The luxurious Prestat Jewel Box Chocolate Selection is an ideal gift for chocolate fans. My three reasons for this are: wide variety, good quality, and robust packaging. There’s something for everyone in the wide selection of chocolate varieties. The chocolate and the flavours are both great quality and imaginative. The chocolate is thick and the packaging robust so they fare well on journeys or in the post. The Jewel Box comes in 3 sizes: 120g (9 chocolates), 210g (16 chocolates) and 640g (49 chocolates). All are available at Prestat’s shop in Piccadilly, their website or from department stores such as Liberty or Selfridges. In this review I’m focusing on the 120g box with 16 different chocolates as it’s the most widely available, sold in department stores and Waitrose for £16.99. Prestat ensures a fair price for Ghanaian farmers who supply the cocoa used in these chocolates.
I like to support brands who are sustainable and ethical. Prestat wants to do better that Fair Trade certification and has their own partnership programme. Details are in the About Prestat section below.
Wide Variety of Chocolates
This selection has something for everyone with 16 different chocolates. There are 8 dark chocolates, 6 milk chocolates and 2 white chocolates. There is a good variety of fillings including fruit and floral creams, nuts, fudge, flavoured truffles and more. The full list and individual details are given below.
- Dark Brazil Nut (a Brazil nut covered in thick dark chocolate)
- Dark Raspberry Fondant (soft raspberry fondant dipped in dark chocolate)
- Dark Rose Creme (rose cream coated in dark chocolate)
- Dark Ginger Hunk (a chunk of spicy candied ginger covered in dark chocolate)
- Dark Violet Creme (a violet cream coated in dark chocolate)
- Dark Cassis Babe (blackcurrant jelly dipped in dark chocolate)
- Dark Chocolate Truffle (a dark chocolate truffle covered with dark chocolate)
- Dark Passion Fruit (soft raspberry fondant dipped in dark chocolate)
- Milk Walnut Marzipan (an almond and walnut marzipan, covered in milk chocolate and topped with a walnut half).
- Milk Honey Nougat (honey nougat coated in milk chocolate)
- Milk Saffron and Ginger Fudge (creamy fudge with notes of saffron and ginger, covered in milk chocolate)
- Milk Sea Salt Caramel Cup (liquid caramel with a hint of sea salt coated in milk chocolate)
- Milk Hazelnut Cluster (praline croquant base topped with caramelized hazelnuts, covered in milk chocolate)
- Milk Rice Crispy Nougat (rice crispies in a praline matrix encased in milk chocolate)
- White Banoffee Truffle (liquid banoffee in a white truffle shell)
- White Coffee Fudge (coffee fudge dipped in white chocolate)
Great Quality Chocolates
These luxury chocolates are a great quality. The chocolate itself is not too sweet, not even the white chocolate. The chocolate is very good, not religious experience good, but certainly one of the best you can buy on the High Street. I suspect this is down to the trade off with ingredients which give it a longer shelf life. I’ve purchased these a few times and found the expiry date to be a few months.
The good quality chocolate houses a range of top ingredients. A lot of effort has clearly gone into balancing flavours and perfecting recipes. The fruit creams are well balanced between sweet and tangy. The fudges are very fine, creamy and nicely flavoured. The truffles are know to be a favourite of Roald Dahl and Prestat inspired Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Stand-out chocolates for me are the milk saffron and ginger fudge, dark cassis babe and white banoffee truffle.
These chocolates are very well packaged and are likely to arrive in pristine condition after travelling on a journey or by post. Each chocolate has its own purple paper holder and is nestled in a compartment of the plastic tray. There are two corrugated paper inserts on top, this is wrapped in two sheets of tissue paper. All of this is encased in a tough re-useable cardboard box. The boxes will also easily fit through letterboxes if the recipient is out.
Prestat was founded in 1902 in London by Chocolatier Antoine Dufour. Today it is owned by half brothers Bill Keeling and Nick Crean; the chocolates remain handcrafted.
Prestat partners with Esoko (Ghanaian IT entrepreneurs) to make the cocoa market more efficient and transparent thereby empowering farmers. This is achieved through a text message alert service which informs farmers when cocoa is trading at better prices. This information empowers the farmers’ negotiating position for sales. Prestat is sponsoring 1,000 farmers in Ghana to cover the cost of receiving these alerts from Esoko.