A planet for chocolate lovers: Artisan Belgian chocolates from Planète Chocolat
Photos and text by Mirella Kaloglou & Panos Diotis.
Since the early 17th century, Belgium had been associated with chocolate production. Together with Switzerland, Belgium's chocolates are famous around the world for their exceptional flavor and quality.
It's not an accident after all, that Pralines, chocolate shells filled with a sweet, soft filling of hazelnuts or almonds were invented by the Belgians. And to this day, their pralines are the best in the world.
One of the top Belgian chocolate brands is Planète Chocolat. The team behind Planète Chocolat is comprised of artisan chocolate makers like Ryan Stevenson, named "Belgian Chocolate Master" in 2008 and 2010 and holder of the 2009 "World's Best Praline" trophy in World Chocolate Masters.
Their products are GMO-free, preservatives free AND do not contain artificial colors. Plus, their chocolates are made with 100% cocoa butter. Why is that important? Because most ordinary chocolates use low quality, cheap fats. The difference in quality is immense.
So you can imagine our excitement when Planète Chocolat asked as for a review/tasting of their chocolates! They sent us a wonderful variety of pralines with an amazing selection of flavors.
Initially, we were skeptical regarding the timing, as summer is very hot here in Greece and the temperatures are already high now that's June. The people of Planète Chocolate reassured us that the packaging is isothermal and there's nothing to worry about, since they deliver in 24 hours worldwide (!).
Well, they were right. They sent the chocolates in under 24 hours, on a hot summer day, and we still received them intact and in perfect condition. The pralines came inside an isothermal box with 2 reusable ice packs, which were still cold when we opened it. Inside the box was a wonderful velvet pouch, with a stylish card in a golden color envelope and a beautiful box, containing the handmade chocolates. Inside the box of the pralines, there's a chart which describes which flavor is in which chocolate.
We took some photos for this post and then the hardest work any food blogger has to endure started: tasting the chocolates! :D:D
But let's get serious, as this is a serious chocolate: the first thing you notice when you open the box and smell these pralines is the aroma of the cocoa butter and of course, the chocolate. This alone, was a testament for the quality of these artisan pralines.
Regarding their flavors/taste: these are, HANDS DOWN, the BEST pralines we have ever tasted so far. Every bite was heaven. The process is like this: you taste one of the pralines, and it melts in your mouth. The flavor of the filling slowly hits you, in just the right intensity, as not to overpower the flavor of the chocolate shell. Then you say "this is the best chocolate ever!" and try then next one in line:) And yep; then the next is immediately "the best chocolate ever". That's how awesome these pralines are.
Some of the flavors that we loved were: Coffee, Caramel, Candied Lemon, Mint, Coconut and Nutmeg! The people of Planète Chocolat constantly come up with new ideas to blend chocolate with flavors, so we're looking forward to try more of their products. The box contains 24 pralines, but you can order it with two floors (tiers), containing 48(!).
If you're looking for handmade chocolate gifts or luxury handmade chocolates, then you should definitely give Planète Chocolate a try; you won't be disappointed. In our humble opinion, this is a gift you should first give to yourself, as it is a unique experience. They are a bit expensive, like all luxury chocolates, but they worth every penny:) You really have to try these, at least once.
Besides making pralines and chocolates, Planète Chocolat also has premium truffles, chocolate spreads, macarons, chocolate beauty products (like shower gel, body lotion and massage oils!) AND they also sell high quality raw ingredients, like organic cocoa beans, pure cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Isn't that amazing?
You can get their delicious Belgian chocolate online at www.planetechocolat.com/en or visit them at Planète Chocolat - 24, Rue du Lombard - 1000, if you're near Brussels. Besides selling luxury chocolate, they also have wonderful demonstrations and workshops! You can get more info on their website.
On our part, we'd like to thank Zoé Varnier and Planète Chocolat for this pralines tasting and the opportunity to share our experience with our readers.
Disclaimer: We were not paid to write this review. We received a box of pralines as a gift from Planète Chocolat in order to taste them and offer an honest review. All opinions expressed here are 100% our own, we were not influenced by Planète Chocolat in any way; we really enjoyed the product and provide our assessment.