Thursday, October 21, 2021

Raaka - Maple Dark Unroasted Dark Chocolate (75% Cacao Baking Chocolate) - Oct. 21, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Raaka Chocolate
Maple Dark Unroasted Dark Chocolate 75% Cacao Baking Chocolate (pieces)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1/8 cup (15 g.) / 8 oz. (226.4 g.) in total package
Calories: 71 calories in 1/8 cup serving
Cost: $15.00 for 1 package 
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Uganda Theme Week.

Today's Maple Dark, Unroasted Dark Chocolate, 75% Cacao Baking Chocolate (pieces) were made by Raaka Chocolate in Brooklyn, New York.

These dark chocolate baking pieces were made with cacao sourced from Uganda (Semuliki Forest). Raaka practices "transparent trade," and pays farmers (farmer-owned co-ops and grower-centered organizations in cacao growing countries) "transparent, stable premiums above Fair Trade prices."

The rich dark chocolate aroma and flavor were similar and included: dark, almost tart/tangy sweet molasses/brown or maple sugar; dried fruits (prunes and a few dark, dried cherries with a tiny splash of apple brandy and light cider vinegar with warm spice); clean and clear green, and balanced, diffuse forest/earth notes.

There was a very slight astringency in the taste (a slight throat tickle), but overall the melt and mouthfeel were smooth and even. 

The relatively thin (wafer thickness) of these ebony-colored, flat, heptagonal (seven-sided) polygons yielded quick access to rich dark chocolate flavors, and made these pieces well-suited (easy to melt and stir evenly) for baking, cooking or fondue-ing. 

These balanced, bold and bittersweet pieces will add extra depth to tortes, brownies, couverture, homemade snack mix, or any other item you create. And they'd make a flavorful addition to a fruit. dessert or chocolate tasting plate. 

Maker's notes: Raaka's description of this chocolate read as follows: "Our maple sugar sweetened, single origin take on the classic bittersweet baking chocolate is fruity, bright, and rich, with just the right amount of complexity to give your baked goods that extra oomph." 

(Postscript: I found myself repeatedly returning to snack on this flavorful 75% chocolate later in the week, and upped my rating (from a "Good ++" to a "Good ++ - Good +++") based on this desire for more.)

Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic maple sugar, organic cacao butter

Allergen-related information: "Certified Organic and Kosher by NFC" "Vegan, Gluten Free, Nut Free"

Puchero - 55% Uganda Butter (Mountains of the Moon) - Oct. 20, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

55% Uganda Butter (Mountains of the Moon) (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.235 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 207.9 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Uganda Theme Week.

Today's 55% Uganda Butter (Mountains of the Moon) (bar) was from/made by Puchero (Tostarix S.L.) (Valladolid, Spain).

This bean-to-bar chocolate made in Spain featured pasiega* cow butter. Aroma notes included: dairy butter and faint, integrated sweet chocolate. This butter was luscious and decadent although it did mute some of the single origin (Uganda) cacao nuances. 

Texture: soft melt and very buttery mouthfeel and texture.

Flavor: Truly buttery chocolate. What high quality whipped butter with chocolate might taste like.

What a unique treat. And it was not too sweet. (Thank you!)

Maker's notes: "The chocolate combines the Ugandan cacao fruity smoothness with creamy Cantabrian cow butter."

Ingredients: cacao, sugar, butter, milk, salt; Cacao 55% minimum

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of nuts, milk and gluten"

*Pasiega refers to a breed of red cattle found in the autonomous community of Cantabria in northern Spain. Their milk is used to make cheese and/or butter (usually without extra preservatives or coloring). Pasiega milk also used in quesada pasiega, a regional (Cantabria) cake (similar to a thick pudding or cheesecake) that is often flavored with lemon and cinnamon.

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