It’s not every day you are offered free chocolate. Free chocolate which also happens to be made by hand. Free chocolate which happens to be made by hand by a friend, in tiny batches, not far from you. And freshly.
So naturally, I fell off my chair saying YES PLEASE. The bar you see in the picture has actually been nibbled at already – the top part devoured as I couldn’t wait to try it before taking a quick snap. At 50g, it’s a great size for a taster bar. Just enough to be able to really get a feel for it and find out how the flavours play on your palate.
And the simple packaging is good too, a nice shiny gold packet with a resealable top. No more fiddling around with bits of foil and paper, trying to fold the packaging over itself to keep it fresh!
Right. Onto the important part. The Chocolate. The ingredients list is impressively small and purist, also boasting some muscovado sugar for depth of flavour.
How does it look? It is well tempered, with an even, glossy finish and a slightly reddish hue typical of Madagascan cocoa. The design of the mould is nice too, displaying cocoa pods and leaves and a breakaway-piece style.
Upon breaking it, the snap is loud, crisp and clean. Just as it should be.
Dom, the chocolate maker (and founder of Chocablog), actually gave me the bar two weeks ago and the aroma and flavour have softened since then. Amazing how freshness is queen, something easy to forget in today’s convenience age of long shelf-life products. It was very intense when I first tried it, fairly sharp acidity, bright and bold, those lovely Madagascan red fruits notes, really special and slightly nutty. Some tannins detectable. Now it’s acquired a little more ‘mellow’, with a rounder flavour and the earthiness is more prominent. The astringency has taken a bit of a back seat, which probably makes it even more agreeable to most palates.
There is a good, smooth melt and a lovely long finish, turning a little more nutty and fruity towards the end.
This is a chocolate bar well worth seeking out – if you ask Dom nicely, I reckon he’d sell you one of his microbatch bars. He’s even letting you in on his secrets by telling you how he made his chocolate here.