Lurking at the bottom of my Woodhouse Chocolate package were a couple of slender acetate boxes with a single line of chocolate inside. And, to be honest, I put them both on one side because the other things in the package looked much more interesting. After all, I had just had some top notch hard toffee recently and while I’m not completely sick of caramels, I didn’t really feel the urge to gobble them down. So instead, they got left until the end and that’s when I discovered that I was wrong to neglect them.
The English Toffees were absolutely dominated by pieces of toasted almond which were scattered generously on each of the bite-sized toffees. The toffee itself wasn’t quite as rich as those made by Poco Dolce (which, incidentally, are now my yardstick for how crunchy toffees should taste), but they do have a lovely chewy quality after that initial burst of crunching. I personally felt that there were too many nuts on top and it took away from the toffee flavour, but these are still perfectly acceptable chocolates which are unlikely to elicit many complaints from anybody.
Of course, everybody and their dog make caramels with salt these days, making it much harder to stand out from the pack. That said, these ones do manage to hold their own although they aren’t the best I’ve ever tasted. Everything about them is right – the chocolate covering is not too thick and mingles with the caramel centre with each and every chew. They come in both milk and dark chocolate varieties, with the milk being my favourite because it works better with the creamy caramel inside. And the thing that they both kinds do really well is using just the right amount of French sea salt so that the buttery-ness of the caramel is complimented rather than dominated.
So two very decent chocolates, although neither are the best examples of their type. I would still be happy enough to eat another package of each if the situation arose, but I’d suggest trying their wonderful boxed chocolates first because those are where these Californians excel.