I have in front of me five incredibly sounding flavours from The Chocolatier, Aneesh Popat which Helen gave me to try and I haven’t a clue how I’m going to pick just a few to concentrate on. There’s Baked Bean (haricot & tomato); Mince Pie; Beetroot, Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar & Hazelnut; Coconut & Allspice and Clementine & Clove. I love wacky flavoured chocolates, especially ones which have spices like cloves or infusions such as Darjeeling which I’ve also tasted recently from Philippe Bouvier – that review is coming shortly.
Before I come on to the tasting, I’d like to tell you a little bit about their creator ‘The Chocolatier’. Aneesh Popat – he is only 25 – has always had a love and passion for chocolate. In a recent talk at Salon du Chocolat which Helen attended he said “why spend your whole life working in a job you don’t love to earn enough money to make yourself happy when you can find a job which makes you happy” She told me this was one of the best pieces of advice she’s ever been given. With this in mind, Aneesh decided to apply his love of chocolate with his mathematical and scientific backgrounds (he holds a degree in mathematics) to create the most unique flavour combinations with utmost precision and creativity. He has since travelled the world learning from master chocolatiers and now supplies a number of Michelin star restaurants – The Beetroot, Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar & hazelnut was created for 1 Michelin starred chef, Andy McFadden of L’Autre Pied, Marylebone – and Indian Royalty.
Now on to the chocolate…
Clementine & Clove
This is a dark chocolate ball splattered with orange. You can certainly smell the cloves through the chocolate before even biting into it. It reminds me of those orange & clove pomander decorations you can make at Christmas time.
As soon as I take a bite liquid hits my teeth and trickles out. This is an amber colour and a tangy orange taste but also I can taste the cloves. The chocolate isn’t too thick so is easy to bite into but not too thin either, ‘just right’ as Goldilocks would say. The top half of the chocolate contains the liquid and lying underneath is a creamy soft chocolate ganache.
Beetroot, Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar & Hazelnut
A dark round chocolate ball again, this time with a couple of deep raspberry coloured stripes on top. This time I can’t smell anything apart from the dark chocolate.
I bite into it and oh, my goodness, it’s just like a glass of lovely red Cabernet Sauvignon, my favourite red wine in fact. Inside is a deep red wine colour – from the beetroot presumably – a subtle hint of vinegar at the back of the throat, again, just like the wine. Amazing.
A dark chocolate ball with a very fine dusting of …pastry crumbs? It is! I bite into it and it truly is remarkable.
It’s like biting into a mince pie not a chocolate although getting a taste of the chocolate kind of gives the game away but as the chocolate casing is thin it doesn’t overpower the taste of the filling. The creamy coloured centre is not quite smooth, on closer inspection it seems to contain tiny pieces of fruit.
The other flavours I mentioned were equally as good, I could taste a hint of cloves and nutmeg in the Coconut & Allspice and there were little bits of coconut in the middle. The Baked Bean chocolate had a centre with the look and texture of mashed up baked beans.
Now, here’s the good news, the water ganache chocolates are made with high quality fresh ingredients, spices, herbs and fruit purées, contain no cream, butter, eggs or gelatine and because of this they have around 40/50% less calories than standard truffles. Hurrah! I hear you cry. Now you can have your
cake chocolate and eat it. For instance his Milk Salted Caramel is surprisingly only 38 calories. I had no idea about this before I tasted them, you wouldn’t think they were low in calories as there’s certainly no compromise in taste.
As well as the chocolates Helen gave me, there’s a huge range of weird and wonderful flavours available online. My personal favourite, The ‘mixed taster collection’ contains 12 chocolates and are priced at £12.95 which I think is pretty good. P&P within the UK is £4.99 but you can pick them up in 3 different stores if you happen to be in London, Peterborough or Bath. Last orders for Christmas delivery is the 19th December.
I feel really excited now that I have tasted these chocolates, it’s lovely to find something so good and different, a box of these is definitely going on my Christmas list – I want a box of 24 though please Helen if you’re reading this! I knew nothing about The Chocolatier before tasting these which is sometimes a good thing when reviewing stuff as you don’t know what to expect and it can be a pleasant surprise, as these most definitely were.
Living life, absolutely loving The Chocolatier