Monday, December 11, 2023

Dr. Bronner's - Magic Golden Milk Chai Oat Milk Chocolate 45% Cocoa (bar) - Dec. 19, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Dr. Bronner's
Magic Golden Milk Chai Oat Milk Chocolate 45% Cocoa (bar) 
Good +++
Weight: 1.465 oz. (41.5 g.) / 2.93 oz. (83 g.) in total bar
Calories: 234.4 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $N/A - free sample ($5.99 for 1 bar; order online)
Purchased from: N/A - Sample received from Dr. Bronner's

Today's Magic Golden Milk Chai Oat Milk Chocolate 45% Cocoa (bar) was distributed by Dr. Bronner's (Vista, CA). 

The family-run company was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation soapmaker. Later, as they worked with farmers in Ghana to produce regenerative, organic oil for their soap line, the company saw an opportunity to expand into cacao and chocolate as well. The first line of Magic dark chocolate bars were created in 2021. This week I'm sampling three new oat milk bars.

Organic, Fair for Life Fair Trade, Vegan Certified, and gluten free, today's new Magic Golden Milk Chai Oat Milk Chocolate ticks many boxes for thoughtful consumers. It's also one of a growing selection of alternative "milk" chocolate bars in recent years.

Some early oat milk bars I've tried have been overly sweet, bland and mealy. So, I wondered, what would this one taste like? 

Any questions I had vanished with the first look and smell. This Golden Milk bar had the appearance not of a golden-ivory (white) chocolate, but a fine dark chocolate; and it was divinely fragrant.

Aroma notes for this aromatic bar included: coconut cookie, chocolate gingerbread, chai tea, and sweet coconut rice pudding with saffron, spices and turmeric.

The well-tempered chocolate bar broke with a hard snap (in a cool room). And the texture was layered--with a slightly softer, flavorful layer on/inside a more solid, outer chocolate layer(s). There were a few bites with very fine ground oat texture toward the finish, but it was not off-putting. (More like the oat bits you might find in a moist, baked cookie.)

Flavor notes included: chocolate, golden milk chai tea with turmeric, gingerbread oatmeal cookie, and spiced coconut milk flan. (Could I taste the oats? Not really.) I loved all the authentic spices and flavors together in one chocolate.

The sweetness level (supplied by coconut sugar) was in the baked goods and desserts range, and seemed just right for this spiced chocolate. The only reminder I was eating a sweeter (45% cacao) chocolate was I was starting to eat more than I would normally. Fortunately, the coconut sugar seemed to slow down the sugar buzz.*

The chocolate (cacao) tasted quite smooth. The bit of coconut milk helped convey authentic golden milk (chai)** flavor. The cacao and spice levels were well-balanced, satisfying and had some oomph to them. This was far from instant oatmeal-bland. 

These artfully layered flavors made me feel I was enjoying the best of multiple desserts. Harmoniously integrated yet experienced individually as well. Magic indeed. 

Ingredients: Fair Trade Organic Coconut Sugar,* Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter,* Fair Trade Organic Coconut, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Beans,* Organic Whole Oat Flour, Fair Trade Organic Coconut Milk Powder, Organic Turmeric, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Cardamom, Organic Ginger, Organic Black Pepper, Fair Trade Organic Bourbon Vanilla Bean (* = Regenerative Organic Certified)

Allergen-related information: Contains coconut (coconut, coconut milk, coconut sugar). "Made on equipment that also processes almonds, hazelnuts, milk, coconut and soy." 

* Coconut sugar is a bit lower on the glycemic scale than more processed/white sugar(s), i.e. is less likely to spike blood sugar as much.

** Golden milk is a traditional Ayurvedic warm beverage made with milk (often coconut milk in California) and spices, including turmeric--which gives this drink a golden color.

Marana - Chocotejas - Pecan 70% Dark Chocolate - Dec. 10, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Marana Craft Chocolate
Chocotejas - Pecan 70% Dark Chocolate
Good + - Good ++
Weight: .99 oz. (28 g.) / 17.82 oz. (504 g.) in total box of 18 pcs
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) for 1 piece
Cost: $52.00 for a box of 18 pieces (6 flavors)
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

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

Today's Chocotejas* - Pecan 70% Dark chocolate confections from Marana Craft Chocolate were manufactured by Cacao Valley S.A.C. (Lima, Peru).

Aroma notes these traditional Peruvian, filled chocolate confections included: well-toasted bread, caramelized nut, and faint dark chocolate.

A smooth dark chocolate shell covered the large, (oval loaf-shaped) chocolate covered confection. Flavor notes included: nutty, earthy, chocolate-y with balanced burnt caramel/dulce de leche flavored milk fondant filling with pecan pieces.

Ingredients: Manjar/milk caramel (whole milk, sugar, agar, disodium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), 70% dark chocolate (cacao mass, sugar, and cacao butter), and pecans.

Allergen-related information: Contains milk, nuts.

Peruvian Chocotejas often contain a thick fondant (manjar blanco) similar to dulce de leche, nuts (pecans) and/or dried fruits. 

Pure Chocolate Ltd. - Toffee Pecan Milk Chocolate Truffles - Dec. 9, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Pure Chocolate Ltd.
Toffee Pecan Milk Chocolate Truffles
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.59 oz. (45 g.) / 5.40 oz. (153 g.) in box of 16 pieces
Calories: 240 calories in 5 pieces
Cost: $2.99 for 1 box of 16 pieces
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA  

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

Today's Toffee Pecan Milk Chocolate Truffles were from Pure Chocolate Ltd. (Tukums Municipality, Latvia). I was happy to find this chocolate from Latvia, a country that hasn't been represented yet on Chocolate Banquet. 

Aroma notes included: caramel candy, milk chocolate and nuts.

A crunchy exterior coating (tiny bits of toffee and pecan nut) surrounded a round creamy, sweet milk chocolate interior. These sweet confections tasted exactly as advertised, with notes of creamy milk chocolate, toffee (caramelized sugars) and nut (sugared pecan).

Ingredients: "Sugar, Caramelized Pecan Pieces, Dry Whole Milk, Cocoa Butter Vegetable Oils (Palm, Shea), Chocolate Liquor, Condensed Milk, Dry Skim Milk, Glucose Syrup, Caramelized Sugar Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Ethyl Alcohol, Natural Flavorings, See (Sea) Salt. Milk Chocolate - Minimum Cocoa Solids 34%."

Allergen-related information: Contains Milk, Soy, and Tree Nuts (Pecans). "Made in a facility that also processes peanuts."

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