Review: William Curley Chocolate Club – April 2015

William Curley Chocolate Club box - April 2015
I promise to put up a proper baking post next time, but for now, I wanted to complete my trio of William Curley Chocolate Club reviews (see the February box review here and March here). I received the last box of my subscription in April, but didn’t actually polish it off until a couple of weeks ago – shocking, I know!

My slowness in finishing it off had nothing to do with the contents being horrible or anything like that – in fact, I was so sad it was the last box that I was determined to make it last for as long as possible.

Without further ado, the contents of the April box were:

  • A selection of 4 flavoured chocolates
  • Orange teacake
  • Grapefruit (grapefruit jelly covered in chocolate)
  • Fruit financiers
  • Almond and orange caramel mou

William Curley fruit financiers

William Curley fruit financiers
I started with the mini fruit financiers, as they had to be eaten by the looming best before date. I was a little surprised (but not disappointed) to receive these, as they had no chocolate in them at all, but they were exceedingly delicious!

I can’t remember the exact flavours now, but you can see from the ingredients label that each cake was a mixture of fruit and nuts. I do remember that the pistachio financier was particularly divine.

William Curley selection box
Next up was the selection box. I received one of these in my first box and absolutely loved it, so I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any way to tell what was in these chocolates (apart from my own woefully lacking sense of taste), as it didn’t come with a ‘menu’ and I didn’t have the one that came with my first box.

Cue some scribbling of notes as I tasted each chocolate… I think one of them was some sort of salted caramel and another was strawberry, but the other two flummoxed me a bit (my notes: “fruit jelly – cherry?” and “fruity caramel?”. Whatever they were, they were all delicious!

William Curley orange teacake
Then it was on to the orange teacake – teacake as in Tunnock’s, not the fruity bready type. This was a bit of a taste sensation – a substantial shortbread-type biscuit with a generous blob of orange jelly on top, all covered in a thick layer of chocolate. Lovely!

William Curley grapefruit
I was a bit puzzled by the Grapefruit offering at first. Were these preserved grapefruit segments covered in chocolate? Or wedges of grapefruit-flavoured chocolate? Neither, as it turned out. They were slivers of grapefruit jelly covered in lots and lots of chocolate – quite similar in concept to the Orangette from my first box. Again, this was delicious and definitely a little bit different.

William Curley almond and orange caramel mou
My last treat to try was the almond and orange caramel mou, which was basically a pair of chocolate bars filled with almonds and orange-flavoured caramel. I knew I would love this, and it didn’t disappoint. I would be seriously tempted to buy this again if I ever get the chance to!

So, there ends my Curley Chocolate Club experience. It was a fantastic experience all in all, and I have to commend my former colleagues for choosing such a brilliant gift for me! Everything I received over the last three months was of an exceptional quality, and there was nothing I didn’t like.

I’ve said it before, but I would most certainly recommend a subscription if you’re looking for a special present for the chocoholic in your life – or if you’re the said chocoholic and fancy treating yourself. Do it!

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Review: William Curley Chocolate Club – March 2015

William Curley March box
As mentioned in my first review of the William Curley Chocolate Club, I’m lucky enough to have a 3-month subscription to their lovely little boxes of joy. As the contents of each box vary from month to month, I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the second box I received, this time for March.

The treats again came packaged in a beautiful black box with a ribbon, but I forgot to take a picture in my haste to get to the contents! Never mind – here’s what was inside:

  • House dark truffles
  • Sea salt caramel mou sweets
  • Pistachio sables
  • House dark 65 chocolate bar
  • Aztec hot chocolate

William Curley house dark truffles
The house dark truffles were the first thing I tried, and they were as good as I expected considering how much I enjoyed a similar truffle in the February box. Rich, smooth and oh so flavoursome, I could have easily had 10 of these!

William Curley sea salt caramel mou
I was really excited about trying the sea salt caramel mou sweets, because they looked and sounded so good! The caramel was divine – absolutely perfect, in fact – and the hint of sea salt made these sweets genuinely delicious.

William Curley pistachio sables
I was surprised and excited to see these pistachio sables in the box – I’d assumed everything would be chocolate or sweet-based. But as I love pistachios, I couldn’t wait to try these. The biscuits were very shortbread-like – buttery and crumbly – and the pistachio flavour was amazing intense. They really didn’t skimp on the pistachios when making these, for which I am eternally grateful!

William Curley house dark chocolate bar
This is basically William Curley’s ‘standard’ dark chocolate bar with 65% cocoa solids, but there was nothing standard at all about the flavour! The packaging referred to ‘ripe fruit notes’ that were definitely there and made this a lot more enjoyable than absentmindedly tucking into your average bar of dark chocolate.

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies
I haven’t actually had the Aztec hot chocolate as a proper drink yet, but I used some of it in the Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies I made recently. I had a taste before throwing it in, and it seems to be a nicely intense dark chocolate with just a hint of chilli. Hopefully I’ll get round to sampling it as a drink soon!

Overall, this was another excellent box that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m sad that the next box will be my last one (under this subscription anyway!), but I’m looking forward to seeing what it contains!

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies
I’ve had a craving for something extremely chocolatey for the last couple of weeks, so I thought I’d give in and bake some brownies for the first time in a while. My boyfriend had been talking about cooking something Mexican at some point, which prompted me to look for a dessert to match – and that’s when I found the recipe for these Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies.

I’ve seen a few recipes for chilli brownies before, but this one seemed unique thanks to the addition of cinnamon, which goes really well with chocolate.

As mentioned, I did want to make something *really* chocolatey, so I adapted the recipe to include more than just cocoa powder. As well as the cocoa, I threw in some chopped dark chocolate (just standard supermarket chocolate) and a little bit of the Aztec hot chocolate I got in the most recent William Curley subscription box.

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies - the chocolate I used
In the original recipe, the chilli kick comes from a quarter of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but I read some comments that suggested this doesn’t make the brownies spicy enough. So I thought I was well within my rights to add the Aztec hot chocolate (which has a hint of chilli) and also up the amount of cayenne pepper to half a teaspoon.

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownie mix
I only thought to taste the mix after I’d transferred it to the tin, and at first I thought it still wasn’t spicy enough – so I liberally sprinkled some more cayenne pepper on top.

After I put the tin in the oven, though, I realised that I could detect a distinct burn from the bit of mix I’d tasted – which probably meant that I’d made the brownies too spicy by adding more cayenne, as I have a higher than average tolerance for chilli (I regularly complain to my mum – the curry queen – that her food isn’t hot enough!).

Oops…

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies
I found that I had to leave the brownies in the oven for longer than the recipe said, which is pretty standard for me when making brownies! I took them out when they still looked a bit wobbly in the middle, but I probably should have left them in for a bit longer, as the brownies in the middle were definitely a lot gooier than the ones around the edges. They were still gobbled up, though!

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies
Gooey or not, the brownies were absolutely delicious – and not too spicy at all, in the end! The chilli kick was pretty faint for me, but everyone who tasted them also said it was just a background flavour and not too much, so that was a relief.

I’m glad I added the extra chocolate because it really did add an extra dimension, especially the chopped dark chocolate, which created little pockets of gooey loveliness throughout the brownies. The cinnamon definitely lifted these brownies above your bog standard chocolate brownies.

I would definitely make these again – but perhaps add even more cayenne next time…!

Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies
Mexican chilli and cinnamon brownies recipe

Adapted from this recipe.

Makes 18

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 50g to 100g chilli hot chocolate (I used William Curley Aztec hot chocolate)
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you’d like it spicier!)
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C. Line a 9 in x 13 in baking tin with a piece of baking parchment/greaseproof paper big enough to hang over the sides.
  2. Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan without letting it come to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, hot chocolate, flour, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and baking powder to the saucepan. Stir gently until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and tip it from side to side to get the mix into all the corners. Bake for at least 20-25 minutes – if the mix still looks wobbly and liquid, leave the tin in the oven and check at 5 or 10-minute intervals until the brownies are cooked and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with fudgy mix on it.
  6. Cool the brownies in the tin, cut them into 18 pieces and remove them by lifting the paper out of the tin.

Review: William Curley Chocolate Club – February 2015

William Curley Chocolate Club subscription box
Today’s post is a bit of a departure from my usual baking-related accounts. I haven’t baked anything new/worth blogging about in a few weeks, but I have been enjoying a rather wonderful subscription box courtesy of the Curley Chocolate Club, run by chocolatier extraordinaire William Curley.

I received a 3-month subscription as a leaving gift some time ago and activated it to begin in February. I’ve now consumed the lot (and received my March box!), so I thought I’d review it.

William Curley Chocolate Club subscription box
First, just look at that beautiful box! It screams luxury before you even see the contents, doesn’t it?

And then you open it and go ‘ooooh!’. Or I did, anyway.

William Curley Chocolate Club subscription box
So, what did I get? The contents of the February box were:

  • A selection of 4 flavoured chocolates
  • Orangette (orange confit and dark chocolate batons)
  • Millionaire (a chunky biscuit, caramel and chocolate bar)
  • Suisse Rocher Dark Chocolate (caramelised almond batons covered in dark chocolate)
  • White chocolate and raspberry bar

I was determined to make my goodies last for as long as possible (or at least until the next box arrived)! I started off with the flavoured chocolates, as their best before date was coming up soon.

William Curley chocolate assortment

Top row: Amedei Chuao and apricot & wasabi Bottom row: Piedmont hazelnut and coconut

The leaflet that came with these informed me that I had a rather varied selection of flavours: Amedei Chuao truffle, apricot and wasabi, Piedmont hazelnut and coconut. I immediately went for the coconut and thoroughly enjoyed it (of course).

The next one I tried was my favourite – the Amedei Chuao truffle made from 70% dark chocolate. It was super smooth, rich and oh so flavoursome. I usually prefer milk chocolate to dark when eating chocolate on its own, but this truffle was so enjoyable I could have had 10 more!

The Piedmont hazelnut chocolate was lovely, while the apricot and wasabi chocolate was a little odd but delicious. The wasabi flavour is really delicate (thankfully) and unusual in a fruit chocolate like this, but so nice!

William Curley Suisse Rocher almond batons
Next up: the dark chocolate-covered caramelised almond batons. I already knew I was going to love these before my first taste, as I’m a huge fan of almonds and have fond memories of the toscakaka I made a while ago, which introduced me to the joy of combining almonds and caramel.

They were SO delicious and really hard to put down. The caramelised almond centres were just beautiful, and the chocolate added an extra layer of flavour that made the batons amazingly addictive. I would buy these on their own!

William Curley Millionaire
I shared the Millionaire bar with my boyfriend, as he absolutely loves millionaire’s shortbread. It was very similar to your standard piece of millionaire’s shortbread, albeit with nicer (and more) chocolate and a particularly generous helping of gooey caramel. The biscuit wasn’t a standard shortbread – it was a bit crunchier – but it was still lovely.

William Curley Orangette

William Curley Orangette

The next treat to try was the Orangette batons. They were scrumptious – the centre of these was a chewy, tangy and slightly bitter orange confit (like a really thick and luxurious marmalade), with dark chocolate on the outside. Orange and chocolate is such a great combination, and the batons were definitely a cut above your average Jaffa cake!

William Curley white chocolate and raspberry bar
Finally, it was time for the last treat in the box: a delectable white chocolate bar with tangy raspberry bits. White chocolate and raspberry is a classic combination and I couldn’t fault this bar at all – the chocolate was beautifully sweet and creamy, and the raspberry wasn’t at all overpowering. Perfect!

Overall, I was blown away by the quality of the contents of this box. I’d never tried William Curley’s chocolate before (the poshest chocolates I’d previously had were Hotel Chocolat’s), but I’m a firm fan now! Every type of chocolate was just so tasty, and the flavour combinations were fantastic.

If you’re looking for a fancy present for the chocolate lover in your life, you really can’t go wrong with the Curley Chocolate Club. I can’t wait to try my March box now!