Chef Eric Clayton, the executive pastry chef and chocolatier for Derry Church Artisan Chocolates, emailed me about sending me some free samples of his chocolates. After checking out the gorgeous photos and sumptuous descriptions on their website, how could I resist? [Note: All text in quotes is taken from the website descriptions]
Their chocolates are named after different cities. I got an all dark assortment: the Cairo, London, New Orleans, Paris, Plymouth, Savannah, Tangier, and Veracruz. I’ll do the first four today, and the next four will be reviewed tomorrow.
The Cairo contained “a sweet date paste made from plump, succulent Medjool dates and a touch of expensive, thick, syruppy, aged balsamic vinegar.” That circle on top was “a small disk of jaggery cake (brown sugar & molasses) [that] adorns the triangle.”
I found the jaggery cake to bring a brown sugar overload. The chocolate ganache itself has a sour tinge to it from the balsamic vinegar. The date paste was throat-burningly sweet. I respected the creative and interesting flavor combo, but it was too sweet for me.
The London was a butter toffee sandwiched between “a deep, dark, brooding 70% European bittersweet chocolate” and then coated in “roasted crushed almond.” I had saved a piece of this to photograph for a cross section, but someone at work ate it before I could. I still haven’t tracked down the candy thief…
The toffee layer cleaved cleanly. It was lovely and smooth, but sadly, there was not much toffee/burnt sugar/butter flavor to it. Instead, the piece mostly tasted of the roasted almonds that it was coated in.
The New Orleans was a bananas foster flavored truffle. Bananas foster is traditionally “made with sliced ripe bananas and a brown sugar/rum sauce.” In the truffle, “this entire delicious concoction is pureed smooth and blended into a smooth, creamy fine European milk chocolate ganache and then enrobed in a 70% bittersweet couverture.”
It seemed sweet and tasted strongly of toffee and rum notes. The flavor of bitter cocoa ran throughout, but it also carried a sweet finish. I didn’t get any banana notes, but that’s probably for the better, as I’m not a huge fan of banana-flavored candy.
Paris was a lovely, large, round, and bumpy dark chocolate rose-looking truffle. It was comprised of homemade strawberry jam and a French white buttercream.
The center was a sticky soft cream that was super fruity. The strawberry jam was extremely sweet, but it was tasty and genuine! It was a great flavor that went well with the caramel note to the chocolate’s finish.
Derry Church’s chocolates were well made and lovely, with interesting flavor combinations. So far, the Cairo, London, and New Orleans get Os, while the Paris gets an OM. Stay tuned for Wednesday – I liked the latter half of the alphabet even more!