June 17th: William Curley Sea Salt Caramel Mou / Praline Feullantine

A little while ago we had the ChocolateMission debut of William Curley who failed to create much too much excitement or enthusiasm with some of his plain house dark and white chocolate recipes - See HERE.

The reader feedback from those reviews contained many suggestions that I try some of their flavoured chocolate bars with the hope that they might be add an X-factor to the good, but not necessarily amazing standard chocolate. Being the kind souls they are at WC, they fully obliged with these requests and sent along two bars they believed would represent their range well.

Both these William Curley Sea Salt Caramel Mou & Praline Feullantine bars came in the most beautifully presented black boxes, which were decorated with some stunning gold coloured pattern work and fonts. As with the plain house offerings I tried previously, the packaging created a terrific sense of premiumness, I just hoped the chocolates were going to back it up this time.

William Curley Sea Salt Caramel Mou

One look at the ChocolateMission leaderboard should give you some idea of my love for caramel flavoured chocolates - I was really looking forward to seeing what WC were going going to offer with this one. It came described as 'caramel hinted with Brittany sea salt, coated in dark chocolate', and was split into two separate 32.5g bars that came wrapped in thick gold foil.

The cocoa hinted butterscotch scents that greeted me when I released the bars from their foil confines were absolutely terrific and set up expectations rocketing. The 70% dark chocolate that coated the caramel innards was instantly familiar and fast went about establishing an unsweetened, rich cocoa taste in the mouth. The caramel below was a dark gold colour and had a delightful smooth texture that was halfway between a solid and liquid state. Unfortunately, whilst the mouth feel was sensational, for me it didn't hold up it's end of the bargain taste wise. I thought it lacked the complexity of flavours of other high quality caramels, with it's burnt sugar flavours coming across as 'over toasted', harsh and a little one dimensional. Personally I couldn't detect any saltiness, and was desperately seeking smoother tones of butter and cream which I didn't get.

Overall this was by no stretch of the imagination a bad chocolate caramel offering, however it just wasn't one that I would consider up there as one of the best. Having tried so many high chocolate caramels in my time I guess my standards are very high, so I would encourage you to investigate for yourselves before making a finalised judgement.

7.5 out of 10

William Curley Praline Feullantine

When I reviewed the plain bars from William Curley the cheekier few amongst my readership noted that I hadn't touched upon any of their milk chocolate offerings. Well no such criticism can be thrown my way today. Below are my thoughts on the William Curley Praline Feullantine milk chocolate bar - a 'Crispy praline wafer with toasted Piedmont hazelnuts encased in milk chocolate'.

This bar came in a 45.0g size that was segregated into five blocked pieces. The chocolate was decorated with 'wooden bark' like pattern work which was fitting given that a strong set of woody hazelnut nuts scents emerged once released from it's gold foil confines. The milk chocolate that coated this bar was a 40.0% recipe and it developed a delightful creamy cocoa taste upon its smooth melt in the mouth. If I had to relate it to a similar chocolate, I would say that it was similar in texture to Galaxy, but with a more characteristic, cleaner set of cocoa flavours that had an an inviting touch of honey and butter in it's midst. The bits of wafer weren't particularly flavoursome, however they added nice crunchy textural elements. I'm sure you will all be glad to hear that the hazelnut praline centre was worthy of a big thumbs up. As indicated by the aromas, the filling had an earthy, woody, savoury hazelnut taste that was established almost instantaneously upon it's revelation. The small fragments of nut added further nutty bursts whilst not hampering the mouth feel to any great significance.

Overall this was definitely the best thing I have tried from William Curley yet. Having reviewed tons and tons of praline products over the course of my three years running this website, I should be able to determine high quality praline when I taste one and this was certainly one that was up there with the best of them. Some of you may be put off by the price, but if love chocolate bars like everyday bars like the Kinder Bueno its likely you will see this as a real treat.

8.5 out of 10

If you fancy trying the William Curley range yourself you can head to his online shop HERE