What better way to enjoy a winter’s night than to try some lovely handmade chocolates from someone that works as hard on her chocolate business as Katie from Matcha Chocolat? Tonight I have her latest Winter Selection which retails for £14.95 and which will give you sixteen chocolates of five different types.
In previous reviews I’ve gone over the ethos behind Matcha and how she keeps things simple with her packaging but always gives a good run-down of what you can expect from the selection box with a very easy to read menu. My pet hate is not knowing which each of the bon bons are, but with Katie’s chocolates its crystal clear.
I first started with the ‘Matcha’ which is a milk chocolate square which has a delightful ‘golden’ swirl on top but within you’ll find a milk chocolate ganache which is infused with Japanese matcha green tea. I loved its sweetness and for some reason, it did remind me of Christmas chocolates that I’d munch in front of the fire on Christmas morning (the only time we had it on!). There was a noisette quality (are perhaps a gourmet Quality Street – dare I say it?) which made it light but velvety. I didn’t get so much of the tea flavour as I have in the past, so this might be best for those that prefer the traditional flavours?
The next was a Jasmine pearl which was a white chocolate dome encasing a white chocolate ganache that had been infused with jasmine pearl tea and then topped with a green swirl of matcha green tea chocolate. I found the visual stunning and was reminiscent of the green Victorian tiles one of the tube stations in London. I didn’t enjoy the flavour as much as the first as I’m not really one for white chocolate. I did, however, adore the texture. The dome offered some great resistance whilst my teeth past through the ganache like a hot knife through butter. When I learned to nibble at this one in smaller quantities it then allowed the tea character to come through – if you do go for a large bite then the white chocolate will over-power you. You’ll also find the ganache covering completely covering your teeth and then you’ll spend the next few minutes trying to reclaim the lost chocolate.
I then tried the Mint & Green tea ganache within a milk chocolate dome that is topped with some edible gold leaf. The aroma here was slight but if you let it linger on your nose you’ll get little waves of the mint come through and tickle your senses. The flavour was mild and utterly delicious. Often mint flavoured chocolate can be too intense, but it was absolutely spot on here. The mint flavour was fully supported by the milk chocolate Chinese green tea but the mint just managed to carry the top note. I thought this one was absolutely fantastic and it sure does linger for a long while on your taste buds.
The Earl Grey dark chocolate ganache dome with candied orange peel on top turned the previous flavour combination on its head and became a dark, mysterious affair, much like the Misty Mountains in Lord of the Rings. This is a more serious ganache that pushes through an almost tuna characteristic that swaps quickly into a sweet, fruitiness when the orange peel hits the taste buds. Going from the mint to the Earl Grey is a wonderful experience which ensures that you don’t expect each to offer the same type of experience.
I then finished with the Masala Chai caramels which had the aroma of my grandmother’s house – light and flowery. The flavour was soft, sticky and an absolutely fantastic experience. You see, unlike most, I’m not a huge fan of salted caramels, but I loved this sweet version which seemed to offer a more sophisticated experience (sorry guys).
Just like the Lord of The Rings trilogy there’s a story here – of light and dark. Just as with winter it’ll start off as light as Autumn but descend in to the bitter darkness we have now, but in a short few days we’ll start to witness longer days and be a step closer to the green spring days with every sunrise we experience. That’s the story with these; I felt the flowery flavours, the dark and then the thick and sticky. This selection box give you the option to control the chocolate season as you have the choice of which order to enjoy them in.