Thirty years after being attacked by a Bengal tiger, Janet Coghlan has gone into business making chocolates under the name Tiger J’s. Part of the proceeds of sales go to the Born Free Foundation. The truffles come in boxes or the smaller, six truffle grab bag (not eight as the site promises) I got hold of, which retails at £4.00 (or 50p a chocolate). Tiger J’s only make four different chocolates – Spiced Nutmeg and Cinnamon, Earl Grey and Lemon Sugar, Passion Fruit and Banana and soft caramel.
Inside the box there’s a cellophane bag with the chocolates loose inside, mine had one each of the Earl Grey and Passion fruit, and a pair of Banana Caramels and Nutmeg & Cinnamon. The banana caramel was the most obvious. A thick milk chocolate shell with a really gooey liquid caramel centre and a hint of banana. The caramel was excellent – so much so that I could happily have forgone the banana element, which also seemed to have a hint of passion fruit about it.
The dark chocolate Passion Fruit truffle was well balanced. The fruit flavour sat nicely underneath the smooth, creamy filling and the shell was thick enough to mean that once the centre had melted away there was enough of it left for a long dark chocolate finish.
I found the Lemon Sugar and Earl Grey truffle a bit lacking in Earl Grey flavour. The Lemon Sugar was a good introductory flavour with the citrus sweetness working well with the milk chocolate, but there just wasn’t enough of a bergamot kick in there to really justify the name.
The Nutmeg and Cinnamon truffle is dusted in cocoa powder which gives the first taste a nice dark, acidic note before the softer shell and filling come into play. Again, the flavours are quite subtle – a hint of cinnamon and an undercurrent of spice.
Of the four truffles the Banana Caramel exhibits the strongest flavours, which didn’t come as too much of a surprise given my previous banana/chooclate experiences. The caramel is extremely runny, so much so that when I bit into it I had to pop the whole thing into my mouth in order to avoid covering myself in caramel.
Overall I’d say that these truffles err on the side of caution. The flavours are generally quite subtle, and I couldn’t help but think that having them in a bag together resulted in the flavours mingling a little. The web site has the full range of chocolates as well as chocolate raisins and ginger with the added bonus of a mail order facility, and 2.5% of your money goes to the Born Free Foundation, which can’t be a bad thing at all.