This month the Magnificent Creations are a palm-fringed beach in chocolate form. Imagine you’re lying on the warm sand, a gentle breeze swaying in the branches above your head, making the shadows dance all around you. It’s midday, and the waves are lapping rhythmically on the shore, calling you to them.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been on a beach like that in a while, but if I close my eyes I can feel my head fill with blue, feel the sand between my toes and hear the fishermen landing the day’s catch on Puerto Maya, the beach below my farm in Venezuela.
These chocolates are totally tropical.
Are you a chomper or a sucker? That is the question when it comes to eating chocolate. I do everything at a hundred miles an hour making me naturally a chomper.
So when I am wanting to really catch the flavour notes of a chocolate, rather than simply letting the waves wash over me, I make myself slow down and take a moment. Try to let a square melt in the middle of your tongue. Breathe. Wait. Let the chocolate move all around your mouth. A good chocolate will have layers of flavour, it will take you on a journey, and it should stay with you for a good fifteen minutes after you have tasted it.
The single estate dark chocolates in this collection take you right across the Flavour Map. Start with Las Trincheras 72 with its soft nutty notes on the nutty left of the map. Move on to the San Agustin 88 and San Agustin 70 whose nutty notes are more honeyed. You can catch glimpses of red fruits in the 70, and the 88 reveals deeper dark berry notes. The Sambirano 71 is the fruitiest, and juiciest of all my fruity cacaos. It is a very fine Trinitario bean and it is often really quite hard for people to believe that all those dancing flavours come simply from the bean.
Next we can explore some of my No Added Sugar chocolates. If you haven’t had them before, these are made with 100% cacao, a light bean from Rio Maranon in Peru, and are naturally sweetened with fruit and nuts. No sugar needed! Orange Almond is the most intense because it is just the nuts giving the sweetness; while Hazelnut Raisin has the sweetness of the raisins and eats very much like a 70% dark chocolate. It is all a matter of getting the perfect balance.
Finally we come to Luscious Orange and Ginger Lime. Both are made with the Cuban Baracoa bean that tastes naturally of honey, and dances to a totally tropical beat.
Mango, Cashew, Chilli. Sur del Lago 70 dark chocolate with mango, cashews & chilli
These totally tropical plants all grow in a riot around my house on the farm. The chilli brings out the flavour in the mango, cutting through its fragrant sweetness, and the lightly toasted cashews bring a little crunch. Melt into a World of Adventure.
Totally Tropical. Sur del Lago 70 dark chocolate with pineapple & lemongrass
Pineapples are a joyous fruit, and all that happiness is captured in this chocolate. The pineapple and lemongrass dance with pure abandon to a totally tropical beat. Melt into a World of Adventure.