Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

As you may all remember sometime ago I reviewed a bar of finer gourmet bar of chocolate from chocolatier Michel Cluizel but to me nothing beats a good box of filled chocolates so I just had to try his Ballotin Box when I saw them on special offer at The Chocolate Trading Co.

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

You can tell the by the box that these chocolates are really meant to be for a posh occasion, wrapped in wonderful black paper and tied with an elegant gold ribbon they look as if they would make the perfect gift for a chocolate connoisseur. The box came complete with a good menu card detailing which chocolates could be found in what sizes of Ballotin box, I got the smallest box so only got 8 chocolates, 2 of each, spread between 2 layers. The chocolates that it contained were : Caramel Ganache, Almond + Hazelnut Praline with Cocoa Nibs, Creme Brulee, Almond & Hazelnut Praline with Almond Nibs, Orange Ganache, 99% Cocoa Ganache, Gianduja and finally a Cranberry Granache.

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

Caramel Ganache - 7.8/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

This ganache was wonderfully caramelly without it being too sickly sweet with a texture that literally just melts in the mouth. Good flavours of light brown sugar from the caramel came through excellently and blended well with the sweeter milk chocolate exterior.

Almond & Hazelnut Praline with Cocoa Nibs - 6.9/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

Unfortunately, this, by far, was my least favourite chocolate of the box. Despite its pleasant appearance I found that the praline interior was very dry and the texture wasn't what I normally go for in a praline whatsoever, I prefer much richer and creamier chocolates and infact this proved quite dry and bitter, especially due to the presence of the cocoa nibs. The almond flavour was pleasant but as a chocolate as a whole I didn't really love it.

Creme Brulee - 8.5/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

I loved this chocolate, everything a creme brulee chocolate should be, rich, buttery texture that melted away so beautifully on the mouth with a rich vanilla custard flavour that was so fresh and decadent. Thankfully this chocolate was coated in dark chocolate to stop it becoming too much and provided a wonderfully moreish delicious chocolate.

Almond & Hazelnut Praline with Almond Nibs - 8/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

This was definately nicer than its counter part with cocoa nibs due to it not offering a bitter edge to it. Unfortunately the praline interior still was very dry but this time round it was brought up by the fact that it had a wonderful nutty flavour reminiscent of popped popcorn and toasted nuts, yum!

Gianduja - 7.8/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box<
This was quite pleasnant but not the nicest gianduja chocolate I've had; it came surrouned by chopped hazelnut pieces and did provide a nice satisfying bite to it. Again however the praline was very dry and although the hazelnut flavours were very good it was let down by its texture.

Orange Ganache - 8.5/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

One of the nicest in the box by far, the texture unlike the pralines was divine, being wonderfully smooth and melting excellently in the mouth with light subtle orange hints leaving a chocolate that is neither too sweet nor too bitter providing a nice in between experience.

99% Cocoa Ganache - 7.8/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

I expected this to be a lot more bitter than it actually was; a 99% cocoa ganache, I thought, would really pack a deep flavour punch to it. Alas this did not, although it was tasty with light fruity notes and a slight hint of milky coffee to it; it did pack a lot less flavour than I thought it would have and was a lot sweeter compared to lower percentage cocoa ganaches I've tried before.

Cranberry Ganache - 8.2/10

Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box Michel Cluizel Ballotin Box

Cranberry is a flavour I would never normally go for in a chocolate but after trying this I would definately go back for more, light, sweet and fruity it packed a deep yet powerful punch to it with the same excellent ganache like texture present in the other chocolates that melted superbly.

Overall this was sort of a mixed box of chocolates; I'd say, yes, all the flavours are very good, but by no means are they amazing and something I would rave on for hours about. Whilst the textures were a bit hit and miss, the ganaches were all superb but I found the pralines far too dry for my liking. They may be nice to buy as a special one off but I definately wouldn't go back for another box, especially not at the price they are sold at.

Taste - 7.5/10 - A respectable box of chocolates, good but not world class.
Texture - 6/10 - Just above average, although the ganaches were very good they were let down by the very dry pralines.
Appearance - 6.6/10 - The box itself is beautiful but the chocolates were a bit too simplistic for my liking.
Price - 4/10 - At £17.95 this is a pretty pricey box of chocolates and for that money I think you can get a lot better on the marketplace these days.
Overall - 6/10 - I wouldn't go back for more.

You can get a lot of Michel Cluizels range from The Chocolate Trading Co at


  1. The chocolates look really delicious, but I find the price is also very expensive.

    Your blog is really great, I have added you to my blogroll list :)

  2. I tend to choose bars over filled chocolates, but I agree, a good filled chocolate is something fine!
    Too bad these ones didn't live up to the expectation.