Henri Le Roux is a Master Chocolatier and Caramélier®. His masterful whipping and forming delectable caramels (the chewy and sticky bonbon-shaped sweet delights), manufacturing high quality single origin as well as house-crafted original chocolate bars, ganaches and pralines, deserves the attention of all sweet explorers eager to mark a palate-arousing shopping stop into their travel map.
Henri Le Roux caramels
Whether you visit his new boutiques in Paris or head Northwest to Brittany, where his family business is located in the hometown of his wife – Quiberon and the factory at Landévant (opened in 2008 to cater to the high demand for his produce), you will be struck with his perfectionism. No wonder, the avid seekers of everything  requiring an extraordinary effort – the Japanese consumers, welcomed his stores opening in Tokyo and Osaka.
The company was recently bought by the Japanese, yet the traditional hand-made production was kept intact and the chocolatier himself is still entirely involved.
Henri Le Roux is credited with the invention of the first real CBS (Salted Butter Caramel) so either of his boutiques are surely worth a detour to taste the original product. His muse was Brittany, where salted butter is ubiquitous. After three months of testing he came with a slightly salted butter caramel with an addition of crushed walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds for harmonious texture. A must try! The feeling of it melting densely, smoothly in your mouth is unforgettable for your taste memory.
After seeing many patisseries copying his inventions he decided to copyright a number of his products. Starting with the above mentioned CBS® in the 1980s, later his recipes for Truffe de Truffe®, Caramélier®, Bonsoncœur®, Force 8®, Louison®,and Ch’tou® were all protected from the eager copy-cats. Now, they must all come with their own preparations.
Chocolate bar Goviro
Ch’tou® has a bitter chocolate cover surrounding soft caramel containing butter and calvados from Brittany.
THE CARAMELIER® is a soft caramel toffee spread with a delicate structure and freshness.
THE BONSONCOEUR® is a fine chocolate spread with hazelnuts, pinch of Guérande salt and brown sugar.
Force 8® is a house blend of dark 80% chocolate bar with exotic, smooth and delicate spicy notes.
The Single origin chocolate bars I tried are:
Colombia 75% is pronounced, smoky, intense, with coffee aromas, but it starts with vegetal herbal and forest fragrance. Tannins are discreet until the astringent aftertaste and subtle acidity lets the tones form a full-length symphony of crescendoes and tuning down over and over.
Venezuela 75% is very balanced, intense and slightly vegetal. Exotic citrus fruits vibrate on the palate with a very long green wood aftertaste. While the rare Chuao from Venezuela is more burnt smoky like a cigar with wooden dryness and fresh green nutty taste. The village of Chuao is famous for its high quality Criollo cocoa beans.
Sâo Tomè 73% has refreshing acidity and fruity with vegetal aromas. Smoky background makes it more aromatic and complexity is enhanced by lime finish.
Papouasie (Papua New Guinea) 75% has light fruity character with dominant floral fragrance of lilies and orchids creating a dainty beauty with the delicate freshness of spring with warm sensations. Its rustic aftertaste surprises contrasting the previous sensations.
The house blends I tried:
Goviro is the signature blend with fleur de sel (sea salt) and crèpes dentelle and caramelized almonds. The deep 67% cocoa is cut with crunchy brittled almonds adding a toasty intensity and caramel sweetness, while thin crisp brittle pancake changes unexpectedly the texture. Fresh Guérande sea salt aftertaste lingers for a very long time in the bedazzled mouth.
Amer is another signature blend of secret origins 62% cocoa. It is fine, balanced, delicately sweet and delicate with nougat notes. Low tannins and not particularly pronounced acidity. Its smooth honey-like texture allows it to melt slowly with a gourmand nougat undertone.
Embruns mix of various origins with a dash of fleur de sel (sea salt from Brittany). The salt makes it mysterious as it plays hide and seek throughout the entire time the 67% chocolate is melting in your mouth. After the salt dissipates, fruity flavours show up, then earthy and deep structure with high acidity reveals itself last. It multiplies the powerful expression of this bar.
Trinidad&Tobago-cocoa & rumAtom - dark chocolate and oatsEnvy - Chocolate caramel
There are many ganaches (sweet chocolate cream filling) pralines (sweet almond paste) worth trying, but as each of us have different preferences, the best is to visit one of the boutiques and look for something that call you “try me”. I particularly like the Soizig (Buckwheat praliné and crumble) and the incredibly crunchy Praliné bouchée with  generous hazelnuts from Piedmont and crêpes dentelle coated with dark chocolate. (In French “Bouchée” means mouthful).
Henri LeRoux caramel making
Le Roux himself advises his consumers on how to select, keep and enjoy high quality chocolates at their best:

  • Always choose a chocolate with a shiny “coating”, which is a guarantee of quality.
  • Don’t keep chocolate in the refrigerator. It is better to keep it at a cool room temperature (between 16º C to 18º C)
  • Keep chocolate away from damp. It is its worst enemy. A watertight cover is always advisable.
  • Do not place it near strong-smelling food or other products, which could, in the long term, alter the taste of the chocolate.

Well, as a chocoholic who stores chocolates in the fridge, next to onions, cheese and the leftover saffron risotto, I learned a lot!

Henri LeRoux chocolate & tea pairing
His creativity does not know boundaries, and he decided to pair my two favourites – tea and chocolate at some of his flagship boutiques. There are various combinations worth exploring and you can sit down, watch the passersby and contemplate the flavours marrying together in your mouth.
Henri Le Roux boutiques: 
18 rue de Port Maria, Quiberon, France
Factory: ZA Mané Craping, Landévant, France
 Tuesday to Sunday: 10:30 – 19:00
In Paris 1 rue de Bourbon-le-Château, 6th Tues-Sat: 11:00 – 19:30; Sun & Mon: 11:00 – 14:00 & 15:00 – 18:30;
24 rue des Martyrs, 9th Tues – Sat 10:30 -14:00 & 15:00 – 19:30; Sunday: 9:30 – 14:30; Closed Mon.
Shops in Japan and other points of sales in Europe are on their website.