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The Fabelle Chocolate Boutique has now opened in ITC Sonar Kolkata. It is a small boutique right next to Eden Pavilion. After a successful launch in ITC Gardenia Bengaluru in April 2016, ITC Sonar proudly became its second home. It is nothing short of pioneering in the history of chocolates in India. India has, till date, seen only the regular retail chocolates, some in the form of imported chocolates and some unbranded or local home-made chocolate stores. The Western world has seen its fair share of luxury chocolates and their stores/boutiques from Lindt to Godiva to Max Brenner. India has truly never had one. After about a decade of brainstorming and research, ITC has given the country a gift in the form of a handcrafted luxury chocolate brand – Fabelle. The chocolate beans are sourced from some of the best cocoa growing regions, such as Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and São Tomé, ultimately creating superior quality chocolates.
There is a saying that, in heaven, chocolate has no calories and is served as the main course. And rightly so – one must forget the calories before entering the boutique and arrive with the purpose of indulging in sin endorsed in heaven. There is actually nothing wrong with eating chocolate for all courses. Thus, for the first course, one could try the boxed chocolates in the form of the melt-in-the-mouth Fabelle Ganache. It is available in two forms: rich dark chocolate and creamy milk chocolate. The rich dark chocolate ganache is made from the finest Ghana cocoa and is bitter at its best, coupled with sweetness and the melt-in-the-mouth factor the minute it hits the palate. Then there are special nature-inspired chocolates called Fabelle Elements. These are pralines in boxes of five or ten chocolates, inspired from earth, fire, air, water and wood. Each one has a different look, flavour and texture. The earth praline very interestingly looks like rubble and is a dark chocolate pod filled with dark mousse. The fire element is actually quite fiery with the addition of ancho chilli to the white mousse inside a dark chocolate shell. The Fabelle As You Like It version of boxed chocolates includes chocolate cups in both dark and white chocolate with any combination of fillings and toppings done on site. One can pick from seven fillings (such as milk choco creme, berry preserve, caramel and so on) to ten different toppings (such as choco curves, butterscotch nibs, French sea salt crystals and so on) – creating the possibility of thousand different combinations.
For main course, one could try various dessert options branded as Fabelle Chocolate Dreams. White chocolate cheesecake jars, éclair Venezuela, almond and coriander praline tartine and 84% dark chocolate petit cake with fleur de sel form part of this menu. Each one has its cocoa sourced from a different country and paired with elements such as Philadelphia cream cheese, berry coulis, white chocolate cremeux, dulche cream, mandarins and so on – the combinations make these desserts exquisite. The chef present at the boutique prepares these on order and has the liberty to tweak the flavours to some extent, as per his or her choice (or rather, his or her understanding of chocolates). It is almost like adding more or less spice and seasoning to any food.
The menu has exclusive Fabelle Signature Chocolate Entremets, which are essentially made of layers of mousse, crème, and biscuit with certain crunchy toppings. These chocolates are also made on site and are single desserts, more like a cake, and have exotic ingredients.
For the purpose of theatre and for the most elevated experience, one must end with the Fabelle Signatures. There are five options to choose from and each one is a perfectly balanced and plated dish with the addition of small bits, such as a berry coulis or some exotic fresh fruits or ice cream. Among the options, the salted caramel ganache and the chocolate flower should definitely be tried. The salted caramel ganache has 64% Ghana cocoa in the form of tempered chocolate with some salted caramel at the bottom, mousse, an amazing coconut sorbet on the side to clear the palette between bites and exotic fresh fruits such as dragon fruit and kiwi to cut through the sweetness. The chocolate flower is completely theatrical in its execution as well as in its taste. In recent years, this technique has been made quite popular by top pastry chefs. The Fabelle chocolate flower has a centre of 70% dark chocolate mousse of Saint-Domingue origin with a Turkish pistachio biscuit at the bottom and a raspberry confit. The chocolate flower unfurls at the table with the pouring of warm orange-infused white chocolate cream. It is a marriage of decadent flavours and is truly and utterly a divine dessert.
Fabelle is a product of ITC’s existing expertise (master chocolatiers, chefs, ambience, reputation) and its experience in building brands and manufacturing, all under one roof. It is a celebration of chocolate in its purest form and Kolkata is lucky to be a part of the Fabelle story.
For someone who's run two restaurants, being a baker and cook par excellence comes easily to Madhushree . When she's not eating out, she's organizing her own pop ups or experimenting with regional recipes. Her experiments with food and her recipes are part of Pikturenama , where she's a co founder.