Above: “Open Heart” filled with red and dark chocolate hearts below
Photography: Benoit Racquet
Valentine’s Day calls to mind a bouquet of roses, a heartfelt card, a romantic dinner, and, of course, the essential box of chocolate. It’s a heartwarming, tummy-loving gift, and no one knows that better than Fairfielder Benoit Racquet, master chocolatier, global chocolate connoisseur and founder of BE Chocolat (bechocolat.com). His premium sweets are available online and at multiple stores in town. He recently sat down with Fairfield Living magazine to discuss the creative process behind his Valentine’s Day collection and how he stays involved with the community.
“For Valentine’s I wanted to contrast bubbles and heat. A box of two or four chocolates was obvious, and we have these lovely heart molds from Belgium, but I wanted to do more than just one milk and one dark chocolate.”
So, Benoit came up with the bright red heart mold to contrast the two rich brown hearts. “It results in this shiny, deep-red effect that immediately evokes love.” For the ganache inside, he infuses it with the luxurious Veuve Clicquot, because, for him, “Valentine’s is about Champagne.” He then adds a touch of dehydrated organic raspberry to ensure a fruity, elegant finish. “The result is a soft velvety unsweetened pink ganache, under a shiny red armor.”
For the dark chocolate heart, Benoit wanted to capture heat, fire and warmth. Using a small amount of cayenne red pepper in the ganache brings out the dark chocolate’s bittersweet notes and heightens the purity of the dark chocolate. “Tasting the pair of red and dark hearts evokes that visual image of a perfect Valentine’s moment made of refreshing Champagne by the fire on a romantic February evening.”
He completes the gesture by flipping the box inside out, revealing a secret space for a love note. The inside is finished with red varnish; the outside with white paper. Whether you’re writing a Shakespeare-worthy sonnet or something short and sweet, your true love will appreciate the TLC (tender loving chocolate).
SWEET OR FAIRFIELD
BE Chocolat supports Fairfield businesses, such as Shearwater Coffee bar to create their chocolate coffee, and Asylum Distillery to develop the flavors G&T and 3C (cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne). It also sells a collection of four exclusive flavors at the Connecticut Audubon Society, and its Paw Pop to support Woofgang & Co.
WHERE TO FIND BE CHOCOLAT:
Shearwater Coffee Bar | Connecticut Audubon Society | Fairfield Cheese Company | Outdoor Design & Living | Lattice House