Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

To keep in line with the competition I am running at the minute, make sure you enter! I decided to review an Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box I got sent filled with 8 chocolates from  a huge possible range of delicious flavours. The first thing I noticed about the box was how lovely it was presented, the box was sturdy and offered great protection for the chcoolates, which is excellent, especially when ordering them via the internet.

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

Inside I found 8 chocolates lurking and on reading the menu and trying to decipher which each one was I decided that the chocolates that had been selected for me were : 2 Chocolate O's (Cinnamon Pecan & Apricot Tonka), a South Sea Gold Pearl, No14 Salted Passionfruit Caramel, a Rose Ganache, Orange Ganache, Szechuan Pepper Ganache and a Raspberry Jelly. These really didn't sound like a typical box of your classic chocolates and I was hoping that the flavours selected would live up to my expectations.

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

Cinnamon Pecan Chocolate O - 6/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

I'm really going through a phase of cinnamon & chocolate at the moment, they always seem to be the first chocolates I go for in the box. Firstly I loved the idea of these chocolate Os, a thin layer of filling covered with a layer of chocolate in circular shape they're something a bit different and look exquisite with their ornate decoration. On biting in the chocolate itself was wonderfully smooth and creamy but I found that the cinnamon pecan centre was a bit dry/gritty, there were good pecan notes but I just felt the cinnamon overpowered everything a bit and was just a bit too woody. I like my cinnamon but not to the point where I feel that it overwhelms the chocolate experience.

South Sea Gold Pearl - 8.4/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

I think this had to be my favourite chocolate in the box, a rich milk chocolate ganache enrobed in white chocolate and dusted with edible gold dust they look amazing! I was worried that the white chocolate would be overly sweet but it is just wonderfully creamy with delightful vanilla notes and contrasts perfectly with the smooth ganache. This chocolate just felt so luxurious and sumptuous and I can imagine that this must be the posh version of chocolate "nibbles" you'd find on at a party. I could quite easily have eaten 20 of these.

Rose Ganache - 6.6/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

I'm not a huge fan of rose in chocolates to be honest, but I am always more than willing to try! The texture itself of the chocolate is out of this world, the ganache melts amazingly on the tongue and in terms of texture is everything what a ganache should be! The rose flavour is very subtle and just builds with time finally making a full appearance on swallowing the ganache and provided a fresh floral flavour to contrast with the rich ganache. Although I don't particularly enjoy rose chocolates, you can tell that this is a good one!

Orange Ganache - 6.7/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

Again the flavours in this ganache are very very subtle, the orange is present ever so slightly but certainly nothing to knock  your socks off but more just to tease the palate with a slight fruity flavour. Again the texture is wonderful but I just feel that I would have liked a little bit more presence of orange in this chocolate to complete it, for me orange chocolates should pack some punch without becoming too artificial.

Apricot & Tonka O - 6/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

I didn't love this one to be honest, the white chocolate coating was extremely creamy and pleasnt with good notes of vanillary tonka from the filling. It wasn't overly sweet whatsoever but I just feel that due to the proportion of filling to chocolate in this O that the apricot didn't really get much chance to shine.

No 14 Passionfruit Salted Caramel - 4.5/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

Unfortunately this chocolate really just didn't hit the spot for me in terms of texture and flavour. I know some people love their caramels so liquidy that it becomes almost like a drinking experience to eat them but I prefer them slightly thicker and just found this chocolate a bit of a mess trying to eat. Then when I eventually got it in my mouth I just found the passionfruit flavour far too overpoweringly sweet and sickly when mixed with the caramel. You can't deny that the chocolate is made well it ust really wasn't for me.

Raspberry Jelly - 4.5/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

This chocolate was a rich dark ganache paired with a raspberry jelly, yes, jelly! I've never had a jelly in a chocolate before so I was interested to see whether I would like the texture, unfortunately I really didn't, the chew that it offered and the rubbery like texture just shouldn't be put in a chocolate in my opinion. Even though the smooth ganache it wasn't enough to take away the unpleasant jelly texture despite the flavours being palatable.

Szechuan Pepper Ganache - 5.4/10

Artisan du Chocolat Mini Tasting Box

It definately seems that in terms of ganache textures that Artisan du Chocolat know what they're doing because again the texture of this was the stuff of angels! The szechuan pepper flavour was incredibly subtle once more just building heat slightly on the mouth as the ganache melted and provided a spicy sweet kick to the dark ganache.


Overall I would describe the flavour in these box of chocolates as very subtle, there's certainly nothing in there other than the passionfruit chocolate to really knock your socks off and unfortunately for me I like my chocolates to pack a bit more flavour. There were some enjoyable ones in there but I also think that the selection I got just really weren't my type of chocolates. The textures were all pretty good and the presentation is certainly outstanding, if you are looking for a box of chocolates for someone and you want to treat them something to a bit different that they probably haven't experienced before I would definately recommend getting them a box of these, just make sure you choose them some flavour of chocolates that you know they like!

Taste - 6.1/10 - Unfortunately in this Tasting Box there were quite a few misses in terms of flavour for me, I think this was partly to do with personal preference but I also would have liked the flavours to be a bit more powerful.
Texture - 6.2/10 - Again there were a few hit and misses, the ganache textures were out of this world, but then I found the caramel too runny, the jelly too rubbery & the cinnamon/pecan O slightly too gritty.
Appearance - 8.5/10 - I can't really fault the appearance of these chocolates, they look absolutely beautiful and are definately something a bit more special for someone.
Price - 7.6/10 - At £6.75 I think this is fairly good value for the box, you would just have to make sure that you chose wisely with flavours.
Overall - 6.9/10 - A very subtle inoffensive box of chocolates but definately one to try if you're looking for something a bit different.

To have a look at Artisan du Chocolate you can visit their website at www.artisanduchocolat.com

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