrobertchocolates.com for a look at these items and for their schedule.

Maison Robert does ship their boxed chocolates (chocolate hearts are too fragile) and will take orders for Valentine’s Day shipments until Friday, February 10th.  So place your orders now!

Take it from me, a chocolate snob.  Ça c’est bon!

 

 

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22 Comments

  1. petit4chocolatier

    Absolutely delicious chocolate! Thank you for the related article links!

    • Chocolate lovers, unite!

      • petit4chocolatier

        Most definitely!!

  2. Chocolate is one of my favorite subjects! And Swiss chocolate in particular, is exquisite… :)

    • Agreed. So, we have at least two things in common, traveling Meg!

  3. Lisa

    I am enjoying the lessons and can’t wait for the book. You are teasing me. In the meantime, I will enjoy fine chocolate and drink cappuccino ;-)

    • Thank you, Lisa, and good for you! You might as well treat yourself to a big bowl of penne quattro formaggi, too :-)

  4. Those chocolates on your pretty Polish china – perfect!

  5. Bonita Babe

    YUMMY!! from a real chocolate freak!! And, pretty much hidden in the heart of Atlanta – I’m going! thanks for finding these delicious treats!

    • It’s definitely worth the trip, Babe! And, you can make your trip a twofer, or even a three- or four-fer, as they also sell fabulous croissants, baguettes, and lunch! I know that I’ll be going back for those birdhouses around Easter time, and I do hope to have lunch there before that.

  6. gatechfan

    THAT LOOKS AWESOME!!!!

  7. Happiness is a quality chocolate shop – and this place looks the business.

    • Well put. If you walk into this shop grumpy, you’ll leave happy!

  8. June

    So glad to know there’s a taste of European Chocolate so close in Atlanta! thanks!
    June

    • Janis

      As a chocolate lover, this is such delicious news! Thanks. Janis

    • Yes, and not only that, but they have a fabulous bakery as well!

    • And, judging from their website and their Valentine’s displays, I think that their Easter displays will be fabulous!

Trackbacks

  1. What’s in YOUR Easter Basket? « Bringing Europe Home
  2. The capitals of chocolate around Europe | Traveleurope Blog | Travel tips, advices and useful info

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