Friday, 28 March 2014

Cocoa Boutique Artisan Chocolate Tasting Club Review


A big thank you to Cocoa Boutique who recently sent me a box of chocolates from their Artisan Chocolate Tasting Club to review recently!

Ripping open the box I was met with this amazing sight:


Don't they just look gorgeous?! I couldn't wait to get stuck in, although the chocolates looked so nice I felt bad cutting into them! They smelled as delicious as they looked, too. Below are my thoughts on each chocolate:

Milking Maid Truffle:

This is a simple creamy milk truffle enrobed in chocolate and coated in chocolate shavings. I expected it to be rather boring but it was actually one of my favourite chocolates in the box. Just proves that sometimes simple is best! 9 out of 10.

Raspberry Champagne Bombe:

This chocolate contains a white chocolate shell studded with dried raspberry pieces, with a raspberry and champagne truffle filling. I loved how light and fresh it was, but as I'm not a fan of alcoholic flavoured chocolates it wasn't my favourite. It was still very nice though! 8 out of 10.

Gazillionaire's Shortbread:

Inspired by the classic millionaire's shortbread, this chocolates contains mini shortbread pieces with a traditional copper pot caramel in a milk chocolate shell. I loved this one - it combines all the best elements of caramel shortbread in one chocolate. The caramel was buttery and gooey and complimented perfectly with the crunchy, buttery shortbread. Divine! 9 out of 10.

Cafe Brew:

This truffle contains a delicious creamy coffee truffle filling, topped off with white chocolate and surrounded in a 30% milk chocolate shell. I loved the design on this one - the chocolates look like mini coffee cups! They tasted sublime - extremely creamy, and with a subtle but not over-powering coffee flavour. 9 out of 10.

Lemon Meringue Pie:

This is of course inspired by the classic dessert, with the extra sweetness of added white chocolate. This was by far one of my favourite chocolates in the box; they've recreated the taste of lemon meringue perfectly! The filling had a lovely fresh lemon flavour and the creamy white chocolate complimented it beautifully. 10 out of 10.

Passion Fruit Burst:

This award-winning chocolate contains a zingy passionfruit filling encased in a crisp dark chocolate shell. Be warned as it's intensely fruity! I really enjoyed this but wasn't quite expecting just how strong it would taste. If you love your fruity chocolates then this is definitely one for you! 8 out of 10.

Cocoa Dusted Salted Caramel:

Being a salted caramel convert I couldn't wait to try this one. It's apparently won a "Great Taste" award and contains salted copper pot caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder. As delicious as it was...I felt the caramel was a little too runny for my liking. I know salted caramel is usually very runny but personally I prefer it slightly chewy and sticky. Still, it's an excellent quality chocolate! 8 out of 10.

Praline Sliver:

Two layers of silky praline topped off with a fine layer of milk chocolate. I loved this one, it was so creamy and nutty and melt in the mouth! Think of the best parts of a Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Bueno (the creamy centres) and make them denser and richer...and that's what this tasted like! Amazing. 9 out of 10.

Encrusted Hazelnut Truffle:

This contains a creamy hazelnut truffle centre coated in a 34% cocoa shell, topped with hand-chopped hazelnuts. I enjoyed this one, although the hazelnuts weren't quite as fresh as I would have hoped. It's still far superior to a Ferrero Rocher though! 7 out of 10.

Nib-let Bar:

This is a simple milk chocolate bar with cocoa nibs and a dash of white chocolate swirl. Despite its simplicity, I loved it! The cocoa flavours really shone through and the bar tasted smooth and rich, with the cocoa nibs giving it a nice crunch. 9 out of 10.

Almond Cube:

This contains almond praline spiked with a hint of salt, enrobed in 40% Ghana milk chocolate and topped off with a whole almond. I loved this one, it had all the best elements of a chocolate - smooth nutty centre, crunchy nutty topping and rich milk chocolate. The lick of salt brought out the savoury moreishness even more. I could happily eat a box of these! 10 out of 10.

Other varieties in the box included: Honeycomb Bites, Smooth Caramel Buttons, Steeped Cherry Brandy and 72% Venezuelan chocolate drops. All were delicious and of excellent quality although the cherry brandy wasn't for me.

Overall:
Well I have to say I am extremely impressed with this selection from Cocoa Boutique - initially I assumed they were just a Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club rip-off, but dare I say it I enjoyed them more than some chocolates I've tried from Hotel Chocolat! The variety is fantastic and there wasn't a bad chocolate in the whole box, not something you can often say about boxed chocolates. I would thoroughly recommend Cocoa Boutique if you're a fan of chocolate tasting boxes - they can rival Hotel Chocolat any day!

More info: 
Cocoa Boutique is a subscription-based Chocolate Tasting Club, the introductory box of 31 chocolates and 3 tasting trays costs £34.95, and further boxes cost £19.95. There is a full refund guarantee on the introductory box so you can get your money back if you don't like them.


*I received these chocolates for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

5 comments:

  1. Oh Wow! They all look delicate and just divine! Do you know how Cocoa Boutique's selection compares to the Chocolate Tasting Club's boxes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say Cocoa Boutique's is actually superior - I certainly enjoyed it a lot more! That said it's a while since I tried one of Hotel Chocolat's Tasting Club selections.

      Delete
  2. These all look absolutely wonderful! I especially like the little coffee cup shaped ones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They look great don't they! :)

      Delete
  3. Based on a couple of the chocolates I can see here, Cocoa Boutique uses a range of independent chocolatiers for their stock. The Passion Fruit one you mentioned is produced by Lauden Chocolate/Sun Trigg. I met the producer a couple of years back at the Speciality and Fine Foods Fair at Earl's Court, and she explained her process of making the filling from fresh passionfruit pulp.

    Overall the cocoa boutique business model seems quite interesting.

    ReplyDelete