It was a real pleasure to catch up with Chris and Natalie at the Brighton Chocolate Festival last weekend. Having met them many moons ago at a food festival in London, before they were making waves at much more prestigious chocolate events, we have really enjoyed watching their journey through into the world of chocolate. What struck us most at that first meeting was their enthusiasm and passion for what they had made – and it is wonderful to see it still with them today.

We opted for a vegan selection because we are a gluten-free lactose-free family, and this was the best choice to suit our needs. I was on a mission to find an Earl Grey chocolate for my daughter as it is a personal favourite for her. The vegan selection we bought included Earl Grey, Praline Rocher, Raspberry, Fig & Vanilla, Mango & Passionfruit, Coconut, Coffee & Cardamon, Dark Ganache, and Pear & Tonka.

Firstly, we have to just spend some time addressing how beautiful these chocolates are. Even as we were eating them (much too quickly) it was a constant comment being made. They make a lovely present and the box is so well constructed too – everything oozes quality! The snap on their chocolate was always a winner for me, but this box seems to be even crisper, and I absolutely love a clean snap when biting into a filled chocolate. You really cannot beat that feeling of brittleness as the chocolate breaks. There is also a good balance of chocolate per filling, so you get a good hit on the flavour choice rather than chasing it through a thick wall of cacao. Coupled with some really good flavour combinations, we really liked this selection.

The fig and vanilla was an unexpected surprise, along with the pear & tonka. These were really nice combinations, along with the coffee & cardamon. Having searched the whole of the festival and only found the one Earl Grey, we have to say it wasn’t the one we loved the most because the raspberry blew us away, and the passionfruit rocked, even if it had mango in it too. I love passionfruit because it is so sharp and full flavoured, and I feel the need to damp it down with mango unnecessary. It is a common combination but from the first time we met, I challenged Chris and Natalie on the added mango. However, they have stuck to their guns, and in this case, it works well.

We found the coconut subtle, which is good if you are not keen on this flavour, and the praline was as expected, but the dark ganache was lost on us as we had already eaten too many sweeter flavours before tasting it. Our sense to savour the box over a longer time period was lost in the excitement of trying new flavours. Plus, we were sharing each chocolate and once broken, they just had to be consumed!

Regardless of your level of self-control, each chocolate deserves to be awarded its own special time, and making an effort to savour each one and judge it on its individual merits is strongly advised. However, we got way too distracted by the pretty colours, and couldn’t help ourselves. It is a good job we only had nine in the box.

Discover your perfect selection at Eponine Fine Chocolates today.