Monday, 30 April 2018

Dormouse Peru 80%

Cocoa beans from Piura, Peru of the Gran Nativo Blanco type, are such delicate and fine flavour cocoa beans. The beans, from Cacao Tales, are grown by cooperatives in Northern Peru, and they are the most awarded cacao beans grown in Peru, see here for more details.

Dormouse Chocolates, Manchester's first bean to bar chocolate maker, is a ridiculously skilled chocolate maker. So basically, this bar just suggests a real synergistic experience...

An 80% dark chocolate, made with cocoa beans and muscovado sugar only, meaning no added cocoa butter.
The aroma was caramel, lightly acidic, green apples. The taste had perfect acidity, with notes of lime, wheat, ash, rhubarb, and very caramel-rich from the molasses of the muscovado sugar. The flavour was so smooth, as was the texture, which could be explained by the grind and conche time having been 54 hours, all in a 2l capacity grinder, just some fine details for 'chocolate nerds'

This bar really amazed me. Sometimes 80% can be a little too high for me, but it was such an easy going 80%. So much so that I had the whole bar in just a couple of hours. Each piece literally made me say "wow", which I first noticed I was doing when biking in the sun through London 

NearyNógs Hispaniola 70%

NearyNógs first got my attention in early February, it was with their São Tomé 70%. The chocolate, from what I remember, was very good, and more interestingly so was that it had been made in Northern Ireland! 

Onto their Dominican Republic 70% bar, the ingredients are simple: cacao beans and unrefined cane sugar.
The taste had a great acidity, somewhat rich with red currants. The texture and flavour both felt like a chocolate brownie, the texture because it was quite a thick and uneven melt, the flavour because it's just mad chocolatey. This type of melt, however, works well with a taste like that... The finish had a 'green' earthy note to it.
This bar was enjoyed during the mid April heatwave in London. For me, it's always so good to have great chocolate in hot weather

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Goldfinch 74% Belize

I took a small step back from the chocolate industry over the Summer and Autumn 2017, which meant I hadn't heard of Goldfinch chocolate, usually I am so on it with new makers. It wasn't until I met the maker randomly at my weekend job that I discovered this new UK bean to bar chocolate maker. She was looking at bean to bar chocolate; I saw that as an opportunity to spark a conversation with a stranger about great chocolate

We got talking, found out she was a fellow chocolate maker, which then lead to being given a chocolate bar, of which stayed so close to me until my shift finished. As soon as I got home, I had to try this unheard of chocolate maker!

The cacao from Belize started very juicy, flowers, blueberry, bubble gum (reminding me very much of Brazilian cacao), it was also super chocolate-y. There was a bright, lively acidity. The finish lingers a slightly bitter, hoppy flavour, but it was a long, long finish, which is always good

I can taste and feel that the chocolate is well crafted

The Goldfinch website looks very slick and at the moment has two different origins available (Belize and Dominican Republic) as well as a couple added flavours. The maker is lovely, the chocolate is lovely, and I look forward to seeing more of Goldfinch chocolate

Chocolat Madagascar 50% Milk Chocolate

Woa,    I'm pretty sure this is my first post on Chocolat Madagascar

This is a 50% milk chocolate, so essentially a 'dark milk' chocolate. It won a Bronze award at the 2015 Academy of Chocolate

It has a pretty low added sugar content at around 25% (ignoring the natural sugars in the milk), which is less than your 70% dark chocolate. The ingredients puts cocoa butter first, followed by whole milk powder, cane sugar and then cocoa beans (plus sunflower lecithin)

The aroma is rich, wheat, metallic, malt vinegar. It's slow to melt, but once it gets going it's pretty consistent. The taste starts with barnyard, wheat, malt, then simple 'cocoa' flavour comes in. It has Demerara sugar and toffee flavours dispersed within a balanced acidity

The finish is very fresh and clean, which is helped by there being a lot of cocoa butter. There is actually a lot of cocoa butter here, making chewing it feel too fatty, but it makes the chocolate melt very smoothly. This chocolate seems super French, no political correctness 

The finish is somewhat tannic or raw wholemeal bread dough. An enjoyable milk chocolate, easy to eat... 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Chocolate Tree Peru Chilique 70%
First tried this chocolate back in October 2016, and it became the ultimate highlight of the Chocolate Show that year, for me. It wasn't exactly ready for sale back then, and was only available to try on request - kinda like on a if you know, you know basis

A year later, and this Chocolate Tree Chililique 70% was again the highlight of the Chocolate Show for me, as well as the Gran Nativo chocolate they crafted (though this one was not for sale, more to showcase the Gran Nativo cacao to chocolate makers)

Aroma was at first not too loud, a little wheat and biscuity, some prunes. I go at it again, and bam! Sour sauce, peppery, herbaceous (oregano, thyme), um... Monster Munch crisps, MSG (monosodium glutamate), woaaaaah

It's a toasted bite, smoked. Then when on the tongue, it's sweet and sour, with the sour balancing with savoury notes. There is a strong acidic kick, like a squeeze of lemon juice. Nearing the finish, it's a smooth chocolate-y flavour that gets attention, a flavour that was probably always there, as the foundation

An avant-garde chocolate I feel. Good stuff