Chocolate extravaganza

La Maison du Chocolat rings in the holiday season with a sweet touch of humor and creativity.

Christmas and the cacao bean go hand in hand: there’s nothing new on that score. But while chocolate was once a conventional, rather banal gift, it has been elevated to the ranks of a luxury item, an objet d’art that’s sometimes as precious as a jewel. One of those responsible for this is Robert Linxe, visionary founder of the Maison du Chocolat, who introduced chocolate into the world of adults by reinventing ganache. Nicolas Cloiseau, who trained under Linxe and holds a Best French Craftsman award, has been La Maison’s chef since 2012. From Paris to Tokyo (where the Omotesando shop opened in 1998), he thrills his fans with astonishing and delicious chocolate creations.

After the addictive Envol spring collection, it’s time for Extravagances: a majestic and handcrafted Christmas tree in a (very) limited edition, 75 cm high and weighing 7.7 kg, sparkling with gold leaf and decorated with baubles of mendiants (nuts and raisins), and 1,036 perforations suggesting tinsel. Light filters through the tree making it look almost alive. There’s a smaller version, Vertige, and an advent calendar with 24 chocolaty surprises. Last but not least is the Yule log: chocolate mousse and biscuit with marmalade made from passion fruit, mango and lime and a litchi center. Thanks to this explosion of forms, flavors and colors, Christmas 2016 is set to be a mouthwateringly memorable experience.

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