Sunday, July 11, 2010

François Pralus Le 100% Criollo

3.5oz (100g) bar
Ingredients: Organic cocoa, o. cocoa butter

I was working on another review when the mail brought me a package from a thoughtful friend: François Pralus 100% cacao bar. What was I to do with such dark chocolate? I figured I couldn't review it, because without sugar, 100% cacao is bitter and sour. I also didn't want to bake it, drowning a relatively small amount of lovingly molded French cacao in butter and flour.

I unwrapped the foil, took a little sniff, then inhaled deeply: tropical, fruity, enveloping. So I tried a crumb, and this 100% cacao bar surprised me: it's not especially sour or bitter. It does have the expected acrid bite, but what predominates is the tropical fruit, not too flowery, something like pineapple or mango. The texture is more waxy than brittle, which I appreciate. This chocolate is complex but easy to eat—if you like 100% cacao, of course—because it's free of the sort of unpleasant edges that require dulling by sugar or milk.

Okay, I still wasn't about to eat an entire bar of unadulterated cacao. I discovered the solution in a leftover cup of heavy cream, and just for the heck of it, I tried it in two different but similar preparations. First I melted the bar with a bit of sugar. For one dessert, I whipped a small amount of the chocolate and sugar with half the cream to make an easy, soft, spoonable ganache. The rest of the chocolate mixture and cream (close to equal parts) I combined, refrigerated, scooped into balls, and rolled in cocoa powder to make truffles. In such a simple recipe inferior chocolate would have stood out, but these desserts tasted rich, pure, and dark.
















Conclusion: For simple desserts that showcase high-quality chocolate, medium-bodied François Pralus Le 100% Criollo will not disappoint. 

5 comments:

  1. I´ve heared a lot about that 100% chocolate. Where on the internet can I buy a piece of Pralus 100%?

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  2. I haven't ordered online, and it looks like Pralus only delivers within France, but I did see a large selection of Pralus at Cacao in Portland, and they say they take orders via email and phone.

    Via Google I've found a bunch of online stores I've never used myself, but suffice to say you have many choices:
    New Leaf Chocolates
    CocoaBella
    World Wide Chocolate
    Chocophilia (Canadian)

    Good luck!

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  3. I buy mine from Whole Foods and I have no problems eating a whole bar at once. I like it because it is organic 100% dark chocolate with zero grams of sugar.

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  4. I ate too much and was up all night. It seems a shame to add anything because it's very edible on it's own, I'm hooked. I've been eating the coco polo stevia bars which are great but this is a much more pure experience.

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  5. I didn't know there were stevia bars! I found an Amazon listing, and it's 70% cacao, which would usually be nearly 30% sugar. Since stevia takes up so little space, any idea what the other 30% in the coco polo bars is?

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