TCHO is a American bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in San Francisco. Like Videri Chocolate Factory, TCHO like to concentrate on flavours rather than specific origins, although most of their chocolates are still single origin.
TCHO Artisan Confections is a new range of fresh chocolates, designed to complement the company’s existing range of bars. It’s always interesting when a chocolate maker turns chocolatier and starts making their own filled chocolates. They’ve very different skills, and it doesn’t always work very well. In this case though, TCHO have come up with a small collection of rather delicious chocolates.
So let’s explore this little box of treats…
“Classic” Seriousmilk + Ground Hazelnuts
A wonderfully nutty praline with a delicious crunch. Enrobed in a 39% milk chocolate, it’s light, creamy and has a great crunch to it. I’m not usually a fan of praline, but I could easily eat a whole box of these.
“Fruity” Purenotes Dark + Wild Morello Cherry
I love cherry and chocolate when done right, and this one is certainly done right. Using TCHO’s “Fruity” 68% Peruvian chocolate, and wild morello cherries in liqueur, it’s sharp, tangy and completely delicious. It’s not overly sweet, which is exactly what I’m looking for in this kind of chocolate, and the liqueur soaked cherry has a kick, without being overwhelming.
“Bright” Purenotes Dark + Blood Orange
A fantastic 67% Madagascan chocolate with a blood orange ganache. The ganache is so zingy and orangey, and is perfectly matched to the citrus notes in the Madagascan chocolate shell. Wonderful stuff.
Sea Salt & Roasted Nib Caramel
This liquid caramel is quite sweet, but that sweetness is offset by an 85% Ecuadorian dark chocolate and a generous helping of cocoa nibs. The result is a very enjoyable journey from sweet to dark.
In short, every chocolate in this box is an out-and-out winner. The flavour combinations have been carefully considered and not only match the chocolates they’ve been paired with, but also fit perfectly with TCHO’s flavour driven approach to chocolate making.
If I have one criticism it’s simply that they’re a little small, and a little expensive at $12.95 for a box of 4 chocolates. That works out at £2.14 per chocolate in proper money, which is at the top end of what you can expect to pay for high end artisan chocolates in the UK. But you do have to remember that these are handmade from the bean, and that’s a time consuming and labour intensive process, even before you consider the cost of sourcing quality ingredients. So even at that price, I think they’re worth paying for.
The other big downside is that TCHO don’t ship internationally yet. Even if they did, with such short shelf life products, I doubt the confections range will ever be on sale outside the US. But if you are able to get hold of them, I highly recommend parting with some cash.