You can keep your confectionary. I’ll happily die consuming my weight in fine chocolate and having tried a fair amount (but not enough) of chocolate from France and a good smattering of chocolate made by Patrick Roger, I’m part way there. I see so many people banging on about how great average milk chocolate mixed with various ingredients in. Of course there’s a degree of talent needed, and there are some notable chocolatiers doing this, but I would say that there can be no greater skill in the world of chocolate than taking as few ingredients as possible and making great chocolate from it. Jean Paul Hevin does it, Duffy does it and so does Patrick Roger – amongst others.
For me simplicity is the key. Lindt this, Kit Kat that, Cadbury, Snickers and Mars Bars, blah, blah, blah. I’m unashamedly purist about chocolate. And no, I’m not a chocolate snob; I just think chocolate is best produced by artisans that put skill above the bottom line offers so much more of an experience. So having tried commercial chocolate recently, I just needed to repent my confectionary sins and return to artisan chocolatesville. And here I am, at the door of a master: Patrick Roger.
So … I love the Original Beans and Beschle, Chocolate Cafe and Artisan du Chocolat packaging for various different reasons, but the Patrick Roger chocolate bars take simplicity to the extreme. There’s just his logo on the back and a sticker detailing the origin of the cocoa and its ingredients. And there’s also no internal cellophane wrapping – it’s so simple and elegant. To me this is the epitome of how a chocolate bar should be packaged.
And that regularity continues inside with the mould. Pralus offers an irregular mould featuring their brand, Artisan du Chocolat have a design with the squares being incredibly defined and Devnaa put their logo on the squares too. But with Patrick Roger they’re the simple rectangular fashion with just enough indentation to make a snap possible.
At first I thought the aroma was heading towards the Artisan du Chocolat Jamaica 72% but it held back from being as powerful. Although there is a good degree of acidity that comes across on the nose, it is very mild aromatically and reminds me of an Amedei bar – although I can’t remember which one (I do try an awful lot!).
I’ve now tried this bar when it’s been cool – about 15c and warmer about 20c as it is now and I hate to say it that I actually prefer it a touch warmer – there seems to be a much lighter and sweeter flavour to it which offers hints of warm real ale, hazelnuts and damson. But it’s this cane sugar flavour that will please most people that prefer a slightly less dark bar of chocolate.
Under cooler conditions this bar had a very crisp snap, whilst now it’s obviously a touch duller. But whatever condition you try it (within reason) I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.