This product was brought back to me as a gift from a chocolate/sweet shop in Cambridge called Chocolat Chocolat. I’m not actually a regular visiter to the city, but luckily enough i’ve got a relative who obviously loves me enough to consistently bring me back gifts from the shop! I haven’t actually got round to reviewing something of theirs until today but i’ve tried some of their produce in the past and always been impressed.
The chocolate (milk in this instance, although I’m told they have a variety of dark and white as well) is handmade in the shop, and decorated with an assortment of toppings. I was really excited to try their Salted Caramel variety, as it’s one of my favourite flavour combinations…the contrast between sweet and salty flavours, when balanced and portioned correctly, is delicious.
As you can see above, it came in rather odd packaging; showcasing the product nicely but also leaving it a bit vulnerable to damage…luckily the relative who brought it back for me has a delightfully large handbag which ensured it arrived back in Norwich safe and sound! The ‘strips’ of chocolate, as they come reached me pretty much in one piece. Just as well it wasn’t me visiting the shop though, because if I had ‘carefully placed’ it in my bag, it would have been ground to dust by the time I got round to opening it!
And what, a shame that would have been, because this stuff was damn terrific.
It smelt fantastic as soon as I opened up the bag- in fact it was easily the best smelling product I’ve reviewed so far. Strong, beautiful burnt caramel scents. I’ve never been a sandal wearing hippy, but make no mistake- if there was an incense of this aroma, I WOULD buy it and burn it. My mouth was watering just from opening the bag.
The taste wasn’t a letdown either. The Chocolat Chocolat milk chocolate used was really pleasant and enjoyable. It’s sweet and milky, but very obviously of a higher quality and higher cocoa solids content than most major brands offer. A proper, continental style milk chocolate, akin to something you’d find from Switzerland or Germany.
You would think that the chocolate would be a very obvious flavour from the photo above- the ratio of chocolate to caramel pieces and salt looks VERY high. And it is. But somehow, the caramel dominates the taste. My God do those little nubbins of crunchy caramel pack a flavour punch!
They taste incredible. Despite being small, and appearing visually to be ‘drowned out’ in quantity by the milk chocolate, the delicious buttery taste is all pervading. I can’t think of a similar product to even compare the flavour to- it is so strong, and almost ‘warms you up’ when you eat it.
The one problem with incredibly buttery caramel being coupled with milky chocolate is it all becoming too much and making you feel sick after a mouthful. That is where the salt element comes into it. When the balance is right, I’d take a salted caramel combination over nearly anything else on the market for chocolate. And the balance is just great here.
The salt looks in the photos to be too strong and over portioned. When salt is that visible, it normally means it will kill off any other flavours in play. But in the complete reverse of the caramel nibs in this chocolate, despite looking over portioned, the amount of salt that came through in the overall taste was perfect. Not too much, but enough to cut through the milk chocolate and caramel flavours.
This stuff is fantastic, and if you can get your hands on some, I absolutely recommend that you do. I love the extra quality that you find with handmade chocolate. Similar to the products reviewed from the Grown Up Chocolate Company last week on here, the freshness and care of the chocolate is so evident when you eat it. Massive credit to Chocolat Chocolat for this, and hopefully I’l have more of their stuff to try and review in the future.