On Thursday evening, before heading to Konstam at the Prince Albert for dinner, I made a pilgremage to Paul A Young’s shop in Camden Passage, Islington. (This is the chocolatier whose wonderful sweet basil ganache truffles I so admired at that chocolate tasting event a couple of weeks ago).
Throwing restraint out of the window I bought myself a box of 18 delicious chocolates, choosing 2 each of 9 intriguing truffles, so that I could generously share them with Pete.
Here’s what I chose.
Here’s the feedback on all the chocolates:
Me: There’s definitely a hint of Marmite but it’s not too strong nor as weird as it sounds! It blends in to the intense chocolate flavour really well.
Pete: “Tasty. I think!” [said with utterly bemused expression on his face]
black raspberry ganache
Me: Reminds me of fruit cream chocolates but definitely superior to those you’d find in a cheapy box of chocolates!
Pete: “Quite dark for me, but nice.”
Me: The citrus tang punches through the rich chocolate. Refreshing!
Pete: “Mmmm! Citrusy! The chocolate’s still posh but it’s tasty. It’s not too sweet which is good.”
Me: No discernable Pimm’s flavour at all until the chocolate is all eaten and then there’s the slightest hint of it in the aftertaste. Disappointing as a Pimm’s chocolate but a tasty generic chocolate truffle.
Pete: “It tastes like a fairly anonymous, faintly alcoholic liqueur chocolate.”
rose and geranium ganache
Me: Mmmm! Wonderful turkish delight flavour in a soft ganache and smooth chocolate shell. The flavours are robust enough to hold their own with the strong cocoa. I could eat a whole box of these. In one sitting!
sweet bergamot and maya honey
Me: At first the beautiful and delicate flavour of the bergamot comes through in the ganache but it’s too quickly overwhelmed by the unflavoured chocolate of the shell. Can’t detect the honey.
Pete: “Neither are particularly strong flavours; just a hint. Quite tasty.”
jasmine flower and lemongrass
Me: The best way to enjoy the flavour is to bite the chocolate in half and suck gently at the ganache. The lovely combination of perfumey jasmine and zingy lemongrass work so well. I do wish the shell carried through the flavour though, as when it starts to melt it’s robust cocoa overwhelms the jasmine and lemongrass.
Pete: “Odd” [But nice?] “Yes, nice! Similar issue to last one in that it has a thick shell which overwhelms the key flavours with chocolateyness.”
sweet basil ganache
Me: This is the truffle that pulled me down to the Paul A Young shop and prised that money out of my purse to buy this extravagant selection in the first place! I love the way the fresh, leafy basil flavour so utterly infuses the ganache. The flavour really sings and it combines particularly well with the chocolate flavour. Still one of my favourites after tasting all the others.
Pete: “Weird. I remain unconvinced that herbs are an appropriate thing to put into chocolate. Not objectionable; just not blowing my socks off.”
tawny port and stilton
Me: Wow! Both flavours come through distinctly. This is so unusual but I like it! Now, should I serve this with the cheese course, with coffee or with the after dinner port? 😉
Pete: “Mmmm! Interesting! Initially it starts out with more port than stilton but then the stilton is there. Mmmm! I like that!”