This milk chocolate bar packs a hefty 52% cocoa solids and is the sibling to the Purist 72% Dark Madagascar bar I reviewed recently. It features beans from the same Menavava plantation, extra vanilla and cocoa nibs.
The format and packaging of the bar are exactly the same as the dark chocolate version. A nice, shaped slab, embossed with the Hotel Chocolat logo. There’s no defined chunks here, but it’s thin enough that you can easily snap off pieces of any size.
I saved a little of the dark chocolate bar to compare with this, and they really are quite different. That extra milk powder & vanilla and the addition of nibs make this an entirely different beast.
Where the dark chocolate bar is bright and fruity, this is duller and drier. Sure, there’s a bit of creaminess in there, but it seems to take away from the chocolate, rather than add to it. I guess the extra vanilla and nibs are there to put something back and give it a little more flavour, but for me, it doesn’t quite work.
The addition of nibs and vanilla give the chocolate a coffee-like edge, which while being nice enough, is a little harsh. The 72% is actually sweeter, lighter and more accessible than this version.
Having said all that, it’s still very nice in it’s own right. I just happen to love Madagascan dark chocolate, so adding milk and vanilla just doesn’t seem right.