Having stumbled across this wonderful chocolate shop, I Should Coco, on a recent visit to St Ives, I have great pleasure in reviewing a few of the chocolates made there.
Andrea Parsons is the mastermind behind this particular chocolate business which began life as a stall in the local farmer's market and then morphed into a shop a couple of years ago. Ethically driven, she is interested in producing real chocolate and exploring new flavour combinations. All chocolate sold in the shop is hand made in the workshop at the back.
Like Matcha Chocolat, these are fresh chocolates that are made to be eaten not stored - which is fine by me. This means no preservatives or unnecesary additives are used, making for a more natural product bursting with flavour. As many ingredients as possible are sourced locally from small independent producers - unfortunately cocoa trees are not yet abundant in Cornwall. The cream is supplied by a local dairy, Cornish sea salt is used and much of the fruit is also local.
Strawberry - An intense strawberry flavour courtesy of good old Cornish strawberries. It's great to have seasonal flavours in season. Encased in sweet white chocolate which endures after the delicious ganache has disappeared - double the enjoyment. The red & white checked top is redolent of a tablecloth all set for a summery strawberry cream tea.
Salted Caramel - At last, I've been wanting to try a salted caramel for some time now as they have been all the rage for a while. It's true what they say, that slight edge of salt really offsets the caramel flavour. One is definitely not enough. The milk chocolate casing worked particularly well with this filling.
Rose Cream - I can't resist rose, it's one of my favourite flavours, so I was particularly looking forward to trying this one. Encased in dark chocolate with a piece of crystallised rose on top, this rose fondant did not disappoint.
Raspberry - Beautiful pink ganache which blended particularly well with the white chocolate that encased it. The taste of raspberries was distinct and made for a delicious mouthful.
Honey & Thyme - I was particularly intrigued by the appearance of this one. Made using local honey, this beautiful golden nugget was full of smooth milk chocolate ganache with the subtle notes of honey and thyme hinting at warm cliff tops with buzzing bees as an accompaniment.
Passionfruit - A lovely stripy topped square of sweet white chocolate encases this most delicious smooth ganache tasting of ... you guessed it, passionfruit. Like her other fruit chocolates the aromatic signature of passionfruit was retained in all its glory. Yum.
Chilli Chocolate Truffle - Another smooth ganache curtesy of Cornish cream, no doubt, this is dark, rich and not at all sweet. The chilli had a smoky hint to it and the fiery quality began imperceptibly and grew in intensity leaving a wonderful warm feeling in the mouth, throat and stomach. Probably an ideal pick me up for a cold winter's night, it nonetheless tasted great in the summer too. I'm sure the Aztecs would have recognised and enjoyed these - I certainly did.
If ever you are lucky enough to be visiting St Ives or are in the vicinity, I strongly urge you to go and check out this wonderful little chocolate shop.