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TASTING NOTES, CHOCOLATE TASTING BOX #16
ORANGE-SEASON
ALL DARK

 

 

When the days are short and dark and Spring is not quite around the corner, oranges bring joyous rays of sunshine.

They are in season in the northern hemisphere from December until late spring, although you have to be pretty speedy to catch some varieties, Seville oranges are gone by mid-February, almost as soon as they arrive.

This is the time to get sticky making marmalade (mine is super dark and treacly), to treat your friends with fragrant Blood Orange Panna Cottas, or to conjure up the Mediterranean with Orange and Almond cake. Too busy? Can’t face wiping stickiness off every surface? Don’t despair! You can simply eat some of my January Magnificent Creations.

When the days are short and dark and Spring is not quite around the corner, oranges bring joyous rays of sunshine.

They are in season in the northern hemisphere from December until late spring, although you have to be pretty speedy to catch some varieties, Seville oranges are gone by mid-February, almost as soon as they arrive.

This is the time to get sticky making marmalade (mine is super dark and treacly), to treat your friends with fragrant Blood Orange Panna Cottas, or to conjure up the Mediterranean with Orange and Almond cake. Too busy? Can’t face wiping stickiness off every surface? Don’t despair! You can simply eat some of my January Magnificent Creations.

TASTING NOTES

One New Year’s resolution could have been to suck not chomp your chocolate! Easier said than done! I’m a chomper and always have been. What I would seriously suggest though, is that you make sure to eat your chocolate at room temperature. That way, when you put it in your mouth and breathe, the chocolate starts to melt and unfold its layers of flavour straight away.

Take the Pure Gold 100% Sur del Lago Cacao first. Always go from highest to lowest percent cacao in a tasting. This, like the Las Trincheras 72 is on the nutty side of the flavour spectrum, unlike the fruity Chulucanas 70 and Sambirano 71 dark chocolates.

Concentrate hard when you are eating the Sambirano… what flavour notes do you pick up? My summer fruits description is purposely very broad. It captures the spirit of the chocolate, bright, bold, and full of sunshine. It’s astonishing to think that a chocolate can have all these juicy, citrusy notes quite naturally. Fine cacaos are wonderful things.

I’d go next to the Pistachio Date and Hazelnut Raisin. Both of these are made with 100% Rio Maranon cacao, without using any sugar. They get all their sweetness from the fruit and nuts. If you are trying to cut down on sugar for a healthy January, these could be the way to go.

Try them next to Almendra, which is made with a 70% Sur del Lago chocolate. In essence all three are nutty bars, but one is sweetened with dates, another with raisins and the other with raw cane sugar. Whichever you use it is a matter of getting the right balance. Too much sugar and you mask the other flavours, too little and you don’t evoke them.

That leaves Ginger Lime, made with the same Baracoa beans that I use to make all my chocolates containing citrus. Imagine yourself in the kitchen, some ingredients go together and some don’t. That’s the beauty of making chocolates with fine cacaos with distinct flavour profiles…pairing them with other ingredients.

 

MAGNIFICENT CREATIONS

Meet my chocolate rays of sunshine…

Oranges & Lemons. Baracoa 65 dark chocolate with oranges and lemons

The exquisite honey notes of these Cuban beans were simply born to be with citrus. As the chocolate melts the flavours roll from one to another like the notes in a song.

 

Blood orange and cashew. Baracoa 65 dark chocolate with blood orange and cashew

Blood orange and cashew are both gentle souls, complementing each other with their depth and subtlety. It is a classic combination elevated by the extra creaminess of the cashews and the fragrant berry notes in the orange.

January 2022

 

Published: 25/01/2022

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