The Choccies – The Best Chocolate of 2011

And yet another year has passed – and what an interesting year it has been. Thankfully it’s been full of great chocolate and here’s a run-down of the best chocolate I’ve reviewed in 2011.

If you don’t agree with me, let me know what your favourite chocolate of the year was on the Chocolate Reviews Facebook group.

The Chocolate Awards 2010

– Overall Winner –

Pierre Marcolini Selection Box

To be the overall winner a chocolate has to offer an overall experience – not only the flavours, but how they’re packaged, delivered. It helped that you get a very large selection of ganaches and palet fins that should last a very long time.

 

– Best Seasonal Chocolate –

– Winner –


Artisan du Chocolat Chocolate Magic Wands

Any chocolate that gets the family together and have a giggle must be a winner. The flavours are great, the experience wonderful and most certainly a highlight of the year!

– Highly Recommended –

Paul A. Young Valentine’s Brownie

For the second year in a row Paul has  created a fantastic seasonal creation. This year with his Valentine’s Brownie which is likely to produce a When Harry Met Sally moment.

Demarquette Festive Caramels

Of course you’re looking for something for Christmas, if that’s the case then I really have to recommend these festive caramels from Marc as they were immense.

– Worth A Mention –

Chococo Christmas Crackle Tree

This was perhaps the most addictive seasonal chocolate I had all year. Once you popped … yes it had popping candy and smarties – but no Pringles.

 

Best Novelty Chocolate - Rococo Jersey New Potatoes & Fresh Mint

– Best Novelty Chocolate –

– Winner –

Lucky’s Hunny Bunny Luxury Cakes

Perhaps it’s unfair to put these awesome cakes in the novelty section, but seeing as the whole experience is so outlandish, there’s no other way to describe them. They are utterly delicious and if you really want to treat a loved one this year then these would most certainly be top of my list. Luck’s “only” got a highly commended last year so they’ve stepped one place up this year’s awards to be best placed.

– Highly Commended –

Berry Scrumptious Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Of course these chocolate covered strawberries are more suited to the summer, but back then when it was so hot I was melting, having some of these delivered was absolutely fantastic. Look for them next summer!

– Worth A Mention –

Montezuma’s Lime Pickle

The combination of flavours between the lime, the mango and the white chocolate made these things incredibly addictive.

– Last Year’s Winner –

Rococo Jersey New Potatoes

 

Best Chocolate Selection Box - Paul A. Young House Selection

– Best Filled Chocolates –

– Winners –

Pierre Marcolini Selection Box

Having visited Pierre and his team this Spring it was great to see the scale of which he creates these delights. There was great variety in the box that should cater for all tastes. Both Pierre and the other joint winner, Marc, achieved a score of 97%

Demarquette Royal Marina Ganaches

Marc does make some truly fantastic chocolates and these ones Royal Merina Ganaches were just sublime – the flavour was precise, elegant and sensual; whilst the texture exemplary.

– Highly Commended –

Chocolats Mussy Selection Box

I nearly didn’t buy these as I didn’t find his shop too engaging, but I’m incredibly grateful I did. Nothing here will offer anything different in terms of flavours, but the quality is fantastic and duly got a rating of 87%

Demarquette Nutkeeper’s Caramels

More filled chocolates from Marc with these Nutkeeper’s Caramels which managed to wonderfully combine various nuts with wonderful caramel.

– Last Year’s Winner-

Geert Vercruysse Selection

 

 

Best Dark Chocolate - Pralus Chuao 75%

– Best Dark Chocolate –

– Winner –

Duffy’s Panama Tierra Oscura Panama 72%

Duffy’s journey over the past couple of years has been nothing sort of stellar. He never makes a bad bar of chocolate and normally produces absolutely fantastic stuff. The best of the bunch this year was the Panama 72% which received a score of 93.25%

– Highly Commended –

Mast Brothers Black Truffle

I’ve never had a Mast Brothers bar I haven’t liked, and although this one might be too intense for many, it does offer a fantastic acidity that should really give you a jolt if you needed it. This and the Idilio bar were only slightly behind the winner with a score of 92%

Idilio Origins Finca Torres 72%

I think Idilio are the only Swiss chocolate makers that have won any awards on this site as they make chocolate the right way, they’re less commercialised than the others and focus on making sensational fine chocolate.

Mast Brothers Chuao 81%

This bar is ‘its own man” say to speak, its unique and utterly fantastic.

– Worth A Mention –

Idilio Origins 74% Porcelana

Another one from Idilio, and one using the highly regarded Porcelana beans. the texture and flavours in the chocolate mean it should definitely be sought out.

Domori Porcelana

With such a revered bean as the Porcelana this was bound to be good, it’s just not as good as the other two above. It did get a score of 88% though.

Potomac Upala 82%

A fantastic bar from a small batch chocolate maker in the USA. If you can get your hands on some, I’d definitely recommend it!

Artisan du Chocolat Jamaica 72%

This was a wonderful bar with some very interesting flavours and a score of 85%.

William Curley Sea Salt Caramel Bar

I’m not normally one for caramel, but along with the dark chocolate this version from William was utterly wonderful.

Åkesson’s 75% Criollo Madagascar

From their own plantation in Madagascar comes this wonderful bar. Definitely worth trying.

– Last Year’s Winner –

Pralus Chuao

 

 

The Best Milk Chocolate Bar - Pralus Barre Infernale Lait

– Best Milk Chocolate –

– Winner –

Madécasse 44% Milk Chocolate

I haven’t reviewed much milk chocolate this year, but this one stood out miles above the others with a score of 80.6% as it offered some acidity and interesting flavours.

– Highly Commended –

Paul A. Young Caramel Crunch

This is definitely a milk chocolate bar for those of you who appreciate sweetness. I do have those moments and I wish I had more of this bar to hand for when I have them in the future.

Thorntons Bakewell Tart

Another bar for you sweet chocolate lovers, but there’s more to that for this bar. Again there are some interesting flavours that many may not expect from a Thornton’s Bar.

Artisan du Chocolat Rooibos

And now for something completely different. This tea-flavoured bar hit the mark with me because it was so unusual.

– Last Year’s Winner –

Pralus Barre Infernal Lait

 

The Best White Chocolate

– Best White Chocolate –

– Winner –

Amedei Cioccolato al Latter Bianco con Pistacchi

An utterly fantastic white chocolate bar – I know, I’ve gone and said it now, but it really was that good, in fact, it got a score of 85%.

– Highly Commended –

Thorntons Cloudy Lemonade

The main reason I liked this one was that the acidity managed to reduce the creaminess of the white chocolate.

 


– Best Hot Chocolate –

– Winner –

Sir Hans Sloane Dark Drinking Chocolate

The hot chocolate was delivered in an unusual format. Instead of powder or being solid on the end of a stick, Bill’s hot chocolate came in bead form contained in a tin which made it perfect to snack on as well as make hot chocolate.

– Highly Commended –

Devnaa Masala Chai Hot Chocolate

This was a wonderful twist on the traditional hot chocolate with its very interesting spicy flavours.

Jaz And Jules Chilli Con Choccy Hot Chocolate

The heat was certainly turned up with this hot chocolate and I absolutely loved it!

 

 

Lee McCoy

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