Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Kakawa Mango & Chilli CD and Salted Caramel bar

In my mind, a Snapchat from my brother said something about finding cool buttons in Australia (chocolate obviously). A parcel was sent from Australia to London - and it's not quite buttons, but something that seems pretty cooler

Kakawa pride themselves in using the finest natural ingredients and avoiding preservatives and artificial flavours in their chocolate making. They're chocolatiers based in Sydney
There was a little damage here and there but it was from all the way down under. I don't know where to start with this bar, because oh wow! Sucking out that rich, rich chocolate caramel... The caramel had a dark toffee chocolate flavour and then the chocolate coating itself would melt, collapsing into the equation. There was also something almost fruity within the taste and vanilla
Now to the cd. The chewy mango pieces had a very subtle flavour, though such little fruitiness seemed to work nicely with the chocolate, as it made it seem more delicate. Though I think a stronger mango flavour would have been better. The chilli left the biggest impact, as it would tingle on the back of the throat

The cd was certainly good quality chocolate. But, hats off to that Salted Caramel bar ... it was beautiful

Lifefood 80% organic bio raw vegan

Lifefood is not a name that those interested in chocolate will necessarily recognise, more those interested in nutrition. However I know a few chocolate bars marketed to the nutritional market, but do not recognise this name. This isn't bean to bar chocolate. It resembles the homemade "good for you" chocolate, made from cacao butter, cacao powder, agave syrup and ground vanilla - all raw, all organic. The production does not exceed 42°c
The aroma was very pleasant. Nicely floral and vanilla. It broke very easily and very differently to real chocolate. The taste was again flowery, and surprisingly sweet. The bitterness came eventually, making the finish taste solely of cocoa powder

The texture was gummy then ashy and then very bitty nearing the end
Rogue chocolate said well: If you eat chocolate because they told you it's health food, you're doing it wrong

The taste was nice, but not a chocolate I would recommend, unless you are into raw-food, as the same day I ate it, I looked for it in a health food store to buy for somebody. I liked that it promoted the benefits of cacao, but it just ignored the bean to bar mantra of which I advocate

Friday, 25 September 2015

Vivani Rice Choc 40%

Vivani, not to be confused with Vanini, has a slogan of "the art of chocolate", which seems to ring true in every way. From resources to chocolate making to packaging design to their social impact. Their ingredients are organically grown, their cocoa is of top quality, their dark chocolate recipe scored maximum marks by gourmet magazine Savoir Vivre, the packaging artwork by Annette Wessel is beautiful, and they have a project aiming to stop and prevent child labour
Rice Choc ingredients: raw cane sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, rice drink powder, hazelnut paste, bourbon vanilla. The cocoa mass is a perfected secret blend of Latin American and African cocoa, and the sugar is raw due to the retention of minerals. This really is chocolate with a conscience 

The aroma was very milk chocolate, vanilla and coconut. The texture was very smooth and soft in the mouth, also very soft to touch. The taste had hints of curry powder and pepper in a vanilla sugar syrup

How sweet it is, it means vegans and people with a lactose intolerance who have an intense sweet tooth will enjoy this chocolate. I would definitely recommend this bar over Zotter's vegan-milk substitute, however it doesn't hit the spot like real-milk chocolate does. But as a vegan 'milk' chocolate it totally works! It is enjoyable, just surprisingly sweet

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Zotter Labooko Papua New Guinea 75%

Zotter's "island dream chocolate" is made from Papua New Guinea's first cooperative to meet all organic and Fairtrade criteria. Like all of Zotter's Labooko bars, this chocolate contains raw cane sugar, added cocoa butter and salt

The aroma had a lot on offer. Purple grape, smoked, black currants, butter, vinegar, metallic and peachy

The taste was chocolate, a blunt fuzzy sweet-sourness to it, wood and blueberry. It was very mellow with a toasted cocoa finish

This Papua New Guinea has a good smokiness and acidity. I liked it more the second time around. It can bought from Zotter (spend £15 to qualify for free delivery) or from Cocoa Runners (spend £20 for free delivery)

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Bettina & Niccolò Corallo

Bettina & Niccolò is a coffee shop located uptown Lisbon. The picture above isn't the best, but it was from the angle I arrived at. So believe me when I say that the interior was fantastic! It was simplistic: wood decor, a glass window below the counter showing thin slabs of chocolate piled on top of each other - all different types. Behind the counter was a lime green La Marzocco making espressos and coffee bean bags hanging on the wall

Waitrose Pistachio, hazelnut & almond milk chocolate

An Italian chocolate maker sources their cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic (including the Conacado co-operative) and throws in a lot of nuts! I decided to write up this chocolate bar because it tasted really good ...
The chocolate tastes like it could be Swiss with its creaminess. There's a touch of salt that just livens up each bite. The mix of nuts too is a great combination. The packaging brags 39% cocoa, but overall there is very little cocoa mass. BUT, still, it tastes great

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Chocolataria Equador, Lisbon

Sadly the Caramel and the Praline & Jamaican Pepper bonbons had sold out, but with what I had chosen I wasn't too setback 

Chocolataria Equador works with lots of different and enticing flavours with chocolate, and all in different forms; from bars to bonbons to sardines (not real sardines, but they are something of a Portuguese icon) to truffles

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Pacari Raw with Andean Blueberry

Pacari is a maker who I have familiarised myself with. I recognise their chocolate having the 'Pacari aura' - or what I write in my notes: Pacari perfume. This 70% raw chocolate with wild Andean blueberries had that perfume in aroma. It also had Ecuadorian floral and earthiness with a cranberry tartness
The taste was the above's Ecuadorian, also a blue, mellow fruitiness, not strictly blueberry. This chocolate was sweet and VERY chocolate, with subtle coffee and earth and the perfume finishing each bite 

The subtle crunches and chewiness of the blueberries were very nice - I always tend to chew chocolate. Interestingly I only saw one bit of blueberry, but of course there were more 

This was an enjoyable bar, but as an inclusion bar it seemed a little weak on its performance. However, it's often rare to get a pure blueberry flavour from even just blueberries