Back to the beans
Having followed Marcolini for many years, as he was one of the first chocolatiers in Bruxelles diverting from the main brands and opening shops in the mid 90’ies. He is a talented chocolatier with a passion.
This afternoon I had the opportunity to experience and taste this passion live. Pierre Marcolini launched his newest project, the book ChocolatCafé (editions Laymon). A book not about chocolate or about coffee, but as Marcolini says ‘an attempt to recreate the memories from childhood of pieces of chocolate dipped in coffee resulting in an explosion of tastes in the mouth’.
In an ambitious attempt to marry the taste of the different varieties of cacao beans with the equally many different varieties of the coffee bean, Marcolini comes up with around 30 recipes. What they have in common is that they combine chocolate and coffee and that they recommend specifically which coffee to drink with the creation. The project is in cooperation with Nespresso and thus the coffees suggested are often the known brands of the Nespresso line. For many that will of course make the book and the choice easier to try and use. The description of the combination of tastes that Marcolini is attempting to achieve is however also helpful in choosing the right coffee from other brands for those who still like to buy coffee beans by the kilo and not in capsules.
Precisely because both coffee and cacao include so many different tastes, it is a journey of discovery to try and find the right combinations of beans that suit each other. The new book by Marcolini is your guide for this journey – and a reliable guide as such. The text offers many insights from the experience of Marcolini and his team, which will guide you into trying the recipes to learn these new combinations of taste.
The recipes area ambitious, beautifully presented but as Marcolini emphasized at the launch of the book, all the recipes are perfectly fitted to do at home, with a minimum of requirements as concerns equipment. I agree – the recipes are not complicated as such. The combinations of ingredients are complicated, but that is a matter for the taste, not for the preparation. As often the case for desserts, a lot is in the preparation and here Marcolini has always had a very good eye for detail. No wonder he is so loved in Japan.
It was the eye for detail and the passion for taste, that Marcolini served for us this afternoon. For instance a delightful coffee granité with a chocolate sorbet served in a wine glass on the side. A very pleasant combination and not difficult to make. Or the dish combining square of marzipan mixed with coffee, mango in a sirup and flakes of chocolate with a leave of caramelized phyllo pastry.
It was a pleasure to rediscover the universe and passion of Marcolini and a pleasure to now have a book where you can attempt to learn and recreate the same passion at home.