Cocoa Farm have been shyly lurking on our local South Australian Foodland supermarket shelves and decent ‘cellar door’ wineries (such as Penfolds, home of Grange) for a wee while now, but have not been launched or advertised with any fanfare I’ve been aware of. Instead it was the packaging and the flavours that sounded intriguing: Shiraz wine chocolate and Mango, Lime and Chilli ‘no added sugar’ dark chocolate. Luckily too, Cocoa Farm is the only chocolatier in Australia that grow their own cocoa as well as make the chocolate. In fact, they’re the only cocoa bean growers in Australia.
That’s all very nice you’re thinking, but what about the chocolate? Fellow Chocablogger Simon has already covered the Shiraz Wine Chocolate which is a divine mixture of dark and milk chocolate with a cocoa content of 38% and actually does contain 11% Shiraz grapes and a non-specified amount of shiraz wine.
However, we had a second block (hopefully the first of many) to sample: the ‘No added sugar’ Mango, Lime and Chilli.
I am always skeptical about ‘no added sugar’ chocolate because it is precisely the sugar that complements the bitterness of the chocolate. In addition, after reading through the list of ingredients, I had no idea what ‘Maltitol’ or ‘Malic Acid’ was. After my fingers did some walkin’ good old Wikipedia informed me that Maltitol is a Sugar alcohol used as a Sugar substitute. It has 90% of the sweetness of normal table sugar and is used to replace sugar because it has fewer calories, does not promote tooth decay and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose. As for ‘Malic Acid’, Wikipedia explained that it originated from isolating apple juice a couple of centuries ago and is now the source of tartness in sweet foods such as Mega Warheads and of course, Mango, Lime and Chilli chocolate.
Well perhaps I asked too many questions because it tasted just like Cocoa Farm’s normal dark chocolate and nothing fake or engineered as I dreaded. As Love Chunks commented, “I can taste all of the ingredients.” That might be because the chocolate also has lime and chilli oils in it as well as pureed mango. It results in a very unique taste that almost had me believing I was eating a healthy fruit bar. The chocolate is the first to dissolve, leaving behind the fruity, chewy remnants of mango and chilli in a refreshing finish (never did I think I’d use the word ‘refreshing’ to describe a chocolate). As such, it would partner up quite well with a chilled glass of champagne or sparkling burgundy. Bottoms up!