Artisan Chocolate by Saffire is based in Taverham Garden Centre, Norwich. Saffire started out in 2005 as a hobby by Angela within six months of selling at farmer’s markets, she had put down a deposit on a shop. The company has moved premises a few times due to expansion before settling in their current location in 2009, Angela had been joined by her son Gary and his Wife Sharleen, as well as daughters Annabella and Kathrin (Annabella joined the family business when she was 14 and left to pursue university four years ago). Kathrin manages the company’s Social Media and marketing, while Angela and Gary are the head chocolatiers and Sharleen is the Manager.
Artisan Chocolate by Saffire have an extensive range of products and services including workshops all year round, these fill up quickly so early booking is essential.
One of the flagship pieces on offer at Saffire is ‘The World most expensive chocolate shoe: The Saffire slipper is designed from one of the UK’s designer shoes and made from an exclusive mould, taking 40+ hours to make and are hand-delivered within a 150-mile radius of the shop. A deposit of £250.00 is required upon ordering with prices starting from £599.00.
The Shoes were not one of the items sampled but the review would not be complete without mentioning them. So moving on to a bespoke item that was sampled, Saffire have teamed up with local businesses including ‘Give it some beans’ and ‘Heavens Hemp’ but this bespoke item is the result of a team up with Reynard City Chronicles: a local comic led by Will Turner to create the wonderfully name Warp King Mystery Flavor Bar: usually this bar is only available via Reynard City Chronicles as part of a box set, but a preview bar was provided. The first thing that hits you when you unwrap this bar is a strong scent of bubble gum scent which could be why in taste challenges people often wrongly guess bubble gum. This chocolate is extremely creamy, you can feel it melting away to reveal the banana flavor with all the sweetness of white chocolate (the pink bar was sampled), this is chocolate heaven (well for me anyway, maybe not if you are not keen on bananas). It is confusing chocolate though, as you never really get the scent of bubble gum out of your mind and you’re waiting to taste that flavor.
All of this is perfect as, it is based on a comic character the warp king who is the gatekeeper of time and space and likes to mess things up a little. You can contact Will Turner at www.reyanardcitychronicles.com to find out how to get this bar as it is not available to order via Saffire.
The next item sampled was Saffire’s Hot Mocha Chocolate Shot,
You simply unwrap and stir into your drink till melted, well that is the theory! It would be useful to make a drink in a large mug, as it is a lot of chocolate, rich, creamy with a belgian chocolate taste to it, there is an irresistible urge to eat some of the chocolate whilst it’s melting. This was the best indulgent treat, perfect for melting away the cares of the day. The best thing is that because there’s so much chocolate, it makes a large treat, so you feel completely pampered by the time you have finished.
I strongly recommend only one treat from Saffire at a time because it is luxury chocolate at its finest. the next item sampled is:
The strawberry and Cream bar priced at £2.25
One of the things that is most striking about this bar is the chunkiness, it is quite deep, it’s not quite as creamy as the Warp King bar, but the flavor more than makes up for that, Saffire claim to use the best available ingredients in their chocolate and this bar is a perfect example of that. The strawberry pips inside were a surprise and make the bar a little crunchier, the flavor is strong and perfectly balanced. This bar is the one product sampled that I could consume more than one of due to its lighter texture.
When you have to save the best for last then the best would be 8 luxury handmade chocolates priced at £8.90. This is the ultimate gift option.
These truffles come in different size boxes of 8,16 or 24, with the option to choose your flavours. There are too many to list, but Flavours tried are listed below. Flavours were not specified for the box we sampled but there is a fold out card included in the box detailing the flavours, these truffles are beautifully packaged in a sturdy card box, each truffle was a unique tasting experience. The truffles are where all those best ingredients are truly put on display, The Passion Fruit and Mango truffle has a red, yellow and orange glaze over white chocolate, and it is an explosion of flavour. While the centre of each truffle varied in texture in the centre, they all had this in common, the use of alcohol beverages in these truffles is great, and unlike some chocolates you can taste the full flavour. The box sampled contained the following:
Smirnoff Vodka & Orange
Passion Fruit & Mango
Orange Blossom Honey & Grapefruit
Marc De Champagne
As good as they taste these truffles also look amazing and there is a wide range of flavours. It is stated that the truffles should be eaten within 6 weeks as the flavours start to weaken after this, but to be fair it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving this chocolate around the house for long.
Artisan Chocolate by Saffire have a website for you to order online if you are unable to get to the shop, it’s worth bearing in mind that these are handmade chocolates so probably best to order early especially for special occasions.
For more information on products from Saffire please see: www.saffire.co.uk