With the holiday season just coming round the corner I thought I better pack in as many chocolate selection box reviews this year as possible - after all is there any better gift than a quality box of chocolates?
Being showcased today we have this Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection, which is a box you can find on sale in most decent UK retailers. The Swiss Luxury Selection comes in a number of different sizes including a larger 250.0g box - I decided to plump for the smaller 145.0g collection which included an impressive eight varieties. As ever with Lindt presentation was not an after thought. The box looked glorious with it's clever use of stylish fonts and gold colours, whilst I'm sure you will agree that the pieces below all looked wonderfully crafted. Below are my thoughts on each of the different chocolates included in this 'selection of finest milk, dark and white chocolates'.
Dragon Noir - An outer shell of dark chocolate, filled with hazelnut gianduja. The mouth feel of this chocolate was absolutely exquisite and the crisp snap of the outer shell perfectly contrasted with the softer centered gianduja. As delicious as it was the strength of the dark chocolate dominated any sort of nutty flavours coming through - I think a better pairing would have been with milk chocolate. Good.
Caramelita - Double-layered caramel with a rich bitter-sweet chocolate. Once again the textures created by the different creme and gooey caramel layers was exquisite and created a sensational feeling melt. The chocolate shell was perhaps a little thin for my liking, whilst both caramels were a little floral and honey like for my taste. I'm being overly critical again :D Good.
Pointe de Chocolate - A chocolate filling coated with dark and light milk chocolate. This didn't sound the most compelling in the selection but it actually turned out to be one of my favourites. The textural differentiation from the outer to inner layers created a delightful truffle experience, whilst the creamy flavours of the lighter milk chocolate led perfectly into the richer cocoa taste of the dark. Very Good.
Carre de Stracciatella - Cocoa bits and cookie chunks, coated in white and dark chocolate. Without doubt this was the best in the box (annoyingly only portioned once!). The creamy flavours of the outer white chocolate were somehow made even creamier by the Stracciatella filling which also contributed strong tones of vanilla. The crunchy cookie pieces were subtle yet hugely flavour enhancing with their additional bursts of cocoa flavours. Superb.
Amande Croquante - An almond piece embedded in almond creme, coated in milk chocolate. Both the milk chocolate and almond cream filling were deliciously creamy and brought strong notes of milk and butter to the party. My only disappointment with this piece was that there was no whole almond piece in sight - instead there were smaller fragments of almond placed in the centre creme. It was still very tasty. Very Good.
Couer a l'Orange - Orange caramel ontop of a dark chocolate ganache, covered in dark chocolate. This was one for you fruit chocolate lovers out there, this was sublime! The dark chocolate was well balanced in in terms of it's strength and brought an unsweetened cocoa taste to the fore before the orange caramel came out of hiding tucked inside. The caramel was very sweet but had a zesty, real tasting orange fruitiness to it that lingered long in mouth for a good deal of time afterwards. Very Good.
Perle de Cacao - A smooth fine-grade cocoa filling, with cocoa flakes, coated in milk and dark chocolate, topped with a chocolate pearl. This piece looked and sounded sensational and it didn't let iself down. The outer milk chocolate was crisp when bitten into, and the feel of the inner chocolate truffle melting was near perfection. The combination of all the different constituents meant the cocoa volume increased with every second the chocolate was in the mouth. The chocolate pearl was a delicate touch. Superb.
Macchiato - A milk chocolate cup, filled with coffee cream and topped with white chocolate. The coffee element was of course not as strong as I desired, however this didn't stop this chocolate being another outstanding truffle. The cream based cocoa flavours of the exterior milk chocolate were further compounded by both the white chocolate and milky coffee flavoured centre. Again it was the textural feel of the truffle that made it seem like a very high quality chocolate. Very good.
Overall I wouldn't go as far saying this was the 'perfect' box of chocolates, but for a mass produced offering these were very, very good. Considering these can be found in most UK supermarkets for under £5 I was very impressed by the quality of the presentation, variety and ingredients - all of which I think matched many 'high end' brands I have tried before. When it came to the actual chocolates the thing that really stood to out to me was how each of them provided a luxurious set of textures. Each piece seemed to be so carefully constructed to combine different textural elements such as soft caramels, cremes, ganaches, giandujas, crunchy cocoa flakes etc. Most importantly each of these different filling formats created different mouth feel sensations, ensuring each piece brought a progressive flavour and texture experience. My only minor gripes with the box were that a few of the varieties which were only portioned once, and the choice of chocolate coatings weren't always best matched to the fillings. Those insignificant things cast away this was a very enjoyable box of chocolates that I would be happy to recommend.
8.5 out of 10