I’ve been meaning to pop over to The Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom for a while – mainly because I love what they’re doing, and I like to support local (ok so its 30 miles away) businesses. But when Paul asked if I’d liked to review their new range of chocolate bars I jumped at the chance. Now, if I’d known what they looked and tasted like then I would have got in my car straight away and got them myself.
I don’t think my photos do the bar justice to be honest. In the last three years or so that I’ve been reviewing chocolate online, I’ve never seen a more sensual bar of chocolate. When people send you chocolate to review, especially not from ‘major’ brands you expect the packaging to just be ‘average’ or just above it. However, in this instance, the wrapping was exemplary. If this bar was on display in any shop I’m sure people would buy it purely on aesthetic grounds as it portrays warmth, sensuality, sin and guilty pleasures -everything that chocolate is about.
But it’s also when you open up the wrapper that you get the sense of quality. The bar had an absolutely fantastic shine similar to the Pralus bars, especially the Pralus Tanzanie and Pralus Bresil. If you’re not excited with chocolaty anticipation on unwrapping, you need your head testing.
The aroma has a slight acidic, earthy note to it with a slight edge of tobacco. But I doubt many of you will hold it up to your nose as long as I did! You’ll be diving straight into the ‘snap’, which was a crisp and as precise as I can remember a block of dark chocolate being.
The crystals within the chocolate are microscopic, the conching process has certainly done its job and perhaps was conched for a longer period than those acidic Pralus creations as sharpness was minimal?
But with this less direct flavour comes others. It’s incredibly fruity, which a noticeable cherry tone with almonds. Bakewell tart comes to mind – and there’s nothing wrong with that. The sweetness is rounded, not at all sharp and fully supports the natural chocolate flavour.
The overall experience is delightful. Sometimes I like tart, abrupt, almost violent chocolate. Other times I like a warm blanket of chocolate that comes with a head massage and being told the tax man is giving you a rebate. This is that sort of chocolate. It’s sweet, sexual, beautiful, playful, crisp and delightful. And now for the price. If I told you the La Maison Du Chocolat Akosombo 68% Dark Chocolate Bar was twice the price but nowhere near as good, would you be surprised? That’s right. This exceptional chocolate bar is just £3. It can’t be so. Music to luxury chocolate bar lovers’ ears.
The guys at The Chocolate Cafe have put two years research, testing, experimenting and a whole load of stress into making this bar. Why not see if it’s been worth it by trying one yourself?