I’ve recently found a small-ish local chocolate company here in Norwich. I really should have found it earlier; Norwich isn’t exactly bursting with things to do/see so I’m surprised it has taken me this long to discover Saffire Chocolates.
Saffire Choc Pops
Making the time to swing by their shop on the outskirts of the city, I was seriously impressed by what I saw. The variety in store was fantastic- it was a problem trying to pick just 2 or 3 things to leave with. When there are so many cool things under one roof, I always think that it’s the foodie equivalent to when sports coaches complain about having too many good players in their squad. It’s a welcome headache though; I’d always want too many good things, rather than not enough!
One (or more accurately two) of the things I decided to buy were these ‘Choc Pops’. Similar in size to a Chupa Chops lollipop, but perhaps three times the weight, these Choc Pops are a truffle centre surrounded by a thin layer of Belgian milk chocolate, and then a ‘flavoured’ outer layer of chocolate.
The two flavours I’ve got for you to see today are Lemon Meringue and Raspberry. I’l write about them individually and then rate them at the end together.
So first, we have the dull yellow coloured Lemon Meringue Choc Pop.
I think that this looked really cool. The idea of putting a truffle on a stick and aiming it at an ‘older’ audience is unique from my experience; I’ve certainly never seen anything like this before.
The snow white Meringue pieces on top of the bright yellow coloured white chocolate coating was a fair representation of the Lemon Meringue dessert. It smelt delicious; bold citrusy scents, accompanied with much more subtle hints of the white chocolate. Lemon is a lovely smell in my book; the bittersweet notes work for me.
You can finally see the contents of the Choc Pop above. Looks pretty nice right?
Cutting straight to the chase, this was a big success from Saffire Chocolates. The highlight was definitely the soft lemony centre. It gave a beautiful semi-bitter acidity to the Choc Pop, which was balanced well against the much sweeter white chocolate flavour. The inner truffle centre slowly and smoothly melted in the mouth, with that tangy taste lingering for a moment before the white chocolate took over my taste buds with a soothing and (surprisingly, for white chocolate!) subtle mellowness.
Meringue pieces on the outside of the Choc Pop also played a part, as they were super crispy which gave each mouthful of this Choc Pop a pleasing crunch. That texture was really important- as every other component was so soft, this changed up the consistency nicely.
The one slight negative was that there was no milk chocolate taste at all. You’ll see from the photos that the milk chocolate layer is thin but present none the less- yet it disappointed when it came to delivering some cocoa warmth.
Make no mistake though, this Lemon Meringue Choc Pop was lovely. The combination of the acidic, slightly sour Lemon with the sweet white chocolate was effective; well balanced and tasty. Then add in a bit of texture from the Meringue pieces and Saffire are onto a winner.
I’l hit you with the rating for the Lemon Meringue at the end of the review; but for the moment let’s talk Raspberry Choc Pop.
Taking this out of the wrapper (I had to undo a ribbon as well- how many products these days have a ribbon?!) I was greeted with a similar scent combination as with the Lemon Meringue equivalent. By that, I should clarify, I don’t mean this smelt of lemon (that would have been very worrying indeed!) but that there was tart fruitiness and creamy, sweet white chocolate. Obviously however, the fruitiness this time was of raspberries.
The Raspberry Choc Pop looked attractive; swirled white chocolate with specks of the crimson raspberry pieces in the outer coating. I actually preferred the aesthetics of the Raspberry version to the Lemon Meringue myself.
You’ll see above that the Raspberry Choc Pop follows the same pattern as the Lemon Meringue; a fruit flavoured outer layer blended with white chocolate, then a thinner milk chocolate layer. Inside both of those is the smooth and creamy truffle centre.
I split this with my sister, as I was keen to get a second opinion on it, and I trust my sister’s palette- you know the stories about sharks being able to sense a drop of blood in millions of litres of water? I think that my sister could probably do the same, and as she’s a fitness freak, she’d probably beat the shark to the blood as well.
We agreed on the taste here; the Raspberry Choc Pop was ok. Not as good as the Lemon Meringue, but still decent enough. There were two problems we had; a lack of raspberry flavour, and a lack of texture. The second problem could be easily solved with the addition of some freeze dried raspberries to the outside of the Choc Pop.
Taste wise, there was a slight sourness from the raspberry here, but it was a more general fruity sweetness akin to a ‘summer fruits’ type taste. That meant that it became a bit too cloying without the sharpness of the fruit to take the edge off the dreamy but intensely sweet truffle centre. If Saffire could get the raspberry flavour to a similar strength as the lemon had in the Lemon Meringue, this would be a real hit.
Summarising, these Choc Pops really impressed me as a concept. They are a great ‘adult treat’, and would sell very well if more people knew about them I’m sure. I probably wouldn’t want to walk around eating a Choc Pop like I would eat a chocolate bar (I’d just feel a bit self-conscious…like I’d nicked some candy from a baby!) but I will buy more of these in the future to eat around my house and/or give as gifts.
Saffire have a very original product here, and I’m looking forward to trying more of their other, equally interesting products, in the future.
Lemon Meringue Choc Pop- 8.4/10.
Raspberry Choc Pop- 7.4/10.