Easter with Damian Allsop.

This is probably a bit late for a post about Easter chocolate, isn’t it? Oh well. Like it or lump it, that’s what I’m going to do. It kinda makes sense: yesterday the Man and I ate the only Easter chocolates we were given – two boxes of Damian Allsop goodies – so it seems right that I tell you what they were like.

From the outset I should probably let you know that this particular chocolatier has an awful lot to live up to. You see, once upon a time, in a Christmas package many years ago (2010, as it happens), a certain Man gave a certain Hog a Damian Allsop Chocolate Bar: Valrhona White Chocolate with Cinnamon, Lemon and Popping Candy.

It. Was. Incredible.

I tell you, Ogglers: a tastier more surprising combo I have never eaten (crackly, mouth-watering, zingy, intense. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it). So, this time, expectations were high.

Unsurprisingly for Allsop (who specialises in chocolates made with spring water), yesterday’s nibblings were not your traditional Easter treats (though the first box, of Golden Caramel Eggs, was clearly made for the purpose). No. These were far more exciting than a Mars Bar in a mug.

Clouds and Eggs: the kind of lines I like to snort.

Let’s start with those Golden Eggs, filled with a ‘Muscovado and Sea Salt Oozy Ganache’. First of all, whoever wrote that description should get a medal. There’s something about the word ‘Muscovado’ that makes me want to unhinge my jaw and fill it with waves of pudding (preferably using an oar, not a spoon). As for the phrase ‘Sea Salt Oozy’? Yep. That’s me. I’m sold.

Sadly the eggs were a wee bit too wee to cause drowning in oceans of caramel (my death of preference, second to drowning in chocolate). Plus, of course, I had to share (d’oh). Overall we had seven between us: half-eggs, coated in dark and milk chocolate. They were certainly tasty, but my preference was, as always, for more ooze.

In my mind, you see, I had pictured a burst of luscious salt caramel, dribbling down my tongue and the sides of my mouth. Something really indecent. Then again, considering Mr Allsop’s chocolates are served in various swanky restaurants (including those of the Michelin-Starred variety), it’s probably best that things were kept more civil. I suppose.

The Lime Clouds, on the other hand, were far more unconventional. Made from a dehydrated foam that’s created out of real lime puree, his website describes them as a ‘completely new texture.’ Turns out that ain’t no lie.

The closest thing I can liken them to is a mini meringue without the chew: airy, crisp, light, and ever so slightly fizzy on the tongue. If you’re looking for moisture you won’t find much here (apart from the dark chocolate coating, of course). Still, the Man and I had fun trying various eating methods (Sucking? Chomping? Shmooshing? All of the above?). My favourite way in the end was a good old fashioned quick grind in the molars. Nice.

Anyway, as you’ve probably guessed by now, it didn’t take long until Easter was over in the Hog House – a mere month after it finished for everyone else. Not nearly as spectacular as the Valrhona Bar, our treats remained in a far superior league to your average chalky egg. Only now they’re gone! Boo hoo. 

On the plus side, given our tardiness, there’s only 11 months (or thereabouts) to wait until Easter returns once more. Hooray! Just enough time to fashion an oar – and work on unhingeing my jaw at will.

Can’t be too difficult… can it?

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