Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Original Beans Edel Weiss 40%

Made with cocoa butter from beans grown in Yuna River Valley, Dominican Republic; this is an organic white chocolate that is without vanilla. Original Beans suggest a flavour profile of banana milk 

The aroma was creamy. It had a soft bite. The mould of this bar was different to Original Beans usual, it had smaller chunks and was more 'ordinary'. The taste was malted milk, golden sugar, Milky Bar yogurt

The Edel Weiss is a nice white chocolate, very creamy and not too sweet (as the raw cane sugar isn't the first ingredient)

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Menakao Madagascar 72%

Menakao 72% became my airplane chocolate, and then my backpack chocolate - something to enjoy from time to time when desired

Menakao is Madagascan-cacao chocolate made in Madagascar. The ingredients are cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, non-GMO soya lecithin 

The aroma was cocoa, lightly vinegar, overall simply chocolate

The taste started cocoa, with red fruits, mainly cherry, with light smokiness and an overlaying cane sugar juice. I noted this chocolate to be very chocolate and sweet. Two weeks later it was raisins and chocolate covered plums, pretty Polish to me

The chocolate felt rustic with its grainy, slow melt

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