Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Doble & Bignall

The craft chocolate revolution is pretty much alive in the UK. It has excited and entertained myself and many others; it has inspired myself and few others - to do it themselves, from the bean! Doble & Bignall rode the wave (think: 'new wave chocolate' #boom) in the summer of 2013, after listening to a Radio 4 programme on making chocolate from the bean

Doble & Bignall craft their chocolate in micro-batches in Gloucestershire, mixing their beans with cane sugar and cocoa butter
Raven Johe, Nicaragua 72%
This cocoa had grown in the Jinotega region in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. The colour was a brighter, more chocolate brown than the Venezuela. Trying to get the aroma of this chocolate felt like I was behind double-glazed windows. It was always 'chocolate', but I occasionally captured  smoke, spice, leather, nutty, malted milk (Horlicks®); it was sweet and all delicate

Straight on the tongue there was ash and a super juicy acidity (mineral acidity - Jinotega has very rich soils!). There was a berry buzz - so fresh and tangy, greenery and a taste of burnt/blackened toast. This Raven was all 'silent but deadly': quiet aroma, loud taste!

Raven Puerto Cabello, 72% Venezuela
Made from Cabello cocoa beans from the Mantuano region of Venezuela. The aroma was piss, spice, excrement, floral - it actually smelt of a Mr Bean rub-and-sniff sticker collection I had years ago

The taste was coffee, coconut water, heavy roast, something fruity and then the bitter coffee finished. My third and final attempt at this chocolate was actually very pleasant (it wasn't distinctly coffee nor coconut like before), though I still wasn't hot on the roast 

Tawny Owl Tierra Oscura, 50% Panama (milk)
An aroma so buttered fruit scone (made with 50/50 flour), quite creamy/milky. The taste was a less satisfying wheat taste, and a sudden tight bitterness (very astringent) but then after awhile dried fruits, some lactic acidity and pure butter came out

Tawny Owl Puerto Cabello, 50% Venezuela (milk)
Made from the same beans as the Venezuelan Raven. The aroma was very creamy, quite like a white chocolate. The taste was delicate, there was a flicker of liquorice and toasted oats and vanilla cheesecake. A very easy to eat chocolate, quite delicious!

Smelling its wrapper after the chocolate had gone, it was so cheesy and kinda like puke, but 12 hours later it was caramelised white chocolate

Out of these 4 chocolates Doble & Bignall craft, my favourites were the Venezuelan milk Puerto Cabello and the Nicaragua 72! This Nicaraguan Raven had that kind of kickin' acidity that I just LOVE in chocolate

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