The new Chocolate Society is bucking the trend. There’s no fanfare, no glitz and marketing campaign. Al and his team have just got their head down and got one with producing wonderful chocolates. The rest just seems a distraction to them. And that probably comes from his background, which is similar to mine: online marketing. There I suspect we’ve both learned that you can’t, excuse my language, ‘polish a turd’. For marketing to work you’ve got to have a great product. When you achieve that everything else will follow. Whilst others in the chocolate industry seem focused primarily on marketing, and even having a TV show featuring what they do, The Chocolate Society continues to learn, evolve and produce absolutely delightful filled chocolates using excellent ingredients.
Al sent me quite a few selections – many of which are still in the tinkering stage, but there are two that I can publicly review. The first is a banoffee pie truffle and a salted caramel. Both I absolutely loved and both are light on the taste buds as they seem to be more in tune with discerning palettes rather than the harsh, brusque approach of more commercial chocolatiers.
One of the country’s largest chocolatiers produced a banoffee Easter egg which, although enjoyable on a chemical level wasn’t emotionally satisfying. The balance was directed at providing a sugar hit, but not so these truffles. Visually they’re very light. The milk chocolate is looks interesting, not least because of the crispy inclusions. As you first bite in you’ll get a brief insight as to its smooth and creamy complexion but you’ll then be instantly drawn into the sweet, banoffee filling which is jam-packed full of natural banana flavour. There are no faux-flavours here. They’re summery, rich, decadent and delightful. Over time that initial hit will subside and the milk chocolate shell takes over. But that banoffee flavour never seems to disappear completely. It’s ever-present and that’s what I love about it.
There are only a couple of salted caramels left as I was confused as whether I could review these or not. During the working day and in the evening I would seek one of these out as they gave just the right chocolate fix against a sweet, decadent filling that I just couldn’t resist. I loved how the very soft salted caramel filling oozes out of the shell as you crunch through. That combination of the salt and the caramel is perfectly balanced. Often salted caramels can be too extreme. Some like that, I don’t. I prefer them to be more sophisticated, allowing the chocolate to come through and not be dominated by any one ingredient. And that’s certainly what happens with these.
Although these chocolates are very good. There are some from the selections that Al sent over that I can’t publicly review which I feel are a better test and display of his talent. Again, I’m not allowed to name them, but there are some fruity ones that have a great, clean, natural flavour perfect for the summer season. There’s also one that would typically be dark and brooding but had some delightful punch to it whilst another was based on a popular herb that I absolutely adored.
I do hope that people do try some of the selections from The Chocolate Society as they make chocolates the right way.