I’m partial to a bit of razzle-dazzle, and when it concerns chocolate, my inner child squeals with delight. When I received the latest flavour of Chococo’s best-selling chocolate Christmas Trees, I was rather taken, but it wasn’t just the silver shimmer that caught my attention.
As I opened the box a powerful chocolate breeze hit my nose and I was even further entranced. Made with 43% Venezuelan chocolate, the Caramel Popcorn Tree is studded with salted caramel popcorn brittle and decorated with dark chocolate swirls and edible shimmer – this has become my new favourite Christmas-themed sweet.
Chances are you won’t find these beauties on the shelves at your local shops this Christmas, to witness the sparkle for yourself. Because while Chococo is stocked at some specialty stores like Selfridges and their shop fronts in Swanage and Winchester, most chocolate-fanciers will have to simply take my word for it and order online.
I can count on one hand a box of chocolates that I’d gladly buy again or for a loved one at Christmas. They’re always so predictable, and the plucky ones who take chances on ‘exciting’ flavours are usually too hit and miss, mostly miss.
This is not the case with the Chococo boxed chocolates. OK so maybe the gin and watercress one could use improving, but the rest of their concoctions are spot on. Names like Gingerbread Caramel, Fizzy Pudding and Tawny Fig would normally put me off, but they were incredible.
Never too sweet, each chocolate had a subtle alchemy that’s exciting without being too challenging. And it’s not only the flavours they get right but the textures as well. Chococo’s fillings taste, smell and feel exciting in your mouth and the chocolates themselves are delightful mix of colour, shape and novelty, looking so inviting in their unassuming white box.
I’ve been to chocolate festivals, tried and tasted chocolate all around the world…and to date there are only two brands that I go out of my way to buy and they’re not from the UK. Now there’s three. And Chococo is one of them. And they’re from the UK.
Set up by Andy and Claire Burnet, the couple have been hand-making chocolate since 2002 down in the Jurassic coast of Dorset. They believe they were one of the first UK-based artisanal chocolatiers, leading the way using fresh, local ingredients, fine origin chocolate and no nasty extras. If their chocolates are anything to go by, then I, for one believe them.
To order online, visit http://www.chococo.co.uk/