If you’re a regular Chocablog reader, you’ll know that I’ve never given Thorntons products rave reviews. With the recent influx of high end chocolatiers and the popularity of proper chocolate, Thorntons often seem to be left behind, stuck in the mid ’70s.
So when I picked this box off the shelf of the Brent Cross branch of Thorntons yesterday, I didn’t really think twice about it. I just picked the box that stood out the most. The yellow one.
As it turned out, this was one of my better chocolate purchases…
This box cost £6 and contains 16 summer themed chocolates. They are:
Milk chocolate with a double cream mousse filling, flavoured with raspberries and peach schnapps.
It’s difficult to taste the peach in this as the raspberry flavour all but overwhelms it, but then peach isn’t a particularly intense flavour anyway. The raspberries are possibly a little too instense for the creamy milk chocolate and there’s a slight clash of flavours here. Not my favourite of the bunch, but still pretty good.
Light chocolate mousse with crème de cacao, covered with milk chocolate.
Probably the plainest of the bunch, but deliciously chocolatey and light with a very slight hint of alcohol. A simple idea, perfectly executed.
Orange and double cream mousse in milk chocolate.
Another light mousse filling, this time with a subtle orange flavour. I’m not a major fan of orange and chocolate, partly because it’s a flavour combination that’s been done so often. But the taste is spot on here. It’s subtle enough to work with the cream mousse and milk chocolate, but strong enough to know it’s made with real oranges.
Crème fraîche and blackcurrants with blackcurrant flavoured jelly in a square dark chocolate cup.
The most unusual of the chocolates in this collection. The blackcurrant jelly is very strongly flavoured, as is the dark chocolate. The two go together quite well, but don’t work that well with the crème fraîche. A delicious chocolate, but it’s noticeably richer than anything else in the box, and I’m not convinced it fits in that well.
Vanilla flavoured cream mousse in white chocolate, decorated with dark chocolate loops.
A wonderfully light, creamy vanilla flavour which perfectly complements the white chocolate. This one’s particularly sweet and the dark chocolate isn’t particularly noticeable, but that’s just the way it should be. Intentionally sweet, but light enough not to be sickly.
White chocolate with a strawberry flavoured double cream mousse decorated with freeze-dried strawberry pieces.
I love freeze dried strawberries anyway, so this was always going to be a winner. The filling is soft and light, the white chocolate is smooth and creamy, and the dried strawberry has an intense flavour that gets fruitier as it melts in your mouth. Divine.
White chocolate with cream and lemon layers, topped with meringue pieces.
This is very obviously made with real lemons and has a really zesty hit when you first bite into it. The lemon is almost liquid, so that flavour hits you first. There isn’t much meringue and the white chocolate is very thick and a little too sweet for my tastes, but that’s a minor complaint. Another fruity winner.
Overall, these are some of the nicest chocolates I’ve tasted this year, and probably the nicest Thorntons chocolates I’ve ever tasted. If I had to fault them at all, it would be because of the packaging. It’s adequate, but quite plain and doesn’t shout quality like the chocolates inside do.
But if you can get past that (which I’m sure you can), these make the perfect gift for someone who likes lighter, fruitier chocolates. From the moment you open the box, you’re hit by a wave of fruitiness and a quick glance at the list of ingredients confirms every one of these chocs is made with “real” ingredients.
I still have my doubts about the Thorntons brand, but these are highly recommended.