When Chocol@’s marketing department got in touch and asked if they could send us a sample of their “chocolate telegrams”, I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting a lot. I’ve seen similar concepts before – chocolate squares with letters on that make up a message – and they’ve not been particularly good.
But what actually arrived took me by surprise. Inside the large outer box, protected and snuggled tightly in polystyrene, was this rather attractive looking presentation box.
Finished in faux leather with stitching, tastefully embossed and sealed with a simple magnetic clasp, it’s the kind of box you’ll want to keep. And so, frankly, are the chocolates inside…
Rather than being mass produced solid chocolates, each letter that Chocol@ make is filled with a fresh praline, ganache or caramel. There’s no nasty preservatives, just fresh ingredients, giving the chocolates a shelf life of about three weeks.
Each letter has its own flavour, although with 56 characters and only 15 flavours to choose from, many are repeated. You create your message via a very well designed (and fun to use) tool on Chocol@’s website. Just type in your message, our use the on-screen chocolate keyboard to pick your letters/flavours. It’s very simple to use and, of course, quite tempting to see what flavours you get by typing rudes words.
The chocolates themselves are made in Belgium by chocolatier Jean-Philippe Darcis. The flavours are typically European – more traditional than cutting edge – but they’re very well made, with soft ganaches and fresh tasting caramels. Even without the letters, I’d be more than happy to receive a box of these chocolates.
If there is a downside, it’s the price. Combining beautiful presentation with great flavour doesn’t come cheap, and prices start at £38 for a single line of text, and go up to £54 for this three line box.
But if you really want to make an impact with a chocolate gift, this is a great way to do it. It would make a great birthday or Valentine’s gift for someone very special – and they’re certain to keep the box and always be reminded of you. You can’t say that about a box of Cadbury Roses.