ILoveFC - The Best of Fairfield County Living - November 9, 2014
Not Your Average Chocolate Shop
Questions on chocolate for Aarti Khosla, owner and chocolatier at Le Rouge Chocolates
Who doesn't love the taste of a fresh, homemade piece of artisan chocolate? Aarti Khosla, owner and chocolatier at Le Rouge Chocolates, has perfected this sweet art by creating delicious treats that look just as much like little jewels in boxes as chocolately treats. Aarti's chocolate go far beyond the basic milk or dark chocolate treats that you would find in any standard piece of chocolate. These chocolates are filled with unique and exotic ingredients, and include combinations like mango and cardamom, preserved rose petals and fennel, wasabi and ginger, and mango, guava and cayenne pepper (just to name a few).
I caught up with Aarti to ask her a few questions just before the upcoming November 28 opening of her brick and mortar shop in Westport to ask her a few questions about her source of inspiration for her chocolates, how she chooses her ingredients, some of her most popular items and more.
Where do you source your ingredients?
Most of my inspiration comes from all the places we have lived and traveled to over the years. I use Turkish figs, pistachio, saffron, black tea, cardamoms, mangoes & cashews from India, Sichuan peppers from China, wasabi from Japan just to name a few ingredients.
Where does your background in chocolate making come from?
I have always been interested in good food and chocolate is just an extension of that passion. Having a sister-in-law in Switzerland helps to keep me abreast with the European trends.
What was your inspiration to create your own chocolate business?
We lived in Hong Kong for a couple of years and on our return to the bucolic beauty of Weston, I chose to start my own chocolate company instead of going back to my corporate job. I wanted to create chocolates that brought back all the flavors that we had the fortune of experiencing during our travels.
What are some of the most popular items that you sell?
I have created 3 distinct collections for my handmade truffles and each one of them has a few that shine through. The Paan Bahar and Kesar Pista from the Heritage Collection, Apple Pie & Grand Marnier Orange Crunch from the Elite Collection and Wasabi Ginger & Sichuan Pepper from the Oriental Collection have done very well.
Why do you choose to only use dark chocolate for your truffles?
Because dark chocolate complements the delicate flavors that I create without overpowering them.
What is the process you use to create your handmade chocolates?
Each piece is hand made and hand decorated for a unique taste. I prefer to make molded truffles filled with various ganaches and introduced a line of chocolate ganache cakes earlier this year mimicking a lot of flavors that worked well in the truffles.
What are your favorite flavors to work with?
I decidedly love the Kesar Pista from the Heritage Collection as it brings back memories of growing up in Delhi and enjoying a pistachio and saffron ice cream "kulfi" on a hot summer day
190 Main Street, Westport
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