Courtesy of Rainer and Oliver at Premier Food and Beverages comes two liqueur blocks from third-generation Swiss-based chocolate company Camille Bloch. Established by Camille in 1929, the company is now being helmed by third-generation family members Daniel and Stephane Bloch.
However today’s review concerns their liqueur chocolate that has been available before the current generation was but a twinkle in their parents’ eyes – the Williams and Grappa blocks. (Their first liqueur – Kirsch – was released in 1955 and has already been reviewed by Ashleigh)
I started with the Williams block first, because a) it is milk chocolate (Light to Dark is my tasting motto) and b) has a lighter liqueur inside – pear brandy. It is one of their few blocks to feature a sugar crust to prevent leakage, but when it’s described as ‘con fine pellicola di zucchero’ or as a ‘fine pellicle of sugar’ it sounds cute and appetising instead of crusty and annoying.
And it thankfully tastes that way as well. The pellicle layer between the soft milky chocolate feels fine and delicately crispy, not cheap and grainy like some sugar coatings and effortlessly releases a fine and sweet pear liqueur. This is a delicious way to feature three different but complementary tastes – milk, crunch and liqueur – and would be a fine introduction to liqueur chocolates for those who are nervous and/or don’t enjoy especially strong alcohol tastes.
The Grappa chocolate block is dark and filled with an Italian spirit that is made from the grapes left after wine-making. It is a much stronger, more pungent flavoured alcohol filling that can make fainter-hearted tasters cough. Not this one though.
The dark chocolate is especially creamy to taste and very soon the strong spirit flows out without an intervening pellicle crust. Interestingly, it is the Grappa that lingers afterwards and not the dark chocolate, even though whilst eating it the tastes are intertwined. I really enjoyed this one also but could only manage half the block (or four squares totaling fifty grams). It’s not too often that such a thing happens!
As founder Camille Bloch famously said, “You don’t share the chocolate. You share the pleasure in it.” I like that, and will continue to use it as the reason why my family often wonder why there are no leftovers after my tasting sessions.