I was strolling along in Selfridges the other day, and they've definitely expanded on their food hall offerings. There were two competing macaron stalls, and an entire wall of exotic bars of chocolate - in addition to the classics like Prestat & Cocomaya. The wall of chocolate bars is a new feature that was pushed a while ago, called 'The Chocolate Library' which is apparently the largest collection of chocolate bars in the world. Intriguing. There were tons and tons, apparently 180, but I didn't get the chance to really take a look as there was a hovering sales person who was offering up chili dark chocolate...
my greatest foe.
I didn't want to turn it down and then explain why, and then get him talking about other chocolate bars - forced social situations being my second greatest foe. Looking at it online, there are a lot of interesting bars but most seem to fall into a more 'pure' camp - whereas I'm more of a 'camp' camp when it comes to chocolate. Peanut butter and banana filling? Sold! Exclusively Vietnamese cocao beans? Oh...how nice. If you're into that sort of thing, I'd recommend taking a glance through chocolatiers.co.uk before Selfridges, just because they've got nicer prices & they're a very friendly bunch.
Artisan du Chocolat has had a section at Selfridges for as long as I can remember, and I'm glad to see that it's still there. So glad in fact that I bought a box of chocolates - that's how I show my gratitude always.
I was under the mistaken impression that these were limited edition, but it would seem they're quite readily available. Shows me right thinking that the world wasn't ready for yuzu caramel!
There are four rows alternating between the yuzu & salted varieties, making 10 of each flavor. There was a strong cocoa-powder smell once the box had been opened - unsurprising since they're heavily dusted.
They're just a bit sloppy to eat since they're dusted, but not as bad as I've had in the past - I would eat them at home rather than on route to a fancy ball-gown & black tie event, just because you might smudge.
I was surprised at the crunch of the outer shell, for some reason I had anticipated something either soft or quite thin, but in reality it's a bit of a thick, hard shell. I think this makes it all the better for sucking rather than chewing, but some people who appreciate a good 'snap' would probably enjoy the crispness here. The dark chocolate is a nice combination of bitter & sweet, and not too fruity or woody like it sometimes can be. Just a nice, standard dark chocolate that is just bitter enough to offset the salted caramel.
Warning, my nails are chipped in this picture!
The caramel itself is incredibly liquid-y, so it was basically impossible to get a photo! The salted variety was as you'd expect - saline & sweet, a little more sweet than the Paul A. Young variety, but more salty than let's say a Hotel Chocolat version.
The yuzu variety didn't have any salty elements that I could pick up on, which is probably for the best. Yuzu is a pretty zesty citrus, somewhere in-between a lemon & an orange, and the caramel captures this zinginess quite well - they're even a bit pepper-y. These were nice, but I couldn't help but feel that the dark chocolate sort of over-powered the yuzu. Maybe if it would've been a yuzu cream, or a milk chocolate it might've been a bit nicer - that could be my personal taste, though! I still very much enjoyed them.
I'd probably get just a box of the regular salted caramels next time, but it was certainly worth trying!