This is my first Artisan du Chocolat bar, one of a range producd under the name ”Fusion’. As you might imagine from both the theme of the packaging and the name, this chocolate is based on the famous Mexican sauce Mole.
The back of the box has some tasting notes from Gerard Coleman (Mr. A du C).
“It is believed that Mole was created by the nuns of the Order of Santa Clara in the 17th century Mexico. Mole Poblano is now a popular sauce prepared with dried chiles (mulato, ancho, pasilla and chipotle), ground nuts, ground tortilla, cocoa beans and a long list of spices such as aniseed, coriander, allspice, clove and rosemary- all ground into a thick, rich and chocolate color paste. It traditionally accompanies poultry. This bar made by conching and refining South American cocoa beans with Mole plays on the tastebuds. It has depth, body and a mild pungency culminating in a pleasant heat. It is the balance of the multitude of ingredients in Mole that gives richness and sophistication to this bar.”
Multitude indeed – there are at least eleven ingredients in the ‘Mole’ part of this bar, including ground tortilla, thyme, numerous chillis and hoja santa, otherwise known as the Mexican pepperleaf. With so many ingredients and yet a promise of subtle flavours, I was intrigued.
The underlying spiciness is evident as soon as you sniff the chocolate. It has a warm, almost cake-like aroma sitting in there with the smell of the cocoa. If you’ve ever had Lebküchen (German gingerbread biscuits often sold around Xmas) then if I say that some of the underlying spice notes are very similar you’d probably understand.
The surprise was that as I began tasting I wasn’t assailed by a multitude of spicy flavours, and certainly no gingerbread/cake. There is a gentle warmth, that’s for sure, but the blend of spices never becomes overpowering, and certainly not enough to cause anxiety. The heat does build gently but it’s never a fight between chocolate and spice. One can always pick out the woody, deep cocoa tones from within the overall taste. Unusually for me I demolished most of the bar during the tasting process. Okay, so it’s only a baby at 45g, but still it’s unusual for me to eat so much in a sitting. I found myself enjoying the warmth and loving the mouthfeel and cocoa flavours.
When I visited the Artisan website I couldn’t help but notice that they’ve opened a cocktail bar in west London. I can feel a Chocablog Christmas party coming on!