Devnaa is a brother and sister partnership producing “Indian Inspired” chocolates and confectionery in the UK. As you can see first impressions are great, with beautiful brightly coloured packaging that immediately makes you want to open the box.
The one thing you can’t get away from though is that Great Taste Award sticker on the box. I touched on my opinion of these awards in my Ben Tre bar review. I think they’re overused to the point of being meaningless. Many people don’t even notice that the stickers carry one, two or three stars, with three stars being the top rated.
This box has one star, and in my opinion, that’s tantamount to putting a sticker on your packaging that says “look at me! I taste average!”
For some reason, I don’t seem to have everything listed on the menu card – all the barfi chocolate covered sweets are missing, and have been replaced by more traditional chocolates. I don’t know if they were deliberately removed from this collection or if it’s just my box, but I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to try them.
The chocolates we do have are all made with Callebaut chocolate with fillings made from unusual combinations and Indian spices.
Saffron Caramel Truffle
Saffron infused caramel in white chocolate, sprinkled with pistachios. A very sweet caramel in a very sweet white chocolate. It’s an interesting experience, but the saffron just didn’t work against all that sugar for me.
Chai Masala Truffle
Devanaa’s version of a salted caramel, with added cloves, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom in a milk chocolate shell. I really enjoyed the flavours of this one, and the filling has a nice liquid consistency. But it is slightly grainy in texture, and the shell is a little too thick.
Cardamom & Coconut Truffle
Another salted caramel, this time in a dark chocolate and flavoured with cardamom, vanilla and coconut. Another enjoyable chocolate, although in this case the caramel is probably a little too liquid. The flavours are all easy to pick out, without being overpowering. The dark chocolate doesn’t have a lot of flavour of its own though.
Cinnamon Crispy Praline
Cinnamon praline with crisped rice in milk chocolate. A more traditional flavour combination than any of the others in the box, and perhaps surprisingly, one of my favourites. It’s light, with a gentle crisp, and isn’t too sweet. The cinnamon is perhaps a little too subtle, but all in all a very nice chocolate.
Rose flavoured fondant in dark chocolate. This was far too sweet for me, with the rose flavour tasting a little artificial. The overall effect is that of a cheap, creamy Turkish Delight in a very average dark chocolate.
Saffron & Ginger Fudge
Saffron infused white chocolate fudge with crystalised ginger, enrobed in milk chocolate. This has some lovely subtle flavours, but as with some of the other chocolates in this collection, they are ultimately overwhelmed by the sweetness.
And that’s my main gripe about these chocolates as a whole. There are some exciting and unusual flavour combinations, but they are just too sweet for my tastes. However, Indian sweets are often very sweet, so the target market for these chocolates may well go mad for them.
The nature of the market for these chocolates also means Devnaa ship a lot overseas. That in turn means they have added preservatives in order to increase shelf life. A necessary evil perhaps, but unfortunately that does impact on the flavour. They can’t, for instance, compete with the likes of Katie Kristoffers’ Matcha Chocolat, who uses some similarly exotic flavour combinations in her creations.
Personally, I’d love to see fresh versions of these chocolates, made with less sugar and higher quality chocolate, but I don’t know if that would appeal to the Indian market in the same way.