Friday, February 12, 2010

Blanxart Dark Chocolate origin Ghana 80% Cacao

1.7oz (48g) bar
Ingredients: Chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, lecithin
10g sugar/48g serving (20.8% by wt.)

[Note: Blanxart’s website isn’t the most user-friendly, so most of the links here are to outside sites (none of which I necessarily endorse).]

I’ve found Spanish chocolatier Blanxart’s products intriguing in the past, so I bought three different bars to review. One, the Chocolate a la Taza bar intended for making hot chocolate, turned out to be clearly mislabeled in terms of sugar content (among other things), so while I like it, it will have to be eaten by someone else. Said Someone Else polished off the entire bar of Dark Chocolate 85% with Nibs before I had a chance to taste it and then asked me to buy another.  Take from that what you will, and I’ll officially review the bar another time. I did still have most of the small Dark Chocolate origin Ghana 80%, which also comes in a full 3.5oz (100g) size, so by default it’ll be my first review of Blanxart’s chocolate.

Unfortunately, the fat little 1.7 oz bar presents a problem right off. It’s a dense, hard chocolate molded into what are essentially scored blocks (rather than thin tiles), so how do you eat it? You could chip away at it with a knife or chocolate chipper, as from a big block for baking, but it doesn’t seem like that was what this bar was made for. It’s not waxy, so you can’t bite through it cleanly; it fractures and comes off in crunchy chunks. I did resort to this option (trying to avoid the alternative, sloppy gnawing), but “crunchy” isn’t an ideal texture for plain chocolate, and with each brittle bite I got little chocolate crumbs on my shirt. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and consider that perhaps it’s just too chilly now, and this bar might soften up in the summer heat.

Flavor-wise, I want to be a fan, but I can’t. To my taste buds this bar is just too sweet, even given the relatively low amount of sugar on the label. Bars with milk, or perhaps a different balance of flavors, seem to meld chocolate and sugar well. Here the two seemed separate, with a thin but sickly sweetness hitting me right away, staying throughout, and even hanging around minutes after I’d swallowed. The chocolate underneath tastes like it must be interesting, not de-fanged ersatz chocolate, but I had a hard time appreciating it because the sugar was so dominant. Adding to the problem slightly is the texture: Once crunched, the chocolate at least melts quickly in the mouth, but it’s very creamy in a way that adds to the sense of syrupy sweetness.

I’ve had some great bars from Blanxart (often with too high a sugar content for me at present) and I hope to review more. I’m sorry to say I didn’t like this one, but hey, at least I didn’t spring for the full size!

Conclusion: Blanxart Dark Chocolate origin Ghana 80% Cacao is too sweet and difficult to eat. 

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