Gilles Desplanches. Say it with me. Zheeeeee-ehl Deeeeeh Plaaaaahnssshhhh. Listen, it even sounds luxurious. The best hot chocolate in Geneva, in Switzerland, and in fact, the World (to date) is to be found in the sophisticated cafe environment just off of Rue de la Confederation in the quartier des banquiers (mmm well dressed men in 3 piece suits AND chocolate. Truly a taste of heaven.) When my Saturday stroll around town plans with a friend were quickly dashed by the freezing wind and rain we took refuge in my little corner of heaven.
The chocolat chaud de la maison here is phenomenal. It comes in it's own cute little serving pot, just right for two dainty mugs full and served with a small bar of the darkest tartest chocolate I have ever had the pleasure of tasting, all while being a study in tasteful monochrome. The hot chocolate itself has a very mouthfilling flavor and is subtly sweet but the bittersweet nature of the roasted cocoa bean is underlying its smooth sensuality. It's a very earthy flavor and made more so with teasing notes of vanilla and anis. The most surprising and overlooked part that truly elevates it to hot beverage greatness though is it's homogeneous consistency. It is as if the chocolate and milk/cream have always been ONE. At no time did they ever NOT coexist in harmony. It's a very special feeling and one I didn't notice until recently. I have always sought to put my taste-bud like finger on just what made it so different from all the others I've tried. Rest assured, if you ever come to visit me in Geneva...we WILL be basking in the warm chocolately embrace of Gilles Desplanches.