I have to admit, the main thing that attracted me to this little number was how it looks. It’s not that I’m shallow, but that glossy inch-and-a-half high dome is very difficult to resist when it’s sat on the counter in Paul A. Young’s shop softly whispering “Buy Me. Buy Me Now”. So I bought it.
What we have here is a hand painted dome of 64% Valrhona Madagascan chocolate. Inside, there’s a layer of pistachio flavoured marshmallow, with a second layer of lemon thyme caramel on top.
The caramel is as liquid as it is in Paul’s salted caramels, and immediately starts to flow once you bite into it. This is slightly awkward, as you can’t eat it in a single mouthful like you can (just about) with the smaller caramels, and neither do you get a spoon like you do with the salted caramel Easter eggs. Not being entirely prepared for how liquid it was, I went for the “caramel dribbling down the face” option.
The texture of the marshmallow is equally unexpected. It’s incredibly light. So light in fact, that I’m surprised it can hold up the weight of the caramel on top, yet somehow it does. The moment it hits the tongue it starts to melt away, leaving a gentle hint of pistachio flavour. It’s impressive, but I did find myself wishing the experience lasted a little longer.
The caramel flavour is equally subtle, with hints of lemon and thyme coming through at the end, complementing the delicious natural citrus notes of the chocolate. The flavours work together amazingly well, but it is a very short lived experience, especially given that £3.85 price tag. A small step up in price and you can get a brownie that will feed a small country for weeks.
But what you’re really paying for here is the artistry, skill and time that have gone into creating something like this by hand. So where I’d quite happily buy a brownie for myself (and I did!), this is the kind of thing I’d buy as a gift for someone I really wanted to impress.