Tableside With Shalini Latour of Chocolats Latour

Shalini Latour has wowed taste buds with creative chocolates for the past six years. In November, she moved into a retail space on Hamilton Avenue alongside Samantha Gordon of Bee Haven Honey, where the duo will continue giving Cincinnatians a taste of the sweet life.

What drew you to chocolate? My mom is from Belgium and I lived there when I was a teenager. As I started working with it I loved the intricacy of the process.

What’s that process? I start by painting cocoa butter inside the mold and then tempering chocolate. You can’t just melt it—you have to make sure it’s in proper temper so it will have a nice shine and a good snap. Then I pour chocolate into the mold to create a shell, and make either a ganache or a caramel and pipe that into the mold. Once that’s set, I put a cap on top, then it goes into the refrigerator. As the chocolate gets cold, it retracts from the mold.

Will you collaborate on products with Bee Haven Honey? We named the store The Chocolate Bee, so we figured we needed to have chocolate bees. They’re a dark chocolate shell filled with a shot of honey and dark chocolate ganache.

Anything special for Valentine’s Day? I will be making a seasonal bar called “Dark Passion.” It’s dark chocolate with candied blood oranges in a merlot syrup, some cinnamon bark, and hibiscus flowers.

Chocolats Latour, 4037 Hamilton Ave., Northside,

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