After spending far too long looking for the underground wine shop, we eventually found it, just in time to sample some patisserie and hear William talk about his chocolate, how he works, and the relationship with Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
As you may know, most ‘Champagne truffles’ that you can buy are actually made with Marc de Champagne. It’s very rare to find chocolates made with real Champagne. I believe that’s partly a cost issue, and partly down to the difficulty of working with the ingredients. Chocolate and Champagne not natural bedfellows and it takes real skill to get them to work well together.
These chocolates are not like the powerful, alcohol-fuelled Marc de Champagne truffles you can buy from other retailers. They are subtle. When we tried them on Monday evening, we all commented that we could barely taste the Champagne at all. That, of course was because we happened to be eating strongly flavoured pastries and drinking glasses of Laurent-Perrier at the time!
Getting our sample box home and trying them in the morning, the Champagne is much more identifiable. It’s still very subtle, but it’s definitely there.
The chocolate is Amedei’s 70% Toscano, and works very well with the Champagne. It’s a sophisticated, subtle flavour. Delicate, rather than aggressive, and a flavour that gently builds as it melts in the mouth.
There’s a nice hint of the fresh cream in the ganache, and a finish that leaves you with the essence of the Champagne. It’s certainly not a chocolate that you want to have after a strongly flavoured meal, and in actual fact, I’d recommend tasting this separately from the Laurent-Perrier Champagne that it’s sold with too. It’s completely delicious, but those flavours are easily overwhelmed.
If you’re after an alcoholic kick, you’re not going to find it here. What you will find is a simple, elegant and subtly flavoured truffle, that’s really very nice indeed. The chocolates are available exclusively from Harrods, but William will be selling a range of Laurent-Perrier Christmas gifts in his Belgravia store from November.