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Salted caramel is a fickle creature. It's one of my pet peeves, as, more often than not, I find salted caramel too salty. Yes, I do realise the irony here.
For me, salted caramel should contain just a hint of salt to bring out the full characteristics of the caramel. I don't want to find a mouthful of the white stuff in there. You might beg to differ, which is why nailing a universally-loved salted caramel is no mean feat.
Recently, The Chocolate Society kindly sent over a preview box of their Signature bonbons. Also in the carton was a sleek box of their Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels. Apprehensive, I tucked in - but I was surprised by the result.
Like the Signature Collection, this box of chocolates makes use of The Chocolate Society's versatile packaging, this time with a red band sealing the box.
The front of the band explains what to expect inside, namely "perfectly cooked caramel carefully seasoned with sea salt wrapped in a crisp dark chocolate shell".
The reverse side lists the ingredients, allergens and nutritional information.
The Chocolate Society Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels ingredients:
Dark chocolate (sugar, cocoa beans, emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla extract), cream, sugar, glucose, butter, cocoa butter, vanilla, sea salt, cocoa powder, E171, E172. Cocoa solids: 55% minimum.
The kitchen handles certain ingredients including dairy, gluten, nuts, eggs and sesame.
At a smidgen under 50% sugars and just under 80 calories per bite, these are for savouring rather than wolfing down. Their presentation - in individual paper cases in a tray - points to these being a great option for entertaining at parties and get-togethers.
The Chocolate Society Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels Review
Lift the lid on the box and you're greeted with a sea of dark chocolate spheres, each dusted in cocoa powder and perched inside a paper case.
The aroma is deep and rich, with fruity cocoa notes dominating as you'd expect from dark chocolate. There's also a dash of dark butterscotch sweetness in the air too.
The 16 truffles all look delightful. Each has its own personality and shape, but all look very tempting indeed.
The rough spheres are crafted in 55% Columbian dark chocolate and each have a loose dusting of cocoa powder. This cocoa dust easily sticks to fingers and lips, so it's best to pop these into your mouth whole.
There's another good reason to do this - the centres are borderline liquid. The caramel here is very runny and if you're not careful, you'll end up with sticky fingers and a messy chin.
Encapsulated within the dark chocolate shell is an incredible golden caramel with a deeply satisfying taste.
The caramel is sweet (but not overly so) and buttery. It has just the right amount of salt in it that makes it barely detectable, which is exactly how I like my salted caramel. The flavour of the caramel reminds me of William Curley's Sea Salt Caramel Bar (and his Nostalgia Millionaire’s Bar for that matter), which is a salted caramel I cherish with very high regard indeed.
The sweet gooey centre pairs wonderfully with the dark chocolate shell. I was worried that the rich and fruity Columbian dark chocolate might be too much for the caramel to handle, but it pairs beautifully.
The chocolate shell provides a 'pop' at the beginning as you release an explosion of caramel, and then adds a nice amount of crunch to the experience.
The aftertaste is a rich and satisfying blend of the buttery caramel notes intermingling with the fruity cocoa vibes. There's just a touch of bitterness simmering away below the surface but the caramel does a grand job at keeping that at bay. Similarly, the chocolate shell restrains the sweetness so the caramel doesn't run away with itself.
These chocolate spheres demand to be served hand-in-hand with a drink, be that a rich and full-bodied espresso, a glass of wine, or a wee dram. This is an after-dinner indulgence, or a mid-day pick-me-up, and is ideal for whipping out when dining with friends and family. You'll only want one or two at a time, and they'll satisfy your cravings blissfully.
The Chocolate Society Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels Box Review
RRP: £17.50 | The Chocolate Society | Shop now°
A thin, crisp dark shell hides a liquid caramel centre, with an incredible depth of flavour and just a hint of salt. These are indulgent, decadent, and amongst the best out there.
Where to Buy Online
You can buy the 200g box of dark chocolate salted caramel bonbons direct on The Chocolate Society's website here°.
Dark chocolate not your thing? They also make these with a milk chocolate shell too°.
What's the best salted caramel chocolate you've ever tasted? Let me know in a comment below.