Saturday, February 25, 2012

ChocolateBet: February 25, 2012

Chocolate of the Day: 

Artisan du Chocolat
Tonka bar
Weight: 1.27 oz. (36 g.)/1.59 oz. (45 g.) total bar
Calories: 196 calories (estimate)
Cost: $6.00
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA (last year, before bars stopped being available - see below)

Surprise. You can flavor chocolate with beans (other than cocoa beans) -- for example, Tonka beans from South America. Tonka beans (shown at right) apparently can't be legally imported into the U.S. because there is a law on the books banning items containing coumarin -- even though coumarin can also be found in several other food items, such as cinnamon. This Tonka milk chocolate bar (40% Cocoa) came from Artisan du Chocolat  (London).

The Tonka bean has a unique, aromatic flavor profile, and is often shaved and served on various desserts in Europe, and other parts of the world. I shared this bar with a super taster (thank you Deanna) who described the tonka flavor as "cherry soap" with hints of cinnamon toast.  I found that it bounced along with several different notes -- ranging from floral, smoky, cherry/fruity and vanilla, making for a very enjoyable ride for my nose and taste buds.

I'll add Artisan's description here:
"To capture their hypnotic fragrance, we crush the tonka beans and let them infuse for several days in a tank of molten milk chocolate. The result is a dynamic bar where the milk chocolate awakens and dances between comforting sweetness and powerful perfume."

The base milk chocolate in this bar was a little sweet for me. I couldn't tell whether the sweetness inhibited or enabled the Tonka flavors, but this was certainly a fun bar to try.

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate Surprise Theme Week.

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