Papillotes are a popular Christmas treat in France – the specially wrapped chocolates have romantic origins dating back to the 18th Century.
I tracked down some of the best in a small shop in Paris.
If Willy Wonka was real and a Frenchman, his name would be Philippe Bernachon.
Bernachon is a master chocolate maker. His Lyon kitchen creates the most mouth-watering delicacies – not least, his chocolate bars. Roll over, Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight.
Smooth, very dark or creamy milk – Bernachon bars are oozing with rich, salted caramel or stuffed with pistachio, roasted almonds, candied pineapple and kirsch, marzipan, or bitter orange and crystallised fruits soaked in Grand Marnier.
They’re usually found in only two places in the world – in Lyon or 400km (248 miles) north at a small sweet shop near Montmartre, A L’Etoile d’Or – At the Golden Star.
But last February, The Golden Star blew up, sending the exquisite 19th Century decor, the trays and jars of divine sweetmeats – and Bernachon’s incredible chocolate bars – sky-high.
A gas explosion smashed it all to smithereens.
The proprietor, shocked but unscathed, has been without her shop for months – and Paris is bereft of Bernachon.