Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lecker Schoggi!! (yummy chocolate, Basel style)

Recently I had a chance to tour the Brändli Confiserie chocolate making facility. I cannot call it a chocolate factory, because it resides in a lovely old, not so big house in Basel. It was quite amazing to wander from room to room, imagining this as the home it once was, then seeing the output of chocolate and other treats that now come from the same space.

It felt like I was in a multi level home kitchen filled with sweet smells. The chocolates and pastries, sandwiches, are all made by hand. As the chocolates come through one of the few machines they have, still dripping with chocolate, a worker uses a fork of sorts, pictured below, to comb lines into each individual chocolate piece. When you eat a Brändli chocolate, know that it is made with Swiss precision, care and craft. It can seem a pricey treat, but for knowing what went into the making of it. Worth every penny, or Swiss franc, in this case.

Below see the nibs of chocolate, seeds that are transformed into such beautiful, delectable creations.

Some armies of chocolate bunnies...

It was like a small, beautiful version of Willy Wonka's factory.

Do consider a visit to one of their stores for a special treat. The original store is on Barfusserplatz (info listed below). It is a great stop if you are exploring Basel or playing tour guide. Lecker! (yummy). Or check out their website for other locations, Brändli Confiserie.

Mo.10:30 - 18:30 Uhr
Di. - Fr.08:00 - 18:30 Uhr
Sa.09:00 - 18:00 Uhr

Confiserie Brändli AG
Barfüsserplatz 20
4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 261 70 33

The Expat Kochen team was inspired to do a little gourmet chocolate making ourselves. At the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, (I lived in the twin cities before moving to Switzerland) I had tasted several varieties of chocolate bars, including the Salty Dog. I love the addition of salt, cherry peppercorns, chilies, and other unusual ingredients to chocolate, but especially the salt.

And so we melted chocolate in a bowl over hot water (bain marie), poured and smoothed it onto parchment paper, sprinkled and swirled in this and that, then cooled it in the fridge. Broken into bars, each one a unique shape and size, they are beautiful to wrap in cellophane as gifts or simply enjoy with afternoon coffee.

Take a look around your kitchen and see what might be interesting to throw in. Try adding in some fleur de sal (it is divine). Let your creative spirit go, then let us know about your favorite combination!


Robyn said...

I am lamenting that we have no chocolate in the house. As a chocoholic, this post is urging me to head to the market. ;)

Bruna said...

Oh, I love Brändli!! Do you all live in Basel? I do.
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