August 1st: Martin's Chocolatier Truffle Selection
We have another ChocolateMission début this week and this time it's the turn of the UK based online trader Martin's Chocolatier (Website - See HERE). According to Martin's Chocolatier website they are: "The UK’s first Premium Online Chocolate shop and Chocolate Tasting Club, providing luxury speciality chocolates from a wide range of internationally-renowned Artisan chocolatiers from across the world. The expertise of Martin’s Chocolatier lies in the sheer enthusiasm for the exquisite taste of luxury speciality chocolates from around the globe". As you will see below Martin sent across a lot of truffles to try so in the interest of review space I will again point you in the direction of his site, if you wish to learn more about Martin and his journey to becoming a budding chocolatier entrepreneur.
Martin was recently kind enough to supply me with a selection of chocolates mostly hailing from his 'Tasty Truffles' selection box. These were supplied to me in a mini compact box with the truffles loosely left to rumble around. Of course this was far from ideal, and the photographs of the chocolates you see below were taken after a good polish and sort out. I'm led to believe this isn't the usual way Martin supplies his chocolates, but I was initially rather disappointed with the presentation. Below are our thoughts on the truffles sent across with the descriptors of each taken from the website (sadly no menu provided).
Peachy - 'Peaches & Cream' - A mild flavoured outer white chocolate shell melted with a faint crunch in to a smooth ganache filling. The centre was mildly fruit noted but not distinguishable as peach. Standard.
Magda - 'Dark orange enigma' - The fantastic crunchy outer shell to inner soft filling created a terrific mouth feel. The dark chocolate tasted like a light 50% recipe which was a good partner for the sweet smooth orange centre. Good.
Patricia (left) - 'Milk Praline Truffles' - Once again the textures exhibited and mouth feel delivered by the truffle were spot on. Unfortunately the taste came across very sweet and lacked focus on it's nutty credentials. We were portioned two of these in our pack and my mother described the other as tasting like the praline found in a tin of Cadbury Roses. Standard.
Mary (right) - 'Smooth Irish Creme' - The milk chocolate came across very sweet with the soft fill centre providing a mildly noted alcohol flavour input. The liqueur taste was not directly attributable to Irish Cream - I envisage some Baileys fans being disappointed. Standard.
Samantha - 'Gin & Damson' - My father tried this one and complimented it on it's plum like fruityness which came across relatively real tasting. He was disappointed that the gin element didn't create the warming sensation that is attributable to most chocolates that contain spirits. Standard.
Vesta - 'Carribean Dark Rum' - I loved the flow of the taste from the outer dark chocolate to the buttery rum centre, especially for it's crisp to soft mouth feel texture. It didn't bother me that much, but I know others wouldn't have found the rum element strong enough. Good.
Vanessa - 'Grand Marnier' - This piece was very similar indeed to the Magda truffle described above. The only detectable difference was that the centre was a little less creamy and sweet, though it lacked the boozie kick as proposed by it's billing. Standard.
Glenda - 'Fire blended Whiskey' - The whiskey truffle expert old man tasted this was and was disappointed with it. He isn't one for 'blow your head off' strong liqueurs, but he said this was just too mildly flavoured with the limited malt taste not providing and warming sensation texturally. He felt the crystallised pieces on top were an unnecessary addition. Poor.
Caroline - 'Strawberry ganache & white chocolate' - I left this one to my mother who is a lover of both strawberries and white chocolate. She gave it a thumbs up and said the lightness of the white chocolate allowed good expression of the soft, juicy strawberry filling which had a pleasant real taste. Very Good.
Nicola - 'Tiramisu Surprise' - This was a very disappointing piece given it's proposition. The contrasting textural elements of the truffle were fantastic but the initial white chocolate flavoures were only enhanced a minor amount by a small cocoa suggestion. This chocolate didn't exhibit any booze, coffee or mascarpone flavour inputs. Poor.
Mika - 'Double distilled french cognac' - Like so many of the other alcohol flavoured truffles this was perceived as a no better than average chocolate. My old man again commented that whilst there was a detectable alcohol element in the filling, it wasn't identifiable as cognac and it didn't provide the desired warming alcohol sensation. Standard.
Shelly - 'Bourbon Vanilla Creme' - I've saved the best until last :D This was a very sweet white chocolate truffle but it's extreme richness was matched by a delicious flowing creamy flavour provision. The crisp outer chocolate to the soft as silk inner filling provided a delightful textural sensation. The smooth cream flavours were tremendously noted by a well balanced vanilla hint. Superb.
Overall it was felt that this was a real mixed bag of truffles that had both obvious strengths and weaknesses. The apparent strengths of the selection were that it had a very varied mix of flavours on offer, and that ultimately the base milk, white and dark chocolate shells were all matched well to them and were of a nice quality and construct. Unfortunately there were also some pretty glaring areas for development with the chocolates sent across - the presentation of the chocolates which were cramped in transit and the lacking a menu immediatedly spring to mind. Additionally, some of the flavoured centres were felt to just not be strong or bold enough in their flavour delivery. Whilst the fruit flavoured truffles were mostly met with praise, the booze chocolates felt especially underwhelming and should be looked at for immediate address. In terms of a recommendation I could offer Martin's Chocolatier as an adequete option if you are looking to break away from the mass produced offerings as offered by the likes of Thornton's etc.
7.0 out of 10