This is our second post on The Chocolatier – Aneesh Popat, because his chocolates are so different and of course, amazingly delicious. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, then Mother’s Day, then Easter! Hurrah! So if you want to give something a little different from the usual run-of-the-mill chocolates available from every supermarket or corner shop, then look no further. Aneesh is self-taught, artisan chocolatier to royalty and Michelin starred restaurants. His chocolates contain no butter, cream or eggs, just water and chocolate, with flavours of spices, fruit purées, nuts and herbs. And good news folks, the ganaches contain 40-50% less calories than a normal truffle.
Helen came home back in September for a month for a surprise visit – and what a surprise that was! – after travelling around Asia for 8 months. She popped up to London for a few days to visit her friends who live and work in the big smoke. She met with Aneesh too, who very kindly gave her some of his new flavours to try. Helen passed these four onto me as she knows I love The Chocolatier‘s water ganaches. Whenever I taste chocolates to review, I try not to find out what they are beforehand, to see if I can taste what they are meant to be. Sometimes however, it’s not until you know what they are that you can taste those flavours and other times it can be obvious.
Black Olive Caramel – supplied to 1 Michelin starred restaurant L’Autre Pied.
This is a thin shell of white chocolate which melts wonderfully. The centre is so smooth and creamy. I could definitely tell what flavour this was.
I’m not a generally a great fan of olives on their own, but this was superb and I wouldn’t say no to another of these.
This is a dark chocolate outer shell and as soon as you bite into it the jam-like centre oozes out. Mango! Has to be.
I was right. The chocolate melts easily as before. The amber-coloured centre isn’t runny, but neither is it too thick, just the right consistency I’d say. The Alphonso Mango is a seasonal fruit considered to be among the most superior varieties of the fruit in terms of sweetness, richness and flavour – so says Wikipedia.
Smoked Orange, Cinnamon & Hazelnut
I must admit that this one had me flummoxed. I had to check what it was after the first bite as there seemed to be so many flavours which flooded my mouth. And I wasn’t entirely sure I actually liked it. After a few seconds though the flavours seemed to change and come through and I did enjoy it very much, to the extent that I didn’t even bother taking a photo of it bitten into and just carried on eating it. Whoops. The centre wasn’t quite as smooth as the other truffles. There was a dryish, slightly grainy texture, presumably from the hazelnut, but also possibly from the cinnamon as I find that things conataining cinnamon can be like that.
Although I’d heard of Tamarind, I did’t know what it was – a spice/a flower/a fruit? – so I had no idea what this would taste like. And if I don’t know what tamarind tastes of I wouldn’t be able to say ‘Aha! Tamarind!’ would I? 😉
This was a white chocolate shell with swirls of brown. The centre was soft and smooth, and perhaps a little thicker than some of the other centres. Delicious though. Tamarind, if you’re interested, is a tree which bears fruit and in western cuisine can be found in Worcestershire Sauce and HP Sauce.
The Chocolatier is not just about truffles though. There are bars, shards, spreads, hot chocolate and much more. So, if you’re heading to London then I suggest you pop into Harrods or Selfridges who are stockists. If not then there is an on-line shop with p&p starting at just £3. Free for orders over £75. You won’t be disappointed, they truly are wonderful and, hand on heart, The Chocolatier is my all-time favourite. There, I’ve said it.
Living life, loving The Chocolatier