Last week I was invited to a little soiree to launch Baruzzo Chocolate’s Summer collection – a set of four new chocolates to usher in the warm afternoons and balmy nights (we hope!). Raffaella Baruzzo kindly allowed me to make off with a sample box so I could share the experience with you, lovely reader.
First up, we have a fresh Basil Ganache. I was a little apprehensive about this one. Basil can easily overpower other flavours, and Baruzzo’s chocolate has a delicate, fairly complex flavour to it, making me wonder what the ganache would have in store for me.
I really needn’t have worried. I recently saw basil ice cream mentioned somewhere, and the centre of this chocolate is how I would imagine it would taste. The ganache is light and creamy, with the crushed basil balanced beautifully to allow every other flavour a chance to play. I really liked this one.
After the light herb-and-cream experience of the Basil Ganache, we were invited to taste the Mint & Lemon. Baruzzo use mint from Veneto which packs a slightly herby, more refined taste than one might expect. The lemon is of course vibrant, zesty and immediately invokes visions of warm Italian summer days. Baruzzo describes the taste as ‘The Italian Mojito’, but I think it’s a fresher, zingier taste experience. The dark chocolate works well with the mint and the lemon cuts everything for a real taste of summer.
The Strawberry and Balsamic wasn’t my first encounter with this particular flavour combination (see Galler’s Kaori Box for more information) but I had a feeling this was going to be fresher and more lively. The balsamic vinegar mingles with melting dark chocolate, adding earthy, rich fruit and acidity and then the strawberry starts to make itself known, lingering through to the finish. Being a fresh ganache, this chocolate packs a lot of flavour, and those strawberries definitely say it’s summer.
The final piece is Baruzzo’s Pink Peppercorn Ganache, and it’s quite a refined version, playing down the spice in favour of more aromatic, woody set of flavours paired with dark, rich chocolate ganache. The pairing is described as ‘masculine’ (but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that it evokes ‘an old Italian gentleman!) and I suppose the rich depth of chocolate coupled with the aromatic warmth of the pink peppercorns could be described thus. It’s certainly the joker in the pack, having none of the floral, citrus or herb flavours of its companions.
These four chocolates are excellent additions to Baruzzo’s already quite impressive range of chocolates. I found them all very palatable, but personally I’d go for the basil ganache, just because it has redefined my perceptions of basil in chocolate.