The day of my last visit to Demarquette last week I took on my second new client in two days. That has meant my poor little feet have hardly touched the ground since. But whilst I’ve got fed up waiting for a report to process I thought “sod this, its chocolate time”. And what better wayto get distracted from one’s working stresses than with Marc’s nuts?
My normal review process entails me nibbling on a few things whilst I write a hopefully engaging preamble and then sit down and really concentrate on the flavours and texture of the chocolate itself. However, I opened up the little sample box of his Hazelnut Pebbles which are made with sea salt and have become utterly fixated by them. At a previous event we had various chocolate coated nuts and I’d hover over them like a moth around a light bulb. They’d distract me from the pleasant company and my hand would form a conveyor-belt – as an endless stream of them found their way into my mouth. And these are no different. They’re incredibly moreish with their sharp hits of occasional sea-salt accompanied by the immense hazelnut crunch and soft shell. If you’re not one for traditional bars of dark chocolate or the intense flavours of some of his filled chocolates, I’d certainly recommend giving these a go.
For those of you who are interested in the fine detail, as I normally am, they’re made with Mediterranean Hazelnuts caramelised in vanilla beet sugar with a layer of salted Gianduja made with 71.1% house couverture and a dusting of 100% Dominican Republic cocoa powder. But I’m going to sound like a pleb here, but I’m not really interested. My brain is just screaming “must eat more” in a Homer Simpson kind of fashion. Listening to my id I’m doing just that.
Having polished those off I moved on to the Cobnut Pebbles. Now, at Marc’s event I wasn’t massively in tune with the oil from the cobnuts which we tried with bread, however the brownies (oops I polished that off the other day) were amazing – and these pebbles are no different. They actually have a wider, and perhaps more interesting scope of flavour. They’re definitely more earthy and summery and I find perhaps even more addictive than the hazelnut version.
The other item in the goody bag was a selection of four cobnut pralines from Marc’s Kentish Cobnut Chocolate Diamond Pralines. When I saw them last week I didn’t put two and two together about the shape of these pralines. Of course they’re actually shaped as diamonds (I know!!). Of course they look fantastic, as does everything Marc does.
So far every chocolate I’ve seen which aims to capitalise on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee hasn’t been all that original. All that seems to differ from their normal chocolates is the packaging. But here not only is the recipe special and unique but the shape too.
It’s testament to Marc that he’s create a praline that I very enjoy. Far too often pralines can be harsh, caustic and over the top. These, however, are soft and flavoursome. The cobnut flavour is evident, but doesn’t overpower the natural sweetness of a praline.
Overall I loved them, and the empty boxes are proof of that. If you’d like to get the pralines you can from Marc’s shop for £12.