Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Cinnamon 32% Cocoa by William and Suzue Curley

Well I decided to take a lucky dip into the bag of chocolates that I amassed from my recent visit to Chocolate Unwrapped and pulled out a bar produced by William and Suzue Curley. I hadn't realized that this business is a husband and wife partnership. Their first shop opened in 2004 in leafy Richmond and accolades quickly followed. William was awarded the Best British Chocolatier accolade for 2007, 2008 and again for 2009 by the Academy of Chocolate.



To quote from their website, "Brought up in Fife, William's career began with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles. He then went on to spend 6 years at numerous Michelin-starred establishments, working with respected chefs including Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and Marco Pierre White at The Oak Restaurant".
"He has won numerous awards, including The Caterer's Acorn Award, The Craft Guild Pastry Chef of the Year, The Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence and British Dessert of the Year. Having won the William Heptinstall Scholarship, he was given the opportunity to work under Marc Meneau at L'Espérance in France".
The other half of the team is Suzue who is also a highly respected patissier. Originally from Osaka, Japan, Suzue has worked at Claridges and The Savoy where she was in charge of the world famous Afternoon Teas. She has won many national competitions including Gold at Hotelympia in 2000". They are very much a class act with oodles of experience and awards behind them.

The Packaging: With all this experience there is no need to be extravagant with fancy packaging and that's exactly what you get with this bar. It is one of the most unassuming pieces of packaging that I've seen in a long time. A simple but elegant design with gold embossed lettering provides a reassuring feel of quality. The bar itself has been placed in a clear cellophane bag with William Curley's logo.


The Chocolate: This is a milk chocolate with a cocoa content of 32%. I'm a bit surprised by the finish of this bar as it has a few holes on the surface. I'm sure this one slipped through 'quality control' and is not representative of the usual high quality one can expect from William Curley. Well they say beauty is only skin deep and there is nothing flash about this bar in terms of presentation. I've decided not to use the picture of the bar purchased from William's stall at Chocolate Unwrapped as it had taken a few knocks and I believe that would be rather unfair of me.

The cinnamon aroma is intoxicating and conjures up thoughts of mulled wine, Christmas and apples, all in one chunk! The cinnamon is perfectly balanced and once this has gone you're left with the flavour of cocoa, caramel and sweet dreamy chocolate. Amedei chocolate is used exclusively for all their creations. Amedei, based in Italy, source their prized cocoa from Venezuelan plantations that use the best Criollo and Trinitario beans. They also source their chocolate from other countries including Madagascar, Ecuador, Trinidad, Jamaica and Grenada.


Overall I give this bar 8.5/10 for flavour but only 5/10 for final presentation especially when you are paying £3.50 for a 50g bar you expect it to be minus the holes. Look beyond the presentation and you'll find a very comforting bar of chocolate. Somebody else just finished the last piece of chocolate....grrr how annoying is that!


If you'd like to buy this bar visit William Curley's online shop
or you might like to visit shop in Belgravia to see their full range of delicious chocolates!


William Curley - Belgravia Shop