Sunday, March 29, 2020

Akbal Chocolate Mexicano - Chocolate Oscuro Almendras (bar) - Mar. 29, 2020

Chocolate of the Day:

Akbal Chocolate Mexicano
100% Cacao - Chocolate Oscuro Almendras (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: .97 oz. (27.5 g.) / 1.94 oz. (55 g.) in total bar
Calories: 110 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $ unknown - gift from a friend 
Purchased from: N/A - gift from a friend (thank you Julie!)

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Mexico Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's Chocolate Oscuro (Dark) Almendras (Almonds) (bar) was from Akbal Chocolate Mexicano (aka Akbal Chocolates) located in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, in Mexico.

The smell of a 100% cacao bar can be very different from the taste one's brain is expecting. Most of this difference can be explained by the lack of sugar or sweeteners.

However, there was no schism or shocking split between aroma and expected flavor with today's ultra-dark chocolate that was made from bean-to-bar in Mexico.

The aroma of this 100% cacao bar was fairly light, with roasted notes. And the flavor was also relatively mild, with a balanced, roasted bitterness. Whole almonds added crunchy, nutty texture and flavor and a welcome, relative sweetness that mellowed the bitterness.

*The three ingredients listed for this bar were: pasta y manteca de cacao, almendras (cacao paste, cacao butter, almonds)

Mexican Chocolate Avocado Mousse - Mar. 28, 2020

Chocolate of the Day:

Mexican Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Good +
Weight: 3 oz. (85 g.) (estimate) in 1 serving
Calories: unknown 
Cost: $ N/A - multiple ingredients (some old, some new)
Purchased from: N/A - multiple sources

Bienvenidos a (welcome to) Chocolate Banquet. Today we celebrated Day #5 of Chocolate and Mexico Theme Week with a Mexican-themed chocolate mousse,* made with a blend of ingredients native to Mexico, including: cacao, avocado, vanilla, honey, allspice, and a touch of chili powder.

Melted 81% dark chocolate and cocoa powder provided rich chocolate flavor, and vanilla extract and ground allspice brightened up the deep dark flavor a bit. Ripe avocados added creamy texture; and a few spoonfuls of milk of one's choice, or even ice cream, can enhance this further.

These ingredients were blended together to make a creamy, flavorful, honey-sweetened mousse. (The Maya and Aztec peoples may have used honey from stingless bees as a sweetener or dessert. I couldn't find any stingless bee (Melipolini/Melipona) honey. I used organic honey from honeybees.

Nuts and seeds (peanuts, pecans, pinon nuts and squash seeds) from Mexico would also be suitable, authentic garnishes for this dessert.

*A pudding is generally cooked, whereas a mousse is not. Several recipes call for using a piping bag to apply a mousse like this to a plate or a bowl, as it does make it much more attractive looking. (While it sounded unnecessary, it really does make this dessert look much more appetizing.)
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