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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

GODIVA's new collection shows how to update an icon

The Gold Discovery offers 16 new flavors, from nutty pralines and smooth caramels to intense ganaches and lively, fruity pieces.

How do you innovate a classic?

The answer, it turns out for premium Belgian chocolate-maker GODIVA, comes in the form of its new designer collection — the “Gold Discovery,”a modern-day take on the brand’s iconic “Gold Collection” which is the result of more than a year of recipe creation and fine-tuning of GODIVA’s team led by award-winning chocolatier Chef Jean Apostolou. Delving into the Gold Discovery box reveals a symphony of contemporary new flavours, colours, shapes and textures, leaving chocolate-lovers with a one-of-a-kind impression of the GODIVA brand.

The Gold Discovery offers 16 new flavors, from nutty pralines and smooth caramels to intense ganaches and lively, fruity pieces.

The alluring new collection not only celebrates the Belgian chocolate mastery the Gold Collection is known for, but also presents an avant-garde meeting of heritage and innovation.

“We crafted tantalizing and unexpected flavors that bring in front of the stage indulgent fillings,” says Chef Apostolou. “The Gold Discovery box is filled with a brand new flavor offer and concept.” Apostolou, whose connoisseur Reserve Privée collection was a 2015 gold medalist in the Belgian edition of the International Chocolate Awards, says the Gold Discovery was inspired by the team’s collective passion for complex textures and refined flavour combinations.

Closely working with industrial designers, the Gold Discovery team crafted ultra-modern and sophisticated new chocolate shapes. The new collection also hints of colours that excite the eyes. The end product? A visually stunning update to a timeless classic that surprises and seduces the palate.

“We made about 40 different proposals for this Gold Discovery Collection, created about 120 iterations in total behind the 16 flavours,” says Chef Apostolou. The assortment includes creative combinations like passionfruit and pink pepper and strawberry and lychee, as well as a new innnovation called the “blond” chocolate, which has a distinct caramel flavour.

Delicious New Innovation
Consumers can enjoy a pair of blond pieces in the collection — the Artisan Caramel and the Ecusson II Blond. The Artisan Caramel is a milk chocolate piece infused with blond chocolate and caramel mousse. The Ecusson II Blond, meanwhile, goes all in with the caramel. It is a chocolate caramel piece surrounded by caramel-flavoured blond chocolate.

The Eclipse Fraise Litchi and the Eclipse Passion, both fruity pieces, are inspired by the Chinese culture. The Eclipse Passion is a fresh passionfruit ganache with a hint of pink pepper flavouring in a dark chocolate shell. “From the study with our consumers in China, fruity combined products are very welcomed,” says Apostolou. “The Eclipse Passion is a gift we designed for Chinese consumers.” The Eclipse Fraise Litchi, on the other hand, is milk chocolate filled with strawberry- and lychee-infused white chocolate mousse.“We did a few food pairings when selecting the ingredients and we believe the freshness of the lychee element matches this piece and it elevates the flavor of white chocolate mousse,” explains Chef Apostolou.

Nutty Experience
Fans of nuts in their chocolates are rewarded in the Gold Discovery Collection. The Allure Pécan is a pecan and creamy chocolate praliné surrounded by milk chocolate whilst the Volupté II is milk chocolate filled with hazelnut praliné with crunchy shortbread and macadamia nuts. The Couer Lait II and Couer Blanc II, meanwhile, are milk chocolate and white chocolate pieces infused with GODIVA’s signature hazelnut praliné respectively.

Other pieces in the collection represent subtle takes on classic flavours. The Couer Blanc II is GODIVA’s signature hazelnut praliné in a white chocolate shell whilst the Lady Noir II is a dark chocolate piece filled with creamy white chocolate ganache laced with vanilla. The Egérie Noir, which Chef Apostolou originally created for GODIVA’s 90th anniversary, is also included in the Gold Discovery Collection. It is a smooth raspberry ganache with a delicate hint of rose petals surrounded by dark chocolate.

But the Amande Marquise is Chef Apostolou’s favorite amongst the 16 new chocolate flavors, calling it “One of the best things GODIVA can deliver.”The milk chocolate exterior envelopes a creamy almond center with whole roasted almond filling.

“It’s a very exciting multi-sensorial experience when you bite inside. There is a very rich chocolate and nutty flavor,” says Chef Apostolou. “It’s classic and modern at the same time.”

Chef Apostolou recommends to start the chocolate journey into the Gold Discovery by beginning with a chocolate ganache, followed by a nutty or praline piece, then to the warm notes of vanilla or coffee, next moving to a touch of caramel, before closing with a fruity piece. “The flavors expansion and innovation from hazelnut praline, pistachio praline, to creamy chocolate praline will enrich customers’ expectation,” he says. The sequence, he points out, allows the palate to perceive all the subtleties and nuances of the Gold Discovery Collection from the first to the last chocolate.

A pale gold satin ribbon crowns the Gold Discovery Chocolate Gift Box, a finishing ornament befitting the GODIVA brand. The Gold Discovery Chocolate Gift Box is not only meant to be enjoyed alone but is also very much perfect for sharing amongst family and friends and comes in boxes of six, nine, 15, and 20. For one of GODIVA’s visionary chocolatiers, the Gold Discovery Collection is a culmination of his early exposure to chocolate-making. Chef Apostolou’s childhood was filled by chocolate aromas from the nearby chocolate factory near his home in Brussels.

At the age of 12, Chef Apostolou decided that he wanted to become a chocolatier. After more than three decades in the industry, Chef Apostolou continues to discover exciting possibilities with chocolate. “Our brand’s heritage is always in our hearts, but we are building a new horizon in premium chocolate craftsmanship, one that is daring, unexpected and utterly beguiling,” he says.

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