There’s no point beating about the bush, I just love Pralus. Of course there are plenty of other names which offer such clean, creamy, rich flavours, but there are few that I can old anywhere near the heady heights as Friis Holm and Marou. Perhaps you idolise other chocolate makers, I can think of any bean to bar names providing such an all-consuming blanket of velvetiness that can rival this supremely talented triumvirate?
There is one thing that does annoy me in the chocolate world, and one I raised in this post, and that’s the theory just because a chocolate is a blend of origins or beans that it shouldn’t be held any similar regard as a single origin one. My view is firmly the contrary. Just as we can’t presume that chocolate made with any particular bean or from any particular estate will definitely make finer, more flavoursome chocolate than any other. Now you can rightly see that blends do knock off the edges of a bean and any particular peculiarity of a given strain will be diminished. I believe that the notion that origin > blend to be a very naive one as a skilled chocolate maker will understand the characteristics of each cocoa harvest and then balance the entire range of raw materials to create a delightful experience – just as a composer will select different parts of the wind, string or percussion sections to offer the a rousing or melancholic musical affect. The same can be said for chefs or any other artistic talent – even the written art of food reviewing. I do feel that Francois Pralus and his team have done a sterling job in balancing the Indonesian Criollo and the Madagascan Trinitario.
And when it comes to the end product the initial flavour of this ‘Djakarta’ 75% delivers a rich, sweet caramel flavour with a steady underlying hazelnut sense with flashes of cedar wood. At the outside there is a heady red fruits haze which just gently drops into view occasionally throughout the melt. The striking element here is its ability to cover you in an eiderdown of caramel and toffee whilst giving you the occasional freshly felled wood-like acidity.
At the very end of the melt there is a hint of Marmite on toast, but just a remote sense. Perhaps it’s a mental construct as I so wanted this to be similar to their Chuao. Alas, it’s not up to that standard, but it’s not too far off.
The melt was lengthy enough and there might have been some imperfections in the mould, but that’s only a small part of the experience to me.
Of course this chocolate isn’t raunchy or evenly aggressively sexual. It’s more playful and soft than that. Perhaps you could enjoy this before you try some more intense flavours?
You can get this chocolate at Chocolatiers which I run.