G'day my fellow chocaholics,
If you find yourself here, because the weird and wonderful internet has identified your need for the good stuff ... then you have achieved chocolate addiction status, and I am so proud of you!
But I digress - you are in for such a special treat today!
This week's tasting takes on a bit more poignancy for me, because I am actually lenting sugar for 40 days. Going from over indulgent chocolate overload to complete cold turkey sugar cut has knocked me for six, and not necessarily in a good way. I find myself daydreaming of that sweet melt-in-your-mouth golden nougat of the mars bar tempting me from my man cave stash, the sweet tang of the hollow hokey pokey chunks in the king size block of crunchie that I know I'll buy to commemorate 40 days of drool inducing visions.
But can you imagine my luck when Sharon walks up to me and presents a special treat - Bennetto's 70% hot chocolate blocks. And not one, BUT TWO! I had to check my conscience, because I am taking my lenting seriously. But 0.00001 seconds later, I had made the incredibly difficult decision to agree to take one for the team, and taste Bennetto's delicious treat.
The first thing that caught my eye is the simply gorgeous packaging that the chocolate comes in. Decorated with finely faded pastel colours, leaves, and native New Zealand birds dressed as steampunk-cross-Ponsonby hipster. I didn't get to experience the satisfaction of opening this lovely packaging (because that privilege will get to go to one of you lucky readers!).
Two flavours were presented before me: a simple 70% cocoa blend, and a flavour I never thought I'd see in a chocolate treat - Orange, Cardamom ... and Chilli, of all things.
I almost ran out of patience in my urgency to try it.. as you can see from the photo. Sharon warned me, however, that these would taste infinitely better as liquid. So we proceeded to steam some milk in two cups, plopped the pieces in and watched as these hot chocolate blocks melted their way further and further down. The chocolate comes as individual pieces, similiar to what you would find in your run of the mill chocolate bar, but Bennetto recommends that you use three pieces per drink.
The first thing I noticed was the smell. Simply divine! If chocolate appears in heaven, then I'm getting a glimpse of what it would be like. WOW. You can definitely smell the chilli, but it mixes well with orange and cardamom.
I must mention that it was with some trepidation that I raised the chilli hot chocolate to my lips. I'm not a fan of chilli at the best of times, and I have to admit that you can taste it. I think my actual words were: "Woah, that's chilli!" However, do NOT let this discourage you. The taste is fantastic. Sultry citrus twangs mixed with spicy feelers on your tongue. I would recommend this flavour as the perfect treat on a blustery, wintery, freezing cold night! Sharon tried it after me, and promptly called it as her favourite. "10/10 would drink again" I recall her saying.
Not surprisingly, I also enjoyed the 70% milk chocolate flavour. Warm, rich and sweet on the tastebuds. When I compare it with other 70% dark chocolates the most notable feature is the smoothness. It's hard to explain but somehow, the ususal bitterness that hits first with 70% choc is a lot more subtle with this one. It's almost like milk chocolate in that way but with the full, rich cocoa flavour. I gupled this one down quick time!
What a delicious treat from Bennetto!