To cheer myself up after my hand operation (yeah, I’ll stop going on about it soon), I decided to treat myself to some chocky. Not just any chocolates but hand made artisan chocolates by Stacey Hannah at sugarwings.com. All her own creations and made using the best chocolate and aims to give an experience with each chocolate.
I heard about her stunning looking chocolates on Twitter. The power of social media for advertising! I was struggling to find an excuse to get some as they certainly aren’t cheap. £29.50 for a box of 21 plus £3.70 postage. They are on average more per chocolate than the last expensive chocolates I bought in Brussels from the flagship store of the world renowned (debatably best chocolatier if you have a read about him) Pierre Marcolini. Admittedly tho I don’t think his are hand made anymore.
I was expecting these to be good. Really good. And I really wanted them to be. The box arrived 2 days after ordering. Really pleased with the speedy delivery. I eagerly opened the boring cardboard box for posting to find the beautiful white with purple ribbons of the chocolates presentation box. I was so excited to see what beauties I had inside.
I carefully opened the box with my mum watching (still staying with the parents as, well, had to use my teeth to get the lid off the butter this morning. Hope my hand heals soon) and we took in the chocks in all their glory. They did look beautiful. Especially the ones with marbling or other interesting decoration. Very pretty.
Sadly, in spite of a “fragile” warning on the box a few of them has been injured in transit, the fault of the Royal Mail. But they still looked really good. My first disappointment though was the duplication of flavours. I would have liked a few more. I know it’s a small business and she likely packaged those batches she had to hand and might not sell enough to warrant further flavours to be made but I felt like I should have spent less money and gone with a smaller box. To add to this was little booklet with all her flavours which only served as a reminder of “here’s what you could have won” making me more disappointed that I wasn’t going to get to try any of these amazing sounding and looking (there were lovely little drawings) concoctions.
Still the ones we had looked great and it gave me the chance to let the fam try some of them too. So both my mum and I started with the beautifully shiny and pink heather, rose, gin and raspberry. Sadly all three were broken in the post but still looked stunning. They had a deliciously smooth centre with the main flavours being the raspberry and rose. I couldn’t taste the gin which is probably a good thing for me. I’m not normally a huge fan of rose flavour, don’t like Turkish delight but the mix of the rose with raspberry was really nice.
Next I tried the berry and violet. A little vibrantly purple ball, it’s powder topping hiding smooth white chocolate and a tart fresh berry centre. Really different and very fresh and summery. Very nice.
On to the one I was most excited about, the Hebridean sea salt caramel. These looked amazing with their mottled brown white and blue with a hint of gold to make them look like beautiful little shells. It had a deep burnt caramel flavour with only a tiny hint of salt. It wasn’t salty enough for my liking but my mum thought it was just right and was her favorite of the lot. It didn’t quite hit the jackpot for me though.
The blood orange, hibiscus and campari was dark, smooth and tangy with a crunch. It was very good and very rich and pretty with a little pink bling on top. The Laphroig Select single malt one really packs a punch of Laphroig. Tastes just like I had a shot of it with dark chocolate truffle backdrop. I think if you had enough you could get drunk off them. Great for a whiskey lover.
Then on to the pear, cardamom and Xante congnac. As I bit into it I was surprised to find an unexpected jelly layer. I struggled to get the aromatic boost I expect from cardamom which I love in Indian puddings, it did have a spicy heat though which was nice with the sweet fruity pear.
The curry leaf lime and coconut was lovely and creamy and light in the middle and was a nice contrast of textures with the crisper exterior. Not a sweet one but it really worked and I really enjoyed eating it.
The rhubarb and ginger gin and strawberry smelled so sweet! It looked really vibrant as well. Inside was a creamy and fruity with a strong rhubarb tang and strawberry flavour.
My favourite was the ginger, chai tea and caramel. Not only did it look like a piece of jewelry with its metallic marbled exterior but contained a gorgeous light caramel with a decent punch of ginger and chai spices. Probably shows that chai tea is my favourite tea.
They were very good chocolates, but I think a little expensive. I know that they have taken a lot of time and effort to make them look and taste like they do. I’m paying for the quality ingredients and craftsmanship. She certainly meets her goal of a flavour and texture experience with each one. They were lovely but didn’t quite leave me thinking “Wow, I need to tell my friends about these.” I really wanted to be able to rave more about them to support this local chocolatier and her small business. Maybe I would have felt differently with a different/larger flavour selection. I would still love to try some of the others in her booklet but I can’t afford to spend another £33.20 on chocolates, especially as I might get exactly the same box.
Don’t get me wrong they were beautiful, tasty and very interesting to eat and if you do have more spare pennies than me, or are wanting to get a more interesting and beautiful edible gift for a loved one while supporting a local producer then get some.
Foodie x x
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