“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Growing up, there were few things more exciting than receiving a box of filled chocolates, poring over the little descriptions printed on the crinkly paper inside, tasting, sharing and arguing over which had the best centre. A visit to the spanking new Fabelle Chocolates boutique recently brought back this childhood memory with a vengeance! The Fabelle Chocolate Boutique is an ITC Hotels initiative, and as one would expect, they have poured a whole lot of love, thought, attention and style into every detail. The brand has been in the making for almost a decade, and has just been launched in a gorgeous space in the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bengaluru. The chic boutique is impeccably appointed in shades of brown and gold, and is equipped with an open kitchen where one can watch the competent and artistic chocolatiers doing what they do best. Gleaming display cases carry a spectacular selection of chocolates and desserts, and there is also a seating area with service. Billed as the finest luxury chocolate in India, the chocolate itself is top quality and single-origin, sourced from cocoa-rich countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, Venezuela and Saint-Dominigue. The dedication and commitment of the chefs and chocolatiers behind the brand is evident when you hear them speak about the ingredients they use and the beautiful ways in which they’ve brought them together in these fine creations.
The first item that we tasted was the Ganache range, available in milk or dark chocolate. This is like a chocolate truffle that’s been shaped in rectangles, and lightly dusted with cocoa. The chocolate is silky-smooth, luscious and at the perfect temperature and consistency to melt on the tongue. If you are a purist, and like nothing to come between you and your chocolate, just pick up a few boxes of the dark ganache and hurry home!
The pralines range has 5 filled chocolates that are inspired by the elements of nature. Each element is represented in the filling inside the chocolate shell, and each piece is designed with the element in mind. The wood inspired praline was a personal favourite, with a strong coffee hit, and cinnamon notes in the background. These come pre-packaged in a box of 5 or 10 pieces.
The ‘As you like it’ range is a fun concept, and gives the epicure umpteen options to play with flavour combos. One can choose the type of shell, the fillings inside and topping too, and the process is made quite interesting and easy by using an application on a tablet. There is also the choice of picking up some customised chocolates that have been filled with combinations recommended by the chefs at Fabelle. Whichever route you choose to take, this personalised and interactive experience is a sure winner, and puts you firmly in control of what goes into your chocolate.
We also tried and loved the signature dessert range at Fabelle. Whatever be your sweet fantasy, they have a dessert that matches up. There are some lovely flavour combinations in classic and avante garde combinations, and the quality of ingredients and preparation is superlative. Each dessert has a different outer look, and when you cut it open, there are several layers of jelly, crème, biscuit, mousse or streusel inside, each bringing a complementary flavour and/or texture, in the French Entremet style.
The Chocolate Flower dessert (Top and Bottom Left above) has all the theatrics one could wish for..the chocolate petals sit around a gleaming mousse centre enlivened with raspberry confit and pistachio cream. Hot white chocolate ganache is poured around the dessert, resulting in the petals unfolding dramatically right in front of you.
Another creation that we sampled was Coffee two ways (Top in pic above) – this is inspired by the now ubiquitous Tiramisu, and is a fantastic modern interpretation. The thing to love about this dessert is that it is not shy with the wallop of coffee, but mellows things out nicely with creamy mascarpone and savoiardi biscuits.
The Black Forest Revisited (Top above) is an elegant interpretation of the Bavarian classic cake, with the volume turned up. The sour cherry confit is piquantly delicious, and pairs well with 64% dark chocolate and the Madagascar vanilla in the velvety-smooth cream insert.
The White Chocolate Cheesecake jar (Below right in pic above) is lush and ambrosial, and a good choice for folks who would like to opt for a no-chocolate dessert.
The Almond and Coriander Praline Tartine (Below left in pic above) had the surprising inclusion of coriander, which was actually pretty refreshing with the milk chocolate. What didn’t quite match up was the flavour of the Mandarin orange cremeaux which tasted a little like orange sherbet.
If you must eat an eclair, then this is the one to go for – Eclair Venezuela (Top in pic above), made with 72% Venezualan chocolate, balanced with smooth, rich, caramel-toned cream and lots of texture from the shell and the morsels of buttery crumb on top. And for the true chocolate connoisseur, the 84% Signature dark chocolate petit cake with fleur de sel is the real deal. For us, this ultimate chocolate dessert perfectly rounded off a really fabulous evening that we spent tasting the exquisite chocolates at Fabelle. We’re going to be back soon for the hot chocolate that they serve, for boxes of the dark chocolate ganache – the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, and to indulge in a few more of the sinful desserts, and we recommend that you do too!
Note: This review was at the invitation of Fabelle Chocolates but the views expressed are our own.
Fabelle Chocolate Boutique ITC Gardenia Hotel No. 1
Residency Road, Bangalore, India 560025
Timings: 11am to midnight
Pricing: On request
Phone: 080668 25270