The last few days has all been about Christmas and what chocolatiers are foisting upon us. I always look upon this time of year as a great test of their creativity and how much they value their customers. My own personal preference is for traditional themes to be well executed with a nice little twist. They obviously need to look fantastic, taste wonderful and offer the sense of amazement that Christmas is all about (well in a gift-giving sense anyway). Combining popping candy, Smarties (under the nom de: ‘coloured chocolate beans’), milk chocolate and a healthy dose of minimalism to produce this cone-style Christmas tree was bound to intrigue me as it did satisfy the child within.
Of course it looks enticing, the Christmas tree ‘window’ cutting in the box gave a traditional appearance to the modern shape within which made me wonder what the contents are actually like – just like when you’re going to see a theatre production and you catch the briefest glance of the set behind the curtains before they’re opened to show its full magnificence.
Although there’s no apparent precision in its creation, that aspect has been fully replaced with a great deal of fun – which at Christmas is more important in my book.At first I thought it looked remarkably like a volcano – I hadn’t been drinking at the time, my brain was just not in tune with the abstract art style of the Christmas tree, but seeing as I once bought a cardboard Christmas tree I quickly caught on.
If you wanted to use the word ‘juxtapose’ this chocolate tree would be a good time. The outside looked elegant and simple – the white chocolate coating the tree as if as the result of an evening’s snow fall. Inside, however, contained all of the fun with the Smarties and popping candy.
As I worked through the tree, from base, heading towards the crown, each mouthful was a different experience. One bite would have more popping candy in than the previous; and each Smartie. had a different flavour. And this is what I loved about it. You could easy consume the 100g of chocolate and treats and each mouthful would be different from the previous. I know it’s just a cone of milk chocolate with some fun stuff added, but that’s what I love about it – it’s nowhere near as pretentious as many chocolate treats at this time of year.
The chocolate itself is very good, and much more flavoursome than you’d normally get in novelty chocolate gifts. It’s made from 44% Trinitario cacao from Grenada and was a complete shock when I first tried it as I’m so used to these sort of chocolate products being made with the most cheap chocolate to allow the manufacturers as much scope to profit from the season as possible.
At £10.50 for the one or £18.50 for the two I do think they are great value, purely because of how original they are and because they do use very good milk chocolate.