Alain Ducasse’s chocolate Christmas tree comes in a flatpack with a pair of white gloves for assembly.

If Ikea Designed a Chocolate Christmas Tree, This Is What You’d Get

If Ikea Designed a Chocolate Christmas Tree, This Is What You’d Get

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Dec. 18 2015 11:57 AM

If Ikea Designed a Chocolate Christmas Tree, This Is What You’d Get

Arbre de Noel_(c) Atelier Mai 98

Photo by Pierre Monetta/Atelier Mai 98. Courtesy of Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse.

Like a lump of coal, Reese’s unapologetically turd-like Christmas tree candy arrived just in time for the holidays. Meanwhile in Paris, superstar chef Alain Ducasse commissioned Parisian designer Pierre Tachon to create a glamorous DIY chocolate Christmas tree centerpiece that is as cleverly designed as it is delicious.

Chocolat Alain Ducasse arbre Noël kit 2@Pierre Monetta (1)

Photo by Pierre Monetta/Atelier Mai 98. Courtesy of Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse.

The French might be best known for the traditional Christmas dessert that is a bûche de Noël, but they consume more chocolate at Christmas—not Easter, like Americans—than any other time of year, and serious chocolatiers are constantly looking for ways to innovate and elevate when it comes to both taste and design.

Elegantly and conveniently packaged in an easily transportable and shippable (in Europe only) flat pack, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse’s tree kit includes a pair of white gloves to protect the chocolate from melting while you make a show of the child’s play it is to assemble. Six disks of varying sizes are embellished with almonds, pecans, oats, sesame seeds, raisins, dried fruit, and corn flakes that are meant to mimic tree decorations; they slide onto a dark chocolate or milk chocolate pole that forms the 8-inch tree base.        

Arbre de Noel_3 (c) Atelier Mai 98

Photo by Pierre Monetta/Atelier Mai 98. Courtesy of Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse.

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The tree is just one example of the showy chocolate eye candy you can spy in the windows of Paris sweet shops in the runup to Christmas. But at nearly $60 each, the chocolate tree kit is not the fancypants option that every Parisian goes for: Locals can procure the Reese’s tree blob at the supermarket.

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.