It may seem like I review a lot of Paul A. Young chocolates, but the simple fact is, it’s what I buy the most of. And with his Wardour Street Shop at full production, there’s usually a couple of new flavours to try every week. How could I not pick up a few treats when I’m in the area?
This rather attractive box holds nine chocolates, so I decided to fill it with a selection of the Paul’s newer flavours (although I have two of one particular chocolate).
The chocolates are:
Alphonso Mango and Bloomsbury Prarie Fire Chilli
You might be wondering what the heck “Bloomsbury Prarie Fire Chilli” is. Well it’s simply Prarie Fire Chilli grown in Paul’s business partner James’s back garden in Bloomsbury. It’s a 67% dark chocolate and subtly fruity with a gentle heat that slowly builds. It’s very nice, but not one of Paul’s more exotic flavour combinations.
Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera & Seville Orange Marmalade
Homemade marmalade with Glenfiddich whisky in a dark chocolate ganache. I love the flavour of this one. After an initial whisky hit, you’re left with a perfectly zesty marmalade flavour that lingers to the end of the chocolate. It really is the essence of the finest marmalade in a chocolate.
Blood Orange Martini
A two-layered chocolate dome. A blood orange and white chocolate ganache and a Sipsmith gin and dark chocolate layer. This one is quite subtle, and I would have preferred stronger flavours. Both ganaches are very smooth, but I guess I just need a bit more gin in my chocolate.
Red Onion & Stem Ginger Conserve & Balsamic Ganache
Now this is Paul at his experimental best. Onions, ginger and balsamic vinegar in a 68% Ghanaian dark chocolate. Amazing. What does it taste like? Sweet pickeled onions! This is going to be a love it or hate it chocolate, but personally I love it. It’s so zingy and packed with flavour. The Ghanaian chocolate doesn’t have much flavour of its own, but that’s kind of the point of this chocolate. All the flavour is packed into the filling and the chocolate shell is just a carrier for the part of Paul’s brain that came up with with this gorgeous monstrosity.
This is the chocolate I had two of. I’m very happy with that choice – and my onion breath.
I don’t believe this is available for sale at the moment, but it’s based on a whisky and ginger wine cocktail. The ganache is very soft and the flavour is wonderful. More ginger than whisky, but never overpowering.
Campari and Bitters
A classic cocktail with a 64% Madagascan dark chocolate. A very liquid filling and a fairly subtle amount of alcohol make this quite a traditional chocolate. It’s nice, but doesn’t excite me quite as much as some of the other flavours in this selection.
Something a little more traditional! Salted banana caramel layered with a white chocolate ganache with a crispy shell. Tastes exactly like a banoffee pie. Another winner here – and something a little less challenging than red onions.
Cigar Leaf Caramel
A variation on Paul’s hugely popular sea salted caramel. This chocolate uses a 62% Brazilian dark chocolate and a caramel that’s actually cooked with cigar leaves. This is a really interesting experience. The initial flavour is very much like the traditional salted caramel, but it’s immediately followed by an intense tingling sensation. I also got a bit of a head rush from this one, almost as though I’d inhaled a lungful of cigar smoke. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I kinda like it!
So another really exciting selection of chocolates. The great thing about Paul A Young is that there really is something for everyone, from simple traditional flavours to the challenging and just plain weird. Whether or not the flavours work for you is down to personal taste more than anything else. I love the red onion and stem ginger, but I’m sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. You just have to try them for yourself.
As always, Paul doesn’t have an online store, but if you contact them via their website, they will usually be happy to take an order for you. And if you live in London, you can also arrange delivery via Hubbub.