A ganache - one of the richest, most luxurious fillings of a chocolate. One, that if done correctly I adore; normally a mixture of chocolate & cream and sometimes enriched with butter it is deliciously smooth and sumptuous. However here we have a bit of a difference; Damian Allsop produces his ganaches using not cream nor butter, but instead locally sourced spring water, interesting to say the least. Normally water + chocolate separates but Damian creates an emulsion to create a smooth silky ganache.
Apparently using water, as opposed to cream + butter, creates a more intense flavour experience yet still holds a wonderful fresh + cleansing feel on eating. Anything that intensifies the flavour can only be a plus!
The chocolates arrived as a gift on Christmas morning in a long sleek looking elegant box; containing 12 chocolates in total, 6 different varieties of water ganache : Raspberry, Orange, Hazelnut, Mint, Caramel & Coffee. Each chocolate looked dainty and sophisticated with a nice splash of colour on each one and were ideal to nibble away at and savour the delicious flavours that each one brought.
I didn't go for the option of working my way down the box to sample each flavour but picked and chose according to what I fancied; naturally being a big praline lover I went for the hazelnut option first. Coated in milk chocolate the ganache was delightfully smooth with a good background sweet nutty flavour. I wouldn't say this was as intense as a praline but it was certainly still delicious.
Moving on the caramel was the next most appealing, a lightly sweet burnt sugar taste, this ganache just melted in the mouth enrobing it in flavours caramel goodness, the overall flavour/texture of this one reminded me slightly of a creme caramel with a wonderful smooth creamy feeling inside the mouth.
After sampling 2 relatively sweet flavours I thought it was about time I decided to try some of the more "fresh" options, to see how the flavour intensity compared. The Raspberry ganache was absolutely spectacular and surprisingly enough my favourite chocolate in the whole box; the raspberry flavour is so zingy and tart meaning it combines excellently with the sweet milk chocolate shell. I could have easily eaten a whole box of these.
The Orange was similarly fresh and vibrant; however I found that it wasn't to my tastes- I am not a huge fan of orange chocolate; nevertheless I'm sure for any citrus fans out there this one will go down a treat.
Out of the whole box I have to say that the mint was certainly the most fresh tasting - I didn't particularly like the flavour; to me it tasted a tad too strong, of fresh mint out of the garden; however there is no denying that this is one intensely flavoured chocolate.
My final option in the box and the last that I sampled was the Coffee ganache; I've mentioned a few times that if coffee chocolate are done well, I love them, if not then I'd rather cast them to the rubbish bin. Safe to say that this one was a winner; not too bitter not too sweet it was perfectly creamy and more like a "latte" style chocolate in that it tasted "creamy " - despite its water content, yet still had a good coffee hit.
There's no denying that these box of chocolates were good - in fact they were superb and I was thoroughly impressed with what Damian Allsop has managed to achieve in his water ganache collection. The textures were melt in the mouth good whilst the flavours were vibrant, intense and did "exactly what they say on the tin". Now if only I hadn't eaten them all so quickly!
Taste - 8.4/10 - These are definitely intensely flavoured ganaches and are absolutely delicious!
Texture - 8.5/10 - Not grainy whatsoever and still have that silky smooth feel of a cream based ganache.
Appearance - 8.2/10 - These look beautiful, elegantly presented and look perfect for a gift.
Price - 7.8/10 - These are priced at £15.50 for 12 chocolates; not too bad and if you're looking for something a bit different these are ideal.
Overall - 8.2/10 - I was thoroughly impressed and would certainly recommend these to anyone.
Great for a gift for a chocolate lover who may like to try something a bit different.
WHERE TO BUY?
You can get these from Damian Allsop's website here.