Yay, time to create new chocolate flavours, it’s quite possibly the best thing ever ever! One of the May Balls asked me to do chocolates based on the seasons for them and emailed a couple of days ago to see if they could have another set of flavours to choose from. The time I can actually make chocolate and send it without horrible gastronomic Chernobyl happening in the mail so I had to get to it pretty quickly. Today was my first day off from my new job so it was down to the kitchen for a session of good hard chocolateering (not chocolatiering… that wouldn’t be anywhere near Xtreme enough of course). I’ve only really got one brand new flavour here, but it’s a really good one so I’ll leave it to last and go through the seasons starting from Winter and moving back.

Winter: pure Valrhona Arguani couverture, double cream and Glen Moray single malt: rich, creamy and unbelievably aromatic. Tastes like… curling up with a blanket and watching the sleet pour down outside.

Since it was my first time using Arguani (my favourite Valrhona chocolate) for making truffles I wanted to do something simple and well tested to see what the difference would be. What a difference there is! Arguani has the most amazing aroma and quite a fruity flavour with a startlingly small amount of bitterness for a chocolate so flavourful and it makes the most amazingly smooth and delicate truffle. I find the Glen Moray Classic pretty caramelly or toffeeey – I really like to use it because of that – and it really pairs perfectly with the chocolate. I think my throat’s still a little bit warm from it too.

Autumn: maple syrup and milk chocolate with a coating of flaked almonds. Tastes like…. richness and smoothness embodied in chocolate form, eh?

I LOVE maple syrup. I really miss living in the States and visiting Canada and being able to go to any place and get a huge breakfast complete with a mind bogglingly large amount of options but always with a core of pancakes and bacon which you could smother in maple syrup, man that stuff is good! It’s so smooth and so sweet and delicious, mixing it into chocolate that already has all that added richness from the milk is just a mind blowingly good combination. Maybe it just tastes like Autumn to me, but it’s so good that I don’t think anyone’s going to complain.

Summer: raspberry puree blended with white chocolate and coated with 85% cocoa flakes. Tastes like… the best damn fruit filling you’ve ever had.

Again, it was my first time using the Valrhona chocolate that I got in the last delivery so I wanted to make something simple and tested to see how the stuff would go. Seems like Valrhona use either a little less lecithin or sugar in their white chocolate since this one set a fair bit less firm than normal, but anyway this is a fantastic combination. Tart raspberries, buttery sweet white chocolate and seriously bitter coating just overwhelm your mouth with “pay attention to the god-damn best fruit flavoured thing you’ve ever eaten goddammit!” waves. The three different flavours are a wonderful combination and balance each other out in such a beautiful way it makes me stop and almost cry every time I eat one.

Spring: white chocolate ganache infused with basil, lemon zest and chunky sea salt. Tastes like… peeling a banana and finding the most delicious pastry in the world inside.

If there was some sort of contest for seriously strange combinations of the world I would have to enter this thing in for it. Normally I love the mix and eat every last little bit of bowl mess as soon as I’ve poured off the rest to cool, but with this one I just sat around with the bowl and my finger with the most confused look on my face for about two hours.

“Wow this is soooo tas…..

no wait, now I really think it tastes this should go over fish and man is that stran…

oooh it’s so sweet and creamy and tangy and sour and salty and herby and….

hang on this is just really really good, I wonder if we’ve got any olives in the fri…

oh my god we have got olives and smoked salmon too I should really see what the…

No! That is just really really silly!”

*involuntarily takes an olive, wraps it in salmon and uses it mop up chocolate from the bowl*

“Oh my god that tastes so gooooooooood! Aaaaaaargh my mind!”

I just got started on thinking about this one last week when I got an email from Patrick saying he’d had a basil chocolate cocktail and it went buzzing around my head until I went around Waitrose looking for inspiration and then this golden piece of loveliness came out. It doesn’t deserve to be this good, it should so taste horrible, but it’s just plain gorgeous! It really is good with smoked salmon and olives too… I think there’s a possibility for a savoury ice cream in there.

Stay tuned for an update on that ice-cream flavour, you know I’ll do it, you can’t stop me…. no one can!!!! MWHAHAHHAHAHAHHA!