Notes on chocolate: in search of flawless truffles

<span>Works of art… The Book of Love from Melt</span><span>Photograph: PR IMAGE</span>
Works of art… The Book of Love from MeltPhotograph: PR IMAGE

I found myself this week, quite by accident, deep in truffles. It started with Chocolarder’s Mocha Truffles, £18/12, quite the most perfect little snowballs of 70% Costa Rican cocoa snuggling a vegan coffee truffle (the coffee beans also from Costa Rica but grown at a different altitude to the cocoa beans and having come via the excellent Monmouth Coffee Company). I kept eating them thinking I might spot a flaw but each was so well done I may have eaten the whole box, eventually. The coconut oil in these kept itself to itself so it wasn’t overpowering.

It includes milk, dark and white with lovely choices and gentle surprises

Then two by Lumi. The first a very credible replacement for salted caramels by Paul A Young, who shut up shop last year. His were world-worthy and much missed by many. They were also smaller than the Lumi ones I’m about to tell you about, and more liquid but the taste just reminded me. Try them and see what you think: Cornish Sea Salt Caramel Truffles, £12.50/12. I was also surprised by the Lumi white chocolate-covered Orange and Cointreau Truffles, £12.50/12. I would not have picked them out myself (because of the white chocolate) but the taste impressed me: really good.

Not truffles but I must tell you about something that was originally sent to me for Valentine’s Day, which I immediately eschewed but would make a not-cheap but fabulous Mother’s Day present (one week to go). Melt’s The Book of Love, £49.99 has 12 mini but chunky bars (40g each) of chocolate behind squares depicting works of art about love. There are a mixture of milk, dark and white with lovely choices and gentle surprises. My favourite was the gianduia bar.

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