If we read the papers and magazines we’d think there were only a handful of chocolatiers in the world. In actual fact there’s a massive number of them plugging away and not getting much exposure. The raison d’être of this blog is to explore this world. Whilst surfing the deepest depths of the internet I found Hipo Hyfryd who is a chocolatier called Gareth, quite obviously from Wales – ‘Hipo Hyfryd’ translates as ‘Lovely Hippo’ in English.
When I looked around his site I didn’t really know what to choose, but in a sort of random fashion I ended up with some stem ginger chocolate truffles, some salt and pepper truffles, some salt and Schezuan chocolate crunch as well as some coffee chocolate crunch. Which I’m going go collectively review.
I instantly loved the cuteness of the cuboid truffles. They are the size of dice you’d probably get in any board game – but obviously tastier! The shell is made from fairly acidic couverture which works very well against the salt and pepper which has just sufficient intensity to offer a lovely flavour without being excessive – just like the salt and pepper chicken wings from my local Chinese take away are. These truffles, in contrast can easily be consumed in vast quantities.
The ginger truffle is also mild but with a gorgeous, thick coating. And are similarly moreish. Perhaps I would have liked more of a ginger flavour, but abnormal for my love of the spice, but I could easily ‘pop’ them one after the other.
The salt and Schezuan chocolate crunch is crammed full of flavour. The salt is most definitely more prominent here whilst the Schezuan plays second fiddle. Perhaps for my pallet I’d prefer more Schezuan and less salt, but everybody is different. Other blocks were less intense and more enjoyable. It was still a very interesting experience that I’m sure I’d revisit as I pass my chocolate room in the future.
The coffee crunch certainly had more crunch too it and an absolutely wonderful espresso-type aroma which was most certainly carried through into the flavour. The use of coffee most certainly contributes to a great experience and I can already feel a hit from the caffeine already.
I’ll most definitely have to try some more next year and would love to know how Gareth expands upon his range. If you’re Welsh and would love to support your local economy certainly buy some, or even from anywhere else and like to try true homemade chocolate then I’d certainly suggest that it is good to try non-commercial chocolate.