Robin Chocolates chocolate caramel fleur de sel

Every Christmas, I make edible gifts. Last year, I made chocolate caramels that were to die for. I ended up making a second batch because I ate so many quality control samples. Little did I know, they’re fun to make and fun to eat, but such a bitch to wrap in cellophane. Wrap, wrap, crinkle, crinkle. Shoot me now.

Well, Robin Chocolates took the smart route and put their chocolate caramel inside a molded chocolate. Chocolate caramel, as opposed to straight caramel, tends to be a less oozy and messy. The chocolate provides a bit of structure to the whole thing, and while it really does depend on the actual recipe, it’s generally a firm caramel.

There are little flakes of fleur de sel on top of the chocolate, which is a crunchy, salty surprise. The chocolate for the shell is slightly darker than the other pieces I tried, and that bitterness plays well off the sweet (but not cloying) caramel.

I do think the caramel’s a little bit, well, oily. It doesn’t taste extra buttery, so I don’t think it’s excess butter. I almost wonder if it’s an alternative sugar, like glucose, or some other invert sugar. Caramel’s a little bit temperamental, and if you’re not careful you can get a big mess of over-crystallized sugar (picture rock candy, but without the stick). Sometimes candy makers will dope their caramel with some other kind of sweetener to minimize the chance of over-crystallization.

It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s a bit distracting. I think I’ll stick to my own chocolate caramel, with a bit of fleur de sel sprinkled on top.

You can buy Robin Chocolates here. Their online store isn’t up yet. If you ask very nicely they might ship stuff to you, but only if you live in the continental US.

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5 responses to “Robin Chocolates chocolate caramel fleur de sel

  1. I can only presume that “invert sugar” is not what I think it is.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the comments and criticism. I have only been in business for a year and just starting to grow. My recipes continue to get tweaked here and there as I learn different likes and dislikes amongst my customers. You obviously know chocolate – I have never had anyone (outside of a few chefs) mention the bottoms! The online store should be up in about 3 weeks, and will include shipping to Canada

  3. Mark – it probably is what you think it is. I can’t remember the exact process (and I’m lazy and won’t get my reference books out) but it’s the process of taking a C6 ring sugar dimer, and (hydro?)lyzing it into its monomer components. It’s added to caramels to interfere with the crystallization process, thus resulting in oozy, gooey caramel and not a clumpy crystalline mess.

    Robin – Thanks for the comment. I discovered your chocolates by accident, and for someone who has only been in business for a year, you’re doing really well. You have great technique – keep it up!

  4. Yeah, I was thinking about it after I posted. I initially thought of the enantiomer, which seemed highly unlikely, considering how difficult they are to make, but it could , and likely does, refer to any number of diastereomers. Blaven. .

  5. Mark, I think we’ve made this the geekiest post on my blog, just based on vocabulary alone. Huzzah!

    Das is good.

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