Thursday, 28 October 2010

Autumn Bar - by Paul Young

Ok, check calendar, look outside check trees for leaves, check angle of setting sun, temperature check warmish? Yes, it is still officially Autumn until 23rd December!  Phew! We're okay to talk about this bar we don't want any problems with trading standards who might be responsible for seasons! I do talk some rubbish sometimes..oh well.

Paul Young is a chocolatier/patissiere from the North of England to be more precise from a small mining town in Yorkshire. Having attended catering college Paul worked his way through some of Yorkshire's finest culinary abodes before Marco Pierre White, no less, grabbed him and scurried off with him to The Criterion Brasserie where he was Pastry Chef. From the very demanding Marco, Paul moved onto Quo Vadis in Soho. From here he did stints at Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys working on development projects. In 2006 Paul was invited to be an honorary member of the Academy of Chocolate. 

Paul Young Royal Exchange
Paul opened his first shop in April 2006 in Camden Passage and now has another shop in Royal Exchange right in the heart of the City of London. 

I passed by his shop in Royal Exchange on the way home from Chocolate Unwrapped and snapped a picture of the shop front and nearly applied for the position of chocolate underling (that's not the wording on the ad, ok) which was advertised in the window!

The Packaging: As with William Curley's bar packaging is kept simple and informative. Clear cellophane has been used to wrap the bar stuck down with a couple of labels and Paul Young logo on the front. This bar is so understated which is surprising considering how flamboyant his creations are. 

The Chocolate: Paul spent a bit of time talking to me about this bar and how he likes to keep things seasonal which is fast becoming the trend in the top restaurants. Some chefs will not even feature a tomato on their menu for nine months of the year unless it is in season. I might try that at home...maybe not.

Ok, this bar has a 70% cocoa content, cocoa butter, sugar, cocoa beans and four spices including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cedar wood oil. I'm not sure where this chocolate has been sourced but Paul uses Venezuelan, Madagascan and Dominican Republic cocoa beans. For me the cardamom dominates and is the main aroma I get when opening up the bar. I can certainly taste the cinnamon and the cardamom but not the ginger. The cedar wood oil comes through as well but my taste buds are sending a myriad of signals to my brain which is confused at the best of times. However, cocoa finish is excellent and the bar is beautifully tempered. But, wait what is this, oh no it's a hole on the surface of the chocolate. Guys, c'mon sort these holes out, please!

I enjoyed this bar but again it is pricey at £3.50 for 50g of chocolate but then we know why we're paying for this. Overall I give this bar 8/10 for flavour and 7/10 for presentation and innovation for ingredients used.

I can't see this bar on his website but if you want to view his range of bars and other creations click here - Paul A Young

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