Last year when we wrote about the future of Thorntons and spoke to their head chocolatier Keith Hurdman, we talked about how careful the company has to be when introducing new ranges that they don’t alienate their traditional customer. Since then, we’ve reviewed some fabulous new Thorntons products, but this one – part of their Continental range – is clearly aimed at keeping the traditionalists happy.
“Paris” is part of Thorntons new “City Box” collection of chocolates supposedly inspired by particular city. They also do a “Milan” box of dark chocolates, which I’ll be looking at later this week. Paris, it turns out, is all milk.
Inside the attrictive box, there are two layers of 14 chocolates, with a total of eight different ones to choose from.
Mousse au Chocolat
This is described as a ‘light fluffy chocolate mousse finished with sprinkles of dark and white chocolate’. A chocolate flavour chocolate, with chocolate on top then. A little bland for my liking.
Caramel de Café
A coffee-caramel milk chocolate square, topped with a chocolate ‘coffee bean’. I liked the flavour combination here. The coffee wasn’t so intense as to overpower the caramel, which was nice. I think I would have preferred the coffee bean to have been real though!
Praline with pieces of feuillentine waffle. I don’t really know what that is, but the chocolate is soft and creamy with crispy bits – like a lot of the chocs in this box.
“Caramelised hazelnuts with a hint of gingerbread” is how the box describes this one. And that’s exactly what it is. A little bit of ginger and a little bit of a crunch make this one of my favourites.
A large, round chocolate with a tastey hazelnut filling. I particularly liked the texture of this one. It’s nice and light, but the croquant pieces give it an interesting crispy texture when you bite into it.
Ganache au Marc de Champagne
An interestingly designed diamond-shaped milk chocolate ganache, with a hint of marc de champagne.
A classic truffle with French brandy brandy, decorated with dark chocolate flakes. Very subtle flavours here. Needs more brandy!
Heart shaped chocolate with marzipan and French orange liqueur. The only one of this collection to have a fruit filling, and probably my favourite. There’s more orange than marzipan flavour going on, and the overall effect is really rather nice.
The general theme of this box seems to be soft centres with subtle (too subtle) flavours and assorted cripsy bits. There isn’t a great deal of variation within that theme, and you might be hard pressed to tell some of them apart.
A couple of years ago, I might have ranted about how dull this collection is. But it’s clearly not aimed at me, and now that I have a better idea of Thorntons strategy, I’m OK with it. It’s a nicely presented box and is the kind of thing that the ‘traditional’ Thorntons shopper will be attracted to – and while they’re there, hopefully they’ll discover some of the new and exciting products on offer.
As it stands, this would make a perfectly good gift. I would be more than willing to get my dad a box… if it weren’t for the fact that he seems to have inexplicably developed a taste for Valrhona lately…