I've noticed Thorntons Winter Dessert Gallery on shelves for a few years now but never actually got round to trying it; I believe that this year they've updated it so they've got a selection of different chocolates in and renamed it to 'Dreamy Winter Desserts'.
Quite a few of the flavours really intrigued me so I was looking forward
to giving them a go. Containing 8 different chocolate varieties and 2
of each you get 16 chocolates in the box for a total of £10.00, not
expensive but not as good value as the Continental Box of chocolates
that Thorntons also offer.
Clementine Creme Caramel
A milk chocolate
shell filled with a clementine flavoured caramel topped with a rich dark
chocolate and candied orange peel. The caramel inside was a nice runny
smooth texture with a slight clementine flavour, however nothing ground breaking.
This was the chocolate I was most looking forward to trying; I thought if they could nail the flavours of banoffee pie in a chocolate then this would be superb - however it is often difficult to get the flavour of banana right, without it seeming too artificial. The actual chocolate contains layers of sea salted caramel, banana & cream flavoured fondant & topped with crunchy banana pieces. Unfortunately this chocolate was far too sweet, the sea salted caramel wasn't salted enough to balance the sweetness of the rest of the chocolate and it just tasted like a cloying mess unfortunately.
Almond & Cranberry TorteJust reading the description of
this one I was fairly sure that I wasn't going to like it - I'm not
particularly keen on marzipan nor cranberries so the two of them
combined in a chocolate was never going to be great for me. Some may
enjoy this but I did find that again, it was a relatively sweet marzipan
more reminiscent of battenberg as opposed to a nutty quality marzipan.
Chocolate Fudge Cake
This chocolate was meant to encapsulate a chocolate fudge cake; a chocolate truffle encased in milk chocolate topped with pieces of fudge. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either, a relatively standard sweet truffle that didn't really taste anything like chocolate fudge cake.
A creamy coffee flavoured chocolate in a dark chocolate shell; again it wasn't particularly bad but it wasn't anything ground breaking either - a relatively okay coffee flavoured chocolate but to be honest if I was going for a coffee chocolate I'd prefer the option from the Continental box.
Gluhwein Chocolate Pot
Again the flavours in this just weren't my
cup of tea; a German inspired mulled wine flavour truffle paired with
orange purée and topped with spiced orange pieces - there was nothing
that remotely appealed to me in this chocolate. Some may enjoy it but it
was a bit sickly sweet for me and far too much of an alcohol flavour.
I absolutely adore Hotel Chocolat's cheesecake style chocolates so I was really looking forward to trying this one; biting into it I was slightly perplexed as to where the 'cheesecake' element had gone. This is pretty much a gingerbread flavoured praline wrapped in milk chocolate topped with a ginger crunch....how this is a cheesecake I have no idea...and the praline wasn't even that great. Very disappointing.
Triple Nut Tart
Now, you all know how much I love my praline/nutty chocolates so I was pretty certain that I was going to enjoy this one - crunchy hazelnuts & walnuts combined in a praline, coated in milk chocolate and topped with roasted pecans. However something just tasted off with this chocolate and I didn't find it pleasant at all, it wasn't balanced and didn't remotely taste like the delicious pralines that I'm used to and enjoy.
Overall I see what Thorntons are trying to do here - trying to create a more 'upmarket' box of chocolate flavours based on classic desserts but I really think they need to focus on a)getting the chocolates to actually emulate the desserts properly, how is a chocolate a 'ginger cheesecake' with no cheesecake element present and b) work on getting their flavours spot on. If I was looking for a box of chocolates the Continental box previously reviewed is most definitely better value and tastes a lot better.
Taste - 3.1/10 - Very disappointing.
Texture - 6/10 - Nothing particularly bad, nothing great either though.
Appearance - 6.1/10 - Again I think the Continental chocolates look better.
Price - 5.3/10 - At £10.00 they aren't too expensive but I think you could get a much better box of chocolates for your money.
Overall - 5.1/10 - Could be great if worked on.
If you're going to Thorntons I'd recommend picking up the Continental box instead.
WHERE TO BUY?
In Thorntons stores or online here.