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 70 whose nutty notes are more honeyed – you can just catch glimpses of red fruits. 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.
Now 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.
Alongside Milk of the Gods and Sea Flakes this month, we have a bit of a treat linked to a sad story about my Passion Fruit Chocolate. The reason it is in a red Magnificent Creations box is that we have run out of its own boxes because we are having to discontinue it. We have been sending passion fruit juice to be specially freeze dried, because all commercially available ones contain maltodextrin or something similar to give structure for the drying. We can no longer find anyone willing to do this for us and we won’t use artificial ingredients, so you have one of the last few hundred bars left. I hope you enjoy it! It is one of my most favourite chocolates.
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 and cuts through its fragrant sweetness, and the lightly toasted cashews bring a little crunch. Melt into a World of Adventure
Pineapple & Coconut. Creamy white chocolate with pineapple, coconut & black pepper.
Close your eyes, take a small square of this heavenly chocolate and you’ll be transported right to the beach. If ever there was a chocolate that should be drunk through a straw out of a freshly cut coconut shell this is it! Pure Flavour. Pure Pleasure.