Theodore Hartley found the two loves of his life in 1906. Premium handmade Belgian chocolate and Patrice Valentino, a then 19 year old Parisian beauty.
There, in a bustling sidewalk cafe a century ago, the legend of Hartley & Valentino premium Belgian truffles was brought to life. Born of a life-long passion for the pure art of chocolate making and a blossoming love for each other, these exceptionally decadent Belgian truffles are a testament to the ideals of love and good taste.
Theodore and Patrice's dream for their chocolates lives on with every decadent truffle sparking love affairs the world over.
If I have one guilty pleasure in life it would have to be for anything chocolate orange flavoured. It's the one flavour combination if I see a new product in I have to try it. So when the Hartley & Valentino dark chocolate orange truffles came up for review I really wanted to try them. You can imagine my excitement when I opened my review parcel and saw a packet in there.
Though I should of waited till after dinner to open the box I couldn't resist I had to open them then and there. Opening the box I was surprised to see them individually wrapped, while they lock in the flavour and keep them fresh I'm not the biggest fan of products that use more packaging than needed. Ripping open my truffle the first thing that hit me was that lovely Chocolate orange smell, surely it's one of the best smells in the world! Taking my first bite I wasn't disappointed they were the perfect mix of rich dark chocolate and orange.
I had great plans of hiding the packet away until the weekend so I could use the truffles to make chocolate orange cupcakes but over the week they kept calling to me and my husband and I slowly finished the packet over the week. While $12 seems a lot for chocolate it's safe to say these are worth every penny. One is more than enough to curb any chocolate cravings you may have. These are the type of extra special treat that would be perfect for any gift basket as well.
Wow! I think I might be lost for words on this product. I have always been a big fan of chocolate and orange together and always enjoy foods that combine these two flavours. I was so excited to see these chocolate truffles come up for review, and even more excited when I was lucky enough to receive a box to try.
I managed to hold off from opening the box until after dinner so that my husband and I could enjoy a truffle for dessert. I opened up the box and took a sniff, hoping to smell the most amazing chocolate orange smell. I was a little disappointed as it didn't deliver - but I soon discovered that this was because each of the truffles were individually wrapped. I was quite happy not to be able to really smell them when I saw this was the reason why as I love it when items like this are wrapped. It helps me to have a little more self control and not eat the whole packet in one go. I got one out, opened it up and was then surprised with the amazing smell! I was also surprised at the size of the truffles. They certainly were too big to eat the whole thing at once, but this is a good thing in my mind as it means I take 2 or 3 bites and feel more satisfied than eating the whole piece in one go. The taste was amazing. I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate but the way it has been mixed with the orange flavour is just perfect. Both flavours complement each other well. My husband was also pleasantly surprised and requested another one as he loved the first one so much.
Looking at the fact it is $12 for the bag I think this is a little pricey. But then again, they are absolutely beautiful and most likely worth the price, but it's not the kind of money I would spend on myself for chocolate.
For as long as I have known my husband, he has loved the flavour combo of orange and chocolate. His favourite ice cream is orange chocolate chip and anytime anything is released in a jaffa flavour, he is there. So I knew when I saw these truffles that he would be immediately drawn to them. In fact, as I opened up the box of review goodies I had, he grabbed for the orange box. Then he asked if they were all his, or if he'd have to share.
I made him share the box. The kids had one truffle between the two of them, as I had a feeling that they wouldn't be fans of the flavour. I think they would have liked a milk chocolate truffle but they have mixed reactions to dark chocolate. In this case, they ate their piece each but they didn't seem interested in more.
For me, the flavour was exactly as I imagined it would be. The sweetness was there, but then there is the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the orange flavour was more like orange peel than juice. It was very nice, but not something where I would race to the bottom of the box. We have had a truffle each between my husband and I after dinner with a hot drink and that has been more than enough for me.
My husband really liked the flavour and it's a clear winner for him out of the flavours we tried in the range. He likes bitter and sour flavours the best and this truffle hits all the right notes for him. I think if you have someone in your life who loves dark chocolate, and candied orange peels and that bitter sweet flavour profile, these would be a nice gift for them. I could imagine them going well with an Earl Gray tea gift basket.
At around $1 per chocolate, these are not cheap in any sense of the word, but nor are they a bad deal. When you consider the price of "fancy chocolates" at some of those speciality stores in malls, this is quite affordable. For me, at least, the value is worth it.
Even as a child I have always loved the combination of orange and chocolate flavours, and these are something a level up on anything I have had before. A crisp outer shell of dark chocolate, filled with a soft centre that has a slightly sharp orange taste that really appeals to me. It has that wonderful citrus bite, but isn't so sharp as to be unpleasantly bitter. Combined with the chocolate, it's something that really appealed to me. That said, I know it won't appeal to some, who want sweeter treats - there are other flavours in the range that will cover this for you.
I loved the box, and how easy it was to reseal. It would also be very easy to wrap, should you wish to give this as a gift to a friend or loved one. Each chocolate truffle - though square rather than round like traditional truffles - is individually wrapped, so you could buy a box and break it down to make it into smaller gifts, such as party favour or gift bag for guests at a wedding. Sometimes, it's the simple things in life that give the greatest joy... and these gave my taste buds great joy.
I don't have a sweet tooth so I tend to treat confectionery as a treat and enjoy eating it in small quantities, especially after a spicy dish when I feel like a contrasting taste. When I arrived at my daughter's house for dinner and produced a pack of this confectionery, everyone's eyes lit up and they all declared they could probably eat the entire contents on their own!
We made a ceremony out of allocating one piece each and then putting the packet out of reach in case one of the younger ones wanted a second helping. It was not necessary. The portions were huge and the children could not actually fit a whole one into their mouths! This made a pleasant change from similar products which are so small that you have eaten the whole thing before you have realised it.
There was a definite orange taste behind the initial chocolate rush, which cut through the richness and added to the effect. I thought it was a combination which would appeal more to the adults, especially since the result was not particularly sweet - no doubt because the chocolate is a strong, dark variety which is traditionally regarded as a "grown-up" taste. However, both of the children enjoyed it. Miss Four described it as "yum, but I could not eat another one yet". Mr Six thought it was yummy too and thought he might be able to manage a second if he waited a little while. The other adults said they could probably manage two. As for me, one was just right. So that makes the cost more reasonable when you realise that a pack is actually going to be enough for up to a dozen people to share.
We adults had ours with after-dinner coffee. We had checked the contents label first as "orange liquor" was listed as making up 36% of the contents, and there was a concern that this might not be suitable for children if it turned out to be alcoholic. However, after some quick checking, we found that in this context the "liquor" was used to mean "liquid extract", so the children were allowed their share.
The texture was pleasant: some of us just let the chocolate melt in our mouths as the pieces were semi-hard but very smooth, rather like a gourmet toffee. The children, however, sucked the chocolate outer layer then removed the rest from their mouths to see what the orange inside looked like because they detected the change in flavour. They were interested to find that it was still brown, not the bright orange colour they had expected! Needless to say, the chocolates were not out of their mouths for too long; they were speedily replaced in their mouths and chewed up.
I would buy these for a special treat, knowing now that they do appeal to people of different ages and would make a good alternative to a conventional dessert. We all agreed that they are quite satisfying and would be great for someone who has a sweet tooth and is trying to follow a healthy diet as you are unlikely to eat the whole packet in one go (as can happen with other sweets). This means you would eat them in moderation and even the dedicated health-food fanatic needs a little something special now and again.
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"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)