Tutu Delicious are a family-run chocolate shop and chocolatier from Watlington in Oxfordshire who are currently celebrating three Great Taste Awards. Chocolatier Zoe Haynes uses a range of fresh ingredients and single origin couvertures while mum designs the packaging and sister Liza manages the shop and heads up the marketing effort.
It was Liza who sent me this tempting looking assortment to get my teeth into.
I thought I’d start my exploration by tasting the award winners themselves. The Orange & Balsamic is a dark chocolate in the shape of a cocoa pod. It’s beautifully tempered with a striking orange creme filling that reminds me of old fashioned fondant chocolates.
The flavour evokes memories of those traditional chocolates too, but is much smoother, fresher and more subtle than similar chocolates I’ve tried. It’s the kind of chocolate that will appeal to traditionalists and modernists alike. I didn’t pick up a great deal of balsamic, but it’s very easy to eat, without being overly sweet.
Next up was the Three Star winning Apricot & Rosemary; a square chocolate with a layer of thick ganache sitting atop an apricot jelly. With its perfectly balanced flavours, it’s easy to see why this won such a high accolade. It’s neither too sweet or intense with it’s subtle fruitiness underlined by the gentle warmth of the rosemary. It’s simple, effortless and delicious.
The final award winner is Mango & Chilli, another two layer dark chocolate square. This one has a white chocolate ganache sitting on a jelly layer and for me deserves more than the single star it was credited with. There’s a decent amount of heat to it and a nice tang to the mango, but as with the others, it’s never overpowering.
The most intriguing looking chocolate in the box is the Oriental Green Tea, a golden head made of dark chocolate with a white chocolate and green tea ganache. This is a really well crafted chocolate with the sweetness of the ganache helping to balance the dark chocolate. The tea is subtle, but in this case perhaps a little too subtle.
Other highlights in my box were the Blackcurrant, another dark chocolate ganache with perfectly balanced fruit and the rich and tart Lime & Vodka.
This is a big range of chocolates that is clearly designed to cater for a wide range of tastes. From the traditional, sweeter flavours to the more modern, darker chocolates, there’s something for everyone here.
I believe Tutu Delicious are currently using Belgian couverture for their range, and I do think that a step up in the quality of the chocolate could take this range from great to amazing, but I’m aware these are chocolates that have to appeal to a rural Oxfordshire audience for whom price is likely a major consideration.
30 High Street
Tel: 01491 612462