This is the last of the round up of my adventures into the world of bean to bar chocolate and I’m going to miss my festive breakfast of chocolate. I hope that you have discovered some new favourites and new makers to try out. There’s a whole world of craft and bean to bar chocolate out there, just waiting to be tasted. From doing the advent calendar last year and collecting the bars on my way, there’s definitely been a more diverse of origins, flavours and inclusions on offer and means that I just can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for the world of chocolate.
Day 25 – Dormouse Toasted White Chocolate with Mandarin and Cinnamon made in Manchester, UK
This is the last Dormouse bar in the calendar and there’s been a few! Six bars so far! I had fallen in love the Toasted White Chocolate bar when I tried it earlier in the year. When I saw this limited edition bar at The Chocolate Show, I knew this needed to be my Christmas bar. Flakes of mandarin add a rich citrus burst to cut the biscuit deliciousness from the toasted milk powder with the warming cinnamon. A pure Christmas bar but I’m campaigning to get this flavour a part of their core range.
Day 26 – Marou 80% Tien Giang made in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
A Marou bar was in my first Cocoa Runner’s parcel back in February 2014, so was keen to try another one of their bars after fallen completely head over heels with bean to bar chocolate and been discovering more over the years. A fantastic rich honey flavour paired with a woody spice. Reinforcing my first love of bean to bar chocolates. Would be great to visit them in Vietnam soon, maybe New Year adventure?
Day 27 – Chocolate Tree Columbia 70% made in Edinburgh, Scotland
I’ve tried more Columbian chocolate this year, which has been fun to get to know an origin in more detail. I thought I knew what to expect when tasting this bar, rich coffee/mocha flavour but this bar had a burst of blackcurrant and dark red fruit to add a tartness against the richness. The beans have been grown from a single estate in the Huila region.
Day 28 – Raven Chocolate 80% Venezuelan, Salted Peanut and Mint made in Glasgow, Scotland
These mini bars are a great way for a taste of Raven’s chocolate, one origin and two flavoured bars. All using a Venezuelan Chocolate, first the 80% a rich chocolate brownie cocoa flavour, I can see why they have chosen this chocolate for their bases too. Next the Salted Peanut, nuggets of buttery peanuts with flakes of salt for that delicious sweet savoury mix. Lastly, the Mint bar, the refreshing cooling burst of mint oil against the rich chocolate, a nice balance. Bring on more chocolate!
Day 29 – Ara Chocolat Tingo Maria 70% made in Paris, France
A 70% bar from Peru, bought from a local co-operative and on their wrappers highlighting an animal or bird that relies on the environment cocoa is grown in to continue to survive in the unique area. A beautifully fragrant bar with notes of honey and plums, a rich dessert note bar. I’ll have to plan a return visit to Paris to get more!
Day 30 – Friss Holm Chuno 70% Triple Turned from Nicaragua, Rugoso 70% Bad Fermentation and Standard Fermentation made in Zealand, Denmark
Why have one bar of chocolate when you can have three? Firstly, the Chuno 70% Triple Turned from Nicaragua, Silver Award for the 2017 Chocolate awards, thriller turned during fermenting to give a different flavour to those beans turned once or twice. This bar is super smooth a citrus bite, not zingy but refreshing with the creaminess. Sad I only got it in a 25g bar! Second and Thirdly at the same beans Rugoso 70% from Nicaragua but one bar with ‘bad fermentation’ which isn’t bad at all but a shorter process than standard fermentation as most people think the longer the fermentation that better. The spicy citrus flavour is slightly short lived and ends cleanly. The other bar slowly develops the same flavour profile but lingers around more on the palate. Beautiful beautifully smooth. Nice to see how the process and steps involved that can affect the end bars.
Day 31 – Bullion No.2 Boliva made in Sheffield, UK
You’ve got to end on something gold and sparkly to end the year and calendar on. Having had their No.1 Haiti bar earlier in the month, I had picked up this bar at The Chocolate Show to try. 70% as the other two bars but from Bolivia. An earthy aroma when opening the wrapper, plenty of red berries and citrus to make this a delicious and interesting bar to try. Glad to go out on a high!
Bonus Two Bars! Dormouse Stollen Bar and 60% Venezuelan Milk with Speculaas made in Machester, UK
I couldn’t go cold turkey after 31 days of trying different bars so I had to include two bonus bars from Dormouse. Not any bars but two limited edition bars for the festive period. Firstly, Stollen Bar, dark Guatemalan chocolate ground with roasted almonds and studded with plump dark rich cherries. Melted beautifully with a creamy nutty flavour with the tart cherries. Dreamy. Secondly, 60% Venezuelan Milk with Speculaas. A warming blend of spices that tastes of winter and snowy scenes. Cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and all things nice! Wish these were part of their core range as so delicious, I need to get my fix all year!
Hope you’ve enjoyed my chocolate advent calendar and discovered some new bars to try yourselves. Bring on December 2018 Chocolate Advent Calendar!