On my recent trip to York I popped in to the Monk Bar Chocolatiers for a bit of a peek and to pick up some truffles. As I’ve already got a load to review I only went for the small box of eight which only set me back £4.90 – a bargain it would seem.
I’ve talked about how the shop looked and how great the staff, including Ray – the chocolatier were, so it’s time to find out what the truffles tasted like. What has made the review easier than would normally be the case was the very thorough and easy to read menu. Many of the independent chocolatiers have woeful menus, or none at all – unless you take notes then you have no idea what you’re getting. If you’re buying for yourself then it doesn’t matter, but if you’re buying for friends or family then it becomes more important.
I began my review by trying out the praline & cashew truffle which has dark chocolate and praline centre. It was supposed to have a whole cashew nut encased in the middle, but I didn’t get one – which would lead me to thinking that the menu wasn’t as useful as I thought. I can’t think of what else it can be though. The flavour, however, was relaxingly sweet but a touch on the dry side. I’m not saying it wasn’t perfectly enjoyable, but just not as robust as I would have liked.
The next was undeniably a whisky truffle and it was superb! The whisky flavour is intense and compliments an earthy texture. Again it was a touch dry, but acceptable.
I then moved onto a chilli couverture disk. I should have asked where the couverture came from but it seemed to have an apple foretaste which only slightly gives way into the chilli. Well that’s what I thought. At the very end there is a very strong offering of ‘heat’ from the chilli. It’s nice to break from what are normally very rich truffles and mix up the offering with chocolate disks.
Next up I had the mint crunch. I’m a great lover of mint, and obviously chocolate, but I wasn’t so keen on these. Again they were fairly dry but this time with a grassy note. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I would have much preferred these to have been outrageously minty, alas they were mild.
It was good to see a tonka bean after my Thorntons experience and this one was much softer and moister than the other truffles in the box. There was a very noticeable Tonka bean flavour and it also felt much cooler than the others and a notch or two sweeter. This was my favourite of the bunch so far.
I wasn’t sure if the next was the plain chocolate truffle or the Cognac truffle. Although, I was sure I went for the Cognac version, I actually had the plain – perhaps I was being sensible? As should be the case with most chocolate truffles, there was a nice dusty coating and much better than the Galler Truffles that I reviewed earlier this year. Again there was a slight grassy, healthy green juice kind of edge to it. Overall, I did like it, but it could have offered more punch.
The milk chocolate Cointreau was next which was fantastically soft and smooth and had a great alcoholic kick to it – so much so that you can feel it at the back of your throat. Even though I typically don’t like orange flavoured chocolate, in this form it was actually very nice indeed.
Lastly I tried the Morello Cherry [what more alcohol?] encased in dark chocolate. This had a great bitterness to it with a wonderful depth of flavour. It also tasted a lot more natural than other Morello cherry chocolates I’ve tasted in the past which often seem to have a forced edge to them. Here it was more luxurious and decadent, although it didn’t wasn’t an A+ bon bon, more of a B+.