I love it when chocolate makers get ‘back to basics’ just as Duffy does. He produces top quality, natural chocolate that also tastes damn fine. There aren’t many chocolate makers like that around who sit in the middle of the approach to chocolate. At the other end are those ‘chocolate’ makers who fill their products with an endless list of artificial this and that – as long as kids or people with no taste or ethics like it, then that’s ok. And far over to the other side there are chocolate makers that like to leave stuff out and appeal those ‘sans’ people who, for either dietary or ethical standpoints choose to have their chocolate without various ingredients. Where you are on this issue depends on what your tolerances, budget and ethics determine. Thankfully I’m open to anything (almost).
I gave their raw Easter eggs a try last year and thought they were actually pretty good. Since then I’ve tried some other raw chocolate (from another company) and thought it was terrible, so was a bit apprehensive to return to the raw scene. But if you’re an ardent fan of all things restrictive then you’re going to be predisposed to the flavour, I’m generally not so much of a fanboy of this chocolate as ‘raw’ chocolate does very much have its own tone – which surprisingly less evident in these eggs than others I’ve tried.
The 80% dark chocolate egg was the first to be consumed and it had the coarse grittiness that I’d come to expect from raw chocolate and a slight metallic flavour, but at least there was the bitterness that most dark chocolate lovers would wish for. This year, though, it doesn’t taste as intense as the previous one did – perhaps they’ve changed the recipe? But it’s starting to taste more like “real” chocolate – and that’s no bad thing for the mass-market.
The mint chocolate egg also had this slight metallic edge, but was eclipsed by the lovely, sharp mint flavour. It also felt a great deal less coarse which was a huge plus point. Instead it tasted and felt cool and soothing and a lot less like raw chocolate than I’ve come to expect. This was followed by the 70% dark chocolate egg, which also seemed to have the agave nectar flavour turned down a good few notches – much to its betterment. This one also tasted nicely soft and delicate with a good depth of chocolate flavour.
The orange egg had a fantastic zesty aroma and a flavour that only gave a hint of its rawness in the after taste. Before that there was actually a delightful orange flavour that was clean and fresh and not at all like a Terry’s chocolate orange – which I find too artificial. Overall, I thought it was pretty damn good for raw chocolate.