Monday, September 26, 2022

Amano Chocolate - Mango Chili 65% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (bar) - Sept. 26, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Amano Chocolate Company
Mango Chili 65% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good - Good+
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 206 calories in 1 serving of bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

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

Today's Mango Chili 65% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (bar) was handcrafted by Amano Chocolate Company (Orem, UT).

Aroma notes for this bar included: sweet chocolate and very, very faint, light aromatic tobacco (smokey vanilla).

This bar had a relatively smooth texture. As I bit into a small square--concentrating on detecting any flavor nuances in the smooth, sweet dark chocolate--my taste buds experienced rapid bursts of fresh mango and hot, spicy chili flavors--that may have been complementary flavors to the chocolate, but the somewhat overpowering chili spike made that hard to determine. (The heat also diminished fairly rapidly but it lingered a bit.)

For some reason, I found myself wanting to add a pinch of sea salt. I also wondered if I could stir a few squares of this Aztec-inspired* bar into a savory mole sauce and serve it over a Mexican entree or enchilada.

If you like sweet chocolate spiked with hot spicy chili pepper (tempered by a little mellow, warm vanilla spice), you may enjoy this chocolate.

The cacao was sourced "directly from farmers in the Guayas River Basin in Ecuador."

Maker's description: "Rich chocolate flavor from the Ecuadorian cocoa breaks in waves, followed by the arbol chili's smokey warmth. The calming fruitiness of mango finishes."

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, pure cane sugar, cocoa butter, mango, arbol chilies, whole vanilla beans

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat and milk products.

*As chocolate maker Art Pollard at Amano Chocolate notes, cacao and chili "have been paired together since the time of the Aztecs" (over 700 years ago) "when they were used to create a wonderful drink."

Mexican Chiles de Arbol (Arbol chilis/chiles), used in today's chocolate, may be small (only about 2-3 inches long); but they pack some substantial heat, and have a Scoville Scale "heat" rating above cayenne and below habanero in the realm of common peppers. (Bell peppers are considered mild at the low end of the scale, and ghost peppers are at the top.)

The mango was likely brought to Mexico (via Spanish galleon trade routes, between Manila in the Philippines and Acapulco in Mexico) over 300 years ago.


Pie Ranch - Gluten Free Walnut Brownie with Mango Ice Cream - Sept. 25, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Pie Ranch
Gluten Free Walnut Brownie
Good ++ 
Weight: 2 oz. (56.6 g.) (estimate) / 4 oz. (113 g.) (estimate) in 1 brownie
Calories: Unknown
Cost: $4.50 for 1 brownie 
Purchased from: Pie Ranch, Pescadero, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Mango Theme Week.

Today's Gluten Free Walnut Brownie was from Pie Ranch (Pescadero, CA).* This working farm and ranch also operates a small farmstand (retail store) that sells a variety of farm-related produce, preserves, pies, ice cream and other items. (Shout out to friend Don for including a Pie Ranch stop as part of a Pacific Coast day trip.)

Aroma and flavor notes for this brownie included: true chocolate (fudge brownie, dark chocolate cake/torte) with very faint earth and nut (walnut) notes.

The brownie had a soft, dark fudgey texture, and a wafer thin crunchy surface layer. This was a nicely executed classic (dark) chocolate, gluten-free brownie with some bold chocolate flavor depth.

I paired this brownie with a side of Haagen-Dazs Mango Ice Cream that had soft, creamy sweet mango fruit notes and small bits of mango fruit. The fresh, bright, tart-sweet mango flavor of the fresh fruit got lost in the shuffle in the sweet creamy ice cream.

This brownie would have been great just by itself. However, for a fruit + brownie pairing, I think I'd prefer a few fresh mango slices; or better yet, go with fresh red fruit (cherries) or berries. Or, if you want to skip the fruit, enjoy a brownie with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream (a tried and true classic flavor pairing with brownies), and top with nuts if desired.

Ingredients: (No information; single serving sized brownie was wrapped in plastic at farmstand; but there was no label.)

Allergen-related information: Contained nuts (walnuts). Gluten free brownie, but there was no label with an ingredients or allergen list. (I forgot to ask if they could share this information.)
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