Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Chocolate Tasting Club Classic Selection box

Finally, after weeks of waiting, I received my Chocolate Tasting Club selection box. I was torn between choosing the Classic selection or the Rabot selection  (a showcase of nuanced flavours of rare cocoa), but I ambivalently chose the classic

I'll be giving my tasting notes on each chocolate...

Caramel Tasting Baton
Expecting it to have a dark, slight burnt yet subtle flavour it was actually very sweet, and quite sickly in a sense. With a grainy texture but a cooling feel, this chocolate didn't excite me too much but I did love it. It tasted just like Lotus biscuits
Hacienda Iara, 70% Tasting Baton
A single estate cocoa, and surprisingly... it was a MILK chocolate. This chocolate is part of Hotel Chocolat's Rabot 1745 range. It had a great melt and developmental flavour: from a cocoa intensity to very creamy. As it was placed within a plethora of aromas, the subtleties of this chocolate would have been lost, but still it did interest me a lot and I'd love to try it without it having been tainted by other chocolates

Strawberry Truffle
A rich and creamy smell with no denying that it was strawberry. The hard coating and very, very, very soft filling made for a divine contrast. I found this to be very sweet and a little sickly. The white chocolate alone had a light nutty taste

Hazelnut Praline
As you may or may not know, I am not an avid hazelnut praline eater, but despite this; I knew this chocolate tasted of a high quality. The praline tasted dark, and the high cocoa [40%] milk chocolate definitely encouraged a darker, richer taste; however sadly I didn't really enjoy this one, but as far as praline goes... it wasn't bad

Raspberry Pannacotta
The vanilla bean specks in the white chocolate ganache looked great. This one tasted very creamy, yet with the raspberry giving that tarty kick needed to balance out the very sweet and creamy flavour

Florentine Isabelle
A milk chocolate shell holding a smooth hazelnut praline, with the honey-and-almond florentine sitting on top. The florentine gave a burnt, bitter taste but I thought this really helped distract away from the hazelnut and was also a nice contrast to the sweet milk chocolate

Lemon & Berries
Very zingy, lemon zest first established. The berry taste was only noticed when the lemon calmed itself down, which when happened created a soothing flavour. This juxtaposition in flavour was quite admirable and definitely a chocolate for spring/summer

Crème Brûlée Brownie
Ah, doesn't this one sound great. It's honey, creamy, malted milk aroma was similar of Lindt Creation's Crème Brûlée. The taste however, very different. The praline base wasn't necessary as it disrupted the pleasure, but the white chocolate filling (feuillentine within) was wonderful; it was rich and sweet yet had that burnt touch of crème brûlée - a good consistency too

Nutty Caramel 
I was maybe a little too ambitious trying to take a picture of this chocolate. To me, this one tasted a little cheesy. The viscous salted caramel was sat beneath a layer of hazelnut praline and the bitter hazelnut on top was quite powerful. This chocolate tasted funny. Sometimes the caramel tasted sweet but initially, like I said, tasted a little like cheese. This chocolate was named the 'pick of the month', but I didn't really feel this one deserved that title

Shortbread Cookie Caramel
This was another salted caramel but this one superior, and together with the dark chocolate coating it just tasted wonderful. Although the shortbread biscuit on top wasn't great in texture nor taste, I still adored this chocolate. It had an intense, rich flavour; a powerful chocolate

Tiramisu
As I love the dessert itself, I was interested to see this chocolate's interpretation. Perfect. The mascarpone crème and coffee ganache paired so well together, and with the milk chocolate coating it just gave it an overall vibrant, caramel like taste. The cacao nibs on top really were the finishing touches to this chocolate, and with their crunchy texture they helped develop the overall feel of this chocolate. The cocoa, coffee and caramel tastes were just wonderful

Dark Champagne Truffle
The champagne ganache had a tingling feel on the tongue. I was surprised at how thick the coating was, possibly too thick. The ganache had a berry/fruity taste. A dark, rich and intense chocolate

Blueberry Truffle
The dark chocolate complemented the intense blueberry. Even though the berry was ever so powerful, the finish was of the dark cocoa. This chocolate really brought blueberry to life. The royal purple colour also looked great with the darker coating, and great that it was dark too as I think milk/white wouldn't have showcased the blueberry as well

Sipsmith Gin Truffle
A strong alcoholic aroma and taste; woah. Spicy on the tongue and I could feel the heat/burn in my chest. I liked that it was a white chocolate ganache as it sweetened it up; if it was a dark chocolate it would have been too overwhelming

Amour
The amaretto was more alcoholic and not as sweet as expected. I loved the marzipan flavour coming through. I'm not too appreciative of alcoholic chocolates, and this one wasn't really an exception. But the marzipan and chocolate together worked very well

Each chocolate proved itself to be of a high quality in taste, texture and appearance. The majority were soft centred which I know some people don't enjoy, but I quite liked it; a firm coating and soft centre. It is definitely worth signing up for the Tasting Club membership to try their selection of the finest chocolates, but note that they change their selections regularly. The whole tasting experience was just remarkable and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The chocolate menu also gives some tasting notes and the chocolatier of the chocolates, which made me appreciate each chocolate even more

My favourites were the Tiramisu, Shortbread Cookie Caramel (minus the shortbread) and the 70% milk chocolate baton

1 comment:

  1. These all sound fantastic! I must re-start my Tasting club subscription sometime.

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