Espresso & Cardamom
The rise of the coffee culture has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last 15 years. Yet whilst coffee and chocolate are perfect bedfellows (think mocha), they tend to be sparse on the ground when it comes to filled chocolates.
I think we are all still haunted by the coffee creams that no one ever touched in those selection boxes. The overly sweet sickliness of the fondat filling flavoured with cheap chocolate and even cheaper coffee extract was enough to put anyone off.
So the mission was to encompass all that we love about coffee and banish that dreadful memory of yesteryear. To quote a Bulgarian friend of mine, " If you are going to make a crow, make it black". So if we were going to devise a coffee chocolate it had to have all the punch and liveliness of a good coffee; espresso was the natural route to go. Could we develop a chocolate that gave you the same kind of buzz and hit that a good espresso did and pair it with a chocolate that brought out the best in the coffee?
We varied the espresso, we varied the chocolates, Peruvian, Cuban, Mexican, Madagascan, Venuzuelan, we tried the lot. The final incarnation was a Mexican chocolate with a little white chocolate for balance. A touch of cardamom was added for warmth and to increase the length of the flavour. The coffee chocolate: revamped and destined nevermore to be the last chocolate in the box.