Having recently reviewed (and been rather taken with) Hotel Chocolat’s rather posh Liquid Chocolat, when I spotted this on offer in a Tesco’s I thought to myself “What the heck. It’s winter. Let’s review some more posh drinking chocolate.” As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, I’m sure there are many of you out there who look forward to a big mug of steaming hot cocoa before bedtime, so I think it only fitting that I should check out some of the alternatives to that purple tin that lives in your kitchen cupboard.
For obvious reasons, the label caught my eye immediately. Who wouldn’t fancy 100% pure Belgian chocolate, especially if it came with a hefty dose of Pure Indulgence?
A quick glance at the company’s web site tells me that their drinking chocolate is widely available throughout the UK and in Europe, the USA and Australia. as well as a handful of other places. All good news – something you should all be able to get hold of. They also tell us that this stuff is made from pure Belgian chocolate – no added sugars, trans fats or other additives.
The contents of the tin seemed to bear this out – a bag of chocolate pellets, not powder, and with a cocoa content of just under 44%. However, a quick read of the other contents revealed that the sugar content of this product is 13.8g per 25g. That’s over 50% sugar!
I followed the instructions on the tin and made up a mug of this stuff, using 4 rather than 5 teaspoons of the pellets. I added hot milk to the pellets and stirred them into a paste, watching the milk turn all chocolatey (oops, sorry, wrong product) and having a good sniff of it as it melted. It did smell rather good, and I was looking forward to my first mouthful.
Then came the disappointment – this stuff is absolutely LOADED with sugar. As I sipped at the drink, all of the subtle cocoa flavours that began to spread across my tongue were completely stomped on by an overpowering sickly sweetness. If I’d been ten years old I’d probably have loved it, but if I had a ten year old, there’s no way I’d offer this to it as a bedtime drink – you’d have to strap the little blighter to the bed after this kind of sugar rush!
I can’t help feeling that this is an avoidable error. Surely all that is needed is for Drink Dark Choc to drastically reduce the amount of sugar in their chocolate and to add a simple “Add sugar to taste” at the end of the recipe instructions? Instead, what should be an ‘adult’ chocolate drink comes out tasting like a cheap confection, and one so sweet that I suspect the majority of purchases have been one offs, and that’s probably why it was going cheap when I found it. I can’t help but think that if this product is going to succeed with it’s target consumers (i.e. adults) then that sugar level is going to have to drop dramatically.
It my be cheaper than Liquid Chocolat, but I found it nowhere near as appealing.