They say that youth is wasted on the young. My youth flashed passed at such a high speed I can barely believe I’m the same person that set up in business on his own some fifteen years ago. That experience engendered in me a huge respect for those who strike out on their own at a young age. It’s very hard. Business is scary. Having talent is the only thing that can make being your own boss less daunting. Looking at the products that a new, young chocolatier Cally Higginbottom has put together makes me thing she’ll have no problem in making a big name in the chocolate industry. And if for whatever reason Chocally doesn’t succeed on her own I’m sure some big name in the industry will snap her up.
For me a requested review starts at the very moment the email hits my inbox. Today I recieved an email entitled “Review Us” (that’s all) and contained the line “our boxes of chocolate have been identified as slow sellers.” Contrast that to a wonderful email from Cally and beautifully presented selection of chocolate treats. Of course, Cally graduated from university with a degree in Graphic Design so I shouldn’t have expected anything else. But I’m being completely serious when I say I love the brand she has created. It’s sophisticated, fun and relaxed. There’s no pomposity or pretence. There’s an attention to detail and evident that Cally is determined to deliver the “experience” that people actually buy when they buy chocolate.
The basket of goodies that Cally sent over contains a wide variety of chocolate treats. Some are fun, some conventional and some have just got me drooling at the chops – “Crunchy Bombay Shards” – they so have my name on them! We also have a selection of truffles entitled “Coffee Break”, “Eggy Halves”, “Popcorn truffles” and a chocolaty Mango Runny Eggy.
Of course I started at the Bombay Mix Shards. I’d love to know how Cally came up with that idea. I must have eaten my weight in Bombay Mix over the years and I’ve never thought about combining them with dark chocolate. For my waistline’s sake, I’m afraid to say that it works – very well. The crunch of the fried lentils against the forgiving chocolate is a triumph. I’m also a huge fan of chilli chocolate, but that the balance of that can often be unpleasant, but here its delicious and incredibly moreish.
Chocolate fried eggs are quite popular these days but, again, they’re often not done so well as the white chocolate is offered along with some similarly sweet yolk. You don’t often see a yolk that serves to contrast with the sweetness of the albumen. Thankfully Cally contrasts it against a sharp Mango fondant, which although sweet, does have a good kick to it. I do naturally gravitate to dark chocolate, but at least I can appreciate it.
We next had a selection of coffee truffles. The first was a powerful Tiramisu which offered a lovely warm feeling as it descended into the abyss. What’s more, the boozy coffee flavour continued to give for a long while after the melt. The Cinnamon Latte offered less flavour, but I believe it was difficult to compete with the very direct flavours delivered in the previous truffle. The Caramel Macchiato was certainly one for caramel fans as it delightful twist on the usual caramel flavour. There was a depth to it that is far too often missing from caramels. And finally the Almond Espresso – I fell in love with this one as the flavours reminded me very much of a Bakewell Tart. I’d certainly a box just of these ones.
Even the “Egg Halves” brought a smile to my face There were various interesting sounding treats including white bubble-gum, white chocolate with Space Dust, a Jelly Bean milk chocolate and a dark chocolate with Parma Violet. I’ve not seen this combination of flavours before and despite them being aimed at children, they were great, innocent fun.
And finally, you can’t go wrong with popcorn truffles. I know they’re sweet, and a mile away from the bean-to-bar chocolate I naturally gravitate to, but they’re bloody addictive! It’s the combination of the silkiness of the chocolate, the crunch of the popcorn and the velvetiness of the truffle filling – blooming gorgeous!
Overall I was very impressed with what Cally has to offer, and I’m sure you will be too.