William Curley Chocolate Selection Review

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In the final instalment of mini reviews of chocolates from London I am ending with a review of another of William Curley’s creations. This time it’s a 16 piece chocolate assortment I selected myself.

I had arrived at the store late in the day. It was pretty much 6pm and I expected to find it closed. Thankfully it was open so I went in. To the left was a row of shelves with products displayed on them. To the right was a servery counter, together with a cafe bar further up the shop. There were seats dotted around the shop which appeared to be split 50/50 into chocolate shop and dessert bar.

William Curley Belgravia StoreAfter a quick browse around to pick up a Caramel Bar I went up to the counter and asked for a Millionaire’s Bar plus a box of 16 truffles. There were 18 varieties on offer that day so I had to sacrifice two truffles though I cannot remember which flavours these were. The shopping process was swift though it wasn’t personal. I wondered whether the glass display counter acts as a barrier to a conversation or more of an interaction? The truffles worked out as just over £1.56 each. Personally at that price level I went in expecting a better quality of service and more of an interaction. Having paid for the chocolates, I left underwhelmed.

When I got back home I opened the box to find 16 small truffles snugly fit into the box. The chocolate aroma we fantastic though so I worked my way through the box, hoping to find that the quality made up for the somewhat disappointing service.

William Curley Couture Boxthehampery.co.uk 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" />

The box itself is a black sturdy card box, with a textured grained pattern covering the outside. It was hand-tied with a plain white/ivory ribbon and the box itself features a gold coloured logo embossed in one corner. The lid pulls off to reveal the selection of truffles inside, along with a flavour card.

Inside the selection boxthehampery.co.uk 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" />

I’ve reviewed each chocolate truffle separately below and also got a little arty with the camera!

Lavender

This was the first truffle I expected and braced myself for a perfumed palette which happened as soon as I bit into the truffle. A strong burst of lavender was tasted but interestingly this quickly faded, and made way for the flavour of the chocolate to come through. There was practically no after-taste either which was very surprising as I had expected a lingering lavender taste.

Pistachio and Toscano

This initial taste from this one is of pistachio, thanks in the main to the crunch of pistachio nuts. I detected a slight alcohol after-taste to this one.

Muscavado Caramel

This was a really nice truffle as it offered a bitter-sweet caramel that led onto an after taste akin to treacle, thanks to the Muscavado sugar.

Rose

I really expected a strong perfumed truffle and as rose is one of my favourite flavours I was looking forward to this one. It was a little underwhelming with an incredibly delicate rose flavour that was barely noticeable, thanks to the overpowering chocolate used.

Apricot & Wasabi

I expected to feel a burn with this one. I love apricot and chocolate but would never have thought to pair it with Wasabi. This truffle featured a jelly-like base with an initial taste of light apricot. This was followed by a slight kick but without any form of burn. The Wasabi had been used very cleverly in this recipe so as not to ruin the overall flavour, rather enhance it.

Beurre de Sel

My French lessons at school came in handy here as I interpreted this to be a salted butter truffle, perhaps an unusual choice of flavour. The result is a creamy and rich tasting truffle with a salty taste, but not too much.

Fresh Mint

I used mint truffles as a yardstick to measure chocolatiers by. I remember eating my first fresh mint truffle and having my mind blown. Expecting an artificial peppermint taste I was surprised as my mouth filled with the taste of fresh mint leaves, as if I had bitten into the herb. William Curley’s truffle was slightly different to those I have previously sampled. The fresh mint flavour was the main focal point but it took a few seconds for the flavour to develop, and in turn it only lasted a brief moment before being subdued by the chocolate flavour. It was a very good take on this classic truffle, without any compromise to the chocolate flavour.

Rosemary & Olive Oil

This was more of a savoury treat but the combination worked exceptionally well. The olive oil is the most dominant flavour with a slight rosemary aroma kicking up at the end. The chocolate helps to cut through the savoury taste by adding a sweet after taste.

Toasted Sesame

As a fan of Sesame Snap snack bars, I expected great things from this truffle but for me the taste of toasted sesame wasn’t strong enough. The chocolate centre was creamy and delicious but I got the feeling that the toasted sesame taste was added through the sprinkling of seeds on the top of the truffle. Apart from these seeds I couldn’t really taste much in the way of sesame seeds. Personally I would have loved to experienced a more bold sesame taste.

Thyme Scottish Heather Honey

I expected a wallop of strong honey flavour with this truffle but instead it offered a delicate honey taste. It was a very sweet truffle but the honey was in no way overpowering. I had expected a more floral note though I could not detect one.

Sea Salt Caramel

This reminded me of the Caramel Bar I reviewed earlier. A light caramel flavour is the star in this truffle, offering a sweet taste. The sea salt is delicate and is used as a flavour enhancer so isn’t itself easily detected. This was a very rounded truffle with the chocolate balancing the sweetness perfectly.

Juniper & Cassis

This truffle featured a jelly base and had a distinctive tangy, slightly bitter, taste. It had a floral taste to it. Whilst it wasn’t my favourite truffle in this selection it did feel cleverly constructed to balance a tangy centre with a high quality chocolate wrapper.

Raspberry & Toscano

Raspberry and high quality dark chocolate are best friends and this truffle used that relationship to its advantage. Again this truffle featured a jelly base with an immediate kick of sharp raspberry, being tamed by luscious dark chocolate. The slightly bitter and tangy raspberry qualities were therefore balanced by the bitter-sweet dark chocolate creating a beautiful rounded flavour.

Passion Fruit & Mango

If ever there was a truffle that tasted of the Summer this has to be it. Close your eyes and take a bite to be transported to a Caribbean paradise. The passion fruit was the dominant flavour in this truffle with the mango acting as a very subtle undertone throughout.

Yuzu

I had no idea what a Yuzu was but a quick Google and I learned that it was a sour citrus fruit from East Asia. That explained the bitter and acidic flavours that dominated the truffle. There was a definite sourness and I also picked up a slight earthy quality. The best way I could describe this one was like eating a sour and bitter orange.

Piedmont Hazelnut

Hazelnuts and chocolate are yet another classic combination so I was excited to end on this one. Interestingly this truffle featured a crunchy base to add texture with the overall flavour of delicate hazelnut shining through. It felt like it was at perfect harmony with the chocolate which held the truffle together.

Overall I really enjoyed these chocolates. The in-store service wasn’t up to par in my opinion but the chocolate truffles ooze quality and expert craftsmanship. The flavours appear to be perfectly blended to showcase the quality chocolate used in the recipe. On the whole the truffle flavours are clean and delicate. They don’t overpower the chocolate flavour, rather they enhance it. They are quite expensive but in the same breath they are each of an exceptional quality. Perhaps if I ordered online or visited the store again I’d have a completely different experience overall. One thing is for sure though – I’d love to work through another box of these soon!

Disclosure: I paid £25 for this 16 piece William Curley Couture Box from their London Belgravia store and wasn’t asked for a review.

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This article was saved under Chocolate and Hamper Reviews and was written on Friday 20th September 2013 (12:53 pm). Please note that any offers, stock levels, discount codes or prices may have since changed, expired, or become discontinued since publication.

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