From blue cheese ice cream to olive oil caviar, tickle your tastebuds with some of Britain's best gourmet food
William Curley has repeatedly been voted Britain’s best chocolatier so it’s only logical that he’d also excel at making scrumptious chocolatey pastries and puddings such as the fabulous Venezuelan Cadeau (left) – a rich Venezuelan chocolate mousse piled on a moist chocolate sponge. But William also has a talent for incorporating tropical flavours into his chocolates and desserts, and his Passion Fruit & Mango Entremet is tropical decadence at its very best – a rich, creamy concoction where tangy passion fruit and aromatic mango are perfectly offset by a delicate sponge. £5 through William Curley.
Powerful truffle and aromatic herbs are blended with Tuscan sea salt in this fabulous seasoning, which brings all the flavours of Italy to your dishes. Perfect on grilled meat or poached egg. £15.90, through Emozioni.
If you think that putting cheese into ice cream is even worse than serving it with the proverbial chalk, it’s because you have never tried a scoop of Purbeck’s Dorset Blue Vinny. The rich, creamy ice cream comes alive with a pungent blue cheese kick, with sweet and savoury flavours balanced to perfection – so much so that the Dorset Blue Vinny has won two innovation awards. Serve with poached pears for pudding heaven. For stockists contact Purbeck Ice Cream.
This is olive oil like you have never
tasted it before. Drops of unctuous, rich extra-virgin olive oil made
with Picual olives are encased in a layer of water containing a special
gum extracted from brown algae, forming beautiful, golden, caviar-like
spheres. When you bite into each capsule, the intense flavour of pure
olive oil – green olives, pepper, and just a hint of fruit – bursts into
your mount. As beautiful as it is delicious. For prices and details,
Award-winning chocolatier Paul A. Young is known for his creative flavour combinations, ranging from the unusual goat’s cheese and limoncello chocolate to a tangy, creamy and delightfully punchy rhubarb and pink pepper caramel. His Martini rose and geranium ganache, however, steals the show. It’s an understated, fabulously floral chocolate underpinned by a subtle but intense kick. Make sure you add it to your taster selection or, even better, join Paul’s chocolate club and you’ll be treated to tastebud-titillating surprises every month. £40 for a 25-piece truffle box. For more details, see the Paul A.Young website.
The truffle aroma hits you first when you try this fabulous cheese, conjuring up images of the rich undergrowth in Italian woods sprinkled with just a hint of a French pasture. Then the flavours develop and combine beautifully and unexpectedly in your mouth – meltingly rich, creamy Brie sets off the pungent, musky, earthy truffles to perfection. For an extra bit of fun, you can even make your own with Paxton & Whitfield‘s kit, priced at £50.
Just a sip of Master Lin’s Huang Zhi Xiang is enough to take you on a magical journey to an Oriental garden filled with jasmine and gardenias. Underpinned by a subtle fruitiness, the floral aromas delight and refresh your palate but never become overpowering. The man behind it is Master Lin, a first generation tea maker who doesn’t own any land, but instead rents single 300-year-old trees on Mount Wu Dong, in China’s Hubei province. He processes the leaves by hand and has gone on to win many awards – testament to his skills and passion. Brew this beautiful, gentle, simply delicious oolong tea in water that’s just gone off the boil, using about 5 g per cup. £16 through Postcard Teas.
Take a British classic, put a fresh spin on it and you’ll get The Bay Tree Company’s Passion Fruit Curd. It has the same rich creaminess of traditional Lemon Curd but it’s underpinned by the fragrant, tangy sweetness of passion fruit. Great with toast and utterly fabulous on scones. £3.50 through The Bay Tree Company.