Monday, 22 August 2016

Original Beans Esmeraldas Milk 42%

Arriba cocoa beans from the Esmeraldas rainforests in Ecuador, more specifically the Pacific Cloudforest
The flavour was cocoa rich, milky, fudge, delicious. It had a berry brightness to it, and later online I read "red summer fruit", so that was real

The ingredients are good, and always good with Original Beans: direct-trade cacao beans*, cacao butter*, raw cane sugar*, milk*, fleur de sel - *organic

This 42% milk chocolate is a really good, a really, really, really good milk chocolate. I have had 2 bars of it in a week

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Damson Angel 65%

Not too long ago Damson's kitchen and production space became victim of a fire, resulting in a lot of damage to the already-made chocolate, stock and machinery. Much of it now cannot be sold nor used. There is an online campaign set up by Damson to help raise money to get back on track to making award-winning and the best chocolate they can! Here is the link to find out more: indiegogo Damson Chocolate

The aim is for Damson to come back bigger and better. I hugely admire this mentality, and hope to help and support as much as I can! 

Blends. Something I only discovered recently that I liked, a lot. It makes sense that great beans make great chocolate, but chocolate is personal. And personally, I had always loved the idea of single-origin/estate etc. over blends ... but now, blends have really interested me. And essentially there is skill to getting a good blend
Damson's Angel 65% is a blend. Named Angel after the area of Angel, London, the closest station to Damson. Blends could taste completely different from batch to batch if the ratios of different cacaos vary ... This particular blend I had, incredible
The aroma was perfumed, plums, spiced. This carried onto the taste, with lime, smoothing to an overall chocolatey flavour. It was honey sweet. The melt was smooth, and slow

Friday, 29 July 2016

Dormouse Madagascar 75.6%

Dormouse, small-batch chocolate makers, had won bronze in this year's Academy of Chocolate. This award had been won for their 75.6% Madagascan dark chocolate. The recipe is Madagascan cacao beans, muscovado sugar and cocoa butter
The aroma accentuated different starting notes upon each tasting. Firstly sour, the next was smokey, the next metallic. Overall I would describe it to be sour fruited. Forest and summer fruits, particularly raspberry, macerated in balsamic and apple cider vinegar. There was raisin, treacle and cedar wood too

The taste was roasted, vinegar (high acetic acid, lingers from a crucial process in the fermentation of cacao!), baker's bread. One tasting where the aroma had piquant metallic, it reminded me of a Peruvian small batch I once had, (of RealHonestChocolate...), and I must stress the "piquant", as I enjoyed the chocolate very much by now. The finish was strawberries and general red and black berries with balsamic vinegar, and bamboo leaves

The texture hadn't been as smooth as the 60% dark-milk I recently had of Dormouse's, but then again the refine and conch time was significantly less at 25 hours compared to the 60 hours for the dark-milk

I love the thinness of Dormouse bars. This award-winning Madagascan chocolate was packed of flavour, that brightness and tartness of Madagascan cacao. A chocolate that would have provoked interesting discussion amongst the judges at the Academy of Chocolate

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Pump Street Bakery Jamaica 75%

Jamaica, my first taste of it in terms of chocolate. The Jamaican cacao had been grown on Bachelor's Hall Estate, a 2015 harvest. Along with the cacao is cane sugar and cocoa butter

It's a chocolate on the darker colour spectrum of 'chocolate'
An aroma raisin, malt loaf (raisin laden), fresh milled wholemeal flour dusted on tabletop, cranberry. The taste, on the money Jamaica! Rum. It started with dried currants and cranberries, raisins, flowing in came the rum - some sugar cane bitterness and overall golden flavour... The underlining base note was garibaldi biscuits. The finish lingered golden rum

Oh, that was so real

Monday, 18 July 2016

Mast Brothers Coffee

60% cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter, buttermilk, coffee beans. The Mast Brothers' website tells me the cacao origin - Tanzania - when the packaging fails to. There is no mention of the coffee, in terms of what coffee it is. Although I don't think it would be Stumptown's coffee, because that would surely get a mention

I picked up this small 28g bar at Mast Brothers in Shoreditch, London. It had actually been made in the Mast Brooklyn factory, "surprise!" What would the locavores do?

The standard 70g Coffee bar would have been made in London, but not the 28g miniatures; the same applies to all within the Mast range
Really great chocolate. Fine flavour cacao with coffee will always get me. The texture was really smooth, the flavour was open, deep. Just really sound chocolate

I would love to do a side by side comparison of this coffee chocolate. Few pieces Shoreditch-made, few Brooklyn-made and LA too