Monday, March 1, 2010

Jewels Artisan Chocolate

Jewels Artisan Chocolate

At first glance, "Jewels Artisan" may give most an impression that this is a jewellery boutique but the owners of this outlet aim to bring about a chocolate experience to be enjoyed with all senses . Located right beside a live radio station (lush 99.5fm), this allows diners to enjoy every piece of handcrafted chocolates, made with premium chocolates and fresh ingredients.

Chef Then at work

Though Jewels Artisan is a new start-up, it is spearheaded by renown local Chocolatier Then Chui Foong. With her experience working in L'artisan Du Chocolate and her experience with the first open-concept chocolate kitchen (in Asia) when she was a chocolatier at Raffles Hotel, Chocolatier Then brings about a different level of visual chocolate experience with Jewels' open kitchen concept and chocolate sculptures presented in marble showcases.

Valentine chocolate art

We started our afternoon with two chocolate beverages, the Grand Cru Hot Chocolate with chocolate shavings (Made with Guanaja 70% Grand Cru) & Chocolate Slush (Single Espresso and Dark Chocolate). Both chocolate drinks are made from chocolate couverture as opposed to cocao powder.

Chocolatier Then felt that it is a misconception to conclude that dark chocolate are bitter by nature. High cocao content refers to low sugar and often has a certain uniqueness in taste, a characteristic of single origin chocolate. In fact, it is the over-roasting of cocao beans during production that gives the bitterish aftertaste. Anyway, the initial taste of the hot chocolate is milky and sweet; after-which the palette is slowly filled with the bitterness of dark chocolate.

As for the chocolate slush, apart from it being smooth, Jewels adopts a blend of 80% sweet Arabicas and 20% Robustas to compliment the richness of dark chocolate.

Chocolate Beverages
Grand Cru Hot Chocolate with chocolate shavings (complementary) &
Chocolate Slush (complementary)

At the moment, Jewels offer a Teatime Indulgence to allow one to try a bit of each at $14.80++.

Teatime Indulgence
Note that the 2 extra pieces of Nama chocolate (complementary) is not part of the set and that Teatime indulgence includes a pot of gourmet tea which is not shown in the picture.

From top left (in a clockwise direction), Blood Orange Sorbet, Chocolate Gateau, Topaz, Nama Choco and Black Palm Island Salt macaron

Blood Orange Sorbet gave us a totally new impression of what a sorbet is meant to be. Previous perception was the word sour. The Blood Orange Sorbet is smooth and mildly sour. Similar to drinking a icy version of orange granita.

Chocolate Gateau (means "cake" in French), a low sugar chocolate cake made with 85% abinao dark chocolate, is available as a whole in 2 sizes, 4-inch and 6-inch. To achieve a soft, moist and light texture, Chocolatier Then adopts a traditional method of making this cake, in which the egg yolks and whites are separated. No doubt a rich creation in which the sponge is lightly salted, thereby contrasting with the sweetness of the chocolate. Personally, we would preferred it sweet (minus the salt).

In addition, from our understanding when talking to Chocolatier Then, chocolate fudge (cakes) are made of icing sugar, hence despite refrigeration, the cake remains moist and soft. On the other hand, the low melting temperature of chocolate ganache or chocolate couverture used in good quality chocolate cakes make it alittle rougher.

Truffles & Pralines
The chocolate display with about 20 flavours to choose from

Chocolatier Then has won numerous awards for chocolate pralines and bonbons so it is no surprise her perception towards a good chocolate bonbon is very stringent. She define a good piece of chocolate to be made from fresh ingredients and melts easily at 30°C with no waxy aftertaste. Chocolate that are chewy or sweet are aftermath of excess vegetable fats (to increase the heat resistance of chocolates) and sugar (to prolong shelf life).

We tried Topaz (a Dark Chocolate with Macallan whisky), Nama Choco and Perie Noir (complimentary); and we have to admit all their chocolate are very rich and smooth, melting it perfectly in the mouth. Topaz is a must-try for people who likes chocolate with strong alcohol. The initial sweetness and smoothness of the chocolate will fill the palette but what is unique is the effect of whisky kicking in a few seconds later. This feeling is similar to having "hot air blowing out of your nose" which one would experience after drinking whisky.

As for the Nama Chocolate, despite a 70% cocao content, it is smoother than Royce's bitter nama chocolate. Thus, it is no surprise this creation wowed the Japanese media.

Perie Noir is something not to be missed at Jewels, the silky champagne ganache when eaten with Valrhona crunchy chocolate balls, is simply heavenly.

Macarons ($2/pc) is available in 5 flavours:
Passion Fruit, Green Tea, Raspberry, Butterfly Pea Bloom and Black Palm Island Sal

Having work with highly regarded confiseurs, Pierre Marcolini and at Ladurée (with Pierre Hermé), Chocolatier Then ensures her macarons to adopt the classic light crust with a meaty, soft centre. To suit the local's palette, Chocolatier Then has an interesting flavour, the Black Palm Island Salt Macaron. Using Hawaii volcanic salt and salted egg yolk innards, the sweetness of a macaron is being neutralized but yet the saltiness is kept subtle.

Dark Chocolate Lava Cake with 66% Alpaco Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Dark Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream
served with 66% Alpaco Dark Chocolate Ice Cream. ($10.80++)

Using 66% Caraibe for the exterior and 70% Guanaja for the molten core, one will be surprised by the generous delight of both chocolates. However Yuan felt that the cake is a little oily, not sure if it is due to its butter content.

White Chocolate Sorbet

Just when Blood Orange sorbet surprise us with its mild sourish-ness, white chocolate sorbet (complementary) amazed us further with its texture closer to an ice-cream. As white chocolate tends to be sweet and milky, the concept of making white chocolate sorbet, makes it a refreshing treat.

Many thanks for Business Development Manager, Mr. Joseph Wang and Chocolatier Then Chui Foong for spending time to share their knowledge with us. This is definitely an enjoyable afternoon spent at Jewels and we are looking forward to more visits.

Jewels Artisan Chocolate
Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Tel: 6509 8998

Operating hours: 11am to 11pm daily


Anonymous said...

This place is probably giving me another reason to visit orchard central again. :D

Anonymous said...

well i tried the perle and a red heart shape choc and the choc slush. Must say it is good.

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