I’ve been lucky enough to try a slew of new British bean-to-bar chocolates recently and I’ll be sharing some of my discoveries here over the next few weeks.
The first bar I want to tell you about is this Java origin milk chocolate from Chocolarder of Cornwall. Owner and pastry chef Michael Longman set up Chocolarder in 2012 as a reaction to the mass market chocolate he was finding which considered old fashioned and out of touch with modern values.
Michael has a passion for ethics and sustainability, sourcing his beans directly from the farmers and transporting them with zero carbon footprint. He tells me the beans are transported by sail ship into the local harbour at Falmouth and then by horse drawn carriage to the factory up the road for a little added showmanship. If that’s true, it’s something I would love to see!
The packaging is both elegant and functional. The bars are sealed inside paper bags and slipped into an attractive card pouch that can easily be resealed. There’s plenty of information on the label too. I can tell you that this is batch #C6 and the Trinitario beans were conched for 68 hours, it’s 40% cocoa solids, 30% milk solids and contains just three ingredients; Cocoa Beans, Raw Cane Sugar and Whole Milk Powder.
The moulding on the bar wasn’t quite perfect on my bar, but due to a courier who had clearly decided to play football with my parcel, it’s not worth me showing it. Suffice to say even broken into a few pieces, it was well tempered and looked good.
The tasting notes describe Javan Milk as “rich and creamy milk chocolate with clotted cream notes and occasional hints of raisin and fudge”, but I got another flavour note and I got it big time: Coconut. In fact, there is a coconutty aroma the moment you open the packet. Now I don’t know if this is something to do with how the chocolate has been stored, aged, or something in the beans themselves, but I happen to love coconut and I love this chocolate!
It’s very creamy (you can almost taste fresh cream), and has a very pleasant chocolatey flavour, and that hint of fudge is certainly there too. But coconut is the dominant flavour here, and if that’s your thing you really will love this bar.
One of the joys of small batch chocolate, is that I have no idea if this is deliberate, or if the next batch will taste anything like this one. Where mass produced chocolate is specifically designed to maintain a uniform flavour with every batch, chocolate like this changes and evolves with different harvests, slight variations in the roast, the conche, and even how the chocolate is stored.
For now though, I’m very happy with this creamy, coconutty milk chocolate. If you love those flavours and you’re looking to trade up to something a little better, then I highly recommend giving this a go.