I tried another bar from the Hotel Chocolat box that my co-worker Michael K. got in London.
This bar was amazing. Not only did it have very dark rich chocolate notes like the 100% bar from the same island, but it also had a very alcoholic flavor, just like whisky which the labeled stated! How it is possible for an 85% bar to have notes that a 100% bar from the same place does not, I do not understand. But this bar proves that can happen!
I was given this bar by co-worker Matt S., who got it on a trip to South Africa for his honeymoon.
This bar was very small, less than an ounce, but it was extremely good! It tasted very buttery, even though there was no butter in it, and just a bit earthy, even though I do not think it was single origin. I shared it with my office mate, and he agreed that it tasted like several of the butter chocolate bars we had had recently. Not only was it delicious, this bar is the first chocolate bar from South Africa I have ever had. Win win!
I found this bar at CostPlus World Market, and due to my undying love of passion fruit, I had to buy it.
Over ten years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in Hawaii, and during my stay, I learned how delicious fresh passion fruit could be. At my hotel I could literally pluck passion fruit off of a tree in a nearby patch of jungle, and I thought it was the sweetest, most delicious fruit I had ever tasted. When I got back home to California, I tried passion fruit from my local grocery, only to discover that it was not nearly as tasty, plus it caused my hands to break out in a rash. Apparently, I am allergic to the peel of some kinds of passion fruit.
So when I saw this bar, I wanted it. I was hoping it would taste very close to my original passion fruit from Hawaii. I took it to work to share with my co-workers, since the bar is divided into nine squares of chocolate, each with passion fruit filling. Personally, I loved it. The dark chocolate was OK (not good or bad, just there), but the filling was strongly flavored of passion fruit and just as sweet as I remembered. To be fair, my co-workers thought the bar was too sweet, but I think they were a little overpowered by the flavor. I don’t like overly sweet things, but this bar…I like it.
I think I will get this bar again…just for myself.
I found this bar at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago.
This was a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, with ground coffee beans on the bottom and filled with a dark caramel filling, also flavored with coffee. It was quite good! The ground coffee made the chocolate taste even darker, and the coffee caramel added more coffee flavor plus a nice burst of sweetness. I really liked it!
I tried another bar from the Hotel Chocolat collection that my co-worker Michael K. bought in London.
This bar (which unfortunately I ate before remembering to photograph) was 72% cacao from Honduras. It had a really unusual flavor, a minty fake-sugar aftertaste, as if it was made with xylitol, but the label says it’s just chocolate and sugar. I have had only one chocolate bar from Honduras before, and it had a similar flavor, so I am thinking that it is the single origin flavor of Honduras, the flavor of xylitol. How crazy is that?
I wanted to try another 100% cacao bar, so I opened the second box of Hotel Chocolat bars that my co-worker Michael K. so generously bought in London.
This box was a mix of single origin milk and dark chocolate bars.
I immediately opened the 100% bar.
This bar was very unusual. It was 100% cacao, sourced solely from cacao harvested on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, yet it did not have any single origin notes at all. It was very good, don’t misunderstand me, but it tasted like pure dark chocolate and nothing else. No floral, fruity or earthy notes were present at all. Like the label said, it tasted like “a handful of nibs” or “pure cocoa powder”. I bet it would have been fantastic (albeit expensive) to bake with.
I also want to note that this was my first bar ever from Saint Lucia! Thanks Michael!
I tried one of the 100% cacao bars from the box of Hotel Chocolat bars that my co-worker Michael K. brought back from London.
Wow, this was a great chocolate! I agreed with the label’s description of leather and smoke accents, but there was also an alcoholic aftertaste, similar to tequila. Two of my co-workers commented on this, so there was much agreement on it. And everyone loved this bar, despite the high cacao percentage initially putting them off. Many had seconds, and we all looked forward to trying more of these.