With flood warnings hanging over the country in June, summer seems so far away. But the team of chocolatiers at London's Paul A. Young stores have been busy devising a summer collection.
The menu seems to be a great mix of vibrant, fruity flavours and there seems to be some Mediterranean and Asian influences in there too.
With flavours like Aperol Spritz and Rosemary and Olive Oil Gianduja, who needs a Mediterranean holiday when you can taste the flavours of the Med right here in Blighty?
Don't be surprised to find goats cheese, Marmite, and even vinegar in Paul A. Young's chocolates - it's something they pull off exceedingly well. In fact, it is worthwhile making a beeline for any of the trio of London shops if you are near the Capital just to try these. You won't be disappointed.
The line-up also happens to boast several Academy Of Chocolate Awards 2019 Bronze and Silver prize winners, including Rosemary and Olive Oil Gianduja, Yuzu, Soy and Wasabi, and Goats' Cheese, Smoked Salt and Honey.
The line-up of flavours includes some new and some familiar:
- Rosemary and Olive Oil Gianduja – Developed by Master Chocolatier Paul A. Young, this one features rosemary essential oil and extra virgin olive oil in a smooth milk chocolate hazelnut praline which is then wrapped in Guittard 65% Colombia single-origin dark chocolate. A touch of Cornish sea salt helps balance the sweetness and intensify the hazelnut flavour.
- Salt & Vinegar Chip Shop Caramel - Duffy’s 65% Dominican Republic single-origin dark chocolate with malt vinegar, barley malt extract, dried wakame seaweed, Tenkasu batter pieces, sugar, cream, cocoa butter, and Cornish sea salt.
- Scone, Jam and Clotted Cream - A milk chocolate shell hides a strawberry reduction together with a clotted cream and Guittard 35% Soie Blanche white chocolate ganache. It is then hand-rolled in Guittard 38% Soleil d’Or milk chocolate with scone crumb coating.
- Bakewell Tart - A raspberry reduction pairs with a marzipan and amaretto liqueur Guittard 38% Soleil d'Or ganache which is then finished with toasted flaked almonds.
- Buttermilk, Sea Salt and Sourdough (Gold Rush) – Developed by Master Chocolatier Paul A. Young, this features a Guittard 62% Eureka dark chocolate and buttermilk ganache which is then rolled in chunky sourdough chocolate, and decorated with a gold shimmer to look like a golden nugget.
- Yuzu, Soy and Wasabi -A Duffy’s 65% Dominican Republic single-origin dark chocolate shell is filled sea salted caramel spiked with soy sauce and Yuzu puree. It's layered with a soy, wasabi and Guittard 65% Colombian ganache.
- Blackcurrant Cheesecake - A Guittard 35% Soie Blanche white chocolate, cream cheese, and vanilla bean paste create the cheesecake filling which pairs with a layer of blackcurrants. It's finished with a digestive biscuit crumb and blackcurrant powder for extra zing.
- Goats' Cheese, Smoked Salt and Honey - A honey and oak-smoked sea salted caramel pairs with a Innes Brick goats' cheese ganache and multigrain cracker pieces, tucked inside a Guittard 65% Colombia single-origin dark chocolate shell.
- Caramel Crunch - Valrhona 36% caramelised milk chocolate together with crunchy toffee hazelnuts.
- Kalamansi Truffle - Single-origin Vietnamese kalamansi and Guittard 35% Soie Blanche white chocolate inside a dark chocolate sphere.
- Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly - A raspberry reduction pairs with a Proper Nutty peanut butter and Guittard 38% Soleil d'Or milk chocolate ganache.
- Passion Fruit Curd - A Guittard 65% Ecuador single-origin dark chocolate shell hides a passion fruit puree and Guittard 35% Soie Blanche white chocolate ganache.
- Banoffee Pie - Fresh banana caramel and white chocolate cream in a dark chocolate shell, finished with Guittard 65% Ecuador single-origin dark chocolate and crunchy wafer flakes for texture.
- Sea Salted Caramel - A Cornish sea salted caramel featuring both Valrhona 64% Madagascar dark chocolate and Guittard 38% milk chocolate.
- Hazelnut Praline - A hazelnut praline blended with Guittard 65% Colombian single-origin dark chocolate and sprinkled with Cornish sea salt.
If you love a tipple in your chocolate, be sure to take a look at these:
- Aperol Spritz - Guittard 38% Soleil d'Or milk chocolate, prosecco, Aperol, plus orange and mandarin essential oils form an Aperol Spritz ganache. This sits in a half-sphere-shaped milk chocolate shell and is finished with shimmery orange cocoa butter decoration.
- Glen Moray Fired Oak Whisky - A whisky, vanilla, and Valrhona 36% caramelised milk chocolate ganache in Firetree 72% Solomon Islands single-origin dark chocolate together with oak-smoked Cornish sea salt and cedar wood oil.
- Champagne Truffle - Champagne blended with Guittard 38% Soleil d’Or milk chocolate with a shimmering champagne-coloured exterior.
It's good to see a selection of quirky vegan-friendly chocolates available too. Highlights include:
- Oat Mylk Latte - Vegan milk chocolate (which is made from oats) paired with a strong espresso ganache.
- Cornish Sea Salted Toasted Almond - A cocoa pod-shaped 82.3% dark chocolate paired with a roasted almond and Cornish sea salt.
- Marmite Truffle - This one divides opinion, understandably. A water ganache of Valrhona 64% Madagascar dark chocolate and Marmite yeast extract sits inside a dark chocolate sphere and is dusted in edible bronze powder.
- Fizzy Ginger Beer - A Guittard 65% Colombia single-origin dark chocolate shell features a ganache made with Old Jamaica Ginger Beer, ginger puree, plus lemon zest and juice. It is capped with a thin layer of lemon and ginger sherbet to give it some fizz.
- Sea Salted Nut Rocher - Slow-roasted nuts together with Cornish Sea Salt and Valrhona 64% single-origin Madagascar dark chocolate.
- 75% Solomon Islands Makira Island Dark Chocolate Water Ganache Truffle - A dark chocolate water ganache inside a dark shell.
The chocolates are available in Paul A Young's three London shops, and available through mail order, subject to availability.
Which flavour has your name written all over it? Let me know in the comments below.