Monday, 21 August 2017

Barbary Chocolates

Single origin chocolates have been something of a growing trend lately; however the use of single origin beans is most often limited to bars as opposed to filled chocolates. Therefore I was pretty excited when I was contacted by Barbary Chocolates, a UK based chocolate company, who produce single origin filled chocolates.

Barbary Chocolates

Browsing their website I saw that you could select the flavours that you wanted, choosing between dark/milk/white chocolate and a choice of 6 fillings - orange, mint, raspberry, hazelnut, mocha and caramel; so you can mix and match based on your preferences. However I'm not sure whether the box I was sent to review is akin to what is currently being offered as the box on the website states the chocolates are filled with flavoured, smooth, chocolate ganache; where as mine, as you will see in the review had more of a flavoured mousse filling.

Barbary Chocolates

My box arrived in the post a few days later in a gorgeous golden box which upon opening revealed some lovely looking chocolates, albeit they'd had a bit of a knock around in the post. Looking at my menu I could see that the 6 chocolates I had were : Arriba 39% Milk with Raspberry, White Chocolate with Mint, 70% Ecuadorian Dark with Raspberry, White Chocolate with Blueberry, 70% Ecuadorian Dark with Blueberry amd Arriba 39% Milk with Orange. So although on the box it says the origin is Brazil & Ecuador, mine just contained chocolates using beans from Ecuador.

Barbary Chocolates

70% Ecuadorian Dark with Blueberry
I hadn't seen blueberry advertised as a flavour on the website so I was interested to try this. Presented in a large dome shape with a splash of blue colouring, inside lay a pale blue coloured mousse like filling. The blueberry flavour was very, very subtle and unfortuantely I felt it was a bit lost against the dark chocolate. Even though this 70% Ecuardorian chocolate was quite sweet for a dark chocolate I still found that it overpowered the blueberry filling, you got odd hints here and there but I would have liked to have been met with an overall fruitier eat.

70% Ecuadorian Dark with RaspberryAgain coming in a dome format, inside lay a pale pink coloured filling. I could immediately smell the raspberry upon cutting it into two and this was certainly evident in the flavour. The raspberry flavour was absolutely spot on and was much more prominent in the eat compared to the blueberry; fresh, sweet with a slight hint of tartness it's everything I could have hoped for in a raspberry chocolate.


Arriba 39% Milk with Raspberry

I then decided to move straight onto the milk counterpart; in all honesty I'm not often a fan of fruits, particularly red fruits, with milk/dark chocolate but I hoped for the best and bit in. Wow, this is quite possibly one of the nicest pairings of raspberry with milk chocolate ever. I think it's because the raspberry filling isn't presented in a chocolate base but instead in a raspberry mousse like filling allowing it not to be overpowered by the milk chocolate and allowing the raspberry to take centre stage. Instead they work to balance each other between rich, creamy, caramel-like milk chocolate exterior and light, fruity raspberry interior.


Barbary Chocolates


Arriba 39% Milk with Orange
Orange is actually one of the only fruit flavours that I normally frequently enjoy with milk chocolate; I think there's something about that nostalgic Terry's Chocolate Orange combination. This chocolate was no exception. Creamy, rich milk chocolate with a wonderfully refreshing orange flavoured centre. I love how this has been executed in a manner that's still accessible to common tastes but with high quality ingredients to elevate the experience.


White Chocolate with Blueberry
Unlike the dark chocolate I felt that the blueberry flavour in this chocolate worked a lot better, as the white chocolate provided a more subtle, less intense backdrop it allowed the light blueberry flavour to shine through more. It made for a lovely, creamy, fruity eat. I was worried that this had the potential to be sickly sweet but thankfully it was well balanced and not cloying.


White Chocolate with Mint
I saved this one until last as I was pretty sure it was going to be my favourite. I absolutely adore mint and white chocolate together and I often feel that it's a combination that's not done often enough! It was absolutely gorgeous and most definitely my favourite flavour in the box, that perfect blend between refreshing mint and creamy white chocolate. Heaven.


I thoroughly enjoyed this box of chocolates, had I been selecting these myself I may have opted for less fruit - I would have been really interested to try the hazelnut and caramel fillings but I still really enjoyed what I was sent. The fillings were delicious and really different to anything I've seen before, the light moussy textures were gorgeous. My only qualm is that I felt the dome shape of the dark chocolate was too thick on the chocolate and too light on the filling. Nevertheless whether you're after specific single origin chocolates or just want a nice box of chocolates these are worth giving a go - especially as you can select your flavours!

Taste - 7.7/10 - Well balanced flavours, very fresh and natural tasting, the only one I didn't think was that great was the 70% Ecuadorian with Blueberry where I felt the blueberry was lost slightly.
Texture - 8.0/10 - Loved the textures of the fillings, only qualm was the thickness of chocolate in the dome shapes.
Appearance - 7.6/10 - Although my chocolates were slightly scuffed I still really liked the design and the box they came in.
Price - 7.0/10 - £24.00 for 30 chocolates makes them £1.25 a chocolate, so about what you'd pay on standard for a premium box of chocolates.
Overall - 7.6/10 - A high quality, delicious box of chocolates.
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WHO FOR?
Anyone looking for a high quality box of chocolates.


WHERE TO BUY?
Online at Barbary Chocolates here.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups

Today I'm reviewing the last of the chocolates that The Grown Up Chocolate Company kindly sent me, the Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups. Described as "six chocolate cups each filled with milk chocolate toffee and a runny caramel truffle" they sounded absolutely delicious, I liked the fact that not only would there be a standard caramel inside but also a flavoured chocolate toffee to add another flavour element.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups

Although according to the description the caramel itself isn't salted there are flecks of salt atop each milk chocolate cup which made for a nice simple decoration. 




The Grown Up Chocolate Company Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups

I was wondering whether the toffee would be chewy and firm; however this quite clearly wasn't the case when I cut one in half and wasn't met with any resistance but instead a gorgeously smooth, flowing, 'gooey' (living up to its name) caramel.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups
It was quite hard to distinguish where the chocolate toffee was as because of the smooth flowing caramel coming from the caramel truffle (sitting in the peak of the chocolate) everything was covered in caramel goodness!



The Grown Up Chocolate Company Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups
Nevertheless you could definitely pick up the flavour of the chocolate toffee in the eat, adding a more richer, molasses flavour to the eat which when paired with the sweeter caramel and the creamy milk chocolate, was absolutely divine. The decorative salt added a nice subtle salty tang to the eat but most definitely didn't dominate the flavour.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Gorgeously Gooey Caramel Truffle Cups
I was really pleased that this didn't end up being a chewy toffee (I'm not a huge fan) but instead a chocolate that felt luxurious, rich and melt in the mouth, I couldn't wait to go back for another one. I've been seriously impressed with all of The Grown Up Chocolate Company's cup chocolates ; however this was the one that I was most surprised at enjoying as much, I know I love peanut butter + pralines but this is a box I wouldn't necessarily naturally gravitate towards when faced with other options. Well safe to say after eating it it's not one I would overlook again!

Taste - 8.5/10 - Gorgeous sweet caramel paired nicely with a darker molasses style chocolate toffee complemented by creamy milk chocolate and a hint of salt.

Texture - 8.7/10 - Lovely smooth, free flowing caramel, slightly denser chocolate toffee but thankfully not teeth pullingly chewy.
Appearance - 7.3/10 - Nice addition with the sprinkling of salt.
Price - 7.6/10 - £1.99 for 6 is excellent value for money.
Overall - 8.0/10 - A delicious caramel chocolate.
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WHO FOR?
Caramel lovers! Especially if you like them gooey and runny.

WHERE TO BUY? 

Online at The Grown Up Chocolate Company's website here where they also have details of their other stockists.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Lacasa Turrón de Cookies

I was bought this bar a while ago and hadn't been planning on reviewing it as for some reason whenever I see the word turrón I automatically think the bar is going to be chewy nougat and wasn't really all that interested in reviewing a predominantly nougat bar with a small chocolate covering. Oh how wrong I was - when I bit into it I could quite clearly see that this was not what I expected.

Lacasa Turrón de Cookies

Normally turrón is a chewy honey, almond and egg white confection; however in recent times it's started to take on other forms using chocolate and nuts to form a praline type consistency or adding mix ins such as puffed rice and cookies (as is the case in this bar). Unfortunately I hadn't taken any nice pretty pictures to review it prior to taking a bite out of it - kindly I was bought this bar again though and it meant I could review it this time round.

Lacasa Turrón de Cookies

Described as "nougat praline with cocoa cookies and puffed rice" the bar weighs in at a decent 100g, looking like a giant size chocolate bar in its long undivided rectangular format. It comes coated in milk chocolate.


Cutting into the bar you can clearly see 2 defined layers, the bottom layer consisting of the chocolate praline dotted with cookie pieces and puffed rice and the top layer which is a creamy, milky truffle like paste - a cross between what you may find in the centre of an Oreo and the filling of Cadbury's Egg 'n' Spoon. What exactly this top layer was I'm not entirely sure as there is no mention of it on the description whatsoever; however I can confirm it was absolutely delicious.


Lacasa Turrón de Cookies


The praline is quite dense and certainly not as creamy as I've been used to but strangely it really works in this format, the denser texture lends itself well to the crunchy Oreo-like cookie pieces and crispy puffed rice. It complements the textures and creates an almost Tiffin like experience whilst the creamy topping adds a nice smoothness to the eat but mainly complements the bar in the flavour that it offers.

On eating it I knew exactly what it reminded me of, it's like eating a slightly better quality version of Cadbury's Oreo Egg 'n' Spoon but in bar format. The flavours are very similar, rich cocoa with a slight salty bitterness from the cookie pieces complemented with smooth creamy vanilla, the only difference here is that there is as nice praline hint from the nuts - which I loved!


Lacasa Turrón de Cookies

Overall I was seriously impressed with this Lacasa bar and looking on their website they do a whole load of other delicious looking flavours including Tiramisu and Cheesecake! Fingers crossed I'll be able to try some more.

Taste - 8.3/10 - Really tasty, rich chocolate praline with a slight salty bitterness from the cookie pieces and a lovely creamy, milky topping.

Texture - 8.2/10 - Normally I would be disappointed if my praline was this dense but in this bar it really works and is so satisfying. Works well with the crunchy cookies and crispy rice pieces.
Appearance - 8/10 - Like the window in the packaging and the bar itself looks good.

Price - 7.3/10 - I'm not sure of the exact price that the person who bought this for me paid but I think it was around £1, bargain.
Overall - 8.0/10 - Delicious.
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WHO FOR?
I'd imagine if you loved Oreo Egg 'n' Spoon you would enjoy this. 

WHERE TO BUY?

This was purchased at Home Bargains (they're often great for import stuff) but you can also view details on Lacasa on their website here .