Clearly passionate about chocolate, and glowing with pride over their sons creations, the Auberge du Chocolat folk were at the Chocolate Unwrapped event displaying their brand new range of boutique chocolates. I love seeing people get excited about chocolate and these folks seemed to be enthusing everyone who walked by with their love of fine chocolate.
The focus here, rather than on the quality of the chocolate, was the filling. More than once I've had a chocolate maker justify the lower quality chocolate being used by claiming that they wanted the filling to speak more clearly than the chocolate. I don't agree but I couldn't help but hope that this would be the case, so excited were these people. The young man in question had won an award for an Amadei truffle so quality was looking encouraging.
The chocolates I was given included one made with goats milk, a unique addition to the chocolate making process which they felt not only made their chocolates unique, but added an additional flavour element. This made a dairy free range available which meant that for the first time, a creamy chocolate was available to people who were dairy free.
The chocolate itself was good. It was somewhat flat but it had to balance off the interiors which were lovely. The care and attention paid to the different flavours was interesting. The range of flavours created which did balance was impressive. The range does not challenge as some do, but there is the occasional interesting flavour combination in chocolate (rosemary & thyme comes to mind).
If you find yourself by one of their shops, I suggest popping in as this chocolate is a treat. I rate it below Paul A Young but above Neuhaus. Go on now, get yourself some for the holidays!
We bought this as a Groupon experience. The room was packed full of people, over 20, all crowded round two small metal tables, which meant it was very hot (not ideal when dealing with chocolate) and when we did actually get to making some chocolates there was hardly any space to work in.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the chocolate making itself was restricted to decorating a chocolate bowl and making chocolate thins, which despite her telling us this was a new skill, I think if you gave anyone a bowl of chocolate and a spoon they could very quickly work out to make one without instruction. As to truffles and ganache that was covered simply by verbal instruction there was no opportunity to try this ourselves or even have a go at rolling a truffle.
The general working area was cluttered, messy and yes there was ingrained chocolate everywhere. I've worked in food preparation premises before and that level of dirt would not have been tolerated and I'm highly surprised that they get away with it.
During the tasting session at the end, we didn't get to try any of the prize winning chocolates that she'd been boasting about for the previous 2 hours, and instead we had to identify the single source chocolate drops that she passed round in a small tub.
Overall, I learnt more, had a lot more fun and tasted nicer chocolate when I went to Cadbury World, which was cheaper and lasted longer!
Excellent service, great products, worth a try...
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