A box of Knipschildt’s “ladies,” each with a personality of chocolate and creamy filling.
PETER ROT is the chocolate reporter for THE NIBBLE. He welcomes your comments and questions. Click here to e-mail Peter.
Lovely Chocolate “Ladies”
CAPSULE REPORT: On the short list of America’s great chocolatiers, Fritz Knipschildt uses unusual shapes, strong flavor combinations, and exquisite packaging to create a different and highly enjoyable chocolate aesthetic.
Danish-born chef Fritz Knipschildt moved to America in 1996 and began to make chocolates—much to the benefit of the population of Connecticut and to Americans nationwide. He introduced the relatively staid suburbs to high-quality chocolates with seemingly unusual flavor combinations such as strawberry-thyme and caramel-lavender. Rest assured, the suburbs responded: Fritz Knipschildt does not disappoint.
Knipschildt prefers the Belgian style of chocolate-making: thick outer shells of chocolate couverture that encapsulate a variety of soft centers. The centers ooze deliciousness that demands to be consumed in one bite: they are assertive as well as fluid. Eat up, or dribble. Clearly, Chef Knipschildt opts for a higher cream ratio, making some of the fillings liquid enough to drink. The chocolate shells are strong enough to restrain the contents—you just can’t be a delicate nibbler. Simply pop the whole thing in your mouth, and harmony is achieved. Since the chocolate itself is not terribly sweet (Knipschildt chooses Valrhona or Belcolade, depending on the flavor pairing), the filling flavors and the chocolate can share center stage.
The chocolate roster stars an all-female cast: the pieces have names such as Donna, Stacy, Elizabeth and Madeleine. We’ll assume each piece is named to honor an acquaintance, and is not a psychological matching of the temperament of the chocolate to the particular lady.
- Triangular Kelly scampers about with a spirited strawberry attitude but throws in a splash of thyme for even more energy.
- Cleopatra’s praline demeanor is accented delicately with framboise, an elegant if not queenly combination of flavors. (Of course, she’s shaped like a pyramid...well, more like a ziggurat.)
- Donna, a dark heart shimmering in gold, is the strongest personality: her firm ganache stands confidently with an equally strong persona of blackcurrant. What a rush!
- Patricia sticks out (literally!) with her extra-tall conical shape, and exerts her chile heat forcefully. She also offers a gentle yet tangy tangerine forwardness. A dual personality perhaps?
- Half-hemisphere Carrie is perhaps the subtlest of the bunch, but her nutty nougatine-mocha personality is warm and winning.
The flavors are very interesting; most are clear-cut and well defined although two tend to struggle on the tongue.
- Antoinette, a pretty white heart hand-painted in red, has the visual fireworks; but her rosewater ganache is much less exciting.
- Likewise,the geometric-shaped Sophie is too shy: the lemon portion of her marzipan never asserted itself.
However, the rest of the companion pieces more than compensate for these quiet colleagues.
Due to the judicious use of chocolate, this assortment of bonbons never conveys the uber-richness that some other chocolatiers express. Instead, Knipschildt aims for a balance between strong filling flavors and strong chocolate, so as to achieve a more refreshing feel on the palate. This is also evident by the number of white chocolate bonbons he has created.
- Helena is a white chocolate coconut truffle rolled in toasted coconut, whose mission is to enchant you with her soothing and innocent performance.
- Jeanette, molded in white chocolate, is a temperamental girl and can come off a bit domineering with her surging fresh-picked mint and extra-bitter dark chocolate pieces.
- Stacy, has a calm white chocolate-cardamom ganache housed inside a dark and mysterious dark chocolate shell dusted with copper (it looks like a nouvelle mahjong tile). Her outer mystique belies her calm composure.
These are sophisticated and clever chocolates for those who like assertive tastes. While a few pieces pale compared to their sisters, the collection never leaves you floundering for flavor. It’s a creative ensemble, and one senses that the chocolatier had as much fun creating it as you will have eating it.
Packaging is exquisite, as befitting such lovely ladies, in handmade paper boxes that will be retained to hold mementos when the chocolate is gone.
- Signature Chocolates
Large Box, 40 Pieces
Medium Box, 20 Pieces
Small Box, 10 Pieces
There are no additives or preservatives, so shelf life is 3 months.
Purchase online at Knipschildt.com.
Beautiful boxes are another hallmark of Knipschildt chocolates
Shipping additional. Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.
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