November 1st: Artisan du Chocolat Marron Glaces

When approached by Artisan du Chocolat about whether we wanted to review their 'Marron Glaces' we did admittedly have to consult a quick Google search to understand exactly what was being asked. Within a heartbeat (0.17 seconds according to Google!) we were soon informed that Marron Glaces were, in the words of Wikipedia: "a confection, originating in southern France and northern Italy consisting of a chestnut candied in sugar syrup and glazed. Marrons glac├ęs are an ingredient in many desserts and are also eaten on their own". As big fans of both chestnuts and Artisan du Chocolat we quickly understood we were in for something potentially rather special so a response e-mail signalling our keenness to review shortly made it's way back to Artisan HQ.

Fast forward a day and with ultimate efficiency we soon had a well protected packed box from our Artisan friends arrive at ChocolateMission towers. Inside a stunning looking ribbon tied box was beautifully presented with gold and silver colour fonts and decorative patterns signifying a product of true premiumness. Delicately undoing the cream coloured ribbon we found nine individually wrapped pieces inside - a generous amount even for us to share. Consistent from the outer box, the foil wrapped pieces came in attractive silver and gold branded wrappers signifying the milk and dark chocolate coating alternative options.

Casting all apprehensions of spoiling the presentation of the product aside we set about tasting the chocolate coated chestnuts and we were met with some very tempting chocolate nut smells whilst unwrapping. The pieces were very sizeable given the thickness of both the chocolate and core nuts so these were best consumed in two bites. This did at first raise concerns of cracking teeth on rock solid nuts, however it fast became apparent that the candied treatment of the nuts gave them a syrupy soft texture thus making this a total non-issue. Both chocolate types yielded to the bite and melted away with infinite smoothness delivering their differentiating creamy sweet milk chocolate and rich, earthy, cocoa laden dark chocolate flavour experiences. The team were split on their chocolate type preference though we were all totally aligned on the amazing quality of the nuts. The inner chestnuts were remarkable. They were amazingly fresh, with both crunchy and gooey textural qualities. Whats more, most importantly they had an epically beautiful contrasting flavour delivery with both meaty savoury nut flavours and sugary sweet vanilla syrup flavours strongly established. When we realised how good these were we savored them eating them one at a time accompanying after dinner coffees - outstanding.

Overall these Marron Glaces were yet another highly well received offering from our friends at Artisan du Chocolat and have earned them yet another prestigious 9.0 out of 10 rating. Whether it is just a previously unfound love of chestnuts or just the outstanding quality of Artisan du Chocolat remains to be seen though what remains unquestionable is the quality of these Marron Glaces. As noted above as soon as we realised how special these were we soon rationed them and saved them as special evening treats for a little after dinner sweetness. Both the chocolates (milk and dark) were of the highest quality and the chestnut innards were fantastically crafted. Given how traditional chestnuts are at Christmas time these are going to make perfect gifting material and we are very confident these are going to be well received all round. If you like chocolate covered nuts or are chestnut lovers you need to get involved with these right away.

9.0 out of 10