In a Lower East Side neighborhood nook in Manhattan, Aditi Malhotra has turned her Tache Artisan Chocolate shop into an alchemist’s lab for those with a serious sweet tooth. She’ll happily give classes — for children and adults alike — in the craft of chocolate making, but the real treat is deciding which confection to try. Perhaps a dark ganache infused with tequila and topped with a candied lime zest and fleur de sel or homemade gingerbread truffles and French caramel kisses dusted in glitter? With the holidays here, what better excuse to indulge. We asked Malhotra — here wearing Tory’s printed silk top and stretch wool pencil skirt — for her take on chocolate, season’s traditions and her gift ideas.
My favorite chocolates to make during the holiday season are spiked eggnog truffles. By itself, I don’t enjoy eggnog as much, but when mixed in with the airy texture and bold, spicy flavors of brown rum and smooth, creamy dark chocolate, it really transforms the flavor of eggnog. Once set, you are left with these little sinful, decadent, melt-in-your-mouth treats!
Favorite holiday tradition…
I come from a big, fun Indian family where our holiday parties are usually a great mix of traditional and Western cultural elements. We serve both mithaii (traditional Indian sweets) and candy canes, roast chicken and chicken tikka masala. After enjoying a delicious (and very large) spread of food, we gather in the living room and play charades for hours. There’s a lot of laughter, a lot of madness that fills the home, but it is something I cherish and truly look forward to.
My favorite holiday memory…
I celebrate by taking some time off with my family and eating amazing food. The best holiday gift I’ve ever received was my grandparents! As cliché as it sounds, having them in my life for so long and having them around at Christmastime is the best gift!
When I’m in the kitchen, I listen to…
I’m currently brushing up on my French (for my honeymoon) so when I’m not listening to a lesson online while making some treats, I’m either listening to a mix of hip hop, electronic, R&B and pop. I love some of my old Tiesto albums from college. Each song is nostalgic and reminds me to keep pursuing my dreams.
My go-to hostess gift to give…
Always a box of my chocolate truffles. I actually started making chocolate (before I opened my shop) by gifting tins of homemade peppermint bark to my friends and family during the holidays. My mom taught me to never go to someone’s house empty-handed. Whether it is a jar of homemade spiced nuts, an assortment of salts from The Meadow in The West Village, flowers, some popcorn tins from my friend’s shop PopKarma, a bottle of Insignia (usually to my future in-laws) or a cheese board from Michael Aram. This year I will be gifting some of Tory Burch’s scented candles to my favorite hostesses.
When hosting a holiday party, always serve chocolate with…
I love throwing extravagant soirees at my apartment. Along with my chocolate, which is served on beautiful silver tiers or vintage glass platters, I serve fresh figs (depending on season), freshly cut charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, assorted homemade jams, sweet and savory crackers, assorted berries and spiced dried nuts. We always end the night with some spiked and spiced masala chai.
New at Tache for the holidays…
We are about to launch an e-commerce site at Tache and are introducing many new chocolates. From snowflake-shaped chocolate-covered cocoa pops, peppermint bark, creamy spiked eggnog truffles to a homemade gingerbread truffle. There will be something for everyone.
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