My new producer Tony H. brought by some more Alain Ducasse for me to taste.
This was a chocolate spread made from hazelnuts and almonds. It was similar to Nutella, but it had much more chocolate and almond flavors (I couldn’t really taste any hazelnut), and it was much more textured than Nutella, which is a more of a smooth butter as opposed to this crunchy paste. I compared this product to a very high-quality batch of chocolate-covered almonds that had been ground up. Delicious but very rich. One small spoonful was all I could try.
A new producer Tony H. shared this chocolate that he picked up in Paris.
I was excited to try this, because the only other Alain Ducasse bar that I tried had bloomed. And this one was delicious! It was a thin shell of dark 75% cacao chocolate filled with an almond-pistachio paste. The paste was delicately flavored like the two nuts and not very sweet at all, so it went very well with the chocolate. Tony shared a generous portion but I could easily have eaten the whole thing. It was a very good bar.
My co-worker Nicole E. brought me another Angelina bar from Paris.
This bar had 71.4% cacao (just 0.1% less than their regular dark bar) and it contained no milk powder, but it also had chunks of soft candied orange peel throughout. I normally don’t like chocolate and orange flavors together, but this worked. The chocolate was very dark and deeply flavored, and the orange was subtle and not too sweet. I liked it, and so did my co-workers.
My co-worker Nicole E. went to France and England, and she brought back this bar from Paris.
This bar was really good It was very dark and rich and creamy, which is not surprising given that the ingredients listed whole and skim milk powder. I am not sure why that doesn’t make this a milk chocolate bar, or dark milk as the kids say these days, but it doesn’t. And I don’t care, because this bar was very good and easily as chocolatey as any other 70-75% cacao dark chocolate bar I have tried.
I bought another Lindt bar to try, one that is not new but somehow has missed my attention.
I was not a fan.The bar was only 49% cacao, and there were a lot of freeze-dried raspberry pieces throughout it. It was so tart that the chocolate flavor was completely lost, making it almost like tart raspberries embedded in sweet wax. Oddly, I liked their Intense Pear and Intense Orange offerings, so maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for tartness, or maybe I have completely moved past “low cacao” bars. In any case, I simply wasn’t impressed with this one. There were even leftovers (which almost never happens!), which means my co-workers weren’t fans either.
p.s. I also think it was odd that this bar was called Raspberry Intense, but the others are Intense Pear and Intense Orange (and there is even an Intense Mint). Maybe it was a translation error, since in French this bar would be called “framboise intense”. Oh well, it’s a minor mystery.
I found this bar at the Lindt Chocolate Store near my house. It’s “NEW”, in the sense that they have never released a 78% cacao bar before.
This bar was REALLY good. Lindt somehow manages to make their dark chocolate smooth and creamy despite using no milk, and of course 78% cacao is right in my sweet spot. The bar isn’t too sweet and isn’t too bitter. It was perfect, and my co-workers agreed. Most of us ate two servings.
This was the last Valrhona tablet from Cathy.
This bar was 85% cacao and tasted every percent of it. It was deep and richly chocolatey, with a bit of astringency at the end. I liked it a lot, and it was my favorite of the three Valrhona tablets.