Friday, 27 March 2015

Pralus Papouasie 75

An interesting fact: Papua New Guinea (the eastern half of the island New Guinea) is independent from Indonesia

Pralus has a dark reputation for roasting. Heavy roasting isn't something I am a fan of (Willie's Cacao comes to mind) - so I wondered how I would fare with Pralus, who is considered the deepest chocolate roaster

Heavy roasting, to me, seems like the action one takes when one has a cacao, what T.S Eliot had said in regards to Hamlet, "full of some stuff that the writer could not drag to light, contemplate, or manipulate into art.” But I guess the proof of good chocolate is in the pudding tasting. Pralus, unlike many chocolate makers, are knowledgeable (they too have a cocoa plantation in Madagascar), so maybe in their roasts is an art, opposed to just a signature (think Mast Bros, they could not possibly smoothen their texture now - brittle/roughness is their signature)
The aroma was a bbq picnic in the woods: smoked (first thoughts: pork, and Polish Oscypek cheese, but probably more a smoked Gouda), blackberry, chilli roasted nuts, dark chocolate, wood shavings and somewhat floral. It was buttery and deep fruited sweetness

The flavour was smokey, cocoa, blackberry, spice (sweet), forest fruits, and an overall sweetness. This was a very easy-to-eat chocolate, surprising, when considering the influences (Pralus' roast, PNG volcanic soils, PNG drying techniques) 
many bubbles
I am fond of Willie's Indonesian (Java 69), and I know I cannot compare the two chocolates (too many variables) but I did anyway. The Papouasie was less smoky, more nuanced, softer on the palate

Monday, 23 March 2015

Willie's Cacao Luscious Orange, Cafe Negro & Ginger Lime

Although American craft chocolate maker Patric's blood orange bar seemed one to lust over, chocolate and orange is a pairing I always disdain. I ended up with this orange chocolate because I went a little trigger-happy with Willie's Cacao recently (I bought these two bars, the Cuban Black 100%, the Peruvian, IndonesianMilk of the Gods & El Blanco again, and was given the Ginger Lime)

Friday, 20 March 2015

Madécasse Espresso Bean

A creamy, 44% Madagascan dark milk chocolate with ground Arabica coffee and cocoa nib crunches

The aroma was fresh brewed v60 coffee bloom, or the espresso crema - with fresh cream; it was incredibly soft, smooth and creamy
The first taste was coffee then came caramel-ly chocolate. It was milky and with a salt-enhanced sweetness. I feel that the salt was unnecessary as the taste was 'too sweet'. But before that enhanced sweetness it was flavours of relaxed atmospherics and great beauty. Chewing the chocolate: there was bright, fruity acidity and fermentation, the nibs added a satisfying crunch and gave an acidic/metallic taste. The finish was sweet, coffee and fruity
There was surprisingly some cocoa bean shell scattered on the chocolate, I first noticed in texture but I could actually see it. The coffee had strawberry notes, really quite juicy. The chocolate, being Madagascan, had a little sourness after the caramel flavour

Apart from the intensified sweetness by the salt, I absolutely loved this chocolate and I 100% recommend!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Chocolate Society Madagascar 75

^pic: Selfridges.com
The Chocolate Society use Valrhona chocolate, and do not supplement any of their "high quality chocolate with cheaper Belgian Callebaut chocolate". They are chocolatiers, not chocolate makers; and so I personally wouldn't have bought a chocolate bar from them. I only like paying for bean to bar chocolate. However, as I had been gifted this bar I am not complaining! (especially as it was bought for £6.99! - Selfridges do some serious markups on chocolate)
The ingredients were: cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soya lecithin & natural vanilla extract. Valrhona make a Madagascan chocolate (Manjari) at 64% but not a 75%, so I am curious as to how this chocolate has been made. Could the Choc Society have used Valrhona's 100% Manjari? Surely not as that would have required refining of the sugar particles. This is all too ambiguous for me, but I presume this is just unadulterated Valrhona chocolate (as in the Chocolate Society melted Valrhona chocolate and set it into their classy moulds)

Anyway, the aroma was nutty, cocoa, sharp red/dark berry, metallic and spice

The taste started cocoa and bitter, with vanilla then slightly fruity with a toasty finish. Going for more I found it became more complex. A vibrant acidity, heavier red fruits, red wine, pecan nut and still that toasty finish

I thought this chocolate had too much "cocoa" (alkalised) flavour, it seemed more a chocolate I would use for a dessert/bake, as it didn't have that sense of sacrosanct, like with craft, bean to bar chocolate. I liked the appearance very much, but I think The Chocolate Society are more about their fine artisan chocolates!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Zotter Mitzi Blue Coffee-Malt

"Oh wow" was my brother's and my reaction to this chocolate, we knew it was good

This was a coffee milk chocolate disk with a grain coffee (substitute coffee: rye, chicory, barley, acorns & figs) 'Mini Mitzi' lighter coloured disk! All ingredients (but salt) were organic and the cocoa, raw cane & whole cane sugar, and the real coffees were Fairtrade
The smell was creamy cappuccino, mocha and so dreamy. And the Mini disk had a malted touch, slightly artificial on the coffee spectrum, it had me thinking of Ovaltine

The taste was creamy, mocha, a rush of caramel. Again, it was so dreamy. The Mini Mitzi (smaller disk) tasted of cinnamon and gingerbread with malt and caramel. Going from the Mini grain coffee disk to the coffee chocolate brought bitterness to the palate

Although I only chewed this chocolate, its texture was smooth and the Mini was softer
I am a Zotter enthusiast, I love his bean-to-bar, fun, organic chocolate! I thought this chocolate was so relaxing and the cinnamon made it so warm. The grain coffee chocolate was inferior to the real coffee chocolate, but it still was lovely