April 18th: L'Artisan du Chocolat Assorted Mini Egg Box
Last week L'Artisan du Chocolat made a long overdue ChocolateMission return with my review of their Creme de la Creme Passion Fruit Milk Egg. With such positive feedback coming you from all after that post, L'Artisan decided to send across a few more of their Easter 2011 offerings - one of which was this L'Artisan du Chocolat Assorted Mini Egg Box.
This 200.0g box assortment came billed to me as a 'selection of chocolate filled mini eggs'. The L'Artisan website detailed seven different flavours ranging from dark chocolate to liquid salted caramel. Curiously enough, my box only contained six of the promised variants - with the dark chocolate and mint egg unfortunately MIA. That annoyance aside, I was thoroughly impressed with the way the rest of the product was presented. The exterior box was nicely constructed, and the eggs inside were nicely differentiated by their outer shell colourings - if only there had been a small little menu to identify the flavours from outset (yes I know many of them were self identifiable!! :D ).
Below are my thoughts on the flavours ...
Liquid Praline in Dark - I wanted to get my least favourite out the way first, as some of the rest were far superior. These eggs had fantastically tasty outer dark chocolates shells, but it was almost like the cocoa flavours were too intense as the flavours of the praline centre didn't come through with any great vigour. They were still nice enough, but I think the praline centre would have worked better with a less intense chocolate. Standard.
Vanilla in White - I hadn't had any experience with L'Artisan white chocolate before, but if these eggs are anything to go by then they have some real potential. The white chocolate shells established a strong set of cream based flavours, which flowed nicely in to the cool feeling, light bourbon flavours of the ganache centres. Superb.
Pistachio in Milk - These were golden in colour, and golden in taste. The pistachio flavour contribution was outstandingly strong for such small eggs, and created the most wonderful sweet and salt contrasts. The mouth feel of the drier pistachio centre did take a little getting used to, but even that was moistened by the free flowing, smooth melt of the milk chocolate. The salty pistachio was insanely moreish. Superb.
Milk Ganache in Milk - You would have thought these would have been the most boring in the selection, but they actually proved to be just as flavoursome as any of the other pieces. The 35% milk chocolate had a lovely balance of milk and cocoa flavours, and these were built upon by the soft ganache centres which enhanced the overall with a small note of vanilla. Very Good.
Liquid Salted Caramel in Dark - If you saw my review of L'Artisan du Chocolat No. 1 Sea Salted Caramels last year (See HERE) then you will be all to aware at how capable L'Artisan are in this area. These were quite simply out of this world, and delivered much the same experience with the only changing being the lack of cocoa dusting on the exterior shells. If you are sensible enough to buy some of these this year I would make sure you get your fair share of these. Superb.
Dark Ganache in Dark - These 72% dark chocolate eggs were the richest tasting in the selection, and packed one heck of an unsweetened cocoa flavour punch that offered suggestions of coffee and red wine. My only slight issue with them was that they seemed most effected by the confectioners varnish, which had been used to keep the eggs looking in top condition. It was nothing major, but it just slowed down the initiation of the wonderfully soft melting chocolate. Very Good.
Overall these weren't perfect, but they were a lovely little selection of eggs that were nicely varied in flavour despite the misplacement of the mint egg. Although a few of the variants obtained Superb ratings, by far and away the stand out eggs were the Liquid Caramel in Milk ones. This may just be a case of personal preference, but this is genuinely where I think L'Artisan stand out from a congested chocolate market - if you are a fan of your chocolate caramels then you must simply try these for yourself. The other eggs of note were the white chocolate and pistachio flavours - the latter especially noteworthy for it's incredible golden coloured shell and green creme filling. There are so many generic egg shaped chocolates around this year that it is hard to tell the wheat from the chaff. I can ensure you that these L'Artisan du Chocolat Assorted Mini Eggs are certainly worthy of a purchase if variety is what you are after.
8.2 out of 10