Chocolatiers in America: Antoine Amrani

Goodlifer: Chocolatiers in America: Antoine Amrani

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. With due apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I have a new deep affection; it’s reserved for something slightly less spiritual than her passion, but equally deserving. With perfectly smooth chocolate exteriors and interior ganaches, with flavor combinations that cross into the realm of brilliance, and with beauty to tempt even the most world-weary chocolate connoisseur, Antoine Amrani Chocolates are worthy of anyone’s devotion. Although this is a very new business, the French-born Monsieur Amrani has honed his skills for years as a pastry chef at some very famous and upscale establishments.

Chocolatier Antoine Amrani. Left photo by sunhi, Creative Commons.

Chocolatier Antoine Amrani. Left photo by sunhi, Creative Commons.

Chocolate Truffles.

Chocolate Truffles.

What to try here? I recommend the Chocolate Truffle, a smallish cube dusted with cocoa powder. These truffles are completely unassuming in appearance, but with a rich, velvety texture and deeply chocolate flavor, interrupted just slightly with an element of caramelized sugar. Or try the outstanding Duo Café, with two different types of coffee brewed directly into a dark chocolate ganache. And don’t miss the Chocol’orange. Everyone knows about chocolate-covered candied orange peel, but this is a bit different; it’s a dark chocolate-covered section of candied orange, an elegant pairing with none of the bitterness sometimes associated with candied peel. The Signature Brownies, with their not-too-sweet, uber-chocolate personality, manage to be dense and light-textured simultaneously (how does he do that?). It is clear that Antoine Amrani Chocolates come from a mind obsessed with the craft of the cacao bean, and how fortunate that is for the rest of us.

Antoine Amrani Caramels. Photo by horstm22, Creative Commons.

Antoine Amrani Caramels. Photo by horstm22, Creative Commons.

Pouring the chocolate. Photo by sunhi, Creative Commons.

Pouring the chocolate. Photo by sunhi, Creative Commons.

Merely having outstanding products is not enough these days, however. Some of the ingredients for these chocolates are organic; many are obtained from sources local to the chocolatier, or from small-scale, family farms elsewhere. The beautiful gift boxes, inspired, I’m told, by the work of Gustav Klimt, are completely recyclable. The decorative papers are carbon-neutral and manufactured using Green-e certified wind energy, a sustainable energy source; they’re also FSC-certified. The paperboard is made with 100% recycled and 90% post-consumer content and contains no harmful chemicals or metals. All packaging is also produced in Philadelphia, so it’s made in the same area where it ends up being used.

The Antoine Amrani shop in East Norriton, Pennsylvania. Photo by sunhi, Creative Commons.

The Antoine Amrani shop in East Norriton, Pennsylvania. Photo by sunhi, Creative Commons.

The Antoine Amrani Chocolates boutique is located in a run-of-the-mill office park, at 550 Foundry Road in East Norriton, PA. No matter; step inside the small shop, and you’ll be delighted by these lovely products. If you are interested in seeing how delicious chocolates are made, factory tours are held most Fridays. If you don’t live nearby, let your fingers do the walking and shop online. Vive la France! Vive le chocolat!

About author
Stephanie Zonis was born with a spoon in her mouth — a tasting spoon, that is. She began cooking (especially baking) at a very early age, and for a short time even ran a highly illegal baking business from her long-suffering parents’ house when she was in high school. After acquiring a Master’s Degree in Foods, she eventually discovered the Internet in 1997. She’s been writing about food and developing recipes, especially where chocolate is involved, ever since. During those few moments when she’s not cooking or writing or thinking about food, Stephanie enjoys reading, walking, political discussions, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary. She has been a member of a medieval re-creation group for longer than she’ll admit and loves absurdist humor.
1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. I believe that first photo of Amrani slicing into chocolate should be attributed to ‘sunhi’ as well, since I remember taking it. 🙂

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