Earlier this year I was chatting to a chef about chocolate (as you do) and he mentioned William Curley’s name, saying that he had a bit of a reputation as a chocolatier. Jump forward in time a few months and I find myself being sent to Shepherd’s Market in London to buy lightbulbs of all things. As I strolled back through the quaint (and very upmarket) shops, I walked right into William Curley’s Mayfair store.
The lightbulb mission completed, I decided ten minutes or so spent buying a few special treats wouldn’t go amiss, and this is one of them. (It’s also the reason for my cryptic comment on Kath’s Sesame Chocolate review last month.)
Now William Curley’s principal occupation is as a patissier. Alongside his wife (who is also a patissier) he makes some pretty good looking cakes and pastries (as you may expect of a Michelin pastry chef!) and this year is the third year he has won Chocolatier of the Year at the Academy of Chocolate awards, so this is pretty serious stuff!
This Toasted Sesame Chocolate is just that – thin shards of 66% cocoa dark chocolate with toasted white and black sesame seeds; simple in both presentation and content and yet also slightly unusual. (I for one hadn’t come across any sesame chocolate before). It has also won Gold awards, and it’s easy to see (or rather, taste)why.
The chocolate used is wonderfully deep and dark in both appearance and flavour, with citrussy highs and tobacco and wood low notes, and when you start to crack open the sesame seeds the additional flavour adds a nutty kick to the whole taste experience. The chocolate is smooth, with a great mouthfeel and a clean, bittersweet finish. The addition of toasted sesame seeds may or may not be an Oriental influence (Mrs. Curley is Japanese, and some of their other chocolate and pastry creations use wasabe and sake) but it’s certainly an inspired one.
This chocolate is remarkably moreish, just like the Cote D’Or bar Kath reviewed and being über-posh Mayfair/Richmond chocolate it isn’t cheap, so beware – you may find yourself chomping your way through a tenner’s worth of chocolate without even realising it! Having said that, if you want to impress someone with a really special treat, you could do a lot worse than William Curley chocolate.
You can buy online from williamcurley.co.uk or at one of his shops in either Mayfair or Richmond, or at John Lewis. Definitely one for the serious chocolate lover.