Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Longing for macarons, making do with chocolate

I’m just at the point in THE CHOCOLATE KISS when Philippe makes a rose-and-raspberry macaron for Magalie for Valentine’s Day.

I’m dying, here.

I can just see she is going to stomp on his heart (again), because the book is only half over. Poor Philippe!

You know, it’s remarkable how appealingly vulnerable Florand makes her male leads, considering how completely arrogant they are. At least, though Philippe Lyonnais and Sylvain Marquis are actually quite different from each other, that’s one quality they definitely share.

And Florand has made Cade Corey and Magalie Chaudron distinctly different characters, too, even though both are vulnerable and lovable. Vulnerability is not a trait I necessarily find all that attractive in a protagonist, because so often the author layers it on with a heavy hand, but Florand does such a beautiful job with characterization and backstory. I just love Magalie, who after her unsettled upbringing doesn’t quite feel she’ll ever fit in anywhere, and defends herself against the world with her understated makeup and her perfect hair and her five-inch heels. I wish I could go shopping with her. In Paris, you know. Florand has totally convinced me that Magalie has great taste in clothes. I’d definitely let her advise me on what to buy.

So, anyway, do you realize quality macarons are $4 each via Amazon? That means a lovely little gift box of eight is pretty pricy. I guess I’ll stick with chocolate for now. It’s a heavy cross to bear, I’ll tell you. (There is plenty of chocolate in the book, too, btw).

As a public service to you all, let me just mention that Lindt dark chocolate with black currants is surprisingly excellent. I would never have thought of pairing chocolate and black currants, but I think I like it even better than Lindt dark chocolate with orange. I like the Lindt with chili, too, but that’s not at all surprising, because I already knew I liked that combination.

Green and Black organic dark has a faint cinnamon or floral echo behind the chocolate. I like it, but not as much as the Lindt. (UPDATE: I now see that it is Mayan Gold; the cinnamon notes are no longer a surprise.) I was dying to try the Green and Black with crystallized ginger, which was recommended by a commenter, but alas, it is very expensive online and not available locally.

I actually find I prefer Dove dark to Ghirardelli 72%. I didn’t expect that, but the Dove has a considerably smoother mouthfeel, and next to the lighter, smoother Dove, the Ghirardelli seems a bit harsh.

The Brit chocolates I brought home from Costa Rica are little beads of dark chocolate with guava-paste centers. I like them a lot, but there’s no question that the Brit chocolate isn’t as good as Lindt or Dove. The mouthfeel isn’t as smooth and the taste is harsher. The guava paste is a great combo with the chocolate, though. They’re better nibbled separately from the other types of chocolate, so they can be enjoyed without forcing a comparison.

I’m really taking my time with this book, I just nibble my way through a couple of chapters at a time along with three oz or so of chocolate. It makes for a lovely middle-of-the-afternoon break, let me tell you. Mmm.

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2 Comments Longing for macarons, making do with chocolate

  1. Elaine T

    The library system doesn’t have ANY Florand books locally, I’ve had to request them. I look forward to their arrival. In the meantime I will console myself with chocolate.

    When my husband got sent through Frankfurt airport on his way to India, he picked up some wonderful Lindt dark chocolate of a style I haven’t found here in California. And, of course, the labeling wasn’t in English, but I think it was a ‘truffle’ bar of some sort. It was better than any I can buy here, though. He’s in Europe again, not passing through Frankfort, but I asked him to look for that type of Lindt, anyway. Some year we hope to take a chocolate tasting tour of Europe.

  2. Rachel

    Well, be sure not to eat all your chocolate before you actually open the books! You’ll definitely want some as you read.

    A chocolate-tasting tour of Europe sounds like a fabulous idea. Fabulous. I may have to think about that, too.

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