When I popped into Paul’s shop a couple of months or so ago he gave me this Caramel Crunch Milk Chocolate Bar which I can’t seem to find on his site anymore, I trust he still sells it? If you do pop into his shop then it’ll probably still be around the £3.50 mark – which some might say is too expensive for 50g of milk chocolate. You’d be right in most instances, but not this time.
Paul A. Young’s chocolates are about stepping out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, like the Marmite XO chocolate bar, you’ll be stepping out quite far; but with this bar you’re just dancing around the edges. Traditionally I’m not a fan of caramel, either in the liquid chocolate centre form or the brittle Caramac version. But this bar only has very small flakes of caramel which give it a popping candy type feel – it was most unexpected.
The milk chocolate, to my mind, isn’t as awe-inspiring as his dark chocolate. There may be a smoky, log fire, edge to it; but I didn’t get the sensual character of the darker range. What you can just about make out is an almond note to it which lifts the chocolate into a slightly different dimension.
Milk chocolate often gets a bad name. Many people think of the mass-produced rubbish that far too often dominates the shelves at the supermarkets and corner shops. But those that are caught up in that cheap and nasty paradigm are missing out on a great deal. With much of that chocolate they use the cheapest ingredients such as palm oil which makes the chocolate very oily and melt very quickly in your mouth. This milk chocolate, however, has a very long lasting melt.
Another interesting aspect of this bar is that you need far less of it to get your chocolate fix than you would need from a conventional bar of chocolate. I’m not sure if it’s because of the sugar from the caramel, or what. But I did feel satiated fairly quickly.