Thursday, December 12, 2013

Akesson's Bali 45% fleur de sel bar - Dec. 12, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Akesson's (AO GmbH)
Bali, Sukrama Farms 45% Milk Chocolate with Fleur de Sel and Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar
Very Good
Weight: .69 oz. (20 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) total bar
Calories: 104 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Today's Akesson's (AO GmbH, Zug, Switzerland) sea salt bar was assembled from several interesting ingredients. The 45% milk chocolate was made with cacao beans from a single plantation, Sukrama Farms, in Bali. The addition of a bit of fleur de sel (salt) gave the bar a pleasing, rounded caramel taste. However, I'm guessing, what really amped up the caramel flavor in a wonderful way was the addition of organic, coconut blossom sugar.

I've enjoyed several chocolates with coconut palm/blossom sugar over the past several years, and this sweetener does yield a rich, interesting flavor -- where these flavors complement the inherent flavors in cacao beans being used.*

Akesson's founder, Bertil Akesson, owns land or has forged relationships with growers on plantations in Madagascar, Brazil, Bali and elsewhere. (He also sells peppercorns.)

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Salt Theme Week.

*On the other hand, "pure" cane sugar is a popular choice, where the undiluted flavor arc of certain cacao beans is the desired focus. For three-ingredient bars (cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar), especially, every ingredient must be of a high quality and play well with the others to yield optimal, clear as a bell, results. Disclaimer: I love playing with the "browner" richer, natural sweeteners when cooking. A touch of molasses, organic coconut sugar, natural brown sugars, can improve sweet or savory dishes.

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