There’s nothing I enjoy more than discovering a fresh chocolate maker that I haven’t come across before, so I was delighted when the postman tried (and failed) to squeeze this little box through my letterbox.
Luckily the chocolates and the postman both survived the ordeal, and I get to bring you a review of some rather good looking chocolates.
Nicky Grant is a patissiere and chocolatier from Cornwall who uses local Cornish ingredients whenever she can. That includes Cornish sea salt in the caramels and the fresh cream in the truffles. That, combined with the absence of preservatives should give them great flavours (we’ll see in a moment!), but also means they only have a shelf life of a week. If you’re going to buy these, you’d better eat them quick.
The chocolate in my selection were:
A white chocolate heart with a dark chocolate Marc du Champagne ganache.
The flavours and texture of this were simply beautiful. The ganache was creamy and smooth, and the Marc de Champagne was subtle, but definitely added something to the chocolate.
Honey & Cinnamon
Cornish wildflower honey and cinnamon in a milk chocolate ganache in a marbled milk chocolate dome.
A firmer, glossier ganache than the Champagne Heart, but another wonderful chocolate. The combination of flavours is nigh-on perfect, with the warmth of the cinnamon and honey complementing each other, yet somehow managing to enhance the rich, dark cocoa notes too.
Raspberry puree, raspberry brandy and honey ganache in a milk chocolate shell, dusted with cocoa powder.
Another winner. The raspberry has a nice edge, without being overpowering. It’s light and fruity, and the milk chocolate still comes through.
Cornish Seasalt Caramel
Salted caramel in a dark chocolate shell, dusted with cocoa powder.
Wow. Underneath the deliciously dark cocoa powder is a deceptively thin chocolate shell, meaning you get a lot of caramel here. And again, it’s amazing. Almost liquid in texture, with just a hint of salt. This has instantly become my new favourite salted caramel, beating Paul A. Young’s version for me.
Hazelnut praline with roasted pine nuts, cocoa nibs and wafer in milk chocolate, topped with praline.
Interestingly, this one has actually been made in a long log shape, then cut into slices, so the sides of the chocolate are open. That, combined with the wafer made for a slightly drier chocolate than the rest, but still very nice. The filling remains light and nutty, and the wafer pieces add a little crunch. Perhaps not my favourite, but still a wonderful chocolate.
A 73% Venezuelan dark chocolate with a Cornish cream ganache in a shape that resembles a Hershey’s Kiss.
A simple but very well flavoured chocolate. The subtle fruity flavour of the chocolate and the flavour of the cream both come through, making it neither too rich or too sweet. Very nice.
To sum up, these are some of the nicest fresh chocolates I’ve had in a very long time. The flavours are all perfectly chosen, and the chocolates have been beautifully made.
I’m trying to think of negatives, but the only two minor points I can think of is that the cocoa powder coating on some of the chocolates tends to cover the non-coated chocolates, and left my white chocolate heart looking a little messy, and that the box design is a little plain. They’re well presented, but as Nicky comes from a graphic design background, it would be nice to see a little of that artistic flair on the boxes. These are chocolates that deserve to be shouted about.
If you only buy one box of chocolates online this year, I’d highly recommend clicking the link below and treating yourself to some of these. They’re simply wonderful.