Thursday, 20 November 2014

Omnom Madagascar 66% & Dark Nibs + Raspberries

I first came across Omnom Chocolate when The Dieline wrote up on them at the start of the year. The first thing you notice about Omnom is their distinctive packaging, which means their mission has been a success: "Packaging is the first visual and last physical contact a brand has with a customer and I wanted it to be a lasting one." The cool illustrations were inspired by living and traveling in Iceland

Omnom are an Icelandic bean to bar company, handcrafting their chocolate bars from premium sourced beans, raw cane sugar and cacao butter. The bars had a delicate body, excellent snap and sheen, and a smooth texture

The 66% had a metallic aroma. Apart from that it was quite closed, with subdued wood, and minuscule fruity and floral notes 

The flavour opened with a metallic taste, the same metallic acidity that was in the aroma. The melt was rather smooth. A while in and red fruits started to surface, finally! Then, all of a sudden, sour acidity, like a gun shot, shot through the taste buds. Incredible. This is the Madagascan cocoa I know and love. It became so tangy, and just so wild! 

The envelope design is a "secret chest of happiness", it can be closed to protect the chocolate and also serves as a tray to share and enjoy the chocolate on

The Dark Nibs + Raspberries bar is part of their 2014 festive collection, along with a Milk + Cookies bar (almond spiced cookies, sounds pretty wicked). It's the Madagascar 66% sprinkled with dried raspberries and Madagascan nibs. There is an E number in there (acting as a thickener), make of that as you wish
The texture was cool. The aroma was raspberry with that recognisable metal but also quite chocolatey

The chewy raspberries added such a buzzing tartness to the already sour chocolate! The nibs tasted too metallic (boy is Madagascan cocoa acidic), but the raspberries were great. Such a buzzing chocolate

The 66% alone surprised me. After its aroma and first 5 seconds or so in the mouth, one would have never expected such a sourness and fruity acidity to come from, what seemed like, nowhere

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Chocolate Tree Peru 80% and 70% Nibs & Salt

This is my final instalment of The Chocolate Tree's bean to bar chocolate bars. I do hope it's not my last taste of The Chocolate Tree though, as I'd love to try more of their artisanal chocolates. The two small batch, made from the bean chocolate bars I have left are made from Peruvian cacao

The 80% was mixed with cane sugar only. It had a delicate aroma, I liked it. It's worth noting that the 84% Ecuador chocolate from The Chocolate Tree was Arriba Nacional cacao too, yet the chocolates compared are so different. That is one of the great things about cocoa: how it varies from terrain to terrain, despite being the same variety. It had a rich chocolate undertone, with a citrus acidity (grapefruit), floral, raisin,  and a little spice

The flavour slowly opened with intense tannins, and eventually surfaced raisin, caramel, and spice. It was somewhat acidic, and had a dry finish with wood and tannin flavours. The caramel was superb 

The 70% Nibs & Salt "is a lighter version of the 80% Peru, but with the addition of the salt and nibs it becomes a completely different beast - and a much more complex one at that" - Chocolatiers 

It had a similar aroma, but with highlight to the salt. The flavour was intensely chocolatey when it was chewed. The nibs added a more distinct acidity, yet thankfully didn't taste metallic. The flavour was very nice, it wasn't salty and rather sweet. I preferred its flavour when chewing, because this way the extra chocolatey flavour [from the nibs] would overpower the salt. There was blackberry, minimal taste of tannins, and it wasn't as dry as the 80%
The Chocolate Tree being small batch craft chocolatiers and having textures this smooth was great. The 80% was smoother than previous bars I've had from The Chocolate Tree, which could be down to the 60 hour conch time, which may or may not be longer than their other bars. I thought the Peruvian cacao from Marañón was excellent!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Åkesson's 75% Trinitario & "Wild" Voarsiperifery Pepper


Cocoa and pepper both grow in Åkesson's Ambolikapiky plantation, which is located in the Sambirano Valley, Madagascar. The voatsiperifery pepper was said to be the finest and rarest of all pepper, and have a profile of earth, wood and flower

Despite this chocolate having won gold in the International Chocolate Awards and in the Academy of Chocolate awards, my excitement to try was: negligible. And that was down to the pepper. The cocoa was said to have a fruity-sweet tartness and a flavour that evoked citrus and red berries which, to me, is a cocoa to die for. The addition of the pepper was not warm-welcomed. I often say to people that I like sweet savoury things, but not savoury sweet things
The aroma was black pepper. The taste was black pepper. A soft bitter cocoa came through once the pepper had marked its territory. I was surprised when I had eventually found a fruitiness in the aroma (of which was very pleasant) and also gherkin (pickle), as the pepper was most potent. The taste gifted, after long delay, an acidity and fruitiness too, which made the chocolate become far more impressive. The finish was peppery and lasted a very long while

The surface didn't look so attractive, but once I had rubbed it it looked superb with a nice sheen (I should have taken a picture). The texture was smooth with little crackles of pepper darted around. The chocolate was made from organic cacao, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, emulsifier, and then 2% pepper

This spiced chocolate was warming, certainly preferable to chilli in chocolate, and one that I'd recommend. But I think I'd have rather had the single plantation 75% Trinitario chocolate alone

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Thorntons Continental and Cocktails

Just recently I received a bundle of Thank You boxes from Lindt and now Thorntons have given me some chocolates! It's so lovely because I find utter ecstasy in a box of chocolates. They're something I rarely buy myself, and even though these chocolates are not handmade, nor fresh and widely available, I was still very excited

Thorntons are celebrating 60 years of their sumptuous Continental collection, and what better way to celebrate than eating their European inspired chocolates and writing about it?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Hotel Chocolat Supermilk

Has Hotel Chocolat, ultimately, revolutionised milk chocolate? With their tremendous acclaim, they certainly have the power to do so. It's evident that the UK are now, more than ever, wanting high quality, luxurious chocolate, and Hotel Chocolat, I believe, is the go-to. For a well known and established brand to feature a dark milk chocolate in store and online has now set standards - and soon to change the ideology - for milk chocolate

The Supermilk is 65% cocoa, 20% sugar and 14% whole milk, with "all the pleasure of milk chocolate and all the power of dark"
The smell was rich, with coconut and vanilla, reminiscent of a standard dark chocolate (i.e. not "flavour beans") with a milk creaminess. The taste initially lacked sweetness, with a soft, far from harsh bitterness. The melting texture was soft, clean and smooth. As the Supermilk had an earthiness and metallic taste (opposed to the 'chocolate' flavour I was expecting), I wasn't swept off my feet. But it had a nice acidity, though which I hoped would surface red fruits - it didn't

When chewing, it tasted like the richest chocolate brownie. And when the Supermilk was chewed, that's when the sugar came through and that's when I adored the flavour - such richness with a touch of sweetness. There was a touch of spice in there too! I feel that maybe a longer refining process (cocoa mass + sugar) is needed? 

If the Supermilk was more chocolatey, had a subtle caramelised flavour and didn't have that metal taste, it would have been out of this world! But I think naturally my theobromine and sugar veins needed a fruity cacao body and a little more sweetness. By my third tasting, I really loved it though and thought I'd definitely have it again. My ideal Supermilk would be 70% cocoa (pref. bursting a fruitiness, maybe Madagascan), 15% whole milk and 15% Demerara sugar for a rich, deep flavoured, rustic crunch!