Cocoa Farm (www.farmbynature.com.au) is the only chocolate maker that grow their own cocoa beans in Australia and only the second Aussie manufacturer to make their chocolate direct from the cocoa bean instead of the paste (Haigh’s is the other, but they purchase their beans overseas without any pesky middlemen). This is a huge positive because it means that there’s no need to worry about any poor overseas farmers being ripped off by bean buyers who then on-sell to the large factories.
Cocoa Farm’s beans are grown in the warmth of tropical north Queensland (I so wish they’d invite me to come and stay for a while) and the business and manufacturing is done further south in colder Melbourne. In addition to making organic blocks, they are rapidly becoming famous – and loved – for their wine chocolates – merlot, pinot noir and shiraz; their wine drops (dried wine grapes coated in dark chocolate) and their sugar free blocks (I previously reviewed their mango, lime and chilli flavour).
Their Organic Dark Chocolate Orange, however, has been the one I’ve been most wanting to try. Orange and chocolate is one of my all time favourite flavour pairings and I was keen to see if the Cocoa Farm’s 2007 gold and silver award winning products were worth the hyperbole. And the price tag. At six dollars for a 100g block, they are not cheap by Cadbury or Nestle standards, so my expectations were running high: it needed to give me a decent bang for my buck.
As you can see, the squares aren’t adorned with any sexy logo and were a little bit crumbly – mostly because I accidentally dropped the block on the floor before I opened it. They also aren’t particularly glossy but that’s neither here nor there for me – how do they taste??
Ah, not yet, my pretties. At 52% minimum cocoa solids and all organic ingredients including orange oil and puree, the scent was calling out my name the moment the golden cocoa bean wrapper was slashed open. Despite being described as being ‘spiked with zesty pieces of orange’, they weren’t visible to the naked eye.
But to the tongue and tastebuds they most definitely were. The not-too-strong dark chocolate had a lovely dusty, coffee flavour that easily melted in the mouth and left some gorgeously moist and flavoursome orange pieces to savour at the end. “Mmm, there’s some nice chewy bits when the chocolate’s disappeared”, was how my nine year old described it. “Is there any more?”
Alas no. One hundred measly grams is a very cruel measure for a ‘block’, and we picked up every little crumb that was lingering on the plate. Top notch stuff.