The problem I have is that I have a mountain of chocolate in the office. I’ve got truffles, selection boxes, blocks of chocolate and various other bits and bobs I’ve picked up on my chocolate tours or have been sent – which makes it difficult to decide what to review next. But sometimes I get chocolates which just bump ahead of the queue because they sound particularly interesting. And today I’ve received the Emperor’s Selection from Matcha Chocolat which I’m going to review now.
I’ve been stressed with work, there’s just too much to do, so the thought of reviewing some tea-infused chocolate whilst listening to Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is like an oasis in the middle of a maelstrom and is very appealing – almost appealing as the packaging that the chocolates arrived in. The box was simply designed, with a slight Japanese style to it that did leave you wondering what was held within.
Thankfully there was a ‘menu’ to direct me around these unusual looking bon bons . So often I get chocolate selection boxes or bags that I have absolutely no idea what they are. It’s understandable if you pick them yourself that you should be expected to know what’s inside, but boxes of chocolates like these should have a quick guide to what’s inside – thankfully these did. Another thing I like about these chocolates is that you get more than one of each. When you get a chocolate that you like, only to find that that one was the only one in the box can be very frustrating. In this box there are three of four of them and four of the other flavour.
The first I tried was the Jasmine Silver Needles which was a white chocolate dome filled with more white chocolate, but this time in the form of a ganache which had been infused with Jasmine green tea.
The white chocolate shell was nice and sturdy, it didn’t give way to the knife all that easily but it was fairly sweet, but had no prominent aroma. Whilst the ganache was soft and delicate as it should be. There were no rough edges to it at all. The flavour was beautiful. The white chocolate taste gave way to the spicy Jasmine notes which had a very slight mustardy edge but a wonderful after taste.
The next in the box was intriguingly entitled: ‘Blackcurrant Bliss’ which is a demi dome of milk chocolate ganache that was scented with a mixture of blackcurrant tea and Assam tea. It has had a blackcurrant puree and was lovingly topped with a dried blackcurrant.
You never know when you try a chocolate that has blackcurrant in it if it’s going to be exceptionally zesty, sweet or just mild and flavoursome. But this one did offer a blackcurrant flavour that punched through the mild ganache, but it wasn’t in any way over the top. There is a mild note at the end that overtakes the blackcurrant which I assume is the Assam tea.
Next I tried the Midnight Peony which is another milk chocolate ganache infused with black tea liqueur and encased in a dark chocolate dome.
I thought these looked beautiful in a simple sense and loved the intriguing juxtaposition between the soft flavours of the ganache but the battling toughness of the black tea liqueur which had an almost almond flavour to it with a bit of zing on the tongue at the end. Delightful indeed.
The next one to try was the Masala Chai which is a beautiful milk chocolate ganache which has been infused with Masala Chai tea which is a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves and aniseed – all enrobed in a dark chocolate dome and topped off with a bit of crystallised ginger.
Anyone that knows me that I love spices and I love ginger. We’re onto a winner already! This one did remind me of the The En Fuego Collection From Spice Rack Chocolates which I reviewed last year in that the Masala flavour comes through, but isn’t overpowering. It settles gently on the tongue, without being invasive. But still there’s an edgy sweetness to it that sets it apart from the other ganaches. This is a terrific one.
It was the turn of the Uji Matcha chocolat with is milk chocolate square of dark chocolate ganache with an infusion of Uji Matcha green tea. This is a beautiful looking Pavé.
The thing is, the flavour is completely unique to chocolate. I might get a slap if I said that it reminded me of sardines! But it has flavour that I’ve never encountered before in chocolate. I’d probably say this is the marmite of the tea-infused chocolate world. And even though it does have that strange taste, I think I’m just on the verge of saying I love it.
It’s been a real pleasure reviewing these chocolates. I hope you guys give them a try!