Sunday, May 14, 2023

Karuna Chocolate - Gin infused dark chocolate 75% Edelschwarz Alpine Bio Gin (bar) - May 14, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Karuna Chocolate
Gin infused dark chocolate 75% Edelschwarz Alpine Bio Gin (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.05 oz. (30 g.) / 2.1 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 158.7 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $18.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Gin Theme Week.

Today's Gin infused dark chocolate 75% Edelschwarz* Alpine Bio Gin (bar) was from Karuna Chocolate (South Tyrol, Italy).

Mountains are special places. This chocolate was made from Chuncho cacao grown in the mountains of the Urubamba Valley in Peru by Karuna Chocolate makers who live and produce chocolate in view of the Alps--in an area where Italian, German and Austrian influences can be felt (think Edelweiss flowers, felt hats, forests and mountains).

The subtle but complex aroma notes for this 75% dark chocolate bar included: chocolate (faint roasted, very faint raisin rice pudding, dark berries (blueberry, cranberry, juniper)), faint citrus botanical, and very faint Boston brown (molasses) bread.

This dark chocolate had a creamy, "light"/whipped texture with a relatively rapid melt. (Chuncho cacao is associated with having a slightly higher percent of cocoa butter and a creamy texture.)

Flavor notes included: dark chocolate (dark forest, rich, roasted cacao), dark berries (blueberry, cranberry, juniper), and very faint gin citrus (lemon) and botanicals. (There was no alcohol flavor.)

This chocolate was not too sweet (thank you), making it easier to make out the chocolate and gin flavor nuances. The juniper (often the signature flavor of a gin flavor inclusion) was extremely subtle allowing other berries/fruits and botanicals to share the stage.

I suggest savoring this chocolate slowly to appreciate the subtle flavors. It reminded me of sitting quietly in a dark forest glade and gradually noticing berries, flowers and perhaps a small bunny or two scampering by. Something a little magical about this place. 

Maker's tasting notes: "berries, citrus fruits, juniper and herbs"

Ingredients: Cocoa beans*, raw cane sugar*, Edelschwarz Bio Gin* (20%), cocoa butter*, Cocoa min. 75% (*certified organic).

Allergen-related information: "It may contain traces of nuts." ("Non-alcoholic product")

*Edelschwarz is a dry London style gin with 17 botanicals including (edelweiss), blueberry (schwarzbeere), juniper, cranberry, rosehips...and more.  

Goldkenn - The Botanist, Islay Dry Gin (filled bar) - May 13, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

The Botanist - Islay Dry Gin 37% Cacao
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.75 oz. (50 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total box
Calories: 245 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Crossroads Specialty Foods, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's The Botanist - Islay Dry Gin (filled bar) was from Goldkenn (Bordeaux, France) and made in Switzerland.

Aroma notes included: sweet fruit (cherry jello with apple and lemon) and faint chocolate (sweet milk chocolate, along with faint baked vanilla cookie).
Sweet, smooth, relatively creamy milk chocolate cavities were lined with sugar crystals and contained a gin syrup center. 

The gin syrup filling was boozy and almost smokey (dry with very faint juniper and citrus) compared to the very sweet (37%) milk chocolate. The high sugar content of the chocolate and the syrup will appeal to those with a sweet tooth, but may be a bit overwhelming for dark chocolate fans--or those interested in tasting more flavor nuances in the cacao/chocolate and The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.

Yesterday's dark chocolates filled with gin syrup (from Germany) had great flavor complexity; there was no milk to mute flavors, and the sugar levels were lower. My bias: I enjoy darker milk chocolates, and tasting more aspects of the cacao and flavor inclusions (in this case gin).

This bar contains alcohol, and is not considered suitable for children.

Ingredients: Sugar*, cocoa butter**, cocoa mass**, The Botanist Gin (7%), whole milk powder*, skimmed milk* powder, butterfat* (milk), whey* powder (milk), emsulsifier: rapeseed lecithin, flavour, natural vanilla extract. (Made in Switzerland.) "A single asterix  denotes "Ingredients from Switzerland.")...A double asterix indicates Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Allergen-related information: "May contain hazelnut, almonds, walnuts, pecan nuts, cashew nuts, pistachio nuts, egg, soya, wheat and barley. Cocoa minimum 37% in chocolate." 

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