I discovered Eclat chocolate through chocolatier Chuck Siegel of Charles Chocolates. He knew they’d be something I’d enjoy and suggested I try them. He knows me too well, because as soon as I took a bite out of the box of caramels I bought for this review, I went weak in the knees.
The chocolatier behind Eclat chocolate, Christopher Curtin, has an impressive culinary background. He practiced his craft for many years in Germany and France, and is now located in Pennsylvania to provide us with stimulating and delicious chocolate confections of his own creation. I have been all to happy to taste my way though his offerings.
I decided on a box of the assorted caramels to try, as I’ve heard they’re the best representation of what Eclat is capable of. Looking at the back of the box the ingredients list is quite long. Lots of things are listed that could indicate anything in terms of flavors of the caramels (vanilla, nuts, spices, etc).
The caramels are gorgeous to look at and it’s an experience in itself to open the box to see them all sitting there before you. They’re little round spheres, obviously molded and then then fused together. There’s milk and dark versions, each coded by either a sprinkling of salt, a square flatted top or a small lines on top.
The sprinkled salt top were the “regular” caramel. It’s easy to get the full flavor effect of these, since the caramel is so very liquid and flowing, you can’t help but take a bite, realize the impending mess, and then immediately pop the whole thing in your mouth. The flavor of the caramel is extremely buttery, and in my mind, this is the epitome of what caramel should taste like. It’s sweet, but not enough to burn your throat, and extremely buttery and rich. The chocolate compliments it nicely, but doesn’t overstep itself and lets the caramel shine. The salt adds that wonderful needed kick that enhances the nuances of the caramel. Just stellar flavor-wise, but I tend to prefer to have caramel in a way that doesn’t threaten a mess and allows me to slowly savor it.
The second caramel has a light pear flavor to it. The fruitiness compliments the sweetness of the caramel, and masks the butter flavor so that it remains light and uncomplicated. It tastes very pure and it really shines because of the balanced flavors occurring here.
The third, and my favorite, was cardamom. It has the strong base of the regular caramel, but the added cardamom with its sweet, complex and spicy flavors really just blasts this one to space. It adds a wonderful dimension to it that I didn’t consider, and it really makes the experience that much more delicious and enticing. You first taste the buttery sweet caramel, then the cardamom comes through with a slow steady flavor that begins to surpass the caramel and evolves into the ultimate spicy and sweet treat.
These are fabulous and I am really thankful to have had the opportunity to try them. I hope they’ll start finding their way into more stores soon. Worth a try if you happen to find them.
Rating: Will Buy Again