Recently Spectre and I had a really lovely day out at Trentham Gardens, and obviously we had a meander around the shops there too. We came across a branch of Whittard and as Spectre eagerly picked up lots of interesting teas, I had a look around hot chocolates. I thought it would be nice to treat myself to one of Whittard’s luxury drinks, something suitable for my very sweet tooth. I chose the Crème Brûlée as it sounded indulgent and it said that it was flavoured with vanilla and caramel. What I didn’t realise until I opened it at home was that this was a white chocolate based drink. I know it might sound obvious from the name in retrospect, but I still assumed it would have had some milk chocolate in there, but all that was inside was a fine white powder. The front of the tub doesn’t really offer any clues on this, and I don’t think I would have purchased it if I had realised.
The back of the tub suggested 3 teaspoons per 200ml of milk or more if you are feeling decadent. I went with 4 as I liked the sound of being indulgent and our mugs hold slightly more than 200ml. When the powder hit the hot milk I was immediately aware of a smell of burning. This was impossible of course as the milk hadn’t quite boiled, but the smell still lingered lightly in the air. I mixed up the drink and the powder dissolved easily, the white milk was left with a creamy tinge to its colour.
When it was cool enough I took my first sip, and this sweet creamy, almost buttery vanilla and caramel flavours filled my tastebuds, just when I was about to think that this drink was fantastic a strange flavour started to appear, a burnt, blackened smokey chemical taste. What? Now I’ve eaten a lot of Crème Brûlées and one thing is consistent although there is sugar sprinkled on top which is popped under the grill until it melts and solidifies, I’ve never had one that has any burnt flavour in anyway. If I was given a Crème Brûlée in a restaurant where it looked like the sugar topping had been over cooked and become black I would send it back. There is no smoky flavour in a proper Crème Brûlée, so why Whittard chose to add one to this drink is anyones guess. I couldn’t finish the mug the aftertaste was smokey and tasted so weird that it ended up down the sink, and the tub emptied in the bin. What I don’t understand is why it has so many positive reviews on the Whittard’s website. There are a couple of write-ups that agree with me but the vast majority of people love it, so I’m obviously in a minority. If you give it a try, let me know what you think, because I’m definitely missing something.
Spectre on the other hand was really happy with his fab selection of teas, and can’t wait to go back and stock up on more. Think I’ll treat myself to a tub of Rocky Road hot chocolate next time, that sounds more up my street.