Saturday, 18 February 2012

Sea Salted Caramel Pecan Brownie

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A few days ago I unexpectedly came across Paul A Young's chocolate shop in Wardour Street and discovered a chocolate emporium that made even the stylish Hotel Chocolat look brassy and almost slightly down at heel.  Which is not true as they've been spending a lot of money on their shops recently. There are now a total of three shops in his growing chocolate empire, including Camden Passage, Royal Exchange and Wardour Street, and I found this particular shop to be his best so far. 
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Obviously, the colour purple covers nearly every surface and provides a striking backdrop to the chocolates which are arranged in the centre of the shop on a superb dining table.  As the picture shows the chocolates are not covered which some people may find off putting. However, I think this method of presentation shows them off at their best. I may be wrong but I couldn't see any prices which is probably a good thing!  
Chocolate bars and brownies are situated around the edge of the room. With my retail hat on Paul's team were very professional, approachable and were obviously enthused by the products they were selling. 

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Mast chocolates bars from New York were also on sale at a staggering £9.00 a bar!  Unfortunately, having not won the lottery that weekend I had to partake of more simple fair and opted for a good old chocolate brownie at £3.75! We could have stayed for hours oohing and cooing at the rows and rows of different chocolates but sometimes you just have to get out before your credit card goes into melt down!

I opted for the Sea Salted Carmel Pecan Brownie which is a hunky piece of chocolate and certainly not for the feint hearted. The brownie itself contains a variety of delicious ingredients including, cocoa solids 70%, organic golden caster sugar, free range eggs, golden syrup, plain flour, unsalted French butter, Maldon sea salt, caramel, milk chocolate and pecans.

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This brownie should be shared as it is just too much for one person! The brownie is made up of three distinct layers, a topping of pecans, a thin layer of what I'd call cake and a base of pure chocolate ganache. I'm certainly not a brownie connoisseur and therefore I'm not sure what the exact proportions should be for the perfect brownie. However, the salt and crunchy pecans work perfectly with the dark chocolate to produce what can only be described as an unctuous confection. My only criticism would be that there wasn't enough 'cake' which meant the base was a ever so slightly wet.  I would be interested to know what others think about this.  

Overall this was deliciously moreish and irresistible, 9/10!