A Tweet from York's Chocolate Story caught my eye last week that put notice out to my favourite annual flavoured coffee - the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) - that it should watch out as there's a new kid on the block.
Fast forward a week and the lovely peeps at York's Chocolate Story kindly sent me a box of them to sample. So, how does their pumpkin spice milk chocolate stand up against my beloved pumpkin spice latte?
I was immediately struck by the beauty of the stone-effect box that protected the filled chocolates. Decorated with the gold-foiled text, the handmade chocolates were sat inside a thick, recyclable, and biodegradable cardboard box that was made from 25% recycled cocoa shells. How cool is that?
My box included six chocolates from their latest seasonal collection - four Pumpkin Spice milk chocolates and two Orange Fondant dark chocolates. When I opened the box, there were no wafts of spices or orange, merely the aromas from each of the chocolate types used to form the shells.
Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate
Using the colours of autumn, this milk chocolate shell boasted red and yellow cocoa butter flicks as decoration and contained a white chocolate ganache filling made using pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Delicious, right?
Tasty it was too! The delicately spiced filling evoked all the familiar, happy emotions I associate with my mug of pumpkin spice latte. The cinnamon and nutmeg came through clearly but worked delicately alongside the puree so as not to overwhelm or dominate.
The milk chocolate base was quite thick, which added bite to the chocolate. The rich milk chocolate shell also added creaminess and more sweetness to the overall taste, further enhancing the comforting hug of my favourite autumnal latte.
All that sweetness did run away with itself just a little, and I craved a hint of bitterness here just to bring it back down again. I wonder if the addition of a small quantity of ground coffee beans would help, both by adding a gentle bitter edge while further nailing the flavour of a pumpkin spice latte?
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The flavour of the filling was gently balanced and beautifully paired with the creamy milk chocolate shell. While I would like to see a slight bitter edge to tame the sweetness, I still polished off my four pumpkin spice chocolates very easily! Comforting warm flavours in a beautiful autumn inspired shell.
Orange Fondant Dark Chocolate
This 53% dark chocolate shell, decorated with orange cocoa butter, was filled with a fondant infused with orange oil.
I really liked the decoration and shape of this one, with its vibrant highlights in deep orange on the top.
The orange flavour dominated the overall taste, but allowed the dark chocolate to come through underneath.
The orange flavour itself lacked the vibrancy and tartness I had hoped to discover, but it was still enjoyable. It immediately conjured up images of the orange fondant Quality Street in my mind rather than images of the Valencian countryside I wished to see.
The 53% dark chocolate had enough depth of flavour and bitterness to counteract much of the sweetness from the orange fondant, although the aftertaste was still very sweet. Here, the rich chocolate successfully tussled with the orange, which had begun to gently fade into the background.
Overall, this Orange Fondant Dark Chocolate was pleasant to taste, but I much preferred the freshness of the Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate.
Milk Chocolate Slab
A box of filled chocolates wasn't the only treat I found inside my package. A smile beamed across my face as I pulled out this lovely personalised milk chocolate slab. The 33.6% Callebaut Belgian milk chocolate was produced by the in-house chocolatiers at York's Chocolate Story.
Ordinarily, their personalised chocolate slabs are available either as an extra that can be added onto a tour, or as a corporate gift. This bar was decorated with my chocolate blog's name, and as it had my name written on it, I officially didn't have to share it with anyone! #win
This fragrant slab had an abundance of sweet, lactic, caramel and vanilla notes as I opened the bag. It was difficult snapping this bar into pieces, partly thanks to its generous one centimetre thickness, and partly as it was so lovingly personalised.
The aromas translated perfectly into the taste. It was a creamy, sweet bar with subtle hints of caramel and vanilla. These all gently faded in unison into the aftertaste.
The chocolates are available to purchase in York's Chocolate Story café and shop at the attraction on King’s Square in York city centre.
York's Chocolate Story Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Review
RRP: £1.00 | York's Chocolate Story | Shop now
As a lover of pumpkin spice lattes, I had high hopes and wasn't disappointed. The flavour was locked inside these beautifully decorated chocolate, although I'd like to see the addition of a slight bitter edge, such as ground coffee beans, into the recipe.
Are you a fellow PSL lover? What do you think about seeing pumpkin spice in chocolate form? Let me know in the comments below.