Tag Archives: salt

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.

nihant

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.

rosz2

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.

rosz3

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.

rococo

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. 

chocoloate_Society

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

salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies

You might have already guessed which three words stuck out and made me want to bake these cookies… salted, white and chocolate. This recipe is very closely adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who in turn adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated.

Since I was too lazy to really measure the 2 1/2 inches that the cookies should be placed apart on the baking sheet, I just eyeballed it.

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Of course this happened:

 

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But a few did look like cookies after all. And the wobbly cookies tasted just as well…

salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ cup (150g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (190g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg (L)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (160g) oats
  • 5 ounces (150g) (good-quality) white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt.
  3. In another bowl beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  5. Add the flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Then add the oats and the chopped white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.
  7. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175° C.
  9. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough between palms into balls, then place the dough on the lined baking sheets about 2½ inches apart.
  10. Press down each ball to about ¾-inch thickness.
  11. Sprinkle two or three flakes of sea salt on each cookie.
  12. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through.
  13. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

 

oatmealcookies3

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.

domori_1

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%

domori_2

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

fleur de sel

GEPA

GEPA is an alternative fair trade organisation based in Wuppertal, Germany. Their chocolates are made without emulsifiers, conched for up to 48 hours, cocoa butter is the only added fat and their wrapping is aluminium free. For their milk chocolate they use organic milk provided by a milk cooperative.

gepa

The bar smells slightly like coffee with milk. It melts nicely and it is sweet, but not overpoweringly so. The salt grains are not evenly distributed, some pieces of chocolate have a burst of salt where you can feel the coarse salt grains, other pieces are just plain milk chocolate. The chocolate itself has a hint of vanilla and a bit of acidity at the end. Although it’s a decent chocolate, it might not make it quite to my top ten list, because it is not salty enough for me. This could be the right milk chocolate for someone who is trying a salted chocolate for the first time and doesn’t want to be overpowered.

gepa_2

Zutaten: Rohrohrzucker, Vollmilchpulver (25 %), Kakaobutter, Kakaomasse, Pyramidensalz 0,5 % (Fleur de Sel), Vanille-Extrakt, Kakao: 37% mind. [Fair-Handelsanteil der Zutaten insgesamt: 99,5%; aus kontrolliert ökologischem Anbau]

Ingredients: Raw cane sugar, whole milk powder (25%), cocoa butter, cocoa mass, fleur de sel 0,5%, vanilla extract, cocoa min. 37% [fair trade ingredients 99%, organic]

gepa_3

This bar is available in many grocery stores in Germany as well as online. I bought it in the grocery section of a department store in Berlin. Price approx. €2,30.

Images by Axel Lambrette