Life is a like a box of chocolate, as someone fairly famous once said, the reasoning is that you never know what you’ll get inside. For me an unsassuming box being delivered by the postie can contain anything from the distinctly average to the remarkably fantastic. However, I’ve nevers seen any chocolate treats so jaw-droppingly gorgeous as these from Fudge Fancies.
Often I’ll get lovely chocolates presented in packaging that doesn’t resemble what’s contained within. What I’ve found is that the most plain, unispiring boxes can contain utterly wonderful delights within – as was the case with the Geert Vercruysse Selection which brought a tear to my eye – and we’re very much on the same territory with this box of gourmet fudge.
Having marvelled at them within the cardboard and struggled, niavely with the the cellophane on each wrapper (I didn’t see that they’d cut it to make it easty to remove until the penultimate one), I just had to dive in. The first was the dark chocolate with orange zest. And wow, the fudge was sharp, sweet and exactly how I’d see fine fudge differentiated between the stuff you’ll find on the highstreet. It’s as smooth as I’ve ever seen fudge, hence the texture was incredibly elegant. The solid dark chocolate top was contrasted with the silky fudge which offered a nice sensation as your teeth goes through it. What’s more, the orange flavour lifted the dark chocolate a notch and gave it another dimension. I’m sure it’d be lovely without the orange, but combined, it was a fantastic first Fudge Fancies experience.
The sticky toffee pudding was a more subtle affair. It seemed less smooth, but more Christmasy. The raisins and caramel played a much more restrained part compared to the orange. I would have prefered some more ‘bite’ to this one, but, nonetheless, I can see this one being much more of a pallette clenser than the others.
The crystalised ginger fudge upped the stakes a bit more. If you can imagine crystalised ginger and fudge combined then you’ll probably recognise that this one is going to be very sweet. However, the ginger flavour washes in and out like waves crashing on to the beach. I must admit that this is one of my favourites so far.
With Wimbledon having finished for another year, it seems right to turn my attention to their Strawberries and Cream fudge. Not being the most ardent white chocolate fan I found it a touch too sweet for me (I know, fudge is normally a sweet food!) But with that sweetness comes a rich creaminess and just a hint of the strawberry lifts it out of that mellowness and into a much more interesting category. Although I’m not as overwhelemed with this one as I was with the dark chocolate others, I certainly wouldn’t ever contemplate turning it down.
And we have another massive sugar hit with the Cappuccino milk chocolate with cinnamon fudge which had a Peaberry coffee bean sheltered by the white chocolate fudge which covered the top. I loved how the coffee bean flavour shot out of the sweetness of the fudge. The problem I have is that trying to review a box of eight of these can be a bit too much with the sweetness building on the intensity of the previous. Taking a break, I still found this one incredibly indulgent but less favourable that the first dark chocolate one.
The next was covered with dark chocolate with a piece of dried cranberry placed on the top and other pieces mixed in to the fudge itself. Just like the first I loved how the solid dark chocolate top layer constrasted the soft, fine fudge, but it also provides another layer of the taste rainbow – it’s a different sort of sweetedness which actually compliments each other, very well.
The white chocolate with lemon and lime was a triumph. As I mentioned above, white chocolate doesn’t normally do it for me. But it seems appeal greatly when mixed with citrus fruits. And in this case the lemon and lime just cuts through the mellow, creamy white chocolate and provides a very enjoyable experience.
I’m a huge fruit and nut fan (not the chocolate bar, but the stuff you find in packets), so it was nice to find some using cashew nuts and mixed with milk chocolate fudge. Again there was a well-worked balance of flavours and textures which, even having tried eight of these, was just as enjoyable as the first.
Fudge is one of those treats, like chocolate, which is so easy to “make” en masse. But to make it well is another thing. I may not be a fudge expert, but I can appreciate the balance of flavours and how they’ve been considered and implemented in a messured way.
I wouldn’t see this box of fudge being consumed in isolation as they’re incredibly sweet. But more so because they’re so fun and interesting. If you are ever looking for dinner party chocolates or petit fours, give these small, yet fantastically created fudge treats a chance instead.