More strange-but-true chocoincidence as I found myself at work on the King’s Road a little while ago – right opposite Rococo’s shop. I thought I’d pop in and say hello, with a view to maybe catching up with owner Chantal Coady. I didn’t get to see Chantal but I was greeted by a very charming, helpful and also knowledgable member of staff. What turned into a brief visit became a long chat, as we were joined by another member of staff who had been working downstairs. I was both surprised and delighted to hear the phrase “I’ve got something special here just for people like you.” and a large plastic box was produced. It transpired that their Chocolatier had recently created a batch of new chocolates, and hey were ‘test driving’ them. How delightfully fortuitous!
So, here we have half a dozen Rococo chocolates which you may or may not be able to buy in the near future.
My first was this milk chocolate disc, adorned with a light sweep of gold. I had been told that it was a chestnut chocolate but I had no idea what was inside.
It turned out that the filling was a combination of a chestnut flavoured jelly layer topped with a full-flavoured, milk chocolate. It was smooth, sweet and tangy with a full, rounded set of flavours from both chocolate and chestnut. Similar to but way beyond caramel, I thought it was a great balance of flavours.
Next up was a Fig chocolate.
Another chocolate with two layers. A nutty praline filling complimented the (surprisingly powerful) fig perfectly. I really did enjoy it a lot, and I was a little surprised to find such a small piece of fig giving out so much flavour.
This rather attractive dark chocolate was home to some fruitiness.
More liquid (and much lighter on the palate) than jam, the jelly filling packed a light, fragrant flavour. I believe quince was mentioned in the shop, but nobody was too sure. It definitely had a soft sweetness to it, not the more tart flavours one normally associated with berries. The dark chocolate had great texture and just the right degree of bitterness before the sweeter flavours blended into the overall taste.
I stayed with the dark chocolates for the next one – a coconut ganache.
I really liked the look of this one. That coconut layer seemed to promise soft, lush flavours. It didn’t disappoint – creamy and whisper light, it held tiny fragments of coconut and when it blended with the chocolate in the base my mouth was treated to one of the best coconut/chocolate pairings I think I’ve ever had. A definite winner.
Number five was a Sour Cherry chocolate, and cutting it turned out not to have been the best idea. Luckily I was cautious and avoided disaster.
A sticky, tart, filling bursting with cherry fruit flavours and not a hint of perfume – lovely. Just the right balance of tart and sweet to prevent any nose-wrinkling, and a great pairing with the thin, rich dark chocolate. The cherry filling seems to echo the darker, burnt notes of the chocolate, and once the filling has dissolved away the remaining chocolate provides a lovely cocoa finish.
My final treat was a truffle truffle. Yes, someone has had a go at combining the earthy, rooty taste of everyone’s favourite posh fungus with premium chocolate. I was intrigued – another first was about to happen.
The centre was dark and dense, and did indeed deliver an earthy, dusky truffle flavour along with the rich, dark cocoa flavours. This was one of those truffles that just evaporate slowly, spreading their flavours all over your mouth before slipping away, light as a feather. Once I’d finished enjoying the dark chocolate shell (bittersweet, rich, tangy cocoa) I was left with a slightly earthy, root-like aftertaste mingled with the chocolate. It was unusual; not unpleasant, but there again most definitely not to every taste. It’s one of those adventurous chocolates that might be around for a while then disappear, or become an occasional rarity. Either way, worth a try, but you wouldn’t but a dozen to take home all at once.
This is my first encounter with Rococo’s fresh chocolates, and I have to say I am suitably impressed. With almost a quarter of a century, it’s obvious that Chantal Coady and her team are well practiced in the art of producing fine quality chocolates. My only regret is that it’s taken me this long to be able to sample some of them. I’ll be interested to see which of these make it out into the shops as well.