Monday, 17 April 2017

Palette De Bine 70% Guatemala

PALETTE DE BINE is a Canadian chocolate maker. The face behind the chocolate is Christine Blais. 2016 was the year of Canadian craft chocolate, I feel, so what a great year for me to have visited Canada and try lots of untested makers, PALETTE DE BINE being one of them
The 70% Guatemala: flavours of rooibos tea, wood, black currants, and overall very sharp. First impressions were that is was heavy on apple cider vinegar, but with subsequent tastes, it calmed down

In the International Chocolate Awards 2016, PALETTE DE BINE was immensely recognised for its quality

Monday, 6 March 2017

Soma Porcelana & CSB Chama

SOMA 2015 Golds. The Porcelana and the CSB Chama. The bars were bought in Soma's Distillery District, Toronto factory in the summer of 2016.

The packaging is cool on the eye. Somewhat flawed, or genius, in that it cannot be resealed
Porcelana 70% had an aroma of mulberries, chocolate, molasses. The taste was too mulberries, a stout like Guinness, cream crackers, fresh churned butter, the texture was very creamy. The finish was "chocolate

CSB Chama 70% is a Porcelana-Ocumare hybrid. The Ocumare is another Venezuelan cacao. The aroma was sweet and sour - punchier! Mulberries, fig tart, shortbread, very pretty. The taste started herby and creamy, then flowed in spices like aniseed and vanilla, then it became quite juicy. Fig biscuits. It subtly finished with prunes and chocolate, with the odd orange marmalade here and there 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Dandelion Chocolate

Founders with their backgrounds in the dot com bubble of Silicon Valley, now immensely respectable chocolate makers, Dandelion Chocolate is case study material. Chocolate factory & cafe, in San Fransisco and Tokyo, with menus too amazin

When Todd, founder of Dandelion Chocolate, visited Damson chocolate, he left 3 bars ...

Zorzal, Dominican Republic. Smooth in flavour, it was woody, walnut, caramel, brandy, chocolatey 

Camino Verde, Ecuador. Straight away digestive biscuits. It melts into chocolate fudge brownies, taking on my mum's approach to baking: cutting the sugar. It feels as if more sugar would have made the brownie-feel to be more effective, but overall super chocolatey and warm

Ambanja, Madagascar. Raspberry jam, liquorice, wholewheat, it was noticeably thicker in the melt. It was beautiful with its flavour. This one was so good, so, so, so good

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Ombar dark, mylk, and centres

Ombar, what is its purpose? You would think that Ombar is selling itself on being raw, "RAW CACAO" being defiantly stated. Sure, people must buy Ombar for its raw-ness. But its differentiation is its live cultures. I mean, there are a few "raw" chocolate makers out there, using low GI sugars too, but none that enrich their chocolate with live cultures

I like live cultures

The chocolate is made with unroasted Ecuadorian cacao, cocoa butter, coconut sugar and Lactobacillus acidophilus. The occasional bar has vanilla, creamed coconut, and also the eponymous additions. Ingredients are organic, obviously; it would be super weird if this wasn't stocked in Planet Organic

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Chocolate Alchemist

The Chocolate Alchemist is a NOOOOTORIOUS chocolate maker in Philadelphia. The magic behind the chocolate is that they utilise cacao, and by doing so it becomes a "vehicle for true flavour, nutrition and energy"

The packaging, when in hand, is distinct. It is made from lokta paper (i.e. tree-free). The ingredients are all organic, and clean. Looking online there is great emphasis on paying fair prices for The Chocolate Alchemist's raw materials. Through and through this chocolate screams quality.

The 80% Philly Blend, a 5 different region blend, had an aroma of dill, coconut cream, vanilla, Muscovado, and a taste herbaceous, coconut, Muscovado, cream. The melt was a little sandy. The sugar was coconut sugar

The 75% Cultivagro was a single origin from Ecuador, sweetened with coconut sugar. I had the notes: smoky, lapsang souchong tea, leather, butterscotch, some peaty whisky; the mouthfeel had thoughts of astringency and tannins
80% Philly blend
The 90% Zarumilla, made from Tumbes Peruvian cacao, was super lime juice, pancakes, brown sugar, grassy bamboo, acidic juiciness, flowers. This one was sweetened by Colombian panela sugar
Clasico 60% was a dark milk chocolate, with a blend of 5 different cacao and sweetened by brown sugar. This was an inclusion bar with roasted hazelnuts, coconut, vanilla and salt. I felt this really could have been harmonious and toasty, it was instead quite raw in flavour 

Goat Maple 65% dark goat milk chocolate, with a blend of Dominican Republic and Peruvian cacao, sweetened with local maple sugar! It was like a creamy creamy creamy chocolate pudding, made with goats cheese obviously. The maple sugar here was a nice touch

Out of the collection, I was very much for the dark chocolates; particularly the Cultivagro and Zarumilla - these two being very nuanced