This post is a tad late, bad blogger, a little thing called Christmas got in the way of me posting it for you. But I’ve got a lovely selection of another seven bars of various flavours and origins for you.
Day 18 – Dormouse Toasted White Chocolate made in Manchester, UK
What a way to start a new festive week but with a firm favourite to show off?? I bought a bar of this delicious Toasted Madagascar White Chocolate from Dormouse back in the summer thanks to Victoria Cooksey on Instagram, tipping me off how amazing it was. My first bar didn’t last long at all. When Patrica was requesting bars in our choc swap, this was the first she asked for. I managed to get us each a bar before the bars tv debut and being sold out. It took all my will power not to eat Patrica’s bar destined for California after finishing my first and second bar. Made with toasted milk powder for a deep biscuity and caramel notes for a very grown up Caramac, that you won’t be able to stop nibbling on until it’s all gone. This bar has its global fans!
Day 19 – Zara’s Chocolates Hazelnut Latte made in Bristol, UK
I live stones throw away from Zara’s amazing chocolate shop and workshop. The shop is also a part florist, part chocolate shop so smells amazing. As well as origin bars and bars with inclusions, Zara makes epic truffles, check out these flavours; Browned Butter, Tahini Caramel, Coffee & Molasses, Lemon Jelly & Vanilla and Rosemary and Olive Oil. So lucky to live so close to a brilliant chocolate maker. Zara’s also did my personalised favours for my 30th birthday trip, which just got gobbled up by my guests. Of her new flavour range for bars, I need something that was a bit Christmassy- Hazelnut Latte felt right. Of dark afternoons Christmas shopping, stopping for a restorative coffee on the way. A hazelnut praline surrounded by white chocolate studded with Costa Rica coffee. This bar is seriously moorish with the smooth nutty praline and rich coffee, delicious!
Day 20 – Coco Chocolatiers Sea Salt and Hazelnut made in Edinburgh, Scotland
The addition of sea salt to the sweet richness of chocolate is a match made in heaven. Add some hazelnuts in there and you’re in for a right treat. Another of my edible souvenirs from our trip to Edinburgh and a gem of a bar. A beautifully packaged bar of rolling waves for the flakes of delicate sea salt from the Isle of Skye. Savoury pockets from the salt meet nutty earthy notes from the nuggets of hazelnuts. A comforting bar to nibble on.
Day 21 – Utopick Gin & Tonic Chocolate made in Valencia, Spain
The second Gin and Tonic flavoured bar in my Chocolate Advent Calendar, this time from Spain. Gin and tonic, has become a popular food flavouring as the popularity of the drink has gone up. Some ideas work such as in sweet items but I’ve also seen Gin & Tonic crisps or cheese…I’ll pass. My chocolate friend Patrica, (that I did a chocolate swap with) and I are on a task to find the ultimate Gin and Tonic Chocolate to combine two of our great loves. My brother kindly got me this bar when in Valencia with me. With a Nicaragua bean base for the milk chocolate, this bar is the best gin flavoured bar I’ve tried. There’s a gentle lemon aroma and with the base being milk chocolate there isn’t a harshness competing with the botanical flavours. The juniper makes itself known but not punchy at all. The bar is like a gin and tonic with its alcohol corners smoothed off to leave a gentle and enjoyable experience.
Day 22 – Ara La Sabana 70% made in Paris, France
The packaging for Ara is meant to highlight the animals and flora that is supported by the cocoa trees growing in that area. The growing of cocoa tends to be under threat for farmers to grow quicker producing crops that are less prone to diseases and smaller yields. A gorgeous little award-winning bar from Paris, a Gold World Chocolate awards 2016. Unfortunately, there was some sugar bloom but that’s probably down to me having it since January and been moved around a bit. BUT the 70% La Sabana Bar which is made with such rare beans from Venezuela, which you can only buy it directly from their Parisian shop. The chocolate has a fruity flavour at the beginning that melted into a rich chocolate brownie flavour. A treat to have tried such limited beans.
Day 23 – Dormouse Colombia 80% made in Machester, UK
This 80% Columbian bar has a robust punchy coffee and cocoa flavour, with a burst of spice and smoke coming through for the aftertaste that lingers. Again I can’t say how much I love these bars so varied but all special, deliciousness everyone should have in their lives!
Day 24 – Seaforth 70% Grenada made in Isle of Wight, UK
I got this bar from Cocoa Runners earlier this year to try. I went to get more for Patricia for our Choc-swap and they’ve actually changed their name to Ocean Creed if you’re after their bars and they have released two bars for their Autumn/Winter range. This bar is wonderfully ethical, where the beans from the Caribbean are transported back across the Atlantic on a wooden brigantine, reliant on the wind and gulf streams. When I bought the bar it was Seaforth but now renamed as Ocean Creed and I have two of their new bars to try in the new year. This is 70% Grenada, sharp and fruity with dominate young bananas and with a delicious delicate hint of rum to finish.
We have another seven bars to go before the end of the year! Any favourites you’ve seen so far? Any that you are going to try yourself?