There are seemingly a million and one chocolate companies these days and even I, being an ardent chocoholic, can’t keep up with it all. But seeing as the raison d’etre of this blog is to try and highlight unusual chocolate or people doing something worth taking note of, I just couldn’t resist contacting The Grown Up Chocolate Company. What drew me to them initially is their brand. Far too often chocolate is either funky and aimed at kids or slightly straight-laced and aimed at adults. There aren’t so many companies that manage to stand out when it comes to those of ‘a certain age’. Thankfully Jo and the team in Enfield (literally 10 yards from a client of mine) have thrown the “how to make and market chocolate to adults” manual out of the window and have gone out on a limb.
I probably do about three-hundred or so reviews a year and to be honest it can be a bit of a blur. I crave and search for the interesting and unusual because that’s what you guys want to hear about. So it was great, not knowing what I was going to be sent, to receive four bars: the Fruit & Nut Hunky Dory, the Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus, the Salted Peanut Caramel Cracker and this bar I’m going to review first – the Crunchy Praline Wonder bar.
You’re probably saying to yourself that there’s nothing original in that, and why write about something we can get in our local supermarket? You’re also probably thinking that the styling is not too dissimilar to those “Emergency Chocolate Bars which seemingly every gift website and even Amazon sell. But you’d be missing a trick.
The chocolate here is formed in traditional bar form – like a Wispa or a Bars bar, but infinitely more enjoyable. They’re not made with the rubbish that Cadbury’s or Mars Inc use (surely you don’t think the contrary?) The milk chocolate is good quality and not lacking in cocoa solids as it’s at the 38% level (almost twice that of Nestle) and contains a ‘healthy’ dose (42%) of praline and 8% caramelised wafer. But what I loved most is that it’s not too sweet. Often I like a bar of chocolate out shopping but I’m only ever offered sugar and palm oil in a funky wrapping – I never seem to be able to find some good quality, convenient chocolate that doesn’t put me in a proverbial coma.
Don’t get me wrong, it is sweet, but it doesn’t dominate the experience. The praline comes through, you’re able to witness the crunch of the praline and you don’t have your taste buds assaulted by the sugar. It’s in balance.
I don’t have any pricing information, and don’t know where they’re on sale other than Fortnum & Mason and some farm shops, but I’m sure they should be more prevalent in 2012. If you run a chocolate shop drop them a line to see if you can stock their stuff.