It's been a while since we've reviewed any Artisan du Chocolat products on the blog; but this Easter it seems like they've certainly pulled out all of the stops. Browsing their range the products looked absolutely stunning; I love how chocolate companies are now taking 'themes' for Easter and basing their eggs around them. This year Artisan du Chocolat have created an 'As Above, So Below' Easter Collection - 'it steals its inspiration from above and below: from the depth of the earth with our crystal geodes eggs to distant planet eggs. And in between it tracks the flight of humming birds, across a rainbow box, followed by candy scarves wearing duckies and bucolic bunnies. A collection full of imagination and wonderment. ' It sounded so fun and whimsical and the range of products created within the theme are certainly showstoppers.
One in particular that stood out to me was this Kaleidoscope Egg, essentially a giant chocolate jazzie in egg form; apart from instead of the colourful 100s and 1000s covering milk or white chocolate, they are covering dulce de leche milk chocolate. There's quite a big trend at the minute for caramelised white chocolate/caramelised chocolate so I was really excited to see what Artisan du Chocolat's dulce de leche milk chocolate would be like and how much of a caramel flavour it would provide; as in the past I've been disappointed from dulce de leche chocolate from other companies that could only be described as cloyingly sweet with minimal caramel notes.
The egg itself is absolutely stunning; if you're looking for a showstopping Easter Egg this year then this ticks all the boxes. The egg is colourful and vibrant and the packaging is gorgeous, with the egg sitting neatly atop a box of Artisan du Chocolat's ganaches, chocolates and seasonal mini eggs including milk and dark ganaches, pralines, salted caramels, coffee hazelnut and roasted coconut and yuzu and mango coulis. Certainly a step up from your standard chocolate mini eggs that's for sure!!
You get a total of 4 larger couture chocolates, 3 pearl style chocolates, 3 liquid salted caramels and 12 mini eggs, so a total of 22 chocolates nestling underneath the egg. Essentially a large box of chocolates to enjoy with your egg! Apparently the selection varies depending on the egg you get so the chocolates I got may not be the same as other eggs, but I presume that the mini egg flavours will remain the same and just the ganache/caramels could be subject to change.
I would be here forever if I were to go into the details of each of the chocolates but overall I can say they were absolutely delicious; particular highlights were the Yuzu and mango coulis mini egg which had a gorgeous refreshing tang, the Apple Crumble Couture Chocolate which was an apple jelly with a crumbly cinnamon hazelnut praline, the contrast of textures were beautiful, a soft set jelly against nibbly praline and the Emerald Pearl which was a milk chocolate shell encasing a salted pistachio praline. Like I say, I could be here all day, they were all delicious.
So what about the actual chocolate of the egg, well, the addition of the 100s and 1000s add a gorgeous textural contrast and the shell is of a decent thickness; however beware - when you try to break a piece off watch out for the 100s and 1000s scattering absolutely everywhere! The dulce de leche flavour is pretty subtle; a light caramel background flavour; however you can tell the quality of the chocolate is gorgeous with a lovely rich melt.
It's nice to see that this egg isn't a case of style over substance and that not only does it look beautiful but the taste lives up to the appearance. Personally I think it's an egg that would be suitable for any of the family; the fun nature of the 100s and 1000s would make it a winner with kids whilst the more sophisticated flavours used in the chocolate selection would also mean that it would go down well with adults. Either way, if you receive one of these for Easter you're certainly one lucky duck.
Taste - 9/3/10 - Lovely selection of chocolates, great quality dulce de leche milk chocolate egg.
Texture - 9.1/10 - 100s and 1000s add a nice textural crunch to the egg, the chocolates - smooth ganaches, nibbly pralines, runny liquid caramels.
Appearance - 9.7/10 - Absolutely stunning.
Price - 8.4/10 At £24.99 for the 290g version or £42.99 for the 500g version this works out at around £8.60 per 100g. Again this egg is perfect for a special gift or if you want to treat someone to something that is that little bit extra special.
Overall - 9.1/10 - A lovely luxurious egg.
WHO FOR?As stated above suitable for any member of the family.
WHERE TO BUY?
In Artisan du Chocolat's store in London, Selfridges or online on their website.