Benoît Nihant is a new name to me. A Belgian bean-to-bar chocolate maker and chocolatier, his chocolate was one of our new discoveries at Chocolate Unwrapped this year.
I got to try several if his creations at Chocolate Unwrapped, but this was probably my favourite – a 50 cocoa solids milk chocolate made from Madagascan beans with fleur de sel.
The front of the pack helpfully also tells me that it’s made from Trinitario beans, is stone ground and conched for 70 hours. If only all chocolate labelling were so clear.
I love the fruitiness of Madagascan beans, and nothing sets that flavour off like a hint of salt. Indeed, the Mast Brothers 72% Madagascan With Fleur De Sel is still one of my favourite bean-to-bar chocolates.
This is a little different to the Mast Brothers bar – for one thing it’s a milk chocolate, and for another, the salt is added to the chocolate itself, rather than simply being sprinkled on top. The result is a consistent flavour, rather than an instant salt-hit, and I think I prefer it this way.
The texture is soft and a little grainy, but the flavour is really good. There’s a little bit of the fruitiness you’d expect from Madagascan beans, but it also has caramel, liquorice and a hint of Marmite thanks to the salt. Yeah you heard me. Marmite. Overall, a rather enjoyable experience – I just wish the bars were a little more than 50g, as this is the kind of thing I could nibble on all day.