Sunday, 17 May 2015

Chocolaterie A.Morin Dominican Republic

A traditional, family run, craft chocolate business in Donzère since 1884. A.Morin direct source their cacao and in their bars/bonbons will often use ingredients grown in their orchard (almonds, hazelnuts, cherries). Surprisingly, the name "Morin" may elicit a blank face in the new wave chocolate scene (too traditional? *wink*), but they do tend to only make to order, so the ones buying it would be private companies in bulk, who then sell individual bars to the public (i.e Cocoa Runners)

Along with the Dominican Republic cacao was sugar, cocoa butter and soya lecithin: all together manifesting a 63% chocolate bar
The aroma was fruity, blackcurrant bud, spiced, earthed, butter, citrus

The taste was fruity, very sweet, sparkling acidity: pineapple, chocolate, greenish: avocado mousse with nibs (2 days later I make avocado mousse, ha!), tartness: black currant/blackberries/raspberry
The finish had a fairly tannic hint; but overall, a really enjoyable chocolate - not so complex, just so delicious. Understandably, this may be too sweet for those accustomed to expressive and real dark chocolate, but I loved it. The remnants and scrunched up foil wrapping after the chocolate had finished, as I laid in bed, smelt super wonderful

Friday, 8 May 2015

Chocolate and Love Coffee

You may or may not know that cacao was once drunk as a stimulant: xocolatl (literally translating to 'bitter water'). From Mesoamerica, this prized drink travelled to Europe. Though as the sugar trade kicked in, and with the Europeans enjoying their sweet delicacies, they began sweetening up their cocoa drink, and adding milk. And so, one thing led to another and chocolate desserts, confections and the bar were born

Today, coffee is our liquid stimulant. It's enjoyed bitter. Yet chocolate, if bitter, will often provoke a grimace. And why is this? It's because coffee and chocolate serve different purposes. We've conditioned ourselves into thinking chocolate needs to be a sweet treat, expecting it to be an indulgence, whereas coffee ... it's just, you know, 'coffee culture' (note there are some exceptions: coffee & walnut cake, tiramisu)
Chocolate and Love's dark chocolate Coffee bar was of 55% cocoa. It's a low %, but I guess sweeter chocolate should pair better with bitter coffee, according to that incoherent hypothesis above of: chocolate should not be bitter

The aroma was just luscious. It was coffee, creamy, vanilla, chocolatey, a sense of acidity, and when ignoring the coffee there was suggestion of a somewhat complex chocolate

The taste was bitter, potent coffee, and yet very sweet. The coffee gave earthiness, the chocolate had vanilla and caramel flavours. This was a real bitter, sweet chocolate. The texture and melt was smooth, and the finish was the last few sips of a cappuccino, with the Demerara sugar still sitting at the bottom of the cup
Overall, an incredible chocolate, though I fault it in being a little too sweet. But I like Chocolate and Love, and their ethics. Their chocolate is organic, fairly traded, and 100% traceable (all to the single cooperatives! The cocoa beans from Peru and The Dominican Republic; the sugar from Costa Rica and Paraguay; and the vanilla is Madagascan)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Amedei, For You

Now, I believe that these 'For You' bars are almost Amedei's 'Toscano' range. They have the same names i.e. White, Brown, Nut Brown; and they too have the same cocoa percentages. However, there are some explicit differences: these 'For You' bars had skimmed milk as well as whole milk, whereas the Toscanos just have whole milk; the For You packaging looks and is inferior to the Toscano; but what's more is that the For You bars are 70g and nearly half the price of the Toscanos, of which are 50g!

ps. Amedei are Italian, high quality, highly acclaimed, pure excellence bean-to-bar chocolate makers