Happy Valentine's Day everyone - hope you're all having a chocolate filled day whether you're loved up or not!!
One of my family members was going to New York recently, so I compiled them a nice list of some interesting sounding chocolate items that I'd like them to bring back for me - one of the items that had caught my eye was the 'Fondant Chocolate Collection' from Godiva, currently at the time these weren't on the British website and thought they must be an American exclusive as it said they were only available in select NYC Metro boutiques. However they now seemed to have appeared under a different name 'Darling's Chocolate Box' for Valentine's Day here in the UK.
n America, they're being billed more as an exclusive take on fondant style desserts, your 'melt in the middle-esque' puddings'; where as on the UK site little is done to highlight this aspect - they're simply being sold as a nice box of chocolates presented in a pretty heart design box, to give to your loved one on Valentine's Day.
What really appealed to me about these chocolates was the double filling of each; a bottom layer of ganache/praline topped with a layer of free flowing fondant, meant to represent what would happen when you cut into a fondant cake. The flavours also sounded delicious : Strawberry Fondant, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Praline Fondant, Caramel Orange Fondant, Café Au Lait and Tahiti Vanilla. In the box you get 2 of the Praline Fondant, Caramel Orange Fondant and Café Au Lait and then 1 of all of the others.
Strawberry Fondant: A flowing wild strawberry fondant covering a light, creamy white chocolate ganache with ripe, tangy wild strawberries, enrobed in milk chocolate.I was expecting this to be like an upmarket strawberry cream layer on top with a sumptuous rich white chocolate ganache underneath. Instead it seemed like the two had blended to create a sweet sticky pink filling, that was akin to the strawberry cream filling Cadbury's Roses. Not particularly pleasant at all.
Praline Fondant: A
flowing hazelnut praline with a sublime fondant effect combining
smoothly with a creamy milk chocolate praline coated in GODIVA milk
chocolate.I could not wait to try this chocolate; as you know I love
pralines. However this was so disappointing; the layers were separate
in this one, but probably only because the praline was pretty dry, the
top layer - I got no hints of praline from it whatsoever and it just
turned into another sweet sticky affair.
Dark Chocolate Ganache: An intense and harmonious combination of a delicate dark chocolate fondant and a dark chocolate ganache made with our 64% Costa Rica origin chocolate, covered in a fine shell of dark GODIVA chocolate.The layers had blended slightly less in this but by no means was it a good ganache, after trying Demarquette's Royal Merina ganaches recently it just made this one seem even worse, it was gooey/sticky, no particular complex flavours and just a sweet poor quality ganache.
Cafe Au Lait: A splendid combination of coffee beans and smooth milk chocolate topped by a coffee fondant, enrobed in dark chocolate.
coffee chocolate was better balanced but again both of the layers had
blended into one, I still wouldn't say it was anything spectacular
though and again a bit like a cheap coffee cream.
Tahiti Vanilla: A
strong and characteristic vanilla from Tahiti with fruity and floral
notes blends perfectly with the velvety flowing white chocolate fondant,
covering a white chocolate vanilla ganache and enclosed in a white
chocolate shell. This all-white chocolate reflect purity and perfect
Caramel Orange Fondant: A beautiful flowing orange and caramel fondant combined with a delicate Peru origin 64% chocolate ganache, where the orange brings a note of freshness and combines well with the milk chocolate couverture.As the strawberry fondant, this tasted pretty much just like the orange filling in the Orange Cream in Cadbury's Roses, I got no hints of caramel and it wasn't particularly well balanced at all.
Probably the best chocolate in the box - but to be honest it didn't take much and again I got no distinction between two different layers; instead the filling all seemed to have blended into one. If it had been in another chocolate box I probably wouldn't have thought much of it but since the other ones hadn't been up to standard it made it seem slightly better.
These were probably one of the most disappointing boxes of chocolates I've had for a while; I had such high expectations for them and loved the idea of the 2 layers emulating a fondant experience. However many of them had blended together - this could have been down to the fact that they travelled on a plane but I still don't think this excuses the fact that they weren't very well balanced whatsoever. The box was pretty but the insides lacked substance. If anyone else has tried these I'd be interested to hear your experiences - especially with the blending of the fillings on the inside as am curious as it was due to the plane flight.
Taste - 3.4/10 - Very poor, like Cadbury's Roses - but to be honest I think that they didn't even taste as good as that!
Texture - 2.8/10 - Lots of them had completely lost their Unique Selling Point of the 2 layers.
Appearance - 7.8/10 - Box is stunning; realistically that's what you're paying for here as the quality of the chocolates was very poor.
Price - 2.1/10 - Priced at £20.00 or $25.00 that puts them well over the £2.00 a chocolate mark, not a chance they're worth that.
Overall - 4/10 - It's only really the appearance that the has dragged the score up. If you're looking for a nice box, go ahead and buy them, but don't expect anything outstanding on the inside.
_________________________________________________________________________________WHO WHO FOR?
Someone that would prefer a nice box, as opposed to exceptional chocolates.WHERE TO BUY?
I presume if they're advertising them on the UK website now that you'll be able to pick them up in Godiva stores, or online here.