Saturday, October 14, 2023

Stone Grindz - Spiced Hot Cocoa 55% Cacao (bar) - Oct. 13, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Stone Grindz Chocolate
Spiced Hot Cocoa 55% Cacao (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Stone Grindz, online order

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Vietnam and Day #1 of Chocolate, Pumpkin and Warm Spices Theme Week.

It's October; and as the weather cools warm spices and treats seem more attractive.

Today's Spiced Hot Cocoa 55% (bar) was made by Stone Grindz (Scottsdale, AZ). The cacao used to make this chocolate came from Ecuador and Peru. 

It was judiciously seasoned with Vietnamese cinnamon* and vanilla from Madagascar. And adorned with small, roasted marshmallows. A truly international bar.

The aroma notes for this 55% chocolate included: chocolate (appealing cocoa, hot chocolate), fragrant cinnamon and warm, authentic and aromatic vanilla. 

This chocolate had a smooth texture with a creamy melt. (No dairy ingredients, but there was some coconut (and added cocoa butter) that felt like creamy hot chocolate.) The marshmallows added a light, puffy chew to the texture--as well as vanilla and lightly-toasted marshmallow flavors.

This was a beautifully layered and faithful rendition of an excellent spiced hot chocolate. The smooth, warm and complex blend of flavors flowed and bloomed, just as they might in a hot beverage. Rich cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla with a small spicy kick (cayenne) in the last half. Very nicely done.

Warning: mildly addictive.

Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, organic coconut, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, Dandies vegan marshmallows (tapioca syrup, tapioca starch, soy protein), Madagascar vanilla bean, maldon sea salt

Allergen-related information: Contains coconut, soy.

*Vietnamese cinnamon (also known as Saigon cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia in English) is high in the oils that give cinnamon its characteristic taste. I enjoy its bold, warm, spicy-sweet flavor and aroma. Because of these characteristics, Saigon (and Ceylon) cinnamon(s) are often found in fall and winter warm beverages (hot chocolate, hot spiced cider) and baked goods (apple pie, spice cakes and cookies).

Cinnamon sticks hint at this spice's origin. They're made from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. Further grinding transforms this "bark" into the powdered, reddish-brown spice that we sprinkle on hot chocolate, oatmeal...or maybe on a chocolate bar or dessert.

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