When it comes to handmade chocolates, Aarti Khosla of Weston, Connecticut doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk.
Taking a break from her marketing career to raise her family, she decided to pursue a passion she could do at home — make chocolates.
But she didn’t just order generic Wilton lollipop molds and “chocolatey” melts to create simplistic run of the mill confections. She decided to do things right and make delicious, as well as artistically beautiful, chocolate creations.
First off, she knew she needed to learn more about chocolate making in order to be good at it, so she took online classes with Ecole Chocolat and earned the designation as a certified chocolatier.
She attended chocolate expos to learn about the business side of chocolate making, and practiced her skills, bringing homemade caramel coconut chocolates to church dinners and entering orange nut clusters in the local grange fair. She listened to people as they tried her candy to see what they liked and what they didn’t like.
Within one year from her initial decision to make chocolates at home she was ready to turn her passion into a full-fledged business, and came up with a name for her company: Le Rouge – Handmade Chocolates by Aarti, based on her love of the color red.
A one-woman show, she handpicked special boxes and packaging for her products, and makes all the chocolates herself in small batches at a local commercial kitchen in strict accordance with department of health guidelines.
She uses the finest fair trade Belgian chocolate she can find and all-natural ingredients for the fillings. In a final touch, she decided to be true to her Indian and worldly roots and makes chocolates with bold flavors such as intense raspberry, pistachio and saffron, masala chai, halva heaven, and serious caffeine fix.
Le Rouge is quickly developing a following, pretty much by word of mouth. That word spreads quickly by the way, after you pop one of Aarti’s chocolates in your mouth – they’re that good.
I recently interviewed Aarti for a story for our local newspaper, so naturally, I had to take one for the team and try a few chocolates – for research purposes of course.
The truffles had a smooth finish, which I liked, and the flavors were identifiable with my eyes closed. I didn’t need to see the Irish ale truffle to know what it was, the beer taste was clear. And much to my surprise I really liked it. English toffee was crisp and buttery, and orange almond clusters were surprisingly light and crunchy. I think those were my favorite.
While Aarti makes safe choices for those not into bold flavors, she also goes extreme with wasabi ginger and Sichuan pepper truffles. But truth be told, even they were enjoyable. I didn’t go running for a glass of water after trying them.
Visit http://www.lerougebyaarti.com for more information and to order Aaarti Khosla’s artsy handmade chocolates.