Saturday, December 18, 2021

Cacao Crudo - 65% Sweet Hazelnuts Cream (Crema Dolce Alle Nocciole) - Dec. 15, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Cacao Crudo 
65% Sweet Hazelnuts Cream
(Crema Dolce Alle Nocciole - Delice Noisettes 65%)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g.) / 7. oz. (200 g.) in total jar
Calories: 291 calories in 1/4 jar 
Cost: $ N/A - sample 
Purchased from: (N/A - sample from Cacao Crudo, Italy)

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

I was impressed with today's spread from Cacao Crudo for multiple reasons. First the makers used high-quality Italian hazelnuts (65%) and single origin cacao (from Peru). Second, it contained a reasonably high percentage of cacao (cocoa powder) for a spread and was not loaded with sugar. (It was lightly sweetened with coconut flower sap). Third, the organic unroasted cacao and hazelnuts were both delicious in this three-ingredient confection.

Complex aroma notes included: a whiff of tropical fruit (passion fruit, musk strawberry) and coconut sugar, very light cocoa, and nutty vegetable.

The texture was velvety smooth. It would make a fine high-end, thick icing/frosting, spread for a croissant, or treat right out of the jar. And, again, it was not overly sweet (thank you!)--allowing for a range of authentic and delicate chocolate and nut notes to shimmer and shine.

The makers at Cacao Crudo craft quality, nuanced chocolates using very few, high-quality ingredients--achieving a fine balance, to the point of apparent contradiction. Delicate but 100% rich and decadent; suitable for confections without being too sweet; balanced complexity--all the while busting the myth that unroasted chocolate is somehow lacking in flavor.* The company's unroasted cacao offerings that I have tasted in the past year or two have all been exceptionally good.

Ingredients: Unroasted, Organic "Tonde Gentile Romana" hazelnuts paste; organic cocoa powder; organic, concentrated coconut flower sap.

Allergen-related information: "May contain almonds and walnuts." (Contains hazelnuts.)

*As coffee and craft chocolate lovers will tell you, roasting is an art unto itself. An important step in a long list of steps to make a flavorful end product. Roasting plays an important role in flavor development and can help get rid of unwanted qualities as well. However, if makers are working with fine-flavored beans with very subtle aroma and flavor profiles, roasting can lead to the loss of more delicate notes. And unroasted cacao may have an advantage here.

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