For being the first small-batch fine chocolate artisan in the UK, Duffy Sheardown must have worked really hard to keep his name renowned in the increasingly crowded panorama of craft chocolate makers. The method and meticulousness of this man are aspects validated de facto by his creations.
(A special mention to Keith Hurdman for suggesting this brand!)
With a mold pattern reminiscent of the checkered flag of Formula 1 car racing—Sheardown worked in a Formula 1 team for 30 years—this chocolate bar does recall a Formula 1 race for the elegant and unexpected way through which its flavor profile evolves during the tasting. At first, you feel, as in a test ride, a mild fruity note of cranberries that gets surpassed by a more persistent undertone of creme caramel and toffee, overridden by a return of the fruity note—this time expanding copiously toward sweet currants.
Milk here is barely perceptible (only 8%) but just enough to give character to the single-origin chocolate, made from Mayan Red cacao—a commercial variety of fine flavor cacao from Central America, exclusively available through Xoco Gourmet.