Friday, December 2, 2016

SOMA - Birch branch filled with hazelnuts, cherry jam - Dec. 2, 2016

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

SOMA Chocolate
Birch Branch with Hazelnut Crunch, Montmorency Cherry Jam
Very Good
Weight: .25 oz. (7 g.) / 11.3 oz. (320 g.) in total box
Calories: 37.5 calories (estimate) in 1 small piece
Purchased from: N/A - gift from Megan (Thank you!)

Welcome to hazelnut heaven, and Day #7 of Chocolate, Almond and Hazelnut Theme Week.

Today's chocsimile* of a birch branch from SOMA Chocolatemaker (Toronto) looked very much like the real thing, because it was carefully crafted from a real birch branch.

A mold was made from a special branch, and the mold is carefully "lined" with chocolate, and stuffed with a soft hazelnut crunch filling with Montmorency Cherry Jam in the center.

The result was magical—the envy of every squirrel and snowman in the forest I'm sure. And it tasted as wonderful as it looked. This very special treat would be great for a holiday party or sharing with others. It's likely to be seasonal, so check with SOMA (and/or their website) about availability.

Where's the Almond you say?
Funny you should ask. I also enjoyed another slice of heaven found in a Barre Infernal (Dark) from Francois Pralus** (France). I tasted the first of these Infernale bars (there's a milk and a dark version, and the dark version has hazelnuts and almonds) five years ago in 2011 at The Chocolate Garage (Palo Alto, CA).

This substantial Pralus bar reminded me of today's hazelnut Birch Branch from SOMA. This dark Pralus bar was large enough to be sliced and contained a hazelnut (and almond) filling. (Picture of bar at right is from the Francois Pralus website.)

*Chocolate facsimile
** Francois Pralus is a Master Chocolatier and chocolate maker based in France who makes single origin and bean-to-bar chocolate.
***Note: This item was not gluten-free. There was some flour involved in making the hazelnut filling crunchy. And while the type of flour was not specified, I'm assuming it was conventional (wheat) flour. 

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