Kate and Janet live in the picturesque village of Llanfrynach within the beautiful Brecon Beacons here in Wales. In 2019, the pair established their chocolate business, The Mallow Tailor.
They specialise in producing filled Belgian chocolates, slabs, and gourmet French mallow by hand in micro-batches, sourcing many of their ingredients from Wales. For instance, their butter comes from Pwllheli, rum from Pembroke Dock, loose tea from Brecon, gin distilled in Swansea, and their sea salt from Anglesey.
The pair kindly sent me over a box of their flagship product - filled chocolate domes containing marshmallow and salted caramel centres - for me to try.
The bonbons arrive in a board box, with a golden base and a textured black lid. The Mallow Tailor's branding is printed in gold foil on top. It's sleek, and looks perfect should you be giving this box as a gift.
On the base is a printed label, listing the ingredients:
The Mallow Tailor Tailored Collection ingredients:
Chocolate (cocoa mass (dark and milk chocolate only), cocoa butter, whole milk powder (milk and white chocolate only), emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla flavouring), salted caramel (sugar, cream, butter, water, Halen Mon sea salt), marshmallow (sugar, partially inverted refiners syrup, gelatine, vanilla paste), coloured cocoa butter (E102, E104, E110, E129, E132, E133, E171, E172). Cocoa solids: 54.5% minimum (dark chocolate); 33.6% minimum (milk chocolate); 28% minimum (white chocolate). Milk solids: 20.8% minimum (milk chocolate); 22% minimum (white chocolate).
Despite the long list of E-numbers in the ingredients list, Kate tells me that most of the colours they use now are natural E-free alternatives (including most of the chocolates below). In time, the full range is expected to become E number-free.
The filled chocolate domes weigh in at around 12g each, and are gluten-free and are egg-free. They are made in a kitchen that handles nut products. As the name suggests, this is a bespoke collection and you can specify your preference of 49 combinations of fillings and shells to ensure you get exactly what you like when you place your order.
The Mallow Tailor Tailored Collection Review
Lift the lid and cushion pad off to find eight colourful chocolate domes. A basic menu card is included and it took me a few moments to realise you identify which is which by the style of decoration and not by colour.
My box contained two marshmallow bonbons (speckled pattern), three salted caramel bonbons (swooshing patterns) and three hybrid 'Caramallow' bonbons (dotty patterns).
Marshmallow Chocolate Bonbons
I do love a bit of sparkle, and these gold and silver decorated domes dazzle in the light. Inside the hand-painted Belgian chocolate shells is a helping of The Mallow Tailor's signature vanilla marshmallow. The Marshmallow Chocolate Bonbons are available in milk, white and dark chocolate, and it's the latter two I've got here to try.
The thin chocolate shells means each is filled with a generous helping of the in-house marshmallow. Starting with the inside, the marshmallow is pillowy light and soft, and it practically dissolves on your tongue in mere moments. It has a delicate flavour and a texture to match.
Paired against the dark chocolate (the silver one), the flavour is dwarfed by the heavy cocoa notes and the mild bitterness of the shell. The marshmallow melts away without a trace while the dark chocolate stomps around, making its presence known.
It's a different story with the milk chocolate (the gold decoration), which itself has a softer character. Here, the creamy vanilla notes of the chocolate compliments the delicate flavour of the vanilla marshmallow, and allows it more space to breathe. It feels decadent and indulgent.
I'd love to see other marshmallow flavours work their way into these domes. For instance, their Rhubarb & Cream marshmallow should pair very nicely with a milk chocolate shell. Previous mallow flavours, such as Strawberry & Basil and Cherry & Amaretto marshmallow sound like they'd work a treat.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Bonbons
These dark, milk and white chocolate bonbons hide a secret - a plentiful helping of gooey salted caramel. It's caramel that has a life of its own, and it begins to ooze if you leave it for a second or two.
Each example is superb, with the sweet, golden caramel taking centre stage. Buttery with an incredible depth of flavour, it's daintily salted (with Welsh sea salt no less) which is exactly how I like it. The flavour profile ranks alongside The Chocolate Society's salted caramel as well as William Curley's salted caramel in my books.
My preference is the milk shell (the red and blue swirls) as the creaminess of the Belgian chocolate pairs really well with the sweet, smooth, gooey centre. The dark shell (orange, white and yellow swirls) adds richness and a touch of bitterness. It works well, but the shell tries to dominate the delicious flavour of the caramel filling. Similarly, while the white shell (black and red swirls) ramps up the vanilla qualities in the flavour profile, it over-enhances the sweet and salty qualities. Perhaps a different flavour, such as a raspberry caramel, would work well against the white shell, but for me, the sweet spot here is the milk chocolate base.
Caramallow Chocolate Bonbons
Given the success of their salted caramel, it was only a matter of time before the duo created a mashup of the caramel and marshmallow bonbons, creating the Caramallow Bonbon.
Inside a shell of milk, dark or white chocolate sits a bed of pillowy soft vanilla marshmallow together with a duvet of gooey salted caramel.
Now, we're into the realms of the best of both worlds. I preferred the milk chocolate versions of both the Marshmallow bonbon and the Salted Caramel bonbon, and it's the milk chocolate Caramallow bonbon (red and blue spots) that hits the sweet spot here too.
The dark chocolate (white and orange spots) and salted caramel are an unstoppable force that dwarfs the flavour of the delicate marshmallow. At the other end of the scale, the white chocolate and caramel duo over-emphasise the sweet and salty characteristics of the bonbon. The milk chocolate bonbon strikes the right balance between the two for me.
As to whether I'd opt for the Caramallow over the separate marshmallow and salted caramel bonbons, I'm not sure. Each has its own unique qualities. with the latter two best showcasing the fillings to their full strengths. The Caramallow is a beast unto itself and combines varying textures and flavours into a quirky and playful bonbon.
If you like milk, dark and white chocolate, order an assorted box and try them for yourselves. Do you agree with me or do you have different favourites?
Otherwise, my recommendation is to order a Tailored Collection box with the trio of bonbon fillings (salted caramel, marshmallow and Caramallow) in milk chocolate. This beautifully presented box is perfect as a thoughtful gift for friends and family (or a cheeky treat for you).
The Mallow Tailor Tailored Collection Review
RRP: £13.50 | The Mallow Tailor | Shop now
Delicious, decadent and devilishly good, these chocolate bonbons tick all the right boxes. Pairing dainty marshmallow with chocolate shells creates a contrast of textures, while pairing a dense and gooey salted caramel filling with a Belgian chocolate shell is heavenly. Order an assorted box to work through the collection to find out what your favourites are, then order more of those!
Where to Buy Online
You can buy this 8-piece set of chocolates directly on The Mallow Tailor's website here (£13.50). The very nature of the Tailored Selection means you can choose just the bits you fancy - be that the salted caramel, Caramallow and/or marshmallow centres or the milk, white and dark shells. It's your box done your way.
Boxes are available with 4, 6, 8 and 12 chocolates inside to suit all occasions.
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Marshmallows, salted caramel and chocolate - is it a heavenly recipe? Let me know in a comment below.