XT Patiserrie‘s eye-poppingly beautiful chocolates and macarons first caught my eye back in October at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon. I was casually roasting some marshmallows at the Plush Puffs booth when I glanced over to my right and spied the most gorgeous array of sweets. I was instantly seduced by the shiny jewel-toned chocolates resting in their precious little boxes. I quickly downed my unevenly browned marshmallow and scooted over to XT’s table to steal a taste.
I showed commendable restraint and only sampled two varieties, Saigon cinnamon and kalamansi. Each vibrantly flavored bite melted away smoothly and luxuriously on my tongue. After satisfying my urge for truffles, I simmered down and chatted with Tuan Trinh, the “T” in XT Patisserie. We instantly hit it off because he was Vietnamese-American and a @GastronomyBlog Twitter follower—two of my favorite qualities in a person (ha!).
I learned from Mr. Trinh that his partner, chocolatier Xuan Ngo (the “X” in XT Patisserie), was born in Da Nang, Vietnam and grew up in Les Baux de Provence, France. Chef Ngo spent the summers of his childhood in the kitchen of Oustau de Baumaniére, a two-star Michelin restaurant owned by his adopted father Jean-Andre Charial. Upon graduating high school, he went to work for Pâtisserie Lenôtre, a renowned Parisian bakery.
Chef Ngo came to the United States to work at Daniel Boulud’s restaurant Daniel in New York and later moved to Los Angeles to work at Spago, Sona, and Boule. He currently works at the Belvedere Restaurant in the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel.
After our chummy conversation, Mr. Trinh sent me on my way with a 12-piece box of chocolates ($24) and a colorful tray of macarons ($12). I couldn’t believe my luck! The box of chocolates included exciting flavors like coconut, Earl Grey tea, ginger, hazelnut, honey, and vanilla. My favorites were the caramel vanilla fleur de sel, passion fruit, and coffee, along with my old standbys Saigon cinnamon and kalamasi. I made a conscious effort to eat only one to two pieces each day to prolong the goodness for as long as possible.
The quality of the macarons was on par with the chocolates. Each bite was incredibly airy and daintily flavored. The vanilla, passion fruit, coffee, and hazelnut macarons made me swoon just a little more than the others.
Having hand-crafted chocolates and macarons available at home meant that all of my meals for an entire week ended with fancy mignardises. What a pleasure! Everyone on my Christmas list is getting something sweet and beautiful from XT Patisserie this holiday season, because expertly made desserts shouldn’t be reserved only for meals out on the town.