My forays into West London are, admittedly, few and far between but after my evening with Rococo, it shall become far more regular indeed. Nestled beyond the brash glamour of Sloane Square, down Motcomb Street, lies the most wonderful little chocolate shop. As you'll know, my love for chocolate reaches its peak at Christmas-time and I usually rarely treat myself to it at any other time. This evening may have just changed that and indeed exactly what chocolates I now have to buy myself over the holidays...
The reason? That SNAP. You don't realise just how good properly tempered chocolate is until you have some of the best and Chantal Coady's Rococo Chocolates are just that. We got a little master class in tempering and truffle making and I feel fully ready to tackle some proper chocolate making for gifts but for myself, I'll be in the corner with some chocolate and cheese. Don't freak out. Honestly.
While I'm quite familiar with both of these treats separately, having them together and learning the theory behind it was something I hadn't got a clue about... I'm a big fan of pairings - wine flights with dinner are a match made in heaven for example but these two?! I'm a changed woman. Salty, beautiful, tangy cheese and crisp, sweet, heady chocolate have made me rethink everything I thought I knew. Admittedly I do have one weird food thing; I LOVE having a bar of chocolate in one hand and a bag of salt & vinegar crisps in the other and taking a bite of each at the same time, but this was a sophisticated world of its own. I really really encourage you to give these pairs a go but it has to be with proper chocolate, Rococo if possible. You neeeed the snap of beautifully tempered choc and with anything else the flavours and textures just wouldn't match. Rococo lovingly use all British cheeses in the majority of their tastings - something I can totally get on board with and as I am already quite the fan of Stichelton (the olde English name for Stilton) I couldn't think of anything better to finish the evening with. The other two were equally delicious and have certainly been added to my Christmas cheeseboard list.
My takeaway obsession however, has to be the award-winning Cardamom White bar. Winning gold in the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards in 2013, this little beauty combines two things I never thought would work. White chocolate has such a distinctive flavour, often filled with rubbishly high levels of cocoa butter but Rococo's has at least a 30% cocoa solids content making all the difference - this paired with organic, ethically sourced cardamom makes a beautifully fragrant bar that's perfect for any occasion. I'm totally happy to admit I've had some for breakfast before (but what's Christmas for?!)
Their new shop is now open in Seven Dials so pop down (check here for details) to see their typically gorgeous shop front and keep an eye on the site for my chat with owner Chantal Cody OBE coming in the new year!