When you receive an e-mail asking if it would ok to send you some chocolate to write about, it is tough to say no. And that’s why I got a lovely package of goodies from Vancouver’s CocoaNymph, including a shiny box of their handmade chocolates.
These are pretty little chocolates, made with a real eye for detail and named with a welcome sense of humour. CocoaNymph’s owner Rachel Sawatzky obviously has an artistic streak which means there are nice little touches that would make them stand out from the crowd. But looks are only one very small part of the puzzle, so do they taste as good as they look?
The eight chocolates in the box were:
The Liz – really easy to identify because of the little piece of gold leaf sitting on top, hinting at real luxuriousness. Inside is a smooth white chocolate filling which could do with a bit more vanilla to offset the darkness of the shell. But not overly sweet which is usually the issue with white chocolate and that’s the important thing.
Lucy in the Chai – dark chocolate ganache with is flavoured, not surprisingly, with black tea. There are other spices in there too and to be perfectly honest, that is the dominant flavour with a nice mix of nutmeg and cinnamon which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Barnabas the Tortoise – I seriously love the way the slightly too big sugar-crusted pecan dominates this chocolate. The centre is supposed to just have a hint of brandy, but mine seemed to get a healthy dose because it was more obvious than the caramel that was also in there although I’m not complaining.
Melissa – I’m not really a big fan of honey chocolates because of its tendency to overwhelm, but it was handled with a light touch here, plus the addition of some hazelnuts and crispy flakes distracted me enough to really not notice the sweetness. Not my favourite.
Fresh – a very aptly named chocolate, with its green brushstroked decorations and peppermint tea centre. Again, there’s a real skilful balance between a potentially dominant flavour and the bitter chocolate which could be overwhelmed. Cool and refreshing.
Glinda – with half of the interior taken up by a firm blackberry jelly, this chocolate isn’t short on fruit flavour. But flavouring the ganache in the other half with blackberry too might have been a step too far.
Papillion – this is apparently the classic combination of dark chocolate and raspberries according to the menu card, and that is exactly what you get too. You’ve probably had something very similar before, but it is executed perfectly with a big burst of raspberries in each bite.
Illa – Some chocolate ganache with a healthy dose of caramel to give it a lovely rich, dark sugary flavour. It was sprinkled with salt at one point, but most of it has been shaken loose during shipping so was now distributed over all the other chocolates in the box too. It did mean that when a crystal of sea salt entered into mix, it was really quite special and really added to the whole experience.
So plenty of highlights and not too many lowlights, but not too many unusual or unique flavours either although I’ve heard that they do have some of those showing up in their Vancouver store from time to time. When it comes down to it though, there’s very little to complain about with such a well made box of rich, tasty chocolates and I’m looking forward to working my way through the other goodies that they sent. So we can add CocoaNymph to what is turning into a long list of accomplished chocolatiers in Western Canada.