Chocablog readers in the UK will probably be aware that last night was the final of The Apprentice on BBC1. The two finalists were challenged to create and launch a box of chocolates, and friend our old friend Paul A. Young was drafted in to advise Kate’s team.
The consensus was that Yasmina’s winning “Cocoa Electric” chocolates weren’t actually that great, but we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on some of Kate’s “Choc D’Amour” chocolates, so we thought it would be fun to give you our own impressions of what her team came up with.
The first thing I should say is that this product obviously isn’t actually available, so we don’t have “real” packaging. Instead I’ve had to resort to using a screen grab from the TV to show the packaging design.
To be frank, I didn’t think much of the brand they came up with. It’s quite bland and has been done many times before – and much better. I much preferred Yasmina’s Cocoa Electric both in terms of the packaging design and how they’d positioned the product.
But of course what’s really important is how good the chocolates are, so let’s take a look…
Strawberry & Champagne
A milk chocolate heart with a soft, subtle centre. This one has very delicate flavours – I might not have picked out the strawberry had I not known it was in there. The champagne flavour is also quite subtle and doesn’t detract from the rather delicious, creamy milk chocolate.
Sea Salted Caramel
This dark chocolate sphere is exactly like Paul’s own salted caramels, except a little smaller and with a less glossy finish. Suffice to say the salt works perfectly with the rich caramel and makes this one of my favourite chocolates of all time. It’s divine.
Lemongrass & Honey
Some interesting, fruity flavours going on here. I’m not a huge fan of honey, but I do like lemongrass and the combination works well, although this particular flavour combination did bring to mind a certain brand of honey and lemon cough sweets, I still really liked it.
A milk chocolate oval with another deliciously soft, fruity centre. Like the other chocolates, the flavours are delicate and subtle. I think this may be the first time I’ve had passion fruit chocolates, but I’d certainly like to try them again.
A dark chocolate oval with a soft centre. This one surprised me as it was so fruity, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the flavours were. The actual chilli is very subtle and simply enhances the other flavours. The only hint of heat comes about 30 seconds after you’ve finished the chocolate and is more of a reminder that it’s time to have another than a ‘chilli hit’. I think this may be my new second favourite chocolate of all time (after the salted caramel).
So all in all, we have five fantastic chocolates – as good as you would find anywhere – and probably better than you would ever find on any supermarket shelf. The team came up with a great balance of flavours and used some quality ingredients.
Had these been real, the problem would have been the price. At £13 a box, it’s unlikely they would have been able to get into the supermarkets in the first place. But any cheaper and they would have had to compromise on ingredients and the result just wouldn’t have been the same.
As to whether Kate should have won with these chocolates, well that’s a tough call. Yasmina had a more interesting brand, but used cheap ingredients to keep the price down. It’s debatable whether anyone would have bought the chocolates more than once.
I wasn’t overly keen on the brand Kate created. For something aimed at both men and women, it was overly “girly”. And the “For him, For Her, To Share” strapline she came up with for Choc D’Amour is just plain wrong. Nobody would want to share these. With anyone.
If you’re in the UK, you can watch the whole of last night’s final now over on iPlayer.