Christophe Paume is a third-generation French chocolatier, who grew up in his father’s pâtisserie in Toulouse, France. In addition to making chocolates he also learned how to bake classic French pastry and breads. While it was his passion for fine chocolate that brought him to the United States, it was love that kept him here. In 2009, he married Carly, a sales rep for the same chocolate company he worked for, and they formed Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Pâtissier.
I recently sampled a few of his chocolates. My immediate reaction was how creative, attractive, and satisfying these artisanal treats were. Let’s start with the Rocher, a classic French confection that typically includes a crunchy grain, nuts, and dried fruit. Christophe’s has cranberry, crisped rice and pecans, all made into clusters with milk chocolate. They were sweet, crunchy and nutty, with the cranberries adding a tangy, slightly acidic note taking everything into another realm. If you love milk chocolate enrobed Rocher, these will hit the spot.
In an elegant square box, covered in a dark brown, faux, alligator leather, and tied with a lighter chocolate colored ribbon, lived four hand-painted chocolates—but not for long. As beautiful as they were, I had no trouble tucking into each one with gusto. The caramel sea salt was housed in milk chocolate and had a very soft, almost runny consistency. Raspberry ganache hid in a heart-shaped dark shell and was delicate and refined. Earl Grey Tea ganache also had a dark carapace, and was similarly subtle. Vanilla Bean was infused with bourbon vanilla. All were lovely, artistic chocolates.
I found my bliss point with Christophe’s Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Bar as it gave me 24 little rectangles filled with that same soft caramel. The tiny crunch of salt crystals, with their characteristic edge, was irresistible. The Milk Chocolate Cocoa Nibs Bar was super creamy with hits of nib intensity punctuating every bite.
There’s something for everyone here. From elegant to homey chocolate creations, Christophe’s has you covered.