Over the past half-decade or so this site has steadfastly stuck to the rule that everything reviewed must contain chocolate. That's included chocolate beer, cheese and all sorts of other oddities, but never anything made from Theobroma Grandiflorum. As the Latin name suggests, it’s actually a genetic relative of Theobroma Cacao which all true chocolate is made out of. But as you would expect Cupuaçu, which is is more commonly known as has its own, unique flavour profile.
A couple of years, when researching the natural history of cacao I wondered which crazy individual would be the first to produce chocolates made from T.Grandiflorum. To behonest my money wasn't on Marc Demarquette. Perhaps I thought that Marc makes such outstandingly delicious chocolates that he has no need to produce anything as crazy as this to stand out from the crowd. His regular flow of excellent truffles, focused on historic and seasonal English ingredients, services him very well indeed. Perhaps, as all pioneers seem to do, he just wanted to test himself. Have a play around, see what can be achieved?
Truffles and ganaches in general are something I crave. The most splendid I have tasted have been Marc’s Royal Merina. There the flavour is velvet with a straight bat. There's nothing obtuse or exuberant in those, and that's exactly what I love – a clear, direct, smooth experience. Magically, Marc has managed to replicate a similar experience with these unusual truffle logs. The only different is that these are darker and more broody with a richer sensation. They also open up the flavour profile in an unexpected direction. Despite not contain mad flavours such as herbs, spices, cheese or stuff you would spread on your toast in the morning, it still offers a massive amount of intrigue. In actual fact, they remind me Antiguan cocktails. They also bring me back to the unusual fruit flavours I've experienced in the Caribbean and perhaps even reminiscent of the unusual flavours I experienced growing up in Africa.
The core flavour here is most definitely similar to chocolate, but it has more of pineapple edge with a coconut base and even some lumi at the edges? It certainly is unusual but not so far removed from chocolate that people would feel uncomfortable. The after taste is pleasant but with the very slightest hint of under-ripe banana. The tartness definitely comes from the fact that 85% cacao grandiforum solids are used here. Normally I would look at the origin (Brazil in this case) and compare the flavours I experience to my own mental profile of chocolate from that origin. Usually I would look at the variant of bean used and perhaps even the plantation. Of course that is impossible as this is based on a different species to cacao. The problem I have is that I now what to learn even more about the natural history of the Theobroma genus. However, that is firmly a secondary aspect to these chocolates truffles – the primary thought I’m left with is that these Theorbroma Grandiflorum Log Truffles manage to blend a curious flavours, with an immense amount of satisfaction and a masterful texture - no filled-chocolates truffles I've tried have managed to come anywhere near this triumvirate of sensations.
Another thing that these truffles have achieved is that they have changed my perception of Chocolate Week. I have always (wrongly) viewed it as an event for dark chocolate tablettes, of course, due to my own prejudice. However, Marc has made me think more widely about the closing of the gap between chocolate maker and chocolatier which I hope to see more of at this year’s event. I just don't believe any other chocolatier (that I know of) expends as much energy as working with key chocolate makers as Marc does. And that should be applauded. You can get a box of twelve of these delights for £15 direct from Marc.