What is your first reaction when you read the title of this post? For most people, we bet the immediate reaction is "Have I read this correctly? Brie? As in the cheese?"
Yes, you have not misread that, and we have not mistyped the flavour either. Earlier this month, we have brought out one of our new flavours for this season. Not being afraid of experimenting with flavour and pushing the boundary (have you tried some of our award-winners such as "Cape Town" Curry & Raisins, "Hong Kong" Soy Caramel, or "Meaux" Wholegrain Mustard Chocolate?), this year we have decided that we would finally bring out our cheese chocolate.
Since we started in 2013, we have always wanted to bring out a chocolate with a cheese ganache. However, up to this year, we haven't developed one that we were happy with. For us to bring out a new product, it has to meet the approval from both of us. This makes it pretty challenging as Albert has a very narrow taste in cheese - there's only really Brie and Wigmore that he likes (he will reluctantly eat a few other cheeses - just don't put cheddar, silton or blue cheese in front of him).
The choice of chocolate used in the ganache is another consideration. In the end we have opted for a white chocolate made with cocoa butter pressed from Dominican Republic cacao beans, and meadow milk from UNESCO biosphere at the foot of the Alps in Switzerland. It's a new chocolate that we are using, and we are really happy that its flavour works so well with the Brie.
The next step is to create the right texture for the ganache. Again it sounds easy but it's either the texture that's not right, or the flavour was too strong (if the smell of the cheese is too strong, it would overpower not just this particular chocolate, but it would affect the whole box of chocolates with other flavours). We ended up going back to the drawing board and researching into the science of cheese, to figure out the method to get to a smooth texture with a sufficiently mellow flavour that would compliment the chocolate.
You may be wondering why we have named this chocolate "Montréal"? Many years ago, it's always the cheese board that wedges between the main course and dessert, and it's in this beautiful Canadian city that we first came across a cheese course rather than a cheese board. Also this is a bilingual city and it seems a perfect fit to our ingredients - while Brie has always be considered as a French cheese, we have in fact opted for an English Brie in our chocolate.
We are pretty happy with the end result. Now it's up to you to decide what you think! (If you are not a fan of Brie, then you probably won't like it....)