Theodore Hartley found the two loves of his life in 1906. Premium handmade Belgian chocolate and Patrice Valentino, a then 19 year old Parisian beauty.
There, in a bustling sidewalk cafe a century ago, the legend of Hartley & Valentino premium Belgian truffles was brought to life. Born of a life-long passion for the pure art of chocolate making and a blossoming love for each other, these exceptionally decadent Belgian truffles are a testament to the ideals of love and good taste.
Theodore and Patrice's dream for their chocolates lives on with every decadent truffle sparking love affairs the world over.
When I opened my review box and saw not one, but two boxes of truffles, I felt very very lucky! In our house, $12 chocolate is not something we are able to indulge in very often. I have previously tried authentic European truffles while traveling, and after being spoiled with those, my standards are pretty high - and these did a marvelous job of meeting them!
The packaging is great - with each different flavour made by Hartley & Valentino being a different colour - making it easy to identify the delicious flavour that you most desire! Each truffle in the packet is individually packaged - and whilst this makes sense from a "do not want to touch every truffle" sense - in our house we try to reduce, reuse and recycle and I see this as unneeded packaging. Unfortunately, at the moment I do not really have a solution to that!
Both the main packet and each individual packet were easy to open, exposing the beautiful decadent truffle inside. The truffle itself is a roughly 2x 2 x 2 centimetre cube - enough to satisfy you, but not too much that you feel you have over indulged. The truffle is firm, and does not melt too quickly - not so much an issue for me - but my children tend to savour a treat like this, and will literally hold on to them!!!
Biting into the truffle, it was not too sweet, which was lovely, and had a slight crunch to it - presumably from the espresso part - a coffee bean is my thought. I really enjoyed the combination of coffee and chocolate - some of my favourite things. I was skeptical as to whether or not my youngest would like it when he insisted he needed to try it, but he loved it - and asked for more. This shows me that the coffee/espresso flavour is not too overpowering, even for little taste buds!
I do think that the price is reflected in the quality - these are a specialty treat - and when you work out that $12 divided by 10 in the packet means they are $1.20 each - these are very very well priced. They are a nice treat to enjoy with a cup of tea or a coffee in the evening, as a thankyou for a special someone, or in a gift basket at a special time of year. Have no hesitation in recommending these as DELICIOUS and decadent!!
I have yet to buy myself truffles and I certainly never buy myself chocolates that cost $12 so this was a real treat in my house. I do like a goodness offer flavoured item and espresso is a fave in the coffee variety and I love that this has real espresso beans in it (though only 1%, I could have done with a little more). The box seals back up easily and actually stays closed which is great because the box got knocked over so many times, it was nice not to have them all fall out.
This is certainly a very creamy treat, so if you're someone like me who can't have very creamy stuff often, then this is something to eat slowly, and I did find that I had to eat this slowly, which worked out well as it meant I couldn't overindulge. I would have liked a little more coffee flavour to the truffles but found the sweetness level perfect. I shared this with my mum and she loved these so I know that these could be a great item to give her for a treat. $12 is, as I say, more than I would typically spend, but, given that I can take my time with one piece then I don't feel too bad about the price.
I was thrilled to get a box of the Milk Chocolate and Espresso truffles to try in my recent review package. These truffles come in a great little box. It's a decent size for a gift box of chocolates. For $12 for the box, I think that is pretty in line with other gift chocolates on the market. The story on the back about Theodore and Patrice is sweet and frames the truffles with their love story. You really feel that you have an artisan product in your hands.
The box is easy enough to open and to reseal. Inside the truffles are individually wrapped as well. I like the cooper colour of the wrappers. They are also printed with the branding and flavour too. This means that you could buy a selection of the truffles and then turn them out into a bowl for sharing.
Inside the packaging, the truffle itself is a decent square shape. It is coated in milk chocolate, though it was hard to tell how thick the chocolate is. I tried to bite some off and it was hard to tell where the truffle started. The truffle middle is creamy and delicious. The Espresso flavour is nicely there, and grains of the coffee grounds are throughout the middle too. It adds a bit of texture as well as flavour. It's like a chocolate coated coffee bean flavour, but less crunchy and much more creamy.
Sadly my husband really liked these too. Sad for me, as it means I have to share. I would buy these again, as they would be great for gifts, or as part of a dessert platter at a BBQ. I can think of several friends and family members who are coffee mad and would enjoy receiving this. You could easily make up a gift basket and have this with some special coffee, biscuits and other goodies, and maybe a mug too.
Coffee. The one thing I can't convince my doctors to allow me to have no matter what. "Caffeine will create too big a strain on your system, and irritate what little intestine you have left." As though that will significantly affect my quality of life at this stage. But, I was granted a small piece of heaven a little early, when this box arrived for me to review.
Opening the box, my shift nurse was impressed by the "chic" look of it all. The box has clean and crisp artwork, "very old-school European feeling" she said - and she would know, she's French. We were both pleased to see that the truffle were individually wrapped, meaning that opening the box didn't start the chocolate oxidising right way. This also makes them easy and hygienic to share around, because the only person who will touch the chocolate going into your mouth, is you. Great for slipping into Christmas hampers too.
I found the chocolate shell to be a little tougher than I expected, but that could be because the nurses had the box in their drinks chiller overnight, waiting for me to wake up. Even with that though, the truffle filling was soft and smooth with a really nice coffee taste to it that had me craving a hot cuppa. But, since this was as close as I was going to get to that, I made good use of these morsels of delight. I shared one with my helper, of course, and she was also very impressed.
Without raving on and waxing lyrical, I can't say too much about these - they aren't a complicated treat. But the simple things in life usually turn out to be the best, and these are proof of that. I have a couple of other flavours to try, and I can't wait to try them, but I am spacing them out over a number of days so I don't have a sugar-induced medical emergency - by giving my doctors a heart attack.
Random listing from 'Food'...
Succulent NZ lamb paired with aromatic rosemary: a match made in heaven. Slow cooked so it's succulent and juicy. Simply carve the lamb joint into chunky slices, heat and baste with the sauce and serve.
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