willandmegan

"Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north…. As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction." (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)


Leave a comment

Crack It Open – Coconut Chocolate Tasting

coconut full display edit

Last night we created one of the most elaborate tasting displays to date in our long awaited Coconut Chocolate Tasting. To gauge the level of my anticipation for said tasting, 4/5 of the bars shown were purchased a month in advance along with the coconut and coconut milk (for aesthetic purposes). The final installment is a brand called RitterSport and was purchased by Megan a week ago during her trip to Germany. Whoot for our first German brand chocolate included in the lineup! The first thing I noticed upon a quick overview of packaging is the occurrence of blue/turquoise as a color choice from brand to brand. Does blue indicate the cool refreshing feeling of a bite into raw coconut? Well this tasting is equally about the chocolate as it is the coconut. Which chocolate company effectively blends the flavor and texture of coconut with milk/dark chocolate?

*Note* I’d like to state that the bars we chose cover a variety of approaches to the inclusion of coconut. Our tastes may vary differently from yours. We felt that a broad spectrum of very simple additives to extremely complex spices/flavor would make the tasting more interesting. We hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

-w&m

alter eco coc edit

1.) Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee (47% cocoa) ~$3.88 2.82 oz.

This bar opens up with a bright warm flavor that has the crunch of toffee bits and sweetness of a frappucino. The overwhelming abundance of large organically shaped chunks of toffee removes any opportunity for coconut to shine through. However, the satisfying bite of salt, undertones of butter and oats make this bar hard to put down. Think of it like a dessert!

good cacao coc edit

2.) GOOD CACAO – Coconut Omega-3 (72% Dark Cacao) ~$4.89 1.5 oz.

The super dark tone of this bar is intriguing along with its bright white flecks of coconut on the underside. The flavors are slow to release, but gradually move from cool notes of floral to dried fruit and cinnamon. It has a very fine and fibrous texture throughout. Imagine the subtle aroma of good perfume and taste of apricot. By far one of the most complex bars we have tasted to date. Take one look at the list of ingredients such as Raw Lucuma and Nutri Plankton and you won’t feel guilty indulging on this bar.

ritter sport kokos edit

3.) Ritter SPORT KOKOS (45% Milch-Creme) ~$1.20  3.52 oz. (price conversion from Euros!)

Meg describes this German native bar close to the Almond Joy, but more specifically “Heaven On Crack”. It has a rich creamy outer layer with a coconut frosting-like inner layer. In my mind it tasted like someone took a box of Samoas Girl Scout Cookies and condensed them into one chocolate bar. If you aren’t a health freak with concerns for emulsifiers, corn syrup and the like, this bar is for you.

sweet riot kickin coc edit

4.) sweetriot KICKIN’ COCONUT (70% Dark Chocolate) ~$3.99 3.5 oz.

The use of texture in this bar is well done, however it doesn’t have much coconut flavor. The buttery notes of the chocolate itself stand out along with a hint of floral that wants to jump to your taste buds, but never quite makes it. A sweet tasting bar with great texture, but doesn’t deliver in overall flavor.

theo coc curry edit

5.) theo Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate (45% Cacao) ~$3.25 2 oz.

The first warning I heed is that this is not your mamas chocolate bar. The level of spices and fiery intensity that comes in this little package is quite delectable to some.  The oily consistency comes with a bitter twist of dried spice bits that bite your tongue periodically. Expect the cardamom to overcome your senses along with undertones of cayenne and mustard. From start to finish this bar delivers in flavor complexity, intensity and some level of texture, but no coconut flavor.

Advertisements


2 Comments

Cacao and Coffee – Who Can Boast About Their Roast?

Through the end of summer and into the fall, Meg and I have taken on many late night tastings. Our most recent being a selection of five chocolate bars infused with coffee. Now that we are wrapped up in full time work schedules and grad school, these cute adventures don’t occur so regularly. With a whole slew of costuming and wine making ideas the ol’ taste buds have surely taken a back seat. In fact, I had obtained these little chocolate wonders two weeks before Meg and I ever got around to consuming them. The addictive qualities of cacao for myself is similar to kryptonite for superman. I spent many a night glaring at those 5 bars like a psychiatric patient reasoning with himself.

Much like previous tastings we chose a high quality organic/fairtrade selection. Apparently, the pairing of coffee and cacao is in high demand. America has the desire for a bittersweet kick of caffeine (in bar form). This tasting differed from the previous in that we carried out a blind portion to ensure no biased opinions based on brand, appearance, 1st impressions etc. It was a success!

Below are our results. Each bar/brand is rated 15. 1 being the best and 5 being the worst.

# 1: Equal Exchange Espresso Bean (55% Cacao)

  • Details / florals, tiny crystallized texture, successfully incorporates the coffee through balanced texture and flavor. Rich taste from start to finish.

# 2: endangered species natural DARK CHOCOLATE WITH ESPRESSO BEANS (72% Cocoa)

  • Details / aroma is similar to cheap Easter chocolate, coconut undertones, moist, chocolate cake overtones, fresh flavors in textured beans.

# 3: Salazon Chocolate Co.Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Crushed Organic Coffee (57% Dark Chocolate)

  • Details / salt, butterscotch, liqu0r richness, no coffee chunks or texture, consistency similar to truffle with the sweet flavors of toffee and molasses. Very little evidence of coffee. Unique landscape image on bar.

# 4: medecasse CHOCOLATEarabica coffee (44% cocoa) with arabica coffee nibs

  • Details / brown sugar and caramel flavors, textured pieces are rough, dry and stale tasting. Milkiness is evident through creamy consistency. Outer appearance looks crackled, mulch like etc.

# 5 – Green & Black’s OrganicEspresso Dark Chocolate infused with fine Arabica coffee beans (70% Cocoa Content)

  • Details / aroma of old diner coffee, burnt Keureg scent, campfire, smoky, stale cigarette, pine, lasting dryness. Overbearing flavors hide existence of cocoa.