Metropolitan Selection from Thorntons Review
Most people equate Thorntons with higher quality chocolate than Cadburys and yet in chocolate lovers circles it has long been known as a poor relation, often with poor quality chocolate. It was with some interest I saw them boldly displaying their wares next to some of the best chocolate makers at the “Chocolate Unwrapped” event. Very kindly, they gave me a box to sample. So with a box of these revolutionary new chocolates, I opened my mind to try them.
Inspired by chocolatiers from cities of the world, the dark Dominican Republic and milk Ecuador single origin chocolates are combined with flavours such as salted caramel, orange blossom, quince and cloudberry to create this new selection by chocolate guru Keith Hurdman. He has had extensive training with some of Europe’s finest confectioners and chocolatiers in Belgium, Switzerland and France. He is now widely recognised as one of the UK’s most talented chocolate makers. Keith has won a number of other awards including the International Belgian Chocolate Award and the highly acclaimed ‘Truffe d’ Or’ in 2000 as Champion Confectioner of Switzerland.
Soho Caramel had to be first. Described as “deliciously buttery and oozing caramel enhanced by subtle after-hint of saltiness” it is dark chocolate of a decent quality covering a slightly overly sweet centre. I found it to be a less refined flavour of caramel and as such less pleasant than the higher quality caramels I have tried but as an entry level sea salt caramel it is very nice.
Vanilla Heights was next. An interesting ganache centre which, while far too sweet for my palette, would be perfect for someone who prefers Cadbury chocolates. I am sure that it would be enjoyed as a higher quality given the low price point.
Midnight Melt did not melt much but as a dark chocolate with a similar filling it was surprisingly delightful. The preservatives gave the chocolate an odd flavour with a reluctance to melt in the mouth but it was quite pleasant nonetheless.
Q Couture exuded so much fruitiness that the scent of the chocolate before biting smelt of the centre. The centres of this chocolate had such an extreme quince flavour which came off as quite synthetic and overpowering that I had to stop eating and drink even more tea. I’m sure this will be someone’s favourite – especially someone who enjoys fruity flavours. It is an explosion in the mouth.
Praline Piazza has delightful bits of feuilletine and while I am decidedly not a fan of praline I did enjoy it. The praline is still an overpowering nutty flavour and not my favourite but I found this easy to enjoy.
Manhattan Melt, the milk chocolate version of Midnight Melt, is a creamy, sweet chocolate. While again far too sweet for my taste, and reluctant to melt in the mouth, the chocolate was still palatable and I am sure will be a firm favourite for those venturing in to this box as a step up from Milk Tray.
Cloudberry Hill did not assault the senses with fruit but still comes through as an interesting fruity flavour. Have this one before you have a Q Couture I think so you can taste the flavour.
Orange Garden was to me, not a fan of chocolate orange, a really pleasant chocolate orange flavour. Still over sugared, the orange is synthetic but not overpowering. A change from orange creme, it is sure to be enjoyed.
At the end of the sampling, the one chocolate I was willing to eat more than one of as Soho Caramel. While the filling may not be as delicate, liquid and flavourful as I am used to, out of the box it was my favourite.