Patisserie 46 debuts new line of chocolates
Spring has never tasted so sweet.
New Patisserie 46 Chocolate Bars (L to R): Hazelnut Praline, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit
In recent weeks, pastry chef John Kraus of Patisserie 46 has rolled out an impressive choc-stravaganza ranging from chocolates and confections to bars and bouches--a sweet tsunami that's been months in the making.
In July 2010, Kraus and his wife, Dawn, opened Patisserie 46 in the Kingfield neighborhood--an emerging epicenter of eats. Since then, Kraus (who was named one of Pastry Art and Design Magazine's "Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America" in 2005 and 2006) has served up mountains of meringues, cakes, cookies, and confections.
But something has been missing--and not just any thing. The divinely decadent nectar of life. Chocolate.
Kraus and his close-knit crew have made the occasional cocoa concoction and placed it in the case. But given his background (which includes several stages at the renowned Le Palais du Chocolat in France and winning the 2004 Food Network Chocolate Challenge), you knew it was only a matter of time before an array of specially crafted baubles appeared.
"We had the idea of doing the chocolate line all along," Kraus says. "We've had the boxes since we opened."
The new offering features three classic chocolate bars (salted caramel, hazelnut praline, and dried fruit), a few mini candy bars (like bourbon ganache with pecan praline), hot chocolate, snacking chocolates, and confections.
But the pièce de résistance is a collection of six one-bite wonders that will change seasonally (pictured below in columns from left to right):
Vanilla Milk Chocolate Ganache: Beautifully balanced, the Mexican and Tahitian vanilla is delicate and doesn't upstage the chocolate. (Pistachio nougat candy bar in front).
Caramel with Sea Salt: A welcome change from the typical thick and chewy blob, the texture is much lighter and the salt is subtle.
Lemongrass and Mint: The creamy chocolate center is a just a teensy tangy, and there's a finishing hint of mint.
The Irishman: Green and shimmery on the outside, a shot of Irish whiskey on the inside. What's not to like?
Earl Grey-Infused Chocolate Ganache: Simple, yet sinful. The gorgeous, silky brown center has a slight citrusy kick.
Hazelnut Praline with Coriander and Lime: Fine, crunchy bits of hazelnut are brightened up with a surprising splash of coriander and lime.
With the spring holidays right around the corner, Kraus is also churning out chocolate eggs, macaroons, and bunnies whose ears beg to be chomped. And for anyone who wants to add a little pizzazz to the dessert table, he's taking requests for chocolate sculptures, too.
Nonchocolate delectables are available as well, including handmade marshmallows, lemon-basil-strawberry éclairs, dove-shaped panettone (traditional Italian sweet bread), strawberry champagne brioche, and the always crowd-pleasing P46 "Ugly-But-Good" meringues.
For the perfect brunch, take home a quiche: applewood-smoked bacon and caramelized onion, roasted chicken and brie, or wild mushroom and spinach. And don't forget to pick up some rolls: white or wheat dinner rolls, or butter rolls topped with chicken salad or smoked ham and rhubarb compote.
To make sure your goodies are ready for the holiday weekend, submit orders for Passover by Thursday, April 5, and Easter requests by Friday, April 6.
And for more on John Kraus, keep your eyes peeled for a City Pages Chef Chat, which will provide a closer look at his training in Europe, his family's move to Minneapolis, and his flaky croissants.