These beautifully packaged shards of chocolate are something of a departure for Katie Christoffers’ Matcha Chocolat. Until recently she has concentrated on her (equally beautiful) tea-infused filled chocolates, so I was intrigued to see how she would approach these.
There are three varieties of shards, and they all come in these attractive reusable tin tea caddies.
Inside each tin is a sealed cellophane bag containing 100g of thin shards of broken chocolate. All the chocolates are flavoured and studded with pieces of fruit, nuts and cocoa nibs. The three varieties are:
Dark Chocolate with Cardamom & Rose
The first thing I noticed about these is the lack of actual tea, and a little bit of research reveals why. Rather than putting tea into everything for the sake of it, Katie has opted to go for flavours that are inspired by classic tea blends. The inspiration for this one comes from a Persian recipe for rose & cardamom infused tea.
The chocolate itself is infused with rose water, giving it a very gentle flavour. The cardamom gives the chocolate a gentle warmth, and the crystalised rose petals and pistachios on top add texture more than anything.
Milk Chocolate with Bergamot, Nibs & Candied Orange
As you might expect for a chocolate containing bergamot oil, this has a particularly strong aroma. In fact, after having had the tin opened for a few minutes, the whole room smelled of it. So I guess whether or not you’re going to like this comes down to whether or not you like bergamot.
Personally, I like it a lot, and it works well paired with this milk chocolate. Like the rose & cardamom shards, these have a gentle warming flavour that’s perfect for a cold winter’s day. Like today.
White chocolate with Vanilla Chai & Caramelised Nibs
Finally, we have a white chocolate with vanilla and chai spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves), topped with caramelised cocoa nibs.
The spices are evident from the outset here, both from the colour and speckled effect of the chocolate to the aroma. When you put a piece into your mouth, those flavours come first and foremost too. As the chocolate melts, you’re left with a creamy vanilla flavour and the slightly nutty crunch of the cocoa nibs.
I don’t know that I’ve ever had caramelised cocoa nibs before, but they are a really nice addition here. The sweetness of the caramelised sugar really helps bring out the flavour of the nib without any bitterness at all.
As you might expect with a white chocolate, this is quite sweet, but you only need a small piece to fill you mouth with flavour.
And that’s the same for all three varieties. The smallest piece of chocolate fills your mouth with gently warming spices. Those flavours do tend to cover the flavour of the actual chocolate a bit, but I still found all three very enjoyable. The beautiful tins would make a wonderful Christmas gift, or you could just share them with guests over the festive period. I don’t think you’ll get any complaints either way.