Monday, 7 March 2016

Artisan du Chocolat Kentish Crème de la Crème Egg Coop

After reviewing M&S Double Ganache Chocolate eggs I had quite a fancy for the Artisan du Chocolat variety, especially after reading what their flavours were this year. I wasn't going to purchase them online and due to not having an Artisan du Chocolat or Selfridges near me I resigned myself to the fact that I probably wasn't going to get to try them this year. You can imagine my delight then I was walking through my local Fenwick and noticed they were stocking them there - so I picked up a box for an early Easter treat for myself.

Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop

Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop

Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop     

They come in a box shaped like a coop, with 2 layers of 6 protected in plastic casing.

Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop
You get a total of 12 eggs in the box, 6 milk chocolate filled with a tonka white and passion fruit yolk ganache, which are decorated with a white style lustre and 6 dark chocolate filled with a cardamom white and orange yolk ganache, which are decorated with a gold lustre.

The eggs this year were about the same size as the M&S version, weighing ~40g and seemed sturdier than previous years. Like the M&S variety the chocolate had much more of a crisp bite to it this year and with the ganache filling did feel like 2 separate components, albeit the chocolate layer is slightly thinner than that of the M&S version.
Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop

Milk Chocolate with Tonka & Passion Fruit

As soon as I opened the coop I could immediately smell the tonka, it has a very distinctive smell that I recognised instantly. I hoped that the tonka would therefore not over power the passion fruit. Biting into the top of the egg you are met with a very crisp milk chocolate and a luxuriously smooth ganache. The tonka flavour is definitely strong, if you don't enjoy the flavour of it then you won't like these, if you haven't tried it before it's quite a difficult flavour to actually describe - on first taste it is predominantly vanilla-esque but as the flavour develops other notes come through such as clove, pear, coconut and liquorice. It's quite a unique flavour overall.

Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop
Thankfully the passion fruit managed to cut through the sweet tonka flavour and provided a nice refreshing hit. Personally I don't think these had as much as an overall 'wow' impact as when I tried them last year when it was just classic passion fruit and vanilla; if my memory serves me correctly the passion fruit managed to provide much more of a flavour burst when it wasn't competing with the tonka. However I would have to try them side by side to be completely sure. Albeit this they are still a tasty product and offer a point of difference with the tonka inclusion.

Dark Chocolate with Cardamom & Orange

When I hear cardamom all I can think of is unfortunately biting into a cardamom pod in a curry and being hit with a horrific perfume flavour so it's never normally a flavour I would seek out. Ultimately however cardamom can actually provide a delightful flavour if used sparingly and correctly.

Artisan du Chocolat Crème de la Crème Eggs Coop

Like the milk variety the dark chocolate shell has a clean crisp bite to it and isn't too bitter of a dark chocolate with a nice mellowness to it. I found the use of cardamom to be almost the opposite of the tonka, instead of providing a huge punchy flavour it instead offers subtle perfumed fragrant undertones which creates a much more delicate flavour when paired with the orange which is also subtly refreshing. I actually found myself enjoying this one much more than I thought I would.

Pretty much these eggs are polar opposites when it comes to flavour offering, the milk chocolate version is loud and punchy, the life of the party, where as the dark chocolate version is more subtle and mysterious, the intriguing character. Depending on what you fancy you could go for either.

After eating these only a few days after the M&S version I feel that I can compare them more fairly. Personally in terms of quality I felt they were pretty much the same albeit the Artisan du Chocolat version offers slightly more complex flavours if you're looking for something a bit more adventurous.

Taste - 9.0/10  - Offer slightly more adventurous flavours. Bold, punch tonka & passion fruit, more subtle cardamom and orange.

Texture - 8.8/10 - Smooth and melt in the mouth.
 Appearance - 9.5/10 - Visual is much better this year with the eggs actually being decorated and having a flat part on the bottom of the egg as opposed to the side, allowing them to stand up.  
Price - 8.9/10 - £25.00 for 12 which makes them £2.08 an egg. After eating I didn't feel they were majorly that better in terms of quality than M&S but you are paying for the more 'niche' and 'adventurous' flavours.
Overall - 9.1/10 - Not sure whether I enjoyed them as much as previous years but they were still pretty good and offered a more adventurous flavour option this Easter.

Anyone looking for a more adventurous option this Easter. Would  be nice to share around with there being 12 in the box - possibly a more luxurious egg hunt?


 Artisan du Chocolat stores, Selfridges, Fenwick or online here.

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