More Finnish finery from my recent trip to Helsinki and once again these are available at the ‘posh food’ section of Helsinki airport’s Tax Free shop.
In contrast to the Hemgården Archipelago chocolates I reviewed previously, the packaging design for this selection is much more understated in it’s simple elegance.
Mercedes Urbano-Winquist sells her delicious chocolate pralines at Chocolaterie Amorina in Mariehamn. In summertime you can also enjoy them at Café Lugn & Ro in Eckerö Mail on the island of Eckerö in Aland. Mercedes’ love for chocolate and sweets was born in her home kitchen in Caracas, Venezuela, where her mother baked cookies and beautiful wedding cakes to order. So there you have it – a Venezuelan woman who married & moved to Scandanavia and began making chocolate.
So what of these nine chocolates?
Well to start there are in fact only five chocolates, as each of the flavours is duplicated with the exception of the Cardamom Praline, which I was a bit disappointed by as I happen to rather like cardamom. The Cardamom and Raspberry Pralines were the only milk chocolates in this box, so I shall start with them.
I have made no secret of my liking for Cardamom, and this example did not disappoint. The creamy milk chocolate shell was home to a darker, richer praline which balanced very well with the spice. It was a similar story with the Raspberry heart. Creamy milk chocolate mingling with raspberry to start, then the darker cocoa flavours of the middle coming through.
The other truffles bore more than a passing resemblance to the Archipelago selection. Once again there’s sea buckthorn & blueberry, both of which were superior examples. The balance of fruit and chocolate was excellent, particularly the sea buckthorn. The light, soft flavours of the fruit complimented the darker, richer praline perfectly.
It’s been a while since I tried any chocolate with honey and this one was (once again) beautifully balanced. The honey wasn’t overly sweet but it was definitely the first flavour I detected and once the dark chocolate shell & praline filling had melted that soft, floral sweetness was never lost.
These chocolates were bigger than the Archipelago range, both in terms of physical size and taste. The fruit flavours seemed to sit better with the dark praline centres and the presentation of the product (with the simple brown box reminiscent of Rafaella Baruzzo’s chocolates) is definitely more upmarket. This was also reflected in the price. This little box set me back €16 which is comparable with other handmade chocolates. Of the two boxes of chocolates I bought in Finland I’d say this was definitely the superior offering. Worth lookig for if you ever find yourself in Helsinki airport.