These Finnish chocolate buttons were sent over by a Doctor – Doctor Sam Thompson from No Nuts, Just Chocolate. Dr. Sam specialises in selling nut-free chocolates, and these chocolate buttons from Dammenberg are guaranteed nut-free, kosher, and gluten free.
They come in three ‘strengths’. There’s a Milk version at 34% cocoa, a Dark at 55%, and X-Dark at 72%. Here in the UK we tend to think of chocolate buttons as something for children. Obviously things are different on the Continent. (I can’t see many kids scoffing handfuls of 72% cocoa buttons).
The milk version is definitely the sweetest of the three. It has great cocoa flavours and melts quickly with a good mouthfeel. The cocoa flavours keep on building right up to the last, making this an extremely moreish little treat. They’re probably as good as any milk chocolate I’ve had recently.
When I tasted the Dark buttons the first thing I noticed was that the sweetness of the Milk version was gone. The cocoa flavours are much darker, with a pronounced bittersweet edge. The cocoa is quite subtle at first, and as the chocolate melts you start to taste the deeper, woody flavours. They’re very different to the Milk version, and to my mind they’d be a good ‘bridge’ for the milk chocolate lover who wants to try something a little darker.
Top of the shop (in terms of coca content at least) is a 72% cocoa button – the X-Dark (which sounds like some sort of secret weapon). These buttons have a sharper aroma with a distinct leather-and-wood smell. In the mouth they pack a deep, dark punch which softens as the cocoa starts to release more of its flavours. The overall taste is strong, slightly sharp cocoa highs with a soft, clean finish.
I enjoyed all of these chocolate buttons. The Milk ones are very good, sweet milk chocolate and the X-Dark delivers some excellent flavours. To me, the Dark buttons seemed unnecessary. They don’t have the soft, full cocoa flavours of the Milk buttons or the full-on, sharp, complex tastes that the X-dark have. Tasting them in order of cocoa content worked just fine, but when I tasted a Dark button after the X-Dark there was very little there.
I’m not fully aware of how much of a market there is for this sort of chocolate in the UK, but I can only assume that there is demand for nut-free products, and if so then this range of chocolate buttons might well be worth checking out.