Chocolate Week: Day One
Chocolate Week starts today! Of course every week is chocolate week in our household, but I’m actually referring to the official event which runs from 13th-19th October. You’ll be hard pressed to miss the numerous activities and promotions happening throughout the land. I’m celebrating by giving you a daily taste of what’s out there in the chocolate world and will be posting every day this week. Here goes …
Chocolat Chocolat is a chocolate shop in Cambridge offering a range of luxury chocolate products. Founded in 1999, it now has an online shop in addition to its high street one. It is particularly well known for its handmade sheet chocolate sprinkled with such ingredients as French sea salt, Turkish hazelnuts and Dutch speculoos. It also offers the ability to create your own chocolate bars – now what a fabulous idea indeed. These are great fun and make an extra special treat for yourself and a great present for anyone else. You choose your chocolate base bar then add up to three toppings of your choice or, if it all gets a bit much, you can go with one of the suggested combinations. The base bars come in a choice of: dark 70% or 55%, milk, caramel or white. Then it’s over to choosing your toppings which are far too numerous to mention here, but include, nuts, fruit, spices, herbs, flowers, confectionary and even gold leaf. A final touch is a gift tag on which you can compose your own message. The bars all weigh 100g and three bars cost £14.95.
Mine got into a bit of a muddle as there was a website glitch whilst I was creating my order. I was sent an e-mail detailing what I had ordered and to let them know if anything was wrong. It wasn’t quite what I ordered, but I was remiss and didn’t get back to them so I have no-one to blame but myself for the rather unlikely bars I actually got. The packaging was simple but elegant; chocolate brown cardboard together with the turquoise and gold Chocolat Chocolat logo looked particularly stylish. In amongst the chocolate bars was a little label informing me who had made them. A surprise miniature Dolfin bar was also included in the package which put an even bigger smile on my face. Dolfin are one of the better Belgian chocolate brands which I first tried on a trip to Ghent a few years ago and I’ve not yet been disappointed by any of their chocolate. This was a nice touch which gave a subliminal message that I was in for a treat.
Pecan Nuts, Liquorice and Cinnamon on a caramel milk 34% chocolate bar. I love cinnamon, so was very happy with this, but I’m not entirely sure that I asked for liquorice on the same bar; cinnamon is a dominant flavour and drowned out pretty much anything else. The nuts provided an interesting and welcome crunch.
Chilli and Caramelised Pistachio on a milk 34% chocolate bar – This was a very tasty bar with the pistachios giving texture and a sweet crunch. I couldn’t however taste any chilli. Maybe my habit of eating chilli for breakfast has reduced my sensitivity.
Chopped Apricots on a 70% dark chocolate bar – This was delicious and surprisingly, for me, my favourite. The chocolate was smooth with fruity notes. It was not at all bitter and went down far too easily. The pieces of soft and sweet apricots punctuated the chocolate in a most delightful way.
I was sent three Chocolat Chocolat bars to try. I was not required to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.