When I received an email from Sunshine & Butterfly Chocolates to review some of their house range chocolates I certainly wasn't going to pass up the oppurtunity, I love experiencing new & emerging chocolatiers produce, and on looking at their website I hoped I was going to be in for a real treat.
Sunshine & Butterfly Chocolates is a London-based chocolaterie which sells its chocolate exclusively online at www.sunshineandbutterflies.co.uk and have a various range of chocolates from their house collection to their limited edition selection that use various flavours that are in season at the given time. I was lucky enough to be sent a collection of their House Collection and when they arrived through the post I couldn't wait to open them up and see what they were like!
The chocolates themselves were packaged in a gorgeous looking box, tied with a beautiful ribbon, and inside there were 6 substantial looking chocolates with a menu detailing what each one was; the menu was one of the best I have seen in a box of chocolates, there was no guess work to be done here and it contained a clear picture and description of what each chocolate was and full information on the ingredients contained in each, no unpleasant surprises will be had!
My box contained a fairly varied selection containing Almond Ganache, Gianduja Almond, Macadamia & Honey Praline, Sunflower Tea Ganache, Rosewater Marzipan & Coffee Ganache.
Almond Ganache - 7/10
This chocolate consisted of chopped roasted almonds in a white chocolate ganache and double coated in a shell of white chocolate; now normally I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, especially when they don't have a darker filling to offset them but this was delightful. It was so fresh tasting with light almond & vanilla notes whilst the ganache centre was rich + thick with the almond pieces inside thankfully not being too hard and obtrusive but offering a nice contrasting crunch!
Gianduja & Apricot - 7.4/10
I normally absolutely love anything with Gianduja in the title so I was really intrigued to see what this chocolate was like in terms of its pairing with apricot and coated in single origin Domincan Republic white chocolate & Venezuelan milk chocolate! The filling was wonderfully smooth & decadent and provided such a wonderful experience on the tongue with the apricot adding a lovely tart kick to the rich gianduja whilst the Venezeulan chocolate melted perfectly on the tongue to finish the chocolate off perfectly!
Macadamia + Honey Praline - 7.3/10
Its very rare that you see Macadamia pralines about yet they are such a delicious nut, so it really was a nice change to try this one. Although I found the salted macadamias on top a bit too much the chocolate itself was delicious. The white chocolate praline made with macadamia nuts & Spanish orange blossom honey was slightly gritty but the flavour combination overall worked extremely well providing both a salty/sweet flavour to it, I definately would have liked another one of these!
Coffee Ganache - 7.4/10
Normally I'm not a huge fan of coffee in chocolates, all too often I find the coffee a bit too overwhelming but the white chocolate coating in this chocolate helped to perfectly offset the dark chocolate coffee ganache that lurked inside. The coffee flavour wasn't overpowering whatsoever and just added a nice hint to the overall flavour as the thick ganache melted & provided an extremely satisfying experience.
Sunflower Tea Ganache - 6.5/10
To be honest I don't really like tea chocolates all that much, I just don't feel that they offer all that much and this was probably my least favourite chocolate in the box. You can still tell how good quality it is, the texture was wonderful but the overall flavour I felt didn't really make much of a presence with it being more of just a light and refreshing chocolate with the dark chocolate exterior taking centre stage.
Rosewater Marzipan - 6.7/10
I went through my whole childhood hating marzipan, after an unpleasant experience with Batenburg cake, after trying this chocolate I realise that this was probably due to my experience of only having extremely commercial marzipan that was just pumped with sugar! The marzipan in this chocolate was wonderfully smooth and moist with light almond notes and delicate hints of rose that came through on swallowing whilst the contrasting textures provided from the moist marzipan and crunchy poppy seeds atop was nicely pleasant.
Its really nice to see another great chocolate producer emerging, Sunshine & Butterflies certainly do what they say they do, offering a varied selection of chocolates made with the highest quality ingredients that can really be tasted in all their chocolates. These weren't boring or unflavourful but offered a box of chocolates with varying flavours to excite your taste buds in a number of ways, this combined with the excellent information that came inside the box provided a great overall experience!
Taste - 7/10 - A nice box of chocolates with a good selection of different flavours to experience.
Texture - 7.6/10 - The textures in all these chocolates were wonderful, with the only excepetion being the Macadamia and Honey Praline which I found a tad gritty.
Appearance - 8.3/10 - These were presented beautifully and the information provided was superb.
Price - 8/10 - At £5.99 for a box of 6 this is a great bargain considering how good the chocolates are!
Overall - 7.7/10 - Definately a good selection of chocolates to try!
The people at Sunshine & Butterflies have also been so kind to offer one lucky person the chance to win a box of 18 of their chocolates, meaning you get to try everyone they produce!! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter here http://twitter.com/#!/LotOChoc and retweet!
You can take a look at Sunshine and Butterflies selection of chocolates at www.sunshineandbutterflies.co.uk