These caramels were the first non-bar chocolates I’ve tried from The Chocolate Cafe and, to be honest, I wasn’t massively looking forward to them. Let me explain why. I’m just not a fan of caramel, it’s often too sweet and distracts from the flavour of the chocolate that encases it. Also I don’t like the stickiness of it as I seem to get it all over my chops and I come out in little spots. However, I let the madness and stress of Christmas pass me buy and sat down clear head and somewhat of a mini detox behind me and gave these ago.
First off I love the solidness of the box, it’s tough, sturdy and belies the delicateness of the caramels held within. As you remove the top you’ll witness sixteen of these little beauties lined up like cute little chicks in a battery farm. Ok, I’ve spoiled the scene now, but the message is that these milk chocolate caramels are all lined up ready to be devoured. The spherical dusty chocolate delights look rich, dark and broody. They look like they’ll be very sweet and intense.
Thankfully they offer a delicious alternative to the taste bud blasters I’ve had in the past. You’ll have one, then another and then another. You’ll lose control of your primary hand. It’ll uncontrollably refill your mouth with yet another caramel – until they’re all gone. At that stage you’ll probably find yourself dialling up their website and ordering some more – but you can’t do that at the moment. If you are fortunate enough to try some you’ll be jumping into your car in whatever you’re wearing at the time and heading for Ramsbottom, Lancashire to get yourself some more.
If you do get the chance to try them then I suggest you bring one to your mouth and gently dab your tongue against the dusty coating to prime your taste buds – much in the same way as you have margaritas with salt. This will give you the chance to meet some thin bitterness. Then gently place one between your teeth (hands optional) and bite down. Your gnashers will break through the thing milk chocolate shell and release the almost fluid caramel centre. As it does the sweetness will shoot around your mouth with flavour bursting everywhere.
You’ll also get a subtle condensed milk flavour in the background. This probably comes from the heating of sweetened milk that forms the base of these caramels. This dulce de leche is apparently very popular in Latin America and is similar to confiture de lait in France. But why have I only just heard of it? I’ve spent years reviewing chocolate (here and elsewhere) and on every caramel post I’ve pre-empted the review saying “I don’t like caramel”. I now feel the urge to rewrite those posts. Alas I don’t have time – I’ve got some more of these caramels to enjoy!