So I was in Bath last week and visited the Minerva Chocolate Shop and brought back a sample of twelve of their ganaches and bon bons. Here’s a run through of what I bought, and what I can remember the names of!
The first I tried was the coffee flavoured chocolate. This is one of those I bought to try and complete the 200g as I’m not the hugest coffee fan. The aroma was actually nice, sweet and only with the slightest coffee aroma. The texture was incredibly smooth, light and actually quite appealing. The white chocolate didn’t distract from the coffee notes, but actually complemented it.
I’m sure this second one was a rum truffle – and it was tremendous. The truffle centre was deliciously smooth, creamy and with just the right amount of rum. The dark chocolate shell was neither too hard or two soft, but served admirably in keeping the chocolate centre primed for enjoyment. I could eat these over and over again.
Then there was what seemed like a praline pavé which had an almost fudge texture to it. I wasn’t as fond of this one as the fore-taste was of wild mushrooms – I don’t know where that flavour came from, but it was quite prominent at first.
Now I think this one was a brandy, but the “The” patterned on the top would make me think it was a tea one. But then I realised the e in “thé” had an efflect and I’m sure they wouldn’t have a spelling mistake. I loved how the coating gave way like a Magnum ice cream. The centre wasn’t as smooth as some of the others and the brandy flavour a bit too strong for my tastes, but I can see how others would like it.
I couldn’t place this pavé either, I think it was just one of their normal milk chocolate ones but there was a touch of honey or some other very mild flavour that’s just poking through and I just can’t make out what it is. The problem is that even with swigging squash between each one, after a while the subtle flavours don’t come through enough to be distinguishable from the main chocolate flavours.
The sixth one was completely different. It was fruity, punchy, acid and knocks you out of any form of complacency you might have had if you had just had some of the milder pavé or truffles. There was a lot of zing to this one which makes it more suited to being an after dinner chocolate. I certainly wouldn’t have it with red wine.
Next up there was the head of Minerva formed in a dark chocolate and praline combination. Unusually for me I actually very enjoyed this praline – I usually don’t. The flavours were complimentary, there was no jostling for attention and the usually very prominent hazelnut flavour was nicely subdued. A very nice praline indeed.
This played with my head. It reminded me almost of Love Hearts, or some other candy from my childhood which I just couldn’t place. It had a sweet, flowery flavour which subsided into the chocolate which seemed to melt last. This one was strange, but very pleasant.
I’m sure this was the Cointreau one. Whatever it was, the centre was exquisite, rich, creamy, seductive, enveloping and delicious. They’re all words that can be used to describe this truffle. I want more.
I’m sure this one was the fudge chocolate. It was one of the mildest of all the bon bons and truffles so far. But that’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, it’s just that the understated flavours couldn’t compare to some of the powerful accents of the previous ones.
This was definitely the whisky truffle. I love whisky neat, but often I don’t think it works so well with chocolate. It seems to have a strange range of flavours as they melt away. I didn’t like this as much as the others.
This was surely the Amaretto chocolate – wow this was sweet but totally delicious. I would like some more of these please! Even after nearly working through the entire bunch, I thought it was fantastic.
The last was another I couldn’t put my finger on. It had a gorgeous mild nature and could be placed somewhere between milk and dark chocolate. The texture wasn’t as smooth as the others, but, in isolation, was still pretty damn good!