Sometimes it can get so boring seeing the same mass-produced chocolates gracing the shelves this Christmas; every year I enter the stores hoping to find something new and different that will just jump off the shelves screaming eat me, but it just seems to be that year upon year the same sort of things are released. This is what i love so much about so much about Sunshine & Butterflies Christmas Collection, they have that wonderful handmade unique touch to them with a variety of flavours that you won't see gracing many shelves this season.
From their outer packaging adorned with a lovely printed ribbon to the inside complete with a thorough and detailed chocolate menu these chocolates just look the complete package. Each chocolate is of a fairly substantial size and all look like they have been made with the greatest care; they certainly don't look like the type of chocolates that have just been pumped repeatedly out of a factory one after another.
Inside you'll find 6 delicious sounding festive flavours : Gingerbread Truffle, Christmas Jam Ganache, Berry Christmas Truffle, Cranberry Truffle, Sweet Chesnut & Orange Ganache and Christmas Cake Truffle; whilst each one is complete with a photograph and details of each chocolate complete with a tit bit piece of information about the traditions behind each main component gracing the chocolate, for example did you know that Christmas Cake is traditionally the merger of pottage (a plum porridge) and Twelfth Night cake!
I started off with the Gingerbread Truffle; this sounded the most appetising to me; complete with a gingerbread spiced ganache made from 70% dark and 35% milk chocolate before being coated in a layer of white. The texture was the main highlight for me in this chocolate, it literally just melted your mouth into a creamy dreamy heaven, almost as if I was floating along on a cloud of creamy ganache, whilst the flavour of gingerbread was subtly present providing a delicate flavour that didn't overpower and gave wonderful spice hits.
Moving on I decided to go for the Berry Christmas Truffle topped with luscious looking freeze dried strawberries; this was made up of a concoction of flavours : cranberries, oranges, cloves, cinnamon, strawberries & fudge. I couldn't really make my mind up with this one to be honest, I found that it was just a bit too sweet and sickly and that a few too many things were going on all at once and the texture was more of a gritty cream rather than a dreamy truffle..I don't know it just wasn't all there for me.
Hoping things would improve I moved onto the Christmas Cake Truffle...and improve how they did! This was actually my favourite one in the box..from someone who doesn't like Christmas cake..this proves you can turn a non-believer into a lover with a little dash of chocolate! Made up of a rich dense Christmas cake topped with marzipan this had delicious spiced flavours with an added tang from the citrus inside the cake..whilst the real highlight for me was the gorgeously crunchy almond and hazelnut chips that were swirled throughout the cake! A definite winner!
I next opted for the Cranberry Truffle; which again like the its Gingerbread counterpart boasted delightfully smooth rich textures with again a lovely subtle delicate tang of cranberry inside the richer dark ganache filling, it was a pleasure to eat. The Christmas Jam Ganache was slightly more disappointing; it's not that it wasn't good, in fact I enjoyed it, but compared to the other chocolates in the box I felt that it just wasn't as good as some of the others; a dark ganache with a jam made of red currants, plums, damsons, sultanas and spices underneath it was just neither here nor there with no real strong flavours of anything in a particular.
Things nevertheless finished on a high with the Sweet Chestnut & Orange Ganache; I've been going on all this Christmas about how much I really want to try roasted chestnuts..I must before the season is out..but if this chocolate was an idea of things to come then I certainly have a lot to look forward to as this was delicious. Double coated in white & milk chocolate lies a gorgeously smooth ganache centre that has the wonderful creamy nuttiness of the chestnut combined with subtle tangs of orange that come through as you slowly devour the chocolate!
All in all this was a wonderful collection of chocolates from Sunshine & Butterflies; the flavours are subtle and delicate providing just the right amount of respect to each of their quality ingredients that they use complete with equally good smooth textures. I know for sure I would choose a box of these over anything on the high street!
Taste - 8.4/10 - Wonderful subtle delicate flavours that really make you want to savour these delicious fresh tasting chocolates.
Texture - 8/10 - Virtually all of the textures were perfect apart from the Berry Christmas Truffle; smooth dreamy and melt in the mouth!
Appearance - 8.5/10 - These chocolates look like they have been given every attention to detail and that so much thought and care has gone into them.
Price - 6.8/10 - At £5.99 for this box of chocolates this works out at pretty much £1 a chocolate which puts them in a fairly competitive price range..the only thing that lets them down is the P&P costs which can't really be helped.
Overall - 7.9/10 - One of the nicest boxes of chocolates I've tried this Christmas
I'm pretty certain most of my friends & family would appreciate this box of chocolates!
WHERE TO BUY?
From the Sunshine & Butterflies website.