Summers in New York are unbearably hot and humid. It's tough without air conditioning, and much too warm for serving temperature of chocolate. Luckily, La Maison du Chocolat stores are kept at steady, optimal environments for chocolate. This summer, they're rolling out a few unique and limited items, while bringing back a few big hits.
My favorite item for the summer collection is the Chiberta set of five French Basque bonbons. I didn't know Baque country had chocolate, but apparently it's the historical origin for French chocolate. The Txokolate Iluna or "Solemn Ganache" is pure dark chocolate. For a change in texture, the Praline Macaron has pieces of crushed macaron shell within the ganache for a crunchy filling. The Etzia is a milk chocolate ganache with wildflower and chesnut honey highlights. This was my favorite of the five. For the more exotic, Almond Paste with Patxaran has an anise liqueur enhanced almond paste center. The Espeletako Piperra has a spicy pepper kick. These are available for a limited time, and while expensive, they are certainly unique ($24 for 10 pieces, $60 for 30).
The Salvadore Raspberry Mousse Cake makes its return. The cake was introduced a few months ago at La Nuit du Gateau, or the Night of Cake. Semi-sweet chocolate with raspberry highlights, this cake is available from one to twelve servings ($8-110).
During the summer, the stores serve chocolate, pistachio and caramel ice cream. They also have strawberry and raspberry sorbets ($4.50/scoop). The wild strawberry sorbet I had was fruity and natural. No artificial strawberry flavors.
For a limited time in the summer, the stores will have a Macaron Sylvia ($2.75 ea), milk chocolate ganache with notes of biscuits and honey. They usually sell two types of dark chocolate macarons, but I especially enjoyed this lighter one.
La Maison du Chocolat
You can purchase online or at any other of these four boutiques:
1018 Madison Ave
Manhattan, NY 10075
30 Rockefeller Center,
Manhattan, NY 10020
63 Wall St
Manhattan, NY 10005
Short Hills Mall
New Jersey, 07078
Photos courtesy of La Maison du Chocolat.