Monday, May 15, 2023

Chocolarder - Rose Gin Truffles Ashaninka, Peru 72% (bar) - May 15, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Rose Gin Truffles, Tinkure Cornish Gin
Ashaninka, Peru 72% Dark Chocolate
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.75 oz. (50 g.) / 3.5 oz. oz. (100 g.) in total box of 12 truffles
Calories: 241 calories (per label) in 6 truffles (50 g.)
Cost: 16.50 (British Pounds) + shipping for box of 12 truffles
Purchased from: Chocolarder, online order

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Gin Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Flowers Theme Week.

Today's Rose Gin Truffles were made by Chocolarder Craft Chocolate Makers (Falmouth, Cornwall, UK). The company offers a variety of bean-to-bar chocolates--both single origin and several infused with local flavors. (I really enjoyed the Wild Gorse Flower bar.)

The Rose Gin in these truffles was from the maker's friends (and relative neighbors) at Tinkture Cornish Gin. And, from further afield, the 72% dark chocolate was made using Ashaninka, Peru cacao beans.

Aroma notes for these Limited Edition truffles included: pleasant chocolate; faint, freshly baked sweet (yeast) bread; faint floral and faint fruit (sweet lemon peel, and other more faint/diffuse acidic sweet-tart fruits).

The aroma notes signaled a dark chocolate with depth and subtle complexity--not too dark, more of a middle ground 70+%-er with faint fruit notes. However, (as often happens) the chocolate flavors were stronger than the aroma.

These Rose Gin truffles captured the extremes that can be found in a single cacao pod (from sweet and light to bitter and dark). The same tremendous range also exists in manufactured chocolates: from sweet, flavor-infused white chocolates to bold, roasted, bitter, ultra-dark chocolates). Although you're usually not experiencing these extremes in the same chocolate or same bite.

Each generously-sized Rose Gin truffle was lightly dusted with cocoa. Under that light dusting, the thick dark shell and the light filling were poles apart. The firm, 72% cacao dark shell tasted slightly bitter, bold, roasted, and somewhat acidic (citrus). In contrast, the white center was sweet, soft (buttery and fluffy), with delicate, floral (rose-scented) notes.

Since the theme this week is chocolate and gin, one can argue gin and tonic cocktails (with the bitterness coming from lemon peel and tonic and sweetness coming from syrups, fruit and/or juices) provide a refreshing flavor contrast. However, those thoroughly blended cocktails don't include the potentially eclipsing elements of dark cacao.

I had to re-taste these truffles several times to sort out how I felt about this confluence of opposing forces. Was the dark chocolate shell too thick and overpowering for the more delicate center? Or was this like the two powerfully authentic rivers (one dark, one light) in Brazil that join the mighty Amazon River perhaps? The colors eventually blend together downstream, but they don't harmonize all at once.

I can't reverse the course of a river; but I do know changing the tasting order of different flavor courses can make a big difference.

The (tasting) order of things...
I recommend eating these chocolates inside out, from light to dark, instead of dark to light.

When I cut these truffles in half, and scooped out and ate (with a tiny ice cream tasting spoon) the sweet filling first, it was a very different, more harmonious, tasting experience. I loved the rose gin flavored ganache filling; and I could also taste more of the chocolate nuances (a mellow nuttiness, less bitterness) afterwards. Reversing the order seemed to magically reveal/restore the true, thick chocolate shell flavor: a well-balanced, bold 72% cacao chocolate (vs. a harsher 90%-er). 

Thank you to the makers for creating these limited edition, gin-inspired truffles. I deeply appreciate inspired flavors; and complex, balanced chocolates. While I was tasting these filled chocolates, I recalled eating cacao fruit and seeds in the middle of a temperate rain forest, and pondered the balancing forces in nature--and in food and drink. Chocolate truffles are rarely this thought-provoking.

Maker's tasting notes: "Bright, sweet rose ending with a lingering, warming gin melting into fruity dark chocolate"

Ingredients: "Dark Chocolate (Cocoa beans, Unrefined sugar), Rose gin fondant (Unrefined sugar, Glucose, Tinkure Rose Gin, sea salt)"

Allergen-related information: Made in a kitchen that handles dairy and tree nuts, in our Falmouth factory, Cornwall..."

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