Rabot 1745’s homemade Easter treats
There are many things to enjoy about liqueur chocolates: the silky sensuousness of the shell, the almost imperceptible snap of it collapsing to release its vial of potent liquid, the sweet, heady warmth of it seeping through you to your cockles. The most enjoyable to our minds, however, has to be the way it renders a strong nip of alcohol mid-morning acceptable—even (on a Friday at least) somewhat celebrated.
Being on par with the island’s cocoa beans in terms of status, when it came to making liquor chocolates from their estate in Saint Lucia, it was only natural Rabot 1745 marry the beans to the Chairman’s Reserve rum. “It is Saint Lucia’s finest rum,” says Andrea, one of Rabot’s managers, “made on the island.”
Its notes of honey spiced vanilla and tobacco linger stealthily beneath the cloak of chocolate which, being dark (70 per cent cocoa) is robust enough to contain them. Like all of Rabot’s in-house chocolate and truffles, they are handmade using chocolate conched and blended on site. “It takes three days to conch a batch of chocolate,” says Andrea. “Then our chocolatier Louise makes them”—who, needless to say, has had her nose to the conch machine in the run up to Easter, making Rabot’s tantalising assortment of eggs, egglets, bunnies and bars.
She hand fills the egglets with her homemade rum ganache, or gianduja—a sort of “natural Nutella,” Andrea explains, made with hazelnuts. “It originates from northern Italy” and is perfect for those who prefer their chocolate truffles non-alcoholic, but equally flavoursome—or who need the warmly nutty, mellow and almost buttery praline to cancel out the strident 70 per cent dark.
We opted for both, the giangjuda egglet serving as a tasty chaser to the rum one, and enjoyed a nice cup of tea alongside it—because being legless on egglets isn’t anyone’s idea of fun.