Artisan du Chocolat launches in Selfridges Manchester

It’s exciting times, people of Manchester! For Artisan du Chocolat has landed in Selfridges. The divine chocolate company has finally branched out of the Big Smoke and made it’s way up North. And that’s because we all know that Manchester is Ace!

We’ve not had a gourmet chocolate maker (although I’m sure someone can correct me) in Manchester, since Plasir du Chocolat in the Royal Exchange and Harvey Nichols closed down and sadly went into administration. Obviously the Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom does amazing things, but it’s not on my walk home after work.

Artisan du chocolat manchester

Artisan du Chocolat is famed for bringing salted caramels to the world. They were invented in 2003 by Gerard Coleman for Gordon Ramsay’s menu at Claridge’s. I had always imagined them to be a solid caramel flavoured with salt. But in fact, they are oozy liquid caramel flavoured with Noirmoutier island’s grey salt and surrounded by a bitter crunchy cocoa shell.

I didn’t make a note of the flavours I bought and my palate may well be tainted by the bottle of Presecco I am drinking. Oh we know how to live it up on a Monday night, oh yes. Anyway, one of the salted caramels tasted rich and dark, like black treacle. One was definitely balsamic vinegar, which was a great taste combo, and t’other I think was lemony but I scoffed it way too quickly. They were definitely more-ish, but I definitely expected more of a salty kick. I always knew chocolate and salt went together hand in hand, when I used to eat crisps with Kit Kats as a youngster. That’s me – ahead of the times.

Artisan du chocolat manchester

Moving onto the delicate patterned gourmet chocs, of which there are so many delicious-sounding and really unusual flavours, injected into the rich chocolate ganache. I found a PDF menu with a key to all the flavours tucked away on the Couture collection page, so take a look.

The lavender was a good un with a very delicate but definite floral hint. With the basil and lime, the citrus took over a bit too much and I’d have liked to taste the earthy basil flavour. Green cardomon was quite strongly flavoured and tasted like the kulfi we spend all summer buying from the curry mile. This was definitely one of the favourites, with its warm spicy taste.

Vanilla was more subtle than I would like, while the mint was truly infused with the beautifully light aroma of real fresh mint leaves.

Prices were good at around £7 for 100g. I bought a bag of about 10 and it came to £5, which was impressive.

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