Bearing in mind the average selection box I review would take between one and two hours to complete – having a box of fifty chocolates of sixteen different varieties would take just an inordinate amount of time and that I’ve already reviewed a smaller box sixteen months ago, I’m just going to try a small sample of the chocolates contained in this huge heart-shaped box of chocolates from Thornton’s. One thing I simply can’t understand, however, is the price the guys in Derbyshire are selling them for: just £19.99. It’s remarkable.
Every chocolatier has its place and I written a missive on where Thornton’s currently resides. I know the absolutely fantastic people that work there – wonderfully creative, intelligent excellent, humorous people so whenever I see their chocolates being sold at such a low price a little part of me dies. Need’s must.
Without bringing the tone of the review down, but if size really does count for your other half this Valentine’s, you’re on a budget and convenience is king then I do find it difficult to suggest what else you could buy them. For the price of some more exclusive chocolates you can buy a box big enough to last the average person a couple of weeks – and more than enough flavours to last you through that period if you wanted to try a different one each day. As I don’t have two weeks to review these chocolates I’ve just picked four from the broad list which reads as: Alpini, Cappuccino, Tiramisu, Viennese, Mousse au Chocolat, Pistachio Marzipan, Amour, Chocolat riche, Hazelnut Slice, Diplomat, Vanille Truffle, Ganache au Marc de Champagne and the four I’m reviewing: Cherry Truffle, Panna Cotta, Valencia and the Sicillian Lemon Mousse.
Of course it was difficult to choose which to review, but it was actually the through of how a picture of some gooey cherry liqueur would look that made me choose that one first. It was a certainty that I’d compare them to Mon Chéri, and despite my long-running childhood love for the Mon Chéri, I did very much like the subtler flavour with the Thornton’s version. What’s more there was a fantastic, and very much surprising, “bite” to the texture. It’s if you’re biting into a real cherry (it’s gone now so I can’t check). What’s more, it lasted an age and is far from removed from what I actually thought it’d be like.
The Pana Cotta was more sweet than the previous and I felt that it drew too much attention from the creamy centre which I’m sure had some subtle flavours in there – it’s just they were less evident. Again it lasted a good while and didn’t just evaporate in the mouth. The strange thing is that I am very much craving a bowl of real pana cotta now!
Thirdly I tried the Valencia, which also had a fantastic texture. There was crunch, smoothness and a gooey orange comfiture-style thread running through the middle. Chocolates at this price shouldn’t be this complicated and, even though I’ve been to their factory a couple of times, I still can’t work out how they could make these en masse. It may have been a touch too sweet for my more sanguine palette, but I’d still appreciate it, I’d just have to learn a little restraint.
The Sicilian Lemon Mousse was a strange affair. The first liaison left me believing it was had an authentically rustic Italian lemon syllabub which I had when I toured Europe as a youth. But on the second encounter, I again, found it a touch too sweet.
I’m naturally a lover of less sweet chocolate but I’m probably one of the 1% of the population when it comes the sweetness of chocolate. Many, like my wife’s family will thoroughly enjoy these and I know even a box of fifty wouldn’t last too long. For me I could only have one or two an evening – perhaps that’s the right way to enjoy them? Some people mistakenly doubt the skill of the Thornton’s chocolatiers as they mistake the company’s need to scale chocolate, I contend that if your loved-one does like a lot of sweet chocolate then you’re not going to go wrong buying these.