Chocovic is a Spanish company that not only makes blocks for Joe Public to buy and enjoy but also delivers huge bags of melts and slabs for serious chefs such as Barcelona chef and chocolatier, Ramon Morato.
His book, ‘Ramon Morato Chocolate’ was awarded the Best 2007 Chocolate Book of the Year and he recently appeared at the Melbourne Food and Wine festival. I made sure I had prime seats and was intrigued when he told us that he was using Chocovic in his recipe and also proceeded to use a bamix whipper to add extra air and zest: that was something I’d never seen done before to melted chocolate.
His broken English and humour immediately endeared himself to the audience when he said, “Chocolate is a mold, like a dark t-shirt. It is easy to combine with other clothes, other ingredients, sorry for my English.”
When asked by an audience member where he found his inspirations, he replied that it mostly came from reading old cookbooks and seeking new ways to update them. “We don’t invent the nothing, we rediscover,” he said.
The delicacy he ended up producing for us was his famous macaroon hamburger:
Using cocoa-flavoured mararoons with caramelised sesame seeds as the buns, the ‘meat’ was a delicious Chocovic dark chocolate ganache. Sliced peach formed the cheese, with mango shreds as the onions, fresh mint for lettuce and a fresh berry coulis for the ketchup.
He was inspiring enough for me to immediately head to the Chocovic stand to buy some of the chocolate. They had four flavours on offer as part of their Selvaticas – Exotic Tastes range that celebrate the lush rainforests that most of their cocoa is sourced from.
Their first block, Jaina, is white but contains 31% cocoa solids. This presented a quandary for me – is it chocolate, or not? On very first nibble, it tasted like all very sweet white chocolate but as the seconds ticked by, the distinct added tang of yoghurt was also present. The wrapper told me that it has “aromas sweeter than vanilla-scented milk, full of the promise of melted caramel you can taste at the base of your teeth. You sense the combination of sugar and acidity.” Nicely said.
I really enjoyed this – for a white chocolate – and found it surprisingly more-ish. I could manage about four squares (or 40 grams which is half the block), but no more because of its sweetness and that’s saying something for someone who can polish off a 250 gram family block without the family being present.
The second block, Nayarit, is a milk chocolate with 37% cocoa solids, and informed me that “as it melts between the tongue and palate is reveals three distinctive flavours in turn: sweet, bitter and salty.”
That’s a pretty big claim for a mild milk chocolate, but the tasting did reveal it to be surprisingly complex, again with a yoghurt tang to add intrigue. The chocolate itself doesn’t have the classic silky smooth, easy-melt texture that you associate with, say, Swiss chocolate, but has a powdery texture that does indeed hint at salty flavours amongst the sweet.
Both blocks are unusual and can’t be directly compared to standard white and milk chocolate. I’d love to see what Ramon makes with these two blocks, but maybe I’ll have to save up for his cookbook to find out.