Category Archives: chocolates

melk karamell zeezout

tony’s chocolonely

A friend gave me this chocolate which she saw at Goldhahn und Sampson, a gourmet shop in Berlin that sells food, wine, cookbooks and kitchen utensils. Tony’s Chocolonely is a dutch fair trade chocolate maker based in Amsterdam. They strive to sell 100% slave-free chocolate and have set up long-term relationships with cocoa farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

What I haven’t quite understood is why they call it a “Belgian chocolate” when they are dutch chocolate makers, who work with African farmers.

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This is a pretty big milk chocolate bar with caramel and sea salt. The bar is very thick but it’s easy to break along the ridges. The small caramel pieces slightly disturb the melt and the size of the chocolate somehow forces you to rather eat than melt the chocolate in your mouth. The pieces of caramel are crunchy, the chocolate is sweet with vanilla and honey notes and it has a nice amount of salt. It’s a sweet guilty pleasure, surely one of the better caramel sea salt chocolates I’ve tasted.

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Belgische melkchocolade. Ingrediënten: suiker, volle melkpoeder, cacaoboter, cacaomassa, stukjes karamel (10%), zeezout (0,5%), sojalecithine (gegarandeerd gentech vrij). Cacaobestanddelen: ten minste 32%. 180g

Ingredients: sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, caramel pieces (10%), sea salt (0,5%), soy lecithin (guaranteed GM-free). Cocoa solids: 32% min. 6,3 oz

My friend bought it at Goldhahn und Sampson in Berlin. I don’t know what it cost there, it is priced at €2,63 at Tony’s online store.

Images by Axel Lambrette

rose salt + lemon

antidote

Antidote Choco is a bean-to-bar maker based in Brooklyn founded by Red R. Thalhammer. Their chocolate is made with a 50/50 blend of raw & roasted Arriba Nacional cacao from Ecuador. The cacao is organic certified and they use very little whole (unrefined) cane sugar. Their chocolates are vegan and gluten free.

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This is a 77% raw chocolate with rose salt + lemon.

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It’s not my usual go-to-chocolate because of the high cocoa percentage, but I was still intrigued by the flavour combination. The bar has a strong snap, the colour is very dark, and the lemon and salt flakes are visible on one side of the bar. The melt is grainy, the lemon taste hits you first, followed by the salt. It’s quite intense, not very sweet, but not too bitter. As far as raw chocolate goes, this is quite interesting, even though I prefer milk chocolates.

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Ingredients: 77% raw & roasted organic cacao. cacao beans, whole cane sugar, cacao butter, lemon, andes mountain rose salt, soy lecithin (0,5%, gmo-free) [certified organic] 2.3 oz bar

Zutaten: 77% roh und gerösteter Bio Kakao. Kakaobohnen, Voll-Rohrzucker, Kakaobutter, Anden-Bergsalz, Zitrone, Sojalecithin (0,5%, gentechnik frei) [biologisch kontrolliert] 65g

This bar is available at a few online shops. I bought it online from Schoko-Express. Price approx. €4,75.

Images by Axel Lambrette (thank you!!!)

sambirano valley 50% with fleur de sel

benoît nihant

Benoît Nihant is a Belgian bean to bar producer, who is a trained engineer and used to work as project manager for multinational companies. Around the age of 30 he changed gears and entered the world of chocolate. On his website he states that he hunts down fine cocoa beans, which he buys at a fair and just price directly from the plantations.

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This bar is made from trinitario cocoa from the Somia plantation in Madagascar and has been stone ground and conched for 70 hours.  The bar is quite delicate and smells slightly of caramel. The melt is grainy, which is common for a stone ground chocolate. It isn’t too sweet, has a slight acidity, and it is not salty and smooth enough for my taste. The chocolate is not too bad, but not quite my taste.

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Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, sea salt from Guérande. 1,76 oz

Zutaten: Kakaobohnen, Rohrzucker, Voll Milchpulver, Kakaobutter, Zeesaltz. (sic!) [Biologischer Anbau] 50g

This is available at various online shops. I bought it from the Berliner Kaffeerösterei – a micro-coffee roaster, online store, coffee shop, patisserie – with a good selection of chocolates in Berlin. Price approx. € 4,80.

Images by Axel Lambrette (thank you!!!)

kristálysó (crystal salt)

rózsavölgyi csokoládé

rózsavölgyi csokoládé is a hungarian bean-to-bar producer with a shop in Budapest. Their cocoa beans are sourced from two main growers: Cacao San José (the Franceschi family) in Venezuela, which also supplies Domori, and Bertil Akesson in Madagascar and they produce single origin chocolates. They have won several awards, for example a bronze award from the Academy of Chocolate for their “Olives and Bread 77%” chocolate in 2013.

I bought this salted bar in Berlin, but when a friend of mine travelled to Budapest I asked him to bring a few more of their bars, because I was also intrigued by the “Olives and Bread” bar. Unfortunately the shop was closed due to the summer shutdown of the factory. As the bar was already a few days over its best-by-date, I had to take the pictures myself in a hurry, so please excuse the poor quality…

rosz

This bar is a milk chocolate with 40% cocoa solids and salt. The bars are packaged really beautifully and the chocolate itself has a lovely pattern.

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The chocolate melts nicely and has a slightly malty note. It is not very salty, but since it is already past its best-by-date I’m not sure if it has already lost some of its flavour. I would like to give a fresh batch another try, I think this chocolate could be quite interesting.

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Ingredients: sugar, cocoa mass, milk powder, cocoa butter, lecithin of soya, vanilla, salt
cocoa content min. 39%, 2.5 oz

Zutaten: Zucker, Kakaomasse, Milchpulver, Kakaobutter, Sojalecithin, Vanille, Salz, 39% mind. Bio Kakaomasse, 70g

The chocolates are available online at Rózsavölgyi, I bought it in Berlin from Chocolaterie Estrellas. Price approx. 4€.

sea salt organic milk chocolate artisan bar

rococo

Rococo is a british chocolate company founded by Chantal Coady with shops in London and in Chester. She was awarded Chocolatier Of The Year 2012 and her bars, pralines, caramels and truffles, as well as her packaging, have won awards. Rococo owns a cocoa farm (part of the Grenada Chocolate Company) which provides the organic Trinitario cocoa beans for her chocolates.

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This bar was the Winner of the Academy of Chocolate Gold Award 2011.

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This is another one of my favourite salty milk chocolates, even though the saltiness here is also more restrained than what I usually prefer. Rococo adds Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt to this chocolate – a salt made from seawater taken only from around Anglesey. The chocolate has a long, smooth melt without any grittiness or discernible salt grains. It has a hint of malt and vanilla, and the amount of salt is not overpowering. It is a great salted chocolate bar, not too salty, not too sweet, perfect for those who prefer only a hint of salt.

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Ingredients: organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic whole milk powder, organic cocoa mass, Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt, emulsifier: soya lecithin, organic vanilla beans. Contains 37% min organic cocoa solids, 18% min organic milk solids.

Zutaten: Bio Rohrzucker, Bio Kakaobutter, Bio Vollmilchpulver, Bio Kakaomasse, Halen Môn Anglesey Meersalz, Emulgator: Sojalecithin. 37% mind. Bio Kakaomasse, 18% mind. Bio Milchpulver.

This bar is available at Rococo and various other online stores. I bought it online from xocoatl, a shop in Wiesbaden. Price approx. €5,90.

Images by Axel Lambrette

blonde chocolate and sea salt

the chocolate society

The Chocolate Society was formed in 1991 by three chocolate enthusiasts. After 20 years the company was sold and then encountered some financial difficulties in 2009 and was then again sold to two new owners. These new owners, Duncan and Alasdair Garnsworthy (who has been trained by French chocolate makers Valrhona), decided to move the business forward by returning to its roots and now make fresh chocolates in small batches. Their small factory is situated in Somerset (UK) and they produce a range of luxury chocolate products, including fresh chocolate truffles, caramels, pralines, honeycomb, bars and more.

Since I am also partial to white chocolate, a friend recommended this bar. It is a “blonde” chocolate with Halen Môn Sea Salt. 

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Blonde chocolate is a type of chocolate made by caramelising butter in the chocolate making process. The result is a sweet and creamy chocolate, similar to a white chocolate, but with a caramel flavour and colour. Without the salt it resembles a caramac bar, but much creamier and denser. Although the bar also contains vanilla, the buttery caramel flavour is much more prominent.  The amount of salt is satisfying and it complements this sweet caramel chocolate perfectly. Definitely one of my favourite bars.

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Ingredients: blonde chocolate (min 32% cocoa solids, pure cocoa butter): cocoa butter, sugar, whole milk powder, dried skimmed milk, whey, butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla extract, Halen Môn Sea Salt.

Zutaten: Weiße Schokolade (min 32% Kakaomasse, reine Kakaobutter): Kakaobutter, Zucker, Vollmilchpulver, Magermilchpulver, Molke, Butter, Emulgator (Soyalecithin), natürliches Vanille-Extrakt, Halen Môn Meersalz.

I bought this bar from The Chocolate Society’s online store. Price approx. € 5,60.

Images by Axel Lambrette

d-fusion lattesal

domori

This bar won Silver at the Academy of Chocolate in 2009. Domori is a company based in None, Italy and is devoted to fighting the destruction of premium varieties of cocoa and the rainforest. On their plantation in Venezuela, they grow Criollo beans, which are generally believed to be the highest quality of cocoa beans. Domori was awarded the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Salon du Chocolat in Bologna and is the only Italian company to have won the Best Chocolate Award in the single-origin dark chocolate category every year since 2003.

domori

This is one of my favourite bars, even though it is not quite as salty as I would like it to be. The chocolate bar is flat, has a good snap and melts incredibly smoothly. It is supposed to have a hint of banana and citrus fruits, but I experienced rather a milky caramel with just hints of salt. I would say that this is one of the milk chocolates that immediately makes you understand the difference between a regular Milka or Cadbury bar and a high quality chocolate bar.

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Ingredienti: Zucchero di canna, burro di cacao, latte intero in polvere, pasta di cacao, sale di Guérande (0,4%). Emulsionante: lecitina di soia. Cacao min. 45%.

Ingredients: Cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole powdered milk, cocoa mass, Guérande salt (0,4%). Emulsifier: soy lecithin. 45% min. cocoa

Zutaten: Rohrzucker, Kakaobutter, Vollmilchpulver, Kakaopaste, Guérande Salz (0,4%), Emulgator: Sojalecithin. Kakao mind. 45%

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This bar is available at various online stores. I bought it in Berlin at Winterfeldt-Schokoladen, a shop in Schöneberg. They also have an online shop. Price approx. €3,50 (25g) to €5,90 (50g).

Images by Axel Lambrette