Pierre Marcolini Christmas 2018 Collection

Posted by in Features on September 21 2018 | Leave A Comment

Last week I was invited to the launch of Pierre Marcolini’s Christmas 2018 collection is London. Marcolini are unusual amongst Belgian chocolatiers in that they make all the chocolate they use from the bean in their Brussels factory. While most chocolatiers are happy to buy in cheap confectionery, Marcolini have been producing bean-to-bar chocolate for many years.

Back in 2012, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the factory and had a guided tour of the facility along with Marcolini’s Brussels boutiques. I’ve not been able to keep track of how the business has developed since then, however they have recently opened a London store to growing network of chocolate shops.

Although I hadn’t tasted the chocolates for a while, Marcolini’s style and attention to detail clearly haven’t changed over the last few years. Walking into the room, I was presented with a beautiful array of brightly coloured chocolates and desserts. The presentation is certainly eye catching. Show up with any of these at a Christmas gathering and you’re going to make a great first impression.

As you can see, simplified geometric shapes are the order of the day here. The Christmas bells are designed to look like spherical sleigh bells with a cross cut out. The Christmas trees are made up of a pyramid of spheres, and the Yule log is a plain brick decorated with those spherical bells. It’s very stylised and perhaps not immediately Christmassy, but I personally love the way it looks.

In terms of flavour, the overwhelming theme here is praline. That’s likely to suit Marcolini’s primary audience down to the ground, but I personally find pralines a little boring. I’m so used to adventurous British chocolatiers like Fifth Dimension and Paul A Young experimenting with weird and wonderful flavours, I’ve come to expect a little more innovation. To be fair to Marcolini, they have to produce what their customers want, and when it comes down to it the simple flavours aren’t out of place with the elegant visual aesthetic on display here.

Not available to try at the launch event, but something that caught my eye was a range of chocolates flavoured with rare rums and whiskeys called Fire In The Belly that sounds much more up my street. These limited edition ganaches come in six flavours:

  • Aberlour whisky
  • Oban whisky
  • Nikka whisky
  • Ardbeg whisky
  • Chamarel rum
  • Trois rivières rum

Hopefully I’ll get to try these soon!

Overall, this is a great looking collection with a modern design and traditional flavours. The Yule logs would be the highlight for me, particularly the white chocolate version with misérable almond cake, raspberry, cherry and meringue mousse flavoured with rose and passion fruit.

The Pierre Marcolini Christmas range is available to buy from November 9th.

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