One of the most pleasurable aspects of blogging about chocolate is that you’re encouraged to try ‘products’ that that you probably would never have found out about, had the chocolatier or their agents not contacted you to send you something to review. That’s what happened when Robineau asked if I’d like to try some of their chocolates. and shortly after I received some of their Christmas truffles which were delayed somewhat by the weather and then the usual family commitments over Christmas so I finally get a chance to give them a good look at.
I’ve pre-reviewed a whole heap of dark chocolate which you’ll be seeing through the month, so it was great to have a break from the various bitter chocolate bars and try something soft, sweet and indulgent. On arrival I opened up the parcel to see a beautiful red presentation box wrapped in delightful ribbon which would not only have made it a great Christmas gift, but would also fit into the Valentines chocolate gift category too. I may have tried a fairly wide variety of small chocolatiers’ selections I did feel this was the most pleasantly presented. For instance, even though the Monk Bar box was cute, it didn’t match the luxurious appearance of this one from Robineau.
I did actually think this was the Christmas truffle selection, but I could only see three different varieties of truffles than the four displayed on their website. So I was a little unsure what the first one as it didn’t completely match up details available with it reminding me very much of the rum and coke truffles from My Chocolate Bar I reviewed a couple of years ago.
This one had a definite sweet edge, almost cherry-like, that I found very pleasant. The shell wasn’t too hard as Charbonnel et Walker and Prestat are. Instead this one offered just the right amount of resistance which contained an exquisite soft truffle centre which lovingly wraps around your teeth as you sink them in. I’ve now consumed about five of them trying to pin-point the flavour and I don’t feel anywhere satiated. Often I’d have had my ‘fill’ by now, but here I could keep on popping one after the other in my mouth. They may be sweet, but it subsides fairly quickly after the melt.
The next was the Champagne truffle which had a fantastic white shell which was actually fairly thin. You could see this as an advantage as the truffle centre was gorgeous with a pink Champagne edge.
Often Champagne truffles can taste too alcoholic. The Hotel du Chocolat ones are nice but do get a bit ‘too much’ after two or three. These Robineu ones taste a great deal more natural and less intoxicating.
I then completed the review with a dark chocolate ganache which was also soft and very appealing. I get the sense that there was an added edge to it offered by nuts. Whether it was pine nuts or the slightest amount of hazelnut dust I can’t gather. Perhaps it rubbed off some of the others in the box?
It’s this dusty, slightly sour-like coating that compliments the slightly sweet ganache centre that I found pleasant and not at all over-powering.
If you were looking for a chocolate selection box that isn’t full of additives or at all forceful like Hotel Chocolat or Prestat then I would definitely give these ago. They’re mild, yet flavoursome. They’re also made by a small team with experience as the Head Pastry Chef at the Connaught Hotel in London, as well as the Royal Cafe and the Slone Club. The Patisserie is headed by Fred Robineau who was also Head Pastry Chef to the French Defence Department. As you can see, there’s a great deal of pedigree there and even though they could have been affected by the extreme temperatures that we witnessed before Christmas, I couldn’t pick up anything untoward. I found them delightful, mild and very enjoyable and would be perfect if you wanted a treat, but didn’t want your taste-buds assaulted by excessive amounts of sugar and artificial flavourings.