Since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, I thought it might be best to feast on Godiva’s newest collection: Heart Duets. There are only four pieces in this collection, and I’ll be honest, only two really appealed to me, so they are the only two I bought. The collection has a dark chocolate/strawberry piece, a milk chocolate/black raspberry piece, a white chocolate/apple piece and a milk chocolate/banana piece.
Now, I can’t bring myself to try anything banana flavored. I don’t know why. I love real bananas, but am not a fan of anything else banana flavored (except bread, but that is made with 100% real bananas). I’m also kind of burned out on apple flavored chocolates. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor combo, I usually do, but I just wasn’t feeling it this trip, so I skipped that one too.
I decided to focus on the two which looked most like potential Valentine’s treats: the dark chocolate strawberry and the milk chocolate black raspberry. Since I’m a best for last kind of gal, I decided to polish off the dark chocolate piece first, even though it was definitely the most eye-catching of the collection. I really like the bright red color of this chocolate. The flavor, on the other hand, is another story. Don’t misunderstand, it didn’t taste bad. It just didn’t taste very much like strawberry either. If I hadn’t seen the dark chocolate back, I wouldn’t have realized it was a dark piece. There was none of the usual bitterness to it. It had a creamy chocolate inside, but that was about all I tasted. There was a tiny wisp of fruit flavor which reminded me of a toned down version of their black raspberry truffle (the one that actually has the cute red heart on it).
I think the strawberry flavor gets lost in all of the chocolate. Godiva’s hearts are always kind of heavy on the chocolate. Now, I realize that sounds like a dumb thing to say since they are a chocolatier. However, what I mean is that there is so much area taken up by pure chocolate, that any flavoring often loses its punch. It gets hidden in the chocolate and to quote Iron Chef judges, the secret ingredient just isn’t “the star of the dish.” I think I described it accurately when I called it the dark chocolate/strawberry heart. Although, to be even more accurate, I might have to call it the DARK CHOCOLATE/strawberry heart. It had a good chocolate flavor, but the fruity hints were so subtle, they basically got lost.
As for the milk/black raspberry piece, I feel it was a bit more successful in showcasing the fruit. But only a bit more. The tiny seeds mixed in with the chocolate ganache fooled my brain into thinking there was more raspberry than there actually was. It’s a texture trick I feel too many chocolate companies rely on. Now, in fairness to Godiva, anytime I eat something that claims to be black raspberry, I always forget that it will not have the same tart punch the good ol’ red version would have. Black raspberries themselves have a far more subdued flavor and often, my brain just thinks raspberry and when I don’t get that tart, I get let down. I tried to remind myself that this wasn’t going to be the raspberry I adore, but my stupid monkey brain forgot for a brief second.
This piece actually left me with a bit of a fruity after taste, which was an improvement on its strawberry counterparts. I think since milk chocolate is also a tad blander of a flavor, it is a better vehicle for letting the raspberry come through. Too often, the only fruit combos which really shine with dark chocolate are very tart fruits, and good strawberries should be more sweet than tart. Had the strawberry been with a milk chocolate, I think the flavor would have come to life more. It would not, however, have looked as appealing. And while the dark chocolate may have given the pale lavender of the milk/black raspberry piece a bit more pizzazz, I don’t think dark chocolate and the often mealy black raspberry work well together.
If I was giving a Valentine’s gift and just wanting to score points for sticking to the theme and being cute, this collection would be swell. But, if I was hoping to impress with the flavor, this would not be my pick. I’d go for one of their assorted boxes of chocolate in a pretty heart-shaped box, or even a box full of raspberry cordials, which have very pretty shiny pink wrapping paper AND a glorious mix of dark chocolate with the most amazingly tart raspberry center I’ve ever had. A cute attempt to brighten the holiday, but not a score in my book.