This is another bar from the goody bags given out at the Academy of Chocolate Awards a few weeks ago. It’s a 45g, 70% dark chocolate bar divided into five large chunks, each filled with sea salted caramel. The most obvious comparison here is going to be with Paul A. Young’s sea salted caramels, so that’s what I’m going to compare them to.
The main difference is of course the format. Paul Young’s caramels are large, individual chocolates with a lot of caramel, whereas the chunks of this bar are smaller with a higher chocolate to caramel ratio.
I would like to mention the packaging briefly too, which I wasn’t overly impressed with. I don’t know if this was wrapped differently for the goody bags, but clear cellophane stuck together with sellotape doesn’t give an overwhelming sense of luxury – even with the addition of the “Best British Chocolatier” tag.
The chocolate in this bar is listed at 70%, but it tastes darker and richer to me. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s a little too rich for my tastes. It is very, very nice, but I would have preferred just a little more sweetness.
And the same is true of the caramel inside. The flavours are great – a slightly smokey caramel with just the right amount of salt, but it’s just a bit too rich for me, meaning it’s quite difficult to get through the whole bar in one go without sharing. And I don’t do sharing.
As you can see from this photo, the caramel is thick enough to withstand being cut with a knife. If I’d done the same with one of Paul’s caramels, I suspect the caramel would probably be all over the table, carpet and me before I’d had a chance to take the picture.
My overall impression of this bar is that it really is quite delicious, but having tasted Paul A. Young’s sea salted caramels on more than one occasion, anything else is only going to come a poor second. Even something as good as this.