For my sins I often reach in my chocolate stash of half eaten review bars my heart will sink when I pick out a milk bar. My natural point of chocolate equilibrium is usually achieved with a dark chocolate with rolling flavours – typically a Friis Holm. But just I’m partial to the odd bit of Phil Collins as well as Daft Punk I’ll slip down the cocoas and indulge myself in a milk. There is this middle ground, however, that often gets over-looked: a dark milk. This form of chocolate is no more a compromise than larger shandy is on roasting hot day to a pint of micro-brewery bitter. It’s just a different breed.
Hotel Chocolat has launched a new dark milk – the Supermilk 65%. There may be no indication of the origin of the cocoa or the plantations, conche time as their Rabot 1745 range – that would just overcomplicate the experience. This chocolate isn’t for those of us who judge at events. This is a chocolate for a momentary dalliance with indulgence. It’s for people that like sweet milk chocolate but realise that there’s more to life than a sugar rush.
My first thought of this chocolate was that it was incredibly creamy. The full fat milk powder certainly adds to this sensation – it’s actually what makes this chocolate. The cocoa flavours are mellow to the extreme. It’s that almost subliminal acidity and typical chocolate flavour that plays below the cream. When your taste buds pull all those different flavours together, to me at least, it just tastes of Christmas. There’s a hint of spice, a dash of fruit and the almost cream like profile just shouts ‘Christmas Pudding’ at me. And I love it.
Usually I’d be grabbing for their Madagascar Somia 72% – which I have before me, or even their St. Lucia 100% (they make some wonderful 100%s), but with this being richer than a typical milk, but without the false ingredients, it satisfies me in that way only a dark milk can.
Part of me wishes they’d make another dark milk to compliment this one, but with a shorter conch time so it just offers more intensity. Then it would be great to use as an example for people learning about chocolate about how the ingredients alone don’t define a chocolate’s flavour.
The guilt for liking such a subtle chocolate is actually getting to me. Guilt-ridden I’m going to have to dive into their AoC Silver winner for 2013 – the Rabot Estate 70%.