It’s the month of chocolate and Valentine’s Day is not far off. There was no way I was going to disappoint you by not offering some chocolate on the blog. I have teamed up with the House of Dorchester to offer one lucky Chocolate Log Blog reader the chance of winning a box of their luxury assortment.
Based in Poundbury, Dorset, the House of Dorchester produces chocolates right here in the South West of England and announce proudly that they are “the home of great British Chocolates”. They started off life in 1963 making handmade chocolates in a high street shop in Dorchester, The Dorset Maid. Now with a factory and a whole team of chocolatiers they supply chocolates not only around the UK, but around the world. Admittedly they are not a Cornish company, but I will try not to hold that against them 😉
The Luxury Assortment arrived in perfect condition, with not a single chocolate broken or out of place. The presentation was particularly good with an attractive, yet sturdy keepsake box which I can see being used for a number of different purposes. In fact it is just the right size for gifting a batch of fairy cakes or mini cupcakes – now there’s an idea.
The assortment contained a 400g mix of dark, milk and white chocolates. With 16 flavours and 32 chocolates, this is a box for sharing. I found nothing particularly surprising or innovative in the box in terms of the flavours offered, but they all sounded good. I’m guessing these are aimed more at the traditional market than the new wave of chocolate lovers. However, I was particularly looking forward to trying the violet and rose creams, which are hard to find and for which I have rather an old fashioned penchant.
The chocolates were large with a plentiful amount of filling and the chocolate casings were equally generous. I found, they all erred towards the sweet side and when it comes to chocolates I prefer less sugar rather than more. But this is by no means unusual for me and I suspect it wouldn’t be an issue for most chocoholics.
Do take a look at the online shop, where you will find a number of bars, hot chocolate mixes and chocolate selections. This box costs £19.99.
I’ll start off with my favourites – after all, for the purposes of review, what could I do but try them all?
The violet creme was the first one I tried and the flavour was sublime. The sweet filling was offset by the dark chocolate and it looked very pretty with its drizzle of violet over the top.
The sea salt caramel had to be next as this is probably my favourite chocolate filling ever. The caramel was just how I like it, soft but not too liquid with a perfect amount of sea salt. The thick dark chocolate encasing it complimented the caramel well and was nicely proportioned – something that I haven’t always found to be the case.
The rose creme was as delicious as the violet, it tasted of rose and again the sweetness was offset by the dark chocolate casing.
The raspberry caramel wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The flavour of raspberry was very much present, although it wasn’t in the least tart which was a bit of a shame. The caramel was chewy, not in a pull-your-teeth-out kind of way, but in a much more pleasant, stays-in-the-mouth-longer kind of way.
The pecan parfait was another chewy offering. I really liked this one which wasn’t overly sweet due to the dark chocolate casing. The pieces of pecans added crunch, interest and flavour.
The caramel heart was also delicious, although not quite so much as the sea salted one. Again the dark chocolate offset the caramel, which was liquid with a soft vanillary flavour.
The strawberry cheesecake had a good flavour with some tartness coming through. It was firmer than I was expecting, but had a nice chewy texture with pieces of strawberry scattered throughout.
The praline bouchee, whilst being rather sweet had a lovely flavour of roast almonds. You could taste the pistachio in the white chocolate coated pistachio mousse, which in my experience not many chocolates seem to manage. The latte crisp contained real ground coffee which gave a lovely crunch and flavour. CT reckoned the cafe noir had a good coffee flavour too. I enjoyed the combination of fruit and champagne in the strawberry marc de champagne and thought the white chocolate worked well in this instance. The orange creme was covered in dark chocolate and had a good flavour.
Not all of the chocolates were as good as I was hoping. Coconut and chocolate seem to be an under represented combination in the chocolate world, so I was looking forward to trying the coconut creme. Sadly, I found this to be overly sweet and have a rather artificial coconut taste. I enjoyed the texture of the roast nut praline with its pieces of caramelised nuts giving surprise and crunch, but didn’t find it had a particularly nutty flavour. The alcohol in the marc de champagne truffle was noticeable and the flavour was good, but it did leave a rather cloying feeling in my mouth after I’d finished it.
Thanks to the House of Dorchester for the chocolates given to me to try. There was no requirement to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.
House of Dorchester have kindly agreed to give one of my readers a 400g Luxury Assortment too. To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Gleam widget below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Gleam will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this will result in another winner being picked.