Friday, 28 February 2014

Booja Booja Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Truffles

I had heard of and seen Booja-Booja chocolate truffles before, the company priding themselves as being dairy, soya and gluten free as well as being all organic! Winning many awards, specifically their Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Truffles (of which I have here) are winners of 2 Great Taste Awards! At a retail price of £6.99, they're slightly more expensive than your average truffles

Looking at the ingredients list I was quite impressed, with chocolate (cocoa solids min. 50%), hazelnuts, coconut oil and further cocoa powder dusting... all being organically grown ingredients. I liked knowing that these truffles were all handmade

When opening the gold plastic bag the truffles were encased in, I was instantly hit with a strong cocoa aroma. I thought the truffles looked cute, tightly packed together in their little casings. They looked very soft but when cutting through the truffle it was in-fact quite hard. There was a clear distinction between the chocolate coating and truffle filling

The texture was light and smooth, with a surprising buttery-like texture (this sounds like a contradiction)

I must admit, I wasn't overly impressed with the taste of these truffles... I think I set my expectations too high! The back packaging states to keep them in the fridge, so maybe I should have done that as it could have offered a completely different experience. But I don't think that would of changed the fact that I didn't taste the darker and richer chocolate that I was hoping for. Actually, the chocolate flavour was very weak... These truffles needs to be much more intense! 

For what these truffles are though - organic, dairy free etc. - I think they're great! I just missed the absence of a creamy texture and flavour. This is only my taste preference, and me not being a huge hazelnut lover, I should have tried a different flavour: the raspberry or ginger or banana one for example

I will praise Booja-Booja though, as I did enjoy these truffles but I think that's only because I knew of the ethics behind the company; taste alone I just wasn't wowed

Monday, 24 February 2014

Marou Ba Ria 76%

Made from Trinitario cocoa beans of the Bà Ria province in Vietnam and cane sugar only, I was excited to taste this chocolate as I hadn't heard of Vietnam growing cocoa. Also, as there was no added flavouring, it simply meant that I was about to experience the real flavour of these fine, Vietnamese Trinitario beans. Marou currently produce 5 different single origin bars, each made from cocoa beans of a different region in Vietnam 

The chocolate was wrapped in gold foil with a Marou 'M' sticker concealing it. The consistent gold being used for the packaging made it seem grand and the three colours contrasted well

It was a dark aromatic chocolate, with fruity tones being most noticeable. Although subtle, the roast along with a slight earthiness deepened the aroma. It wasn't intense but very mature

The embossed logo along with the diamond scoring is nice

A prominent rich fruity taste to match the aroma, as well as there now being a little spice. The sweetness was like a warm honey, making it taste soft and mellow. It wasn't bitter at all. And it was dynamic to say the least. I then had balsamic vinegar, a white grape... it wasn't overly acidic as a sweetness dominated, but it did feel ever so cool on the left side of the tongue 

This 76% provided a smooth, long melt which enhanced those flavours for you to appreciate the complexity of the chocolate even more. I found that when chewing, it appeared to have an almost oily flavour and texture and the sweet fruity tones became quite numb... developing into a subtler taste of green grape/olive

The finish was quite long with soft oaky tones as the sweetness fades. Ah such a beautiful chocolate - full of flavour, surprisingly sweet and very interesting. The complex flavours engage the senses and really make you think. Very impressive chocolate

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Ritter Sport Whole Hazelnuts

This was my first time trying Ritter Sport chocolate so I had no idea what to expect, I assumed that due to the price of £1.05 it was going to be somewhat delicious as it looked such a small bar! But looks are deceiving, as this was 100g- so really the price was similar to that of Cadbury's, Nestle, Mars etc.

When snapping this chocolate it failed to break into the desired chunks, however this was only because of the hazelnuts. The hazelnuts were nicely spread throughout the chocolate and provided a a crunch texture

When it came to trying the milk chocolate alone, it was not great. I wonder if that's why Ritter Sport do not have just a plain chocolate bar... that with all their flavour combinations they're trying to hide their poor quality/tasting chocolate? 

The melt was fairly slow and the hazelnut flavour infused into the chocolate which I didn't find overly pleasant. The hazelnuts themselves were superior to those used in Cadburys Dairy Milk, however I think that the chocolate itself in Dairy Milk is unusually nicer...

I may end up saying this every time I have hazelnut chocolate... But I feel that I must stress that if you really do want a delicious hazelnut chocolate try Go*Do

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lindt Swiss Classic Milk Chocolate

The aroma was very sweet, creamy and resembled Lindt's Lindor truffles. A definite soft toffee scent which I liked but soon became sickly. The milkiness was very prominent, though I'm not surprised as the Swiss are famous for their milk (and milk chocolate)

The taste was very rich and creamy, with a smooth melting texture. The flavour wasn't as sophisticated as Lindt's Excellence range, as it was buttery and overwhelmingly sweet. This also meant that after a while (with the smell too) it all became a little bit too much. A toffee flavour was also present, with pleasurable dark tasting sugars

I guess I did enjoy this chocolate, but I think I just had too much that it became ever so sickly. The smell lingering on my fingers ended up giving me a slight headache

It was indulgent but this Lindt milk chocolate was definitely not for me. I never was a fan of the Lindor truffles (very similar, if not the same, taste). And I now believe that when it comes to Lindt, I'm only a fan of the Excellence

If I ever want a standard milk chocolate of which I can easily get my hands on (from the supermarket)... I won't be opting for this bar

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Moser Roth Finest Dark Chocolate 85%

On several occasions I have tried Moser Roth chocolate (from Aldi) and pleasantly enjoyed it. Moser Roth say that their chocolate is made for "connoisseur taste buds" and on the back packaging it states that it's a "delicious treat for connoisseurs of sophisticated gourmet chocolate"... That's a bold statement to make

This 125g of chocolate is divided into individually wrapped bars of 25g. Honestly, I sort of find this restricting... They're good portion sizes, but for me 25g is never enough. However, due to this being such a high cocoa percentage, I found that 25g was suffice
The design of the chocolate looked detailed, with a shiny, smooth underneath surface and the colour was very black; beans over roasted? The snapping sound was impressive, as well as how easily it snapped. I found the aroma to be very weak, only sensing cocoa and coconut (cheap chocolate), where I was really hoping for more complexity

The taste didn't take me on much of a journey with the flavours. The melt wasn't luxuriously smooth, and I see on the ingredients that fat reduced cocoa powder had been added... I think that's what really let this chocolate down. As that added cocoa powder made for the after taste and feel to be slightly waxy and clayey; this wasn't pleasant. When leaving this chocolate to melt, the taste wasn't enjoyed

It takes a while for the sugar to come through but the sweetness was quite satisfying (when chewing). I didn't find this chocolate to be bitter, but I could tell that it was really trying to be. The texture had quite a dry feel to it when in the mouth

Overall, disappointing, the chocolate just wasn't fulfilling. When I am to buy Moser Roth chocolate again, it shall not be the 85%. I thought this chocolate had potential to compete with the likes of Lindt etc., but in reality it lacked the complexity in taste, aroma and definitely mouth-texture

Friday, 7 February 2014

Zotter Chili Bird's Eye

My brother bought and sent me this chocolate bar from his trip to Austria. I had heard of Zotter before, and seen a lot about their Labooko (single origin) bars but never thought I'd actually get my hands on some of their chocolate

Zotter being voted "Most Creative Chocolate Company" last year, I really could not wait to try some

This Chilli Bird's Eye bar is part of Zotter's 'hand-scooped' range, which entails of the bar being handcrafted with the very best natural ingredients. Zotter are a bean-to-bar company where everything is done under one roof. I thought the paper packaging was artistic, with the red and black contrast and 'Z O T T E R' in metallic gold font. Then the gold foil wrapped around the chocolate made it look even fancier 

The aroma of this chocolate had fairly spicy notes coming through the darkness of the 70% cocoa

Although the slab of chocolate looked slightly unimaginative, you really can not complain when you put it into context. The idea of a ganache-like filling being encased in dark couverture chocolate bar intrigued me. I started off by just trying the chocolate coating alone and straight away I sensed the chilli spices. Slightly surprising as the chocolate contained no chilli and the filling stated to only consist of a mere 0.1%

Taking a very soft bite it was rather hot on the tastebuds. It wasn't subtle like most other chilli flavoured chocolates. This was the real deal. Chewing this chocolate, sure it's spicy but if you want to fully experience the fieriness of the chilli it's a must to leave it to melt! This way, you can be truly overwhelmed by the fieriness. There was a little alcohol (sugar cane brandy/refined grape marc spirit) in this chocolate which was noticeable but pleasantly subdued. There were hints of a sweetness which gently laced the dominating chilli; this could have been the cinnamon

A long lasting finish of spice lingers on the tongue 

For most people I really do believe that this chocolate would be far too spicy, but the kick and heat rush that this bar provides is something worth experiencing at least once. The feel of this chocolate in the mouth wasn't as significant as the flavour, that's why I haven't really mentioned of the texture. It would have been nice if the filling was slightly smoother. But overall a really interesting chocolate bar, which you can purchase online here

Looking through some of the Hand-Scooped collection, some of the other flavours are so unique I just want to try them all! But if you want spice and what could be considered as the ultimate aphrodisiac... this bar could be perfect for you

Josef Zotter recommends that to be a true chocolate connoisseur you should not munch the chocolate, but savour it by letting it rest on your tongue to allow it to melt in your mouth. The aesthetics of Zotter's packaging design reflect upon their flavour pairings in their chocolate; unique and artistic (if you check out their range you'll know exactly what I mean)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Taste the Difference Belgian White Chocolate

The appearance of the chocolate itself looked ungraceful (almost resembling a Milky bar). But I told myself not to judge before I had engaged my other senses, as the eyes can often be deceiving

The aroma was weak, but I guess for a white chocolate that was better than it being too potent. The vanilla flavouring wasn't vanilla as I know it: rich and perfumed

The snap was soft. With 24% cocoa butter and 29% milk, the flavour was quite intense, it started creamy but then became sharp tasting to the point where it felt sickly. The sugar really dominated this chocolate. Although Fairtrade does not indicate quality, it was nice to see that this chocolate was Fairtrade

The melt was very smooth and thick. The back packaging says that the chocolate was given a long conching time...

This chocolate for £1.40 is worth a try, but I must admit that I was left feeling a little underwhelmed. I didn't really admire the softness of the chocolate when snapping and biting, especially compared to Lindt's delicate and firmer white chocolate as well as Go*Do's white chocolate. And the taste being of a high hitting sweetness just overpowered the potential of this chocolate

It's quite interesting to see that the Taste the Difference range has quite a wide range, with Belgian, Swiss, Peruvian and Santo Domingo chocolate... I must try them

Lindt Excellence White Touch of Vanilla

The Madagascan vanilla aroma was calm, soft and gentle yet distinct. Silently thanking Lindt for not making the vanilla too overwhelming, the "touch" was perfect. The elegant paperboard packaging of Lindt's Excellence range is something also to admire

I loved seeing that the vanilla was all natural, and the taste certainly reflected upon it. A soft, but firm bite leads you into the smooth texture, and right away an unmistakeable white chocolate flavour is initiated. The melt was quite long, allowing the vanilla to develop. Further with the taste, I did sense a 'touch' too much sugar, but I only noticed this after many pieces

You will always find Lindt chocolate on supermarket shelves. So, if you are craving white chocolate you really have no excuse not to choose this one! Lindt chocolatiers take pride in using fine 'aromatic' cocoa beans, so to choose a cheap white chocolate, filled with artificial flavourings and being immersed with too much sugar, over this sophisticated Lindt Excellence would almost seem a sin

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Lindt Excellence Strawberry Intense

The strawberry aroma was intense and I'm glad that Lindt use real strawberries opposed to just flavourings. The strawberry pieces provided a fun texture with bursts of extra flavour, which overall enhanced that strawberry overtone

Although it's referred to as 'fine' white chocolate, I imagine it does taste fine but with this dominating strawberry flavour I really could not experience the white chocolate as much as I was hoping to. But then again, I guess that's why this chocolate doesn't taste too sickly; it's perfectly balanced. I think if the white chocolate had any more influence it would just be far too sweet

I enjoyed the overall texture: the smooth, creamy melt of the Lindt chocolate counterpointing the light crunches of the strawberry pieces. The aroma, to begin with, was pleasant but eventually almost became too much. And the taste? I did really enjoy it, well I had no reason not to enjoy it! Obviously couldn't have too much of it though because it was very sweet

I think that many people tend to avoid this chocolate combination because they feel that white chocolate is packed with sugars and too much vanilla with an artificial strawberry flavouring, resulting in an overly sickening sweetness. However, this particular chocolate is an exception. The white chocolate is light tasting, and the strawberry flavour is natural. I probably wouldn't buy this Strawberry Intense again, but I'd be interested to taste other of Lindt's fruity chocolate

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Go*Do Organic Chocolate

Godo, in Italian, means a moment of pure pleasure. After being sent Go*Do's collection of chocolate bars to taste and write up on, I decided to do a little research into the bean-to-bar company. The chocolate bars are outsourced for manufacture, but Go*Do control each step of the production. The chocolate is made from beans grown in Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Peru

White Chocolate
30% cocoa solids
An incredibly creamy aroma with distinctive vanilla. The flavour happened to be even sweeter. It was nice, not sickly sweet. The sugar tasted dark, resulting in a beautifully rich flavour. The vanilla flavour didn't taste artificial

Milk Chocolate
This bar had a different mould to the white. The aroma was mildly earthy and dark, thus, I was expecting it to taste far darker than it did. This 34% cocoa solids chocolate had a natural flavour that is to die for (when it comes to milk chocolate), the flavours were well balanced. First you notice the sweetness, then those dark earthy undertones come through, bringing more dimension to the chocolate. This was a winner, and quite literally as it has won bronze by the Academy of Chocolate

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut
The hazelnuts smelt and tasted fresh. During the melt, the chocolate felt very cool against the warm hazelnuts (this was quite refreshing). The nuts were of bite size and provided a lovely sounding crunch. The sweetness of the milk chocolate counterbalanced the bitter hazelnut

Dark Chocolate Sicilian Almond
A promising 60% cocoa solids, which proved of a silky melt. The aroma seemed slightly smokey. The almond was very subtle in taste as the chocolate overpowered. It's only when you're left with an almond piece that you actually acknowledge the Sicilian almond and this still appears to be very subtle. This chocolate was probably my least favourite one, but the thing is - it was still good. This one too won a bronze award from Academy of Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Espresso Coffee
Again of 60%, with that slightly smokey aroma seeming consistent, but there was the obvious coffee aroma dominating. It wasn't bitter, and as there was ground coffee dispersed within, it enhanced the natural flavour whilst also providing a gritty, but compelling, texture. I really enjoyed this bar

Dark Chocolate 60%
It smelt like an intenser version of the milk chocolate, with those earthy (and now smokey) notes. When tasting, I sensed this very high hitting rich flavour which was very elegant. When chewing this chocolate, the flavour evolved. Starting with wood-smoked notes then a subtle saltiness which provoked the final sugars to finish the flavour

I thoroughly enjoyed these chocolates. Go*Do should be proud of their chocolate: taste and texture wise, and to the fact that they produce from the bean and that it's all organic. The roast of the beans is so influential and noticeable, which just then complements each flavour balance so perfectly, resulting in such fine tastes