It seems unreal that its a year since Katie from Matcha chocolat started up selling tea-infused chocolates. In the year we’ve had various selections including the Emperor’s, The Jade, The Lotus and the Winter. During the last twelve months. Katie has also branched out into salted caramels and chocolate shards -wow she’s been busy. And it doesn’t stop there. Now I’ve got before me her mixed selection with a range of ganaches that move away from the tea concept and into more fruity and spicy flavours. I’ve always loved what she’s done in the past and a huge admirer of what she’s achieved in these twelve short months. So let’s have a look at what a massive dose of hard work and talent can do for you.
The box continues the same theme of her previous selection packaging, but this time with a fantastic and sophisticated grey colour. The box also protects the chocolates inside as they’re snuggly fitted into each recess. When you reveal the contents you can see a fantastically colourful array of delights inside. The caramelised walnuts and crystallised mint add an extra range of colour and depth which add to the experience.
The first I tried was the pink grapefruit as I was drawn cherry blossom motif that was present in her previous chocolates, it must have been a subliminal thing. Visually the design does remind me of those oriental inspired ganaches of the previous selections and offered a contradiction between the more robust ganaches in the box.
Citrus flavours and chocolate are a massive favourite of mine, and this ganache gives some welcomed sharpness which could have been so much more powerful, but as Katie’s chocolates generally offer a more relaxing experience than others I’ve tried, it wasn’t too much of a surprise. I absolutely loved it. The 64% Peruvian ganache centre held the naturally bitter grapefruit incredibly well whilst the 43% Venezuelan milk chocolate coating gave it a touch more depth. This was a fantastic way to start the review.
I don’t know why, possibly because I’ve just been watching the Discovery Channel, but this next one had a diamond shell that reminded me of a stealth bomber. It was very angular in shape but solid looking but with a graffiti style splash of metallic pink. It just looked like something I’d want to sink my teeth into.
Inside is a Blueberry and Tarragon puree which offers a sweet and sour flavour that lifts up from the mellow white chocolate shell. The flavour is, again, delightful. As it melts in your mouth you’ll get waves of the various flavours, some bitter, some sweet with some fruity and others dominated by the white chocolate. This is again I’d most definitely love to try again. And thankfully there’s another two in the box left.
The Jasmine Pearls ganache had a lovely design on the top and comes in a standard ganache size.
The ganache in the centre uses a 68% wild Bolivian couverture that gives it a sensationally bitter and rich flavour. The texture is also sublime. It’s less creamy than many ganaches of this nature I’ve tried. But it really is delicious and offers those true dark chocolate flavours I adore. I’d also find myself easily munching through a large selection of these.
I next approached the Rosemary, Raisin and Walnut which your eye would probably be drawn to first in the box as it looks so unusual with the caramelised walnut dressing the top.
If you think about it, rosemary, raisin and walnut is a strange combination. Probably used as a stuffing for foul it’d probably work very well, and so does in a chocolate setting too. As you bite in there’s a very playful crunch which will force your body forward to catch any falling pieces. The caramelised walnut flavour in itself is delightful but when combined with the sweetness of the raison and the roundness of the rosemary it works very well indeed. It’s this unusual combination of flavours which forms a journey through the box just as driving along the British countryside. Some moments will be dark, others mysterious and yet others still bright and gay.
And now time for the fantastic, and one of Katie’s signature ganaches: the . I never tire of this one. Not only because I love the artwork on the top which reminds me of the smocks I remember as a child living in South Africa, but also because I just adore the flavour.
The sweetness against the Masala spice is divine but there’s also a slight honey flavour which rounds it all off well. This is another of Katie’s ganache I could consume by the kilogram.
And lastly the mint and green tea ganache. This is another that looks intriguing when you open up the selection with its crystalised mint placed upon its crown.
Mint chocolate is another big favourite of mine, I think it must have been because I was a massive fan of the mint Walls Vienetta as a child (I loved Sunday roast followed by this). And those memories came flooding back as I nibbled at this one. The mint flavour here was, obviously, more natural tasting than the Walls creation, and ultimately more enjoyable. But what I also loved was that this was a great ganache to finish on to cleanse the palette and end a fantastic chocolate feast.