Panache Chocolatier is known for its award-winning small batch chocolates made with the highest quality ingredients and unique flavors. Julie and Derrick House relocated Panache in November 2019 from the Country Club Plaza to Park Place, Leawood’s upscale shopping destination.
“Panache Chocolatier has been a Kansas City favorite since 1979, featuring popular items like chocolate-covered popcorn, chocolate flakes and European truffles,” Julie House says. "We bought the store in the fall of 2013 and began the transformation of Panache into a boutique chocolate experience. Through our travels and retail research, we found that customers enjoyed not only shopping, but experiencing and creating memories. Making Panache experiential was a priority.”
In the dictionary, panache is defined as a dash or flamboyance in style and action. The name of the chocolatier plays on this meaning, but with a twist.
“Panache is French in definition, meaning with flair. Our flair isn’t necessarily the flamboyant exterior of the chocolate in using sprays or pre-made decals like you see in many chocolates today. We approach our chocolates by utilizing fresh ingredients and not adding preservatives or dyes—our flair is our artisan and exceptional flavors, which has won us awards on the international stage!”
Master Chocolatier Mallory Baxter and the Houses developed and created their classic, signature and premier Panache chocolates. If it’s your first time in, Julie suggests starting with one of their most popular desserts: truffles.
“We highly recommend any of our truffles—there’s so many award-winning ones to try, and the classics are always popular. In addition, our black pepper pistachio bar recently won gold. We are ranked as a master chocolatier and top 15 in the United States. We currently offer the highest-ranked chocolates in the Midwest region, which feature our truffles and bars.”
While chocolate is a must on Valentine’s Day, Panache’s chocolates are sure to stand out among the rest, earning medals from The International Chocolate Salon headquartered in San Francisco.
“We will be featuring our 2019 five star and five gold medal award-winning collection “Share the Love” in addition to our new Valentine’s Day collection,” House says.
It’s easy to see why Panache chose Park Place as its new home not only for its prime location, but for the additional space—their new tasting bar and private event space are perfect for chocolate and wine tastings and new release parties.
“The charming streets of Park Place along with the boutique style of the stores fit our needs. Creating a relaxed environment for the customer to enjoy our fine chocolate is key in the refined chocolatier experience. The atmosphere of our new location is a mix of European boutique and comfortable home. We have added a tasting room to host tastings and private events—we will be adding wine tastings along with our custom chocolate cocktails soon. The serene environment at Park Place is a natural extension of our in-store experience. We have been welcomed by the residents and other local businesses at Park Place, making this a great location for us—it’s the perfect shopping district to experience local shops and owners. We look forward to seeing our regular customers and greeting new ones at our new home.”
Panache is located at 11555 Ash Street in Leawood. For more information, visit chocolatekc.com.
Julie House of Panache Chocolatier loves to take recipes in her repertoire that call for chocolate and substitute Panache. “It elevates any drink or dessert,” she says. “The possibilities are endless.”
But the adult hot chocolate takes on a special meaning for House.
“The peppermint schnapps in the Panache Hot Chocolate is a homage to my college roommates,” she says. “We had several February birthdays and always celebrated with hot cocoa and schnapps—just not as decadent as this one, though.”
Panache Adult Hot Chocolate
- 2 ounces peppermint schnapps
- 6 ounces Panache Hot Chocolate (or amount needed to fill)
- Garnish (optional): whipped cream, chocolate shavings and crushed peppermint
Panache Chocolate Mousse
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream, divided
- 2 dark chocolate Panache bars (6 ounces), chopped
- Garnish (optional): 1 dark chocolate Panache bar; grated chocolate
Warm 1/2 cup cream and use it to melt the chocolate. Heat 1/2 cup of the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Add chopped Panache chocolate and stir to combine. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt.
Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth. Set aside to cool while you whip the remaining cream.
Beat the remaining cream to medium peaks. Place the remaining 1 cup cold cream in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or with a whisk by hand until soft peaks form. Transfer 1/2 cup whipped cream to a small bowl and refrigerate for topping the finished mousse before serving. Continue whipping the remaining whipped cream until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture with a large spatula in three additions. Work swiftly and gently, and don’t stress if there are streaks of cream in the chocolate mousse.
Portion the mousse and chill before serving. Divide the mixture between four ramekins or cocktail glasses. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 before serving. Dollop with the reserved softly whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.