Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Chocolate Tree - Pisco Sour Nibs 70% Dark bar - August 20, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Tree
Pisco Sour Nibs 70% Dark bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.41 oz. (40 g.) / 2.82 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 196.4 calories in 1 bar (1/2 package)
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

Today's Pisco Sour Nibs 70% Dark bar was made by Chocolate Tree (Dunbar, Scotland).

The company has created a series of bars that combine origin-based spirit-infused cacao nibs with cacao grown in the same region. Very nice idea.

In today's case, Pisco (and the popular Peruvian Pisco Sour cocktail made from this spirit mixed with lime and bitters) was blended with "ultra-premium cacao nibs from the Chililique community of Piura" (Peru), and organic chocolate from the same origin.

This chocolate was smooth. The cacao nibs tasted fresh, and had a soft chew/crunch. The lime (lime oil) and bitters gave the bar a subtle citrus accent. The Pisco (6%) liquor* was very subtle.

*Pisco is a pale amber (or clear) brandy made from fermented grape juice (from grapes grown in the wine-making regions of Peru and Chile (south of the Atacama desert and north of Santiago). The fermented juice is distilled to make a spirit. Pisco was developed by early Spanish settlers centuries ago. The Pisco Sour (cocktail) is popular throughout Peru and neighboring South American countries.



Monday, August 19, 2019

Chocolate Tree - Mezcal with Nibs bar - August 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Tree
Mezcal Nibs 70% Cocoa Dark bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8  oz. (80 g.) in total package (2 bars in pkg.)
Calories: 196.4 calories in 1 bar (1/2 package) (per label)
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

Today's Mezcal Nibs 70% Cocoa Dark bar was made by Chocolate Tree (Dunbar, Scotland).

This relatively sweet 70% chocolate, made with criollo hybrid cacao Tabasqueno (Mexico) was studded with crunchy cacao nibs and had a boozy aroma and flavor from the mezcal (also from Mexico).*

The description for this bar on the Chocolate Tree packaging read as follows: "400 years ago, the Spanish conquistadors discovered a love for cacao in Mexico and they also taught distillation to the Aztecs. We have soaked the ancient criollo hybrid cacao of Tabasqueno in Mezcal, the agave spirit, to bring you a chocolate with deep rich notes of bloodlust, agave, and smoke."

*Ingredients: organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, organic cocoa nibs, mezcal



Somerville Chocolate - Hops Dark Milk bar - Aug. 17, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Somerville Chocolate
Hops Dark Milk bar - Dark Milk infused with Beer Hops bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 188 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

Today's Hops Dark Milk bar - Dark Milk infused with Beer Hops bar was crafted by Somerville Chocolate (Somerville, MA).

This dark milk bar had citrus and hoppy earth notes with a slight bitterness in finish. That is, it tasted very much like beer hops. (The maker's description also suggested we might taste pineapple and evergreen notes from the hops.)

The 53 percent cacao (37% cacao nibs + 16% cocoa) chocolate was made with a blend of cacao origins, and infused with Mosaic beer hops.




Fossa Chocolate - Sake bar; Goma Goma - Sesame Bar; Askinosie Sake Nibs over green tea ice cream - Aug. 16, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Fossa Chocolate
38% White Sake bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: .67 oz. (19 g.) / 1.34 oz. (38 g.) in total bar
Calories: 101 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Fossa Chocolate
PekoeAndImp Tea Chocolate Honey Orchid Dancong Hongcha bar
Good ++
Weight: .618 oz. (17.5 g.) / 1.23 oz. (35 g.) in total bar
Calories: 93 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Cloudforest and Fisk (Fisk Projects)
Goma Goma (Gray Chocolate Sesame) bar
Good
Weight: .61 oz. (12.4 g.) / 1.234 oz. (25 g.) in total bar
Calories: 91 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

Today was an Asian-themed day featuring two clever and rich flavored bars that contained cacao butter, but no cacao solids. And, we sampled a bowl of green tea ice cream topped with sake-soaked cacao nibs.

And, in the spirit of this theme week, we paired these bars with refreshing green teas, and a small Singapore Sling cocktail.

The Sake bar from Fossa Chocolate (Singapore) was sweet, creamy, ivory-colored white chocolate with small honey-colored chunks of sake and rice (sakekasu) with a faint umami twist.

The Goma Goma "Gray Chocolate" had the creamy texture and mouthfeel of cacao butter and milk, and an interesting subtle sweet, black sesame flavor. What was noteworthy was the absence of cocoa solids. The ground black sesame seed base looked almost like a conventional chocolate bar.

Last but not least, our favorite item today, that did contain cocoa solids, was a bowl of green tea jasmine ice cream topped with a generous serving of Askinosie roasted cocoa nibs (single origin, Tenende, Tanzania) that had been marinated in sake with a few grains of ginger and matcha. We'd rate this a Good ++ - Good +++.





Saturday, August 17, 2019

Goodio Chocolate - Cranmary - 62% cranberries, rosemary, coconut and gin bar - Aug. 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Goodio Chocolate
Cranmary - cranberries, rosemary, coconut and gin bar
Good ++
Weight: .848 oz. (24 g.) / 1.69 oz. (48 g.) in total bar
Calories: 130 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

Today's Cranmary - cranberries, rosemary, coconut and gin bar was handcrafted in Helsinki, Finland, by Goodio Chocolate.

The maker's description for this bar read: "Chocolate like Nordic summer night meadow, flavoured with tangy cranberries and herbal rosemary."

The aroma of this raw, vegan bar had fruit, herb, chocolate and light coconut notes. The texture was relatively creamy (cacao butter) for stoneground chocolate. The dominant layered flavors were an interplay of cranberries (tiny bits and powder) and rosemary, with a hint of coconut (coconut palm sugar, coconut flakes). The gin contributed a very subtle layer of herbal/botanical flavor.

And speaking of gin, this 62% dark chocolate bar was developed in collaboration with Kyro Distillery Company (Finland). The distillery produces single malt rye whisky and a Napue rye-based gin...with botanicals that include "meadowsweet, sea-buckthorn and cranberries"...with a slight "spicy pepper note."




Thursday, August 15, 2019

World Market - 64% Strawberry Champagne Dark Chocolate square - Aug. 14, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

World Market 
64% Cacao Strawberry and Champagne Dark Chocolate small bar
Good
Weight: .375 oz. (10.6 g.) in total bar
Calories: 49 calories in 1 small bar
Cost: $0.49 for 1 bar
Purchased from: World Market, N. Scottsdale, AZ
Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

This individually wrapped square had a sweet dark chocolate and red berry/strawberry flavor.

The 64% cacao chocolate was embedded with tiny red-pink morsels, and it even had a few very tiny authentic strawberry seeds to embellish the tasting experience.

One had only to imagine a tiny crystal goblet of pink bubbly champagne along with it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Coco Chocolatier - Gin and Tonic Dark Chocolate 60% bar - Aug. 13, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Coco Chocolatier
Gin and Tonic Dark Chocolate 60% Cocoa bar
Good +
Weight: 1.41 oz. (40 g.) / 2.82 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 212 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $4.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: World Market, N. Scottsdale, AZ

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Spirits Theme Week.

Summer is the time to enjoy a simple chilled cocktail like a gin and tonic with a twist of citrus peel over ice.

But even if your cold summer drink doesn't include alcohol, you might want to try today's chocolate bar which evokes herbal lemonade or limeade (with an herbal touch of juniper).

Today's Gin and Tonic Dark Chocolate 60% Cocoa bar from Coco Chocolatier (Edinburgh, Scotland) was swathed in a wrapped printed with a colorful piece of art.*

The base chocolate was smooth, creamy and dark, with a hint of nuttiness, followed by mild aromatic citrus (lemon followed by lime) with a subtle earthly herbal juniper finish.

* Coco Chocolatier is a creative endeavor that incorporates images from artists/an art collective in Europe.

Ingredients: "Dark chocolate (cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavor), juniper oil, lemon oil, lime oil."





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