A new Paul A Young collection is always cause for celebration. Apt, then, that the first specimen I pluck from this lovely Valentine’s lot is a’Champagne cocktail’ with a filling as moussey as the head on a glass of the finest vintage tipple of that type.
Seasalt caramel is the archetypal Paul offering; offering a moment of pleasure not unlike the first time your Grandpa gave you one of his delicious butter candies. Then chai Ã¢â‚¬â€œ oh, my. This choc is every bit as milky, sweet and spicy as the Indian tea blend that lends its name to this truffle.
From chai to pie Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and a beautiful banoffee bon bon that does its job just like Ronseal, but thankfully tastes nothing like it. A praline, meanwhile, is richly roasty Ã¢â‚¬â€œ capturing the flavour of toasted hazels in a nutshell. Or a chocolate shell, if you’re being pedantic.
Ã¢â‚¬ËœRomantic’ is preferable to pedantic on Valentine’s Day, and Paul‘s rose and geranium martini has got me head over heels in love. Forget sickly floral fondants; I fancy this intense flavour far more. A dreamy creamy and tangy passionfruit ganache moves me just as strongly.
By nature, I’m a lover not a hater Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and that extends to my feelings towards Britain’s most divisive bread spread. Pressing a box of Paul‘s beguiling Marmite truffles into my hands would have me seriously impressed. This choc ticks all the boxes; sweet, salty, sour, bitter, savoury.
Equally worthy of savour is the flavour of a chocolate chunk whose salt-and-pepper combination is more common in bags of crisps than boxes of posh chocs. The plain Ecuadorian truffle needs no seasoning; its 85% cocoa content a favourite of this particular seasoned chocoholic.
When you crave cocoa it’s not always easy to get your five-a-day. So adding rhubarb to another of those runny caramels is a kind move on Paul‘s part; the sharp fruit mingling with tingling pink pepper to spendid effect. The ‘Valentine’s Breakfast’ goes a step further, effectively shoehorning an entire meal into a tiny truffle tasting of toast and marmalade.
I could eat an entire meal composed solely of Paul‘s snow white Battenberg truffles. Forget letting me eat cake; just let me at these, please. The 100% raw chocolate ganache sweetened with agave is the ebony to the former’s ivory Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a properly fruity beauty.
Much like Beyonce, I’m starting to feel a bit drunk in love. And the boozy Champagne truffle I select next seals the deal, melting in my mouth and making my heart melt as it does so. I try the Love Potion last, but it’s really not necessary Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I fell under Paul‘s spell long ago.