Amedei High Cocoa & Prendimé Range

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on October 6 2018 | Leave A Comment

It’s a while since I’ve reviewed any bars from another chocolate maker, but when King’s Fine Food, UK distributors of Amedei, offered to send me their new high cocoa bars, I was curious enough to want to try them. The bars in question are Acero 95% with Maple Sugar and Toscano Black 90%.

The packaging for these bars looks very familiar, following the format that Amedei have used for years. Another familiar feature of Amedei bars is the lack of any reference to bean origin. Although Amedei do produce single origin bars, their blends have always been at the heart of their range. From a chocolate maker’s point of view, blending allows recipes to be tweaked to compensate for flavour differences in harvest and to produce a more consistent flavour. It gives more control over the final product when differences in weather and fermentation may produce noticeable differences in the flavour of the beans from harvest to harvest. So while I’m curious about the bean origin, blending is not necessarily a bad thing.

Acero 95% With Maple Sugar

This bar in particular piqued my curiosity. I’ve tried plenty of 90%+ bars and many made with alternative sugars, but I was curious as to whether I’d be able to taste the sugar in a bar with so little of it. The answer is yes, you can, but it’s quite subtle. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the aroma stands out more than the flavour.

Of course, at 95% there is a strong cocoa note to this bar. It’s dark, leathery and a little spicy in nature, but it’s also surprisingly sweet. Not ‘sweet like Cadbury’ sweet, but just enough to make it very easy to eat, as long as you let it melt slowly. The packaging describes notes of liquorice, spice and wild citrus, but for me it was simply an enjoyable chocolate hit with a well balanced sweetness.

Toscano Black 90%

Obviously at 90% cocoa solids, this is another intense bar, but having tasted after the Acero, it came through as much sweeter, with a hint of fruit. The flavour is pleasant and the texture is smooth, but I didn’t pick up a great deal of complexity with this one. I guess that the kind of person who buys this will be looking for that intensity rather than subtle flavour notes anyway.

One thing I did notice with both these bars was a slight ‘papery’ note that I assume came from the packaging itself. Although the bars are sealed in foiled paper, it certainly felt like I was picking up something from the packaging itself, although it’s difficult to be sure.

Along with the high cocoa bars, I also received these three large (150g) nut based bars from Amedei’s Prendimé range.

First impression of this range is that it looks cheaper. The bars are wrapped in fairly thin white paper which doesn’t look as high end as the main Amedei range. I think there’s something also about a larger bar psychologically that makes me think it has been produced for ‘quantity over quality’.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised here, especially because I’m not a big fan of nuts.

Gianduja

The bar that got me was this rather tasty three layer gianduja bar. If you don’t know, gianduja is a blend of hazelnut paste and chocolate. It is sometimes the basis of chocolate & nut spreads and sometimes the filling for bonbons, but it can also be made firm enough to produce a bar on its own.

The packaging doesn’t specifically describe the three layers, although the ingredients do mention almonds as well as hazelnuts. The texture is smooth and melty with just the slightest hint of ground nuts as it melts. I can’t say that it’s the best gianduja I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly dangerously moreish. My bar did not last long at all.

Hazelnuts & Almonds

The other bars in the range are dark chocolate with almonds, dark chocolate with hazelnuts and milk chocolate with hazelnuts. Personally I much prefer the gianduja and find the large, chunky bars of solid chocolate a bit difficult to eat. As with the high cocoa bars, there’s no mention of bean origin, but the thing that sets them apart is the use of quality whole nuts.

If that’s your thing, you’re going to love these. For me, the gianduja bar and Acero 95% with maple sugar are the pick of this particular bunch.

Note: These bars were sent for review by Amedei’s UK distributor King’s Fine Food. They are available to buy online from King’s and other chocolate retailers.

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