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Demarquette Caramel Collections

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
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Food (457)      Chocolate (187)      Caramel (8)     
After trying Demarquette's Nutkeeper Caramels, I decided that I would try out the rest of their caramel collection boxes. These include The Great British Orchard, The English Garden, and Britannia's Kitchen, all of which are 19.75. Each box has twelve chocolates with six different flavours; determining which flavour you get, however, is not always easy, as half the time, the colour of the chocolates do not match up with the picture given on the accompanying card.

The Great British Orchard

The Great British Orchard is a selection of fruit caramels. They come in lovely red, patriotic box, and the glossy chocs inside look even more lovely. They were a bit sticky, however. The caramel is not sealed in particularly well, and there was a bit of leakage.

Despite this being a fruit collection, there were two Cornish Sea Salt chocolates (the blue ones), which won a 'taste of the year' award. If you have ever tried salted caramel, you'll know why; it was by far the best of the bunch. The other flavours were Scottish Raspberry, Oxfordshire Plum, Devon Strawberry, Yorkshire Rhubarb, and Somerset Apricot. I don't know if the fruits were actually sourced from these locations or if they were just call this to make them sound more impressive. To be honest, I don't care that much. They tasted good, and that's what matters.

The English Garden

Donning the Tudor Rose, The English Garden was a selection of floral flavoured caramels. These were probably the chocolates I was most dubious about because I have never been a fan of flowers in food.

Apart from one or two expected dislikes, Demarquette actually did a pretty good job at changing my opinion. Four out of six of these chocolates are award winners, with my absolute favourite being violet. I have never tasted violet before, but its strong flavour was exquisite. As abstract as this sounds, the best I can describe it is that it tasted purple.

Another award winner was the lavender chocolate, but I didn't like it one at all. I knew I wouldn't, and this is just personal preference, but it reminds me of a smelly bathroom sprayed with deodorizer. One of the chocolates I was expecting to like was the elderflower, but it was rather disappointing; I could not detect any elderflower flavour at all.

Heather honey and Cornish manuka both tasted of honey, but were distinctly different in the honey notes they provided. Finally, there was rose, which I would rate as average.

Britannia's Kitchen

I doubt the Roman goddess on the front of the box is planning on cooking anything up other than a storm, but for anyone wanting to try some more unusual flavours, Britannia's Kitchen is worth a try.

It is uses a selection herbs & spices, plus a few veggies thrown in. There are two particularly unique flavour combinations, one of which is the best in the box. Roasted peppers & olive oil. Possibly more Mediterranean than Britannia, but I'm willing to ignore this point because it would be a crime not to have it in the box.

Carrot, rosemary, & sea salt is a little more in keeping with the theme, but I think the number of ingredients became slightly detrimental. On first bite, I got a note of carrot, but after that, its mild flavour was lost in the stronger seasonings.

Two flavours I was not expecting to like, but did, were mint and hot chilli. I generally don't like these ingredients in chocolate, but here they worked surprisingly well. The mint is strong, but not the usual minty flavour you get in most chocolates. This was in its more raw, natural form, and tasted like you were actually chewing on the plant.

Despite the name, the chilli caramel was not too hot; the kick comes right at the end, but does not linger long enough to make you reach for a glass of water.

The other two caramels were thyme, which I found underwhelming, and fennel & honey. The fennel gave off strong liquorice notes; tasty, yes, but it masked the flavour of the honey.

If you were going to go for one of these boxes, Britannia's kitchen is the one I would recommend most.

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