August 8th: Artisan du Chocolat Sea Salted Caramels (Original Milk Chocolate)

Back in 2010 we introduced the ChocolateMission world to a little known UK brand called Artisan du Chocolat. This was off the back of receiving a reader request from a lovely chap called Miggins, who insisted we touch base with Artisan and request some of their Sea Salted Caramels. An e-mail or to later and the start of a glorious relationship began, after receiving and reviewing their amazing No.1 Sea Salted Caramels they decided to partner with us and supply us with their new products on an ongoing basis for us to give a frank and honest opinions on.

Well fast forward to today (an unbelievable four years later!) we got the chance to reflect on previous times as we were sent these slightly adapted versions of their No.1 Sea Salted Caramels. Indeed 11 years after their first creation head chocolatier Gerard Coleman has bowed to demand for a sweeter Sea Salted Caramel offering and has cultivated this Original Milk Chocolate version.   

On the face of the packaging the only noticeable differences between the Dark and Milk chocolate versions appears to be the different colour box. A little puzzlingly the lighter chocolate Original Milk Chocolate Caramels come in the darker, silver/grey style. This sounds odd but on reflection it is somewhat understandable given the Dark Chocolate variant was always in the white box. Regardless the presentation quality was still amazing. The outer packing oozed the usual Artisan class whilst the chocolates inside again looked inspiring with their dusted cocoa outer shells and golden inner caramel. 

Given the high score achieved by the dark chocolate variety we had reviewed previously there was mass excitement trying these milk chocolate ones. The recipe still contained a relatively high level of cocoa at 35% though the taste was certainly creamier and kinder to those with a sweeter toothed disposition. As usual the textural mouth feel experience of the cooling cocoa dust, crunchy outer chocolate shell and liquid inner caramel was an absolute joy. It facilitated a flavour journey constructed of punchy cocoa, creamy sweet milk and finally buttery salted caramel - epic in every sense of the imagination. 

Overall we have to doff our caps to the guys at Artisan for creating another fine variety of Sea Salted Caramels that can be categorised as 'best in class'. Some of the team are very strong advocates of dark chocolate and caramel combinations *ahem* Jim *ahem* so the thought of pairing it with a sweeter chocolate wasn't instantly a natural desire. However after extensive testing (involving consumption of several boxes haha!) even Jim found it impossible to pick a favourite between the two. The milk and dark chocolate varieties genuinely offer different propositions so if you have a preference of one chocolate type over the other it is worth going with your preferred. If like us you love both equally then its just happy days all round!

9.2 out of 10