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What’s on the menu at CXBO, a colourful new sweet shop in Brockton Village

By Renée Suen| Photography by Renée Suen
What's on the menu at CXBO, a colourful new sweet shop in Brockton Village

Name: CXBO Neighbourhood: Brockton Village Contact Info: 1132 College St., 416-588- CXBO (2926), cxbo.ca, @king_of_ginger
Previously: Brockton Flower Shop Owners: Brandon Olsen (Bar Isabel, The Black Hoof; Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Ad Hoc) and Sarah Keenlyside Earlier: Ex–Bar Isabel chef Brandon Olsen is opening a chocolate shop in Brockton Village

The product

Small-batch confections, including hand-made chocolate bonbons and pâte de fruits (fruit jellies), with seasonally inspired flavours on rotation. Caramel-filled chocolates, available during this weekend’s grand opening, will come in such flavours as banana, passion fruit-lemongrass and pineapple-Thai basil.

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (6) BOX
Bonbons are available in boxes of nine ($20) and 18 ($40). Custom flavours and combinations -- think popcorn-peach, burnt marshmallow and orange creamsicle (CXBO exclusives for The Drake General Store) -- can be made by special request.

 

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (13) OLSEN
Anyone can see Olsen work in his “land of sugar.” Here, the chef-confectioner is tempering the chocolate used for shells on a marble slab. Olsen uses single-origin Cacao Barry couverture chocolate for his bonbons -- 66 percent Mexican, 70 percent Dominican or 75 percent Venezuelan, depending on the flavour profile required for the ganache filling.

 

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (27) CAPPING
“This is my Willy Wonka. This is my world of imagination, but there are no more than three flavour profiles in each bonbon: It starts with a dominant flavour then progresses to a lingering aroma. Like a time release.”

 

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (29) BONBON
From start to finish, the entire process takes three days to complete.

 

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (8) CLASSIC
The Classic “OG” collection features nine flavours: yuzu-sake, sherry-milk chocolate, pistachio-bergamot, orange blossom-honey, cinnamon-brown butter, cherry-vanilla, raspberry-rose-fennel, lime-ginger-black pepper and salted caramel.

 

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Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (9) TEXTURE
Each bonbon is either sprayed (stucco-textured), splattered or finger painted (i.e. the red, white and blue sherry bonbon) with edible coloured cocoa butter.
The space

Keenlyside, Olsen’s fiancée, is a filmmaker and artist. She’s responsible for much of the production kitchen and storefront’s clean retro design, explaining that the stunning “Supergraphic” by Odin Cappello (painted by muralist David Carter) was “inspired by artists like Sol Lewitt and Frank Stella from the ‘70s … our [chocolate] mould shape is a tiny nod to the architect Buckminster Fuller, who did the biosphere in Montreal for Expo ‘67.” The hand-painted, customizable CXBO branded boxes are produced in collaboration with Ryan Crouchman.

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (3) ROOM
The indoor palm was Olsen’s addition to the space, “it looks like a banana tree.” He explains, “I really like bananas.”

 

Renee Suen - TL - Intro - July 2016 - CXBO (1) ENTRANCE

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