When it comes to reviewing filled chocolates I always go with my first thoughts as the flavour hits me. Even though my initial reaction was a very positive “oh bloody hell” that doesn’t adequately describe the variety, depth and excellence of these caramels.
Let’s backtrack a bit though. The reason I have these delectable treats is that Bryan, who is Fruition Chocolate sent a few treats over with the stock I ordered from him. As well as some toasted almonds with smoked sea salt (which have all-but disappeared), I have some caramelized hazelnuts and some Marcona almonds with dark chocolate, olive oil, honey & rosemary.
Ever since I first tried Bryan’s chocolate about a year and a half ago I’ve loved the brand he has created, and that clear-cut, precise and engaging visual appearance has certainly been carried through into the packaging of these caramels. The tin is reminiscent of continental cigars and of sufficient size to easily contain the nine caramels. One of my pet-hates is when chocolates are crammed far too tightly into a container. My view is that they should be easy to select – and that’s certainly the case here.
Each individual caramel has a beautiful blended brown and beige shell which reminded me of the appearance of bourbon as you look into it through a glass. The top part will have a golden, honey-like colour whilst the refracted light will display the bar counter through the bottom part. Some of my happiest nights have been sat at the bar in Palace Cafe , on the corner of Nassau Ave & Russell Street in Brooklyn and these caramels brought the memories flooding back – for the bourbon, not the caramel of course.
As you first bite in you should notice the brown butter caramel at first. It’s all-consuming. The butter and the sugar combine to form a warm blanket over your taste buds. They envelope your senses and gently direct you towards the boozy part of the flavour profile.
The Hudson Valley Baby bourbon part of the spectrum is beautifully restrained. It dances at the base and provides a delightful bitterness to contrast with the richness and sweetness of the other primary ingredients. The most soft, and almost liquid like caramel acts as an elixir to the soul as it carries its warm payload down the back of the throat. These aren’t caramels for people who like violet creams. They’re for sophisticated people who appreciate the finer things in life.
When considering the combined impact of the inspiring visuals, the adult flavours and the glorious texture I really do think the British public deserves the opportunity to try them.