This little Christmas selection would normally come in a box of 16 larger chocolates, but I picked them up from Demarquette’s shop in Fulham Road at the launch, and these little tasters were quite enough for my review!
There’s four different chocolates in all, with festive spices from the Victorian era being the order of the day. But rather than just throwing a few flavours into a box, Marc Demarquette has attempted to recreate some distinctive Christmas flavours, liked mulled wine and mince pie.
Starting with the most subtly flavoured of the chocolates, and one which combines Christmas spices with the very modern trend for tea flavoured chocolates. This one contains black tea, cinnamon, cloves and orange.
As you might expect, the cloves and cinnamon are the strongest flavours here, and I found the tea quite hard to detect – but then I often have that problem with tea chocolates. It’s very nice though, with a gently warming flavour that complements the dark chocolate nicely.
A red wine jelly and a ganache infused with mulled wine spices. Beautiful, Christmassy flavours that again work perfectly with the dark chocolate.
Made to an authentic Victorian recipe, but with almonds used to replicate the pastry flavour. Tastes exactly like a real mince pie, with all that fruity, spicy goodness. The almonds do a great job standing in for the pastry, and the end result is a chocolate that immediately evokes childhood Christmas memories. Fabulous.
The printed menu calls this “the essence of Christmas”, with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in the dark chocolate ganache. It certainly has that gentle, warming effect, but for me, the Mince Pie chocolate is the real essence of Christmas. As with the other three chocolates, the flavours work wonderfully though, particularly the ginger, which leaves a slight peppery tingle, just as the the chocolate melts away.
All in all, a small, understated Christmas selection that I absolutely love. It may be made with an array of spices, but the flavours are subtle and never overwhelm the rich, dark chocolate. Highly recommended.