Rogers’ Chocolates have made their name making classic, old school chocolates that haven’t really changed much since their inception back in 1885. Nothing wrong with that at all. But recently they’ve began to dip their toes into some newer waters, adding an organic line although the most exciting addition is their Artisan Assortment.
Housed in a very smart, contemporary box, the Artisan Assortment is a hand-crafted collection of chocolates that still embraces a lot of the company’s traditions. For example, most of the chocolates are much larger than you might expect, although not nearly as large as their signature Victoria Creams. They are also rather plain to look at, or maybe understated is a better word, but there’s nothing wrong with that. There aren’t many percentages thrown around – the dark chocolate comes in at 53%, but no clues about the milk or white varieties – and with a relatively quick “best before” date, there doesn’t appear to be too many chemically things used.
Here’s a rundown of the different varieties:
Madagascar Vanilla Mousse – a richly flavoured vanilla mousse covered in dark chocolate. Nothing fancy, but well done thanks to a healthy amount of vanilla, probably from Madagascar I’d imagine.
Sea Salt Caramel Truffle – to be honest I’m kinda over run of the mill sea salt caramels at this point because everybody does one and they are invariably not as good as Paul A. Young’s. But turning this into more of a truffle is just about enough to make it interesting again. The one problem is that the sea salt is only on the outside so it only really works when everything is mixed together. One to munch rather than nibble.
Triple Chocolate Bliss – On the surface, not the most exciting chocolate. A rather large white chocolate disc, with a layer of milk hidden underneath and a few dark chocolate stripes; no big deal. But throw in some salty pistachios and bing cherries and something magical happens. There are hints of marzipan, the occasional explosion of salt and just the right amount of sweetness – the best thing in the box by far. Rogers need to make bars of this and then send me five boxes of them.
Raspberry Caramel Harmony – nice chewy caramel covered in dark chocolate. That bit I understand. I don’t get the vague raspberry undertones because they don’t really add anything of value. Probably the weakest chocolate in the box.
Crème Brulee – a remarkably faithful recreation of a crème brulee from both a flavour and texture viewpoint. White chocolate custard and a crunchy layer of burnt sugar, with the added bonus of being covered in milk chocolate. Really good stuff.
Dark Hazelnut Delight – another rather mundane one that works because it delivers big flavours. There’s a layer of hazelnut praline with plenty of big chunks of nut which give some crunch and a layer of smooth hazelnutty ganache. Not a subtle chocolate but an effective one.
PB&J – or Peanut Butter and Jelly to the uninformed. This has a very peanutty layer of peanut butter topped with some solid raspberry jelly. The peanuts dominate at the start before letting the jelly have its turn in the spotlight. Really novel, extremely well executed and absolutely delicious.
Lemon Sesame Ganache – a subtle layer of lemon cream which just manages to keep its head above the chocolate ganache. There is also a layer of sesame seeds which adds an unusual amount of chewiness and leaves a strong sesame aftertaste. Peculiar, but not in a bad way.
While not perfect, there is a lot to like about this box and it is definitely worth a try. Rogers are taking some real risks with the flavour combinations compared to the rest of their range and for the most part it works. This is a great example of a company trying to reinvent itself for a new generation, and doing a pretty good job of it. It will be very interesting to see where they go next.