Thrilling new variations on old-school sweetshop themes


I’m actually writing this immediately after testing, rather than what I usually do which is test chocolate and give it a while and go back to it. But given my resting heartbeat has already gone up about 10 beats per minute, the sooner I commit my thoughts to memory and get this chocolate out of the house the better.

Snickers is peanut praline with roasted peanuts
I’d been following Fiona’s Pâtissière on Instagram (@fionapatissiere) for a few months. Fiona, a trained biologist-turned-chocolate maker, ‘releases’ bars every month in a very limited run. She gives notice on social media. I know this annoys some readers, but I really like the idea of one person/a small team making little chocolate bars and there’s a limit to how many one person can make. We’ve all got a bit too used to things being constantly available and made by massive production lines. You want artisan? You have to wait – and it’s worth it.

I usually miss out on Fiona’s creations, but managed to get the April Box, £18: four hefty bars, a gourmet recreation of childhood favourites: Twix, Snickers, Double Decker and Ferrero Rocher. Each month is different.

All are so delicious, coated in either milk or plain chocolate, the Double Decker is a froth of nut-studded nougat atop a chocolate puffed-rice base, Twix is shortbread with gooey caramel, Snickers peanut praline with roasted peanuts and Ferrero Rocher is a hazelnut and almond praline feuilletine with caramelised gianduja and toasted hazelnuts.

Fiona also makes cakes. Pray for your waistband.