Sunday, December 24, 2023

Seattle Chocolate - Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar - Dec. 23, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Seattle Chocolate
Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $N/A - gift from family member
Purchased from: N/A - gift from Megan (thank you!)

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate Truffle Bars Week.

Today's Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar was from Seattle Chocolate Company (Seattle, WA).

What is a chocolate truffle bar? Some of this week's truffle bars have a softer filling (ganache). Others, like those offered from Seattle Chocolate Co. bars offer a more uniform bar-like texture, but have sweet, filled chocolate truffle-like flavor(s). 

Aroma and flavor notes for today's Candy Cane dark truffle bar included: aromatic peppermint candy and smooth dark chocolate with very faint sweet lemony herb (wood sorrel, oxalis) and very faint and well-balanced earth--enough to give it a little bold flavor (and contrast with the sweet peppermint), but not enough to be that noticeable.

I enjoyed the crunchy peppermint candy (candy cane) bits embedded in the smooth, creamy dark chocolate. 

This peppermint + dark chocolate (aroma, texture and flavor) blend evoked memories of Christmas candy canes and winter holiday peppermint bark.

It was sweet, and there was a slightly addictive more-ish quality to it. So be forewarned if you have a sweet tooth and you plan on having "just one" bite.

Ingredients: "Dark chocolate (cocoa mass*, cane sugar, cocoa butter*, organic soy lecithin, natural vanilla), candy cane (cane sugar, rice syrup, colors (red cabbage and purple carrots), pure peppermint oil), non-hydrogenated coconut oil, pure peppermint oil." (* = Rainforest Alliance Certified)

Allergen-related information: "Contains soy and coconut. This product is manufactured in a plant that processes milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, and wheat products."


Hogarth Chocolate Makers - 100% Hacienda Victoria, Ecuador (bar) - Dec. 22, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Hogarth Chocolate Makers
100% Hacienda Victoria - Ecuador (bar)
Good + - Good ++ 
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.)/ 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 211 calories in 1/2 bar 
Cost: $11.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Ecuador Theme Week.

Today's 100% Hacienda Victoria, Ecuador (bar) was made by Hogarth Chocolate Makers (Nelson, New Zealand), and enjoyed in a wonderful coffee house.

Hacienda Victoria (named for the founder's wife, Victoria) is located in the central coastal area of Ecuador. This single estate farm is located inland from the Rio Guayas (Guayas River) in an ideal location for growing cacao.*

The texture for this bar was fairly thick and creamy, and there was a faint, well-managed astringency. 

Aroma and flavor notes for this 100% cacao bar included: appealing deep ultra-dark chocolate; faint roasted coffee and wood; complex but well-balanced lush forest and earth notes; faint and fleeting freshly baked bread; and dried, slightly tart/sweet-sour fruit (faint pomegranate, blackberry and dried plum when first unwrapped and cacao fruit pulp with tart citrus later). 

There were some bold but balanced bitter and sour (think beer) notes in this single ingredient bar. This 100%, unsweetened chocolate may not be for the faint of heart. But, I enjoyed it. (I recommend trying the Hogarth 85% Hacienda Victoria Ecuador bar if you love exploring dark cacao flavors, but need a little sugar.) 

Maker's comments: "...We have used our Hacienda Victoria Arriba Cacao from Ecuador so you can expect a smooth but strong cocoa hit, with a hint of citrus."

Ingredients: "Directly Traded Ecuador Cocoa Beans (100%)."

Allergen-related information: "May Contain Traces of Milk and Nuts."

*Cacao trees are native to South America, and grow up to 20 degrees North and 20 degrees South of the Equator.

The Equator runs east-west through Northern Ecuador. ("Ecuador" translates to Equator in English.) And the country's privileged geographical position has made its long history as a cacao-growing country possible. 

Hacienda Victoria owners are dedicated to growing and preserving Arriba Nacional cacao, part of a lineage of prized heritage cacao varieties in South America.

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