Ask me to list my favourite chocolates of all time (which people do all too frequently), and right up at the top of that list are Paul A. Young’s sea salted caramels.
We saw quite a craze for sea salted caramels last year, with all the big name chocolatiers producing them. I tried many myself, but nothing quite matched the sweet, salty, liquid centres of Paul’s creations. So when I heard he was making a sea salted caramel egg this year, I had to have one.
Actually, I had to have several, but he would only send one. Meany.
The egg comes in a tasteful white eggcup with a china spoon. Unfortunately, Royal Mail chose to break the spoon in transit, so I was forced to use a non-china, non-Easter spoon of my own. I’m fairly certain this didn’t affect the flavour, but it was still a little disappointing.
There’s no weight listed on the packaging, but as you can see from the pictures it’s slightly too large for the standard size eggcup. It’s a sturdy beast, too. When you break into the chocolate – or cut into it with a knife, as you’ll find you have to – you can see why. The chocolate is really quite thick.
Thankfully, the egg is only half full of caramel, so it’s just about possible to get into it without it going everywhere.
The chocolate is a 64% dark chocolate, and although there’s no country of origin on the packing, it’s quite light and fruity with a natural sweetness like a Madagascan bean. On its own, it’s really quite delicious, but combined with the caramel, it’s heaven.
It’s clearly the same caramel Paul uses for his individual chocolates. It’s almost liquid, flowing relentlessly downhill on its inevitable journey toward the tabletop and carpet. The taste is a perfect combination of sweetness, buttery smoothness and saltiness. On its own, it’s delicious, but too rich to scoop out a whole spoonful. You need to combine it with the chocolate to really get the most from the flavours and textures.
But therein lies the problem. The chocolate is so thick and the egg is so big, that it’s almost impossible to get a nice mixture of chocolate and caramel into your mouth without coating every piece of furniture in the room with a thin layer of caramel.
By the time you figure out how to get both into your mouth at the same time, it has all become a little too much.
At £17 per egg, these aren’t cheap at all, and while I love the flavours in the context of smaller chocolates, the downfall of this egg is the size. It’s impossible to eat in one go, yet it’s impossible to store for more than a day. You could share it, but you’ll still need to get through the whole thing in one go.
This is clearly designed to be an indulgent, over the top gift. But for me, it’s just a little bit too over the top. It’s a quality product made with fantastic ingredients, but it’s simply too difficult to eat! Give me a bag of mini-eggs like this though, and I’d love you forever.
Paul doesn’t sell online, so if you do want to pick up something from his Easter range, you’ll have to visit one of his London shops.