I’m always on the lookout for new British bean-to-bar chocolate makers. By my calculations, there are currently just nine businesses in the UK making small batch chocolate from the bean commercially. Nine.
That’s nothing, but it’s still three times what it was a few years ago. More and more chocolatiers and chocolate lovers are having a go at making chocolate themselves, rather than buying it in, and I think we’re going to see a huge growth over the next few years.
Forever Cacao are based in Powys, Wales, where they make just one product; an 80% dark chocolate bar made from raw Peruvian cocoa beans.
The bar is very simply wrapped in thin foil and paper. There’s no attempt to replicate the current fashion of thick wallpaper-like wrapping here. It’s all about the chocolate.
The bar has a rich, dark red colour with a very glossy finish. The moulding is simple, but it’s one of the nicest looking bars I’ve seen recently. That gloss is partly down to a fairly high cocoa butter content, and that comes through in the texture. It’s initially very smooth, but as the chocolate melts, there is some graininess from the less refined cacao.
The first flavour that hits you is intensely chocolatey and really rather nice. The bar is sweetened with coconut blossom sugar, and I think that adds its own flavour to the chocolate too. As the chocolate melts though, it’s the raw, green and earthy flavours that come to the front. Unusually for a raw bar, there’s also a bit of a roasted note in there too.
It’s never bitter, but is in quite intense. I really quite enjoyed it, and the more I had, the more I liked it. If you’ve got a sweeter tooth, the flavours will probably be quite surprising, but I do think this is a chocolate anyone can enjoy.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what Forever Cacao come up with in the future. Although I don’t actively seek out raw chocolate, this is a bar that I would be happy to part with cash for. I just hope it helps inspire a few more people to having a go at making chocolate from the bean themselves.