Elisabeth Chocolatier has a special place in my memory for one particular reason. It was where I bought my first wasabe truffle, which in turn inspired me to experiment with wasabe and chocolate at home, with surprisingly good results.
I was recently fortunate enough to have a day off in Brussels and made relocating the Elisabeth shop a priority. As it turned out it was very simple indeed, as the shop is right on the way into the main square.
It’s a really well laid out store, quite densely stocked, with a wall of high display shelves to the left and a small back room bursting with hot chocolate on a stick in a myriad of flavours. I decided to limit myself to half a dozen or so individual chocolates and eventually managed to whittle that down to five, of which only the Lemon Ganache was a milk chocolate. It was creamy, quite chewy, and once the centre began to melt it delivered a bright, acidic kick of lemon which cuts into the sweetness of the chocolate and provides a clean, light finish.
Next up was an Orange Ganache topped with a feuillatine wafer and a light, slightly sweet orange jam. The bittersweet dark chocolate combines well with the orange in the ganache and the occasional extra hit of sweeter orange adds little highlights as you eat it. It was a light, quite floral orange flavour which balanced well and allowed the chocolate room.
The rather lovely looking blue-topped Jasmine Ganache was another light, floral balancing act. Deep, dark ganache held light flowery jasmine which developed as the centre melted away. Not a particular favourite of mine, but definitely authentic flavours. If you like Jasmine chocolates, this is wrth trying.
I love cardamom, so the dark chocolate Cardamom Ganache was always going to be a choice. The same dark, bittersweet centre held a slow-release cardamom bomb which I could happily have taken more of, but it was becoming apparent that these were refined, well balanced chocolates. This is readily apparent with the Wasabe Ganache, where the naturally sweet undertones of the wasabe are allowed to develop through the chocolate, resulting in a warm, exotic sweetness which builds gently in tandem with the dark cocoa flavours of the centre.
Every one of these chocolates was a delicately balanced combination of cocoa, cream, and the chosen added flavour. All of the chocolates are faithful to their flavour, and all have good , well rounded cocoa flavours supporting them. Classic Belgian style ganaches done very well.