Venturing over to the (pause for effect) *Dark Side* can be a little bit scary. When you see blocks and bars stating that they have a minimum cocoa content of 50%, 60%, 70% and 85% it can seem a bit like a choco-challenge of strength and fortitude instead of the fun and frivolous activity it really should be.
A great deal of the standard milk chocolate we’ve all inhaled since childhood often only contains around 20-30% cocoa solids and is instead well-padded out with milk (or the ever-intriguing ‘milk solids’), butter, oils and sugar. It is sweet and melts quickly.
In order to ease yourself over to the Dark Side, Lindt have some assorted squares available to try that range from very milky (around 20%) to the saliva-sucking bitterness of 85% cocoa content.
The best way to start immersing yourself into the joys of dark chocolate is to buy a pack of the 70% cocoa content squares from Lindt. This allows you to enjoy a few small tastes of serious dark chocolate rather than wasting an entire block. I’ve found from ‘bitter’ experience (boom boom) that sinking my teeth into an entire, solid row of intense dark is about as confronting as Pete Doherty a week before bath time, and just as unpalatable. Instead, these squares are big enough for a taste and small enough to counteract the bitterness of the first bite.
On opening my particular packet however, it was obvious from their whiteness that they’d melted and re-set again (bloody Australian weather and boiling hot cars carrying the groceries home). Whilst this does detract from their attractiveness, it doesn’t stop me from eating them (and nor should it stop you). Unless they are way, w-a-a-a-a-y past their ‘best before date’, eat up and enjoy. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or chocolate ‘holder’ in our case).
Each square is only a few grams of chocolate each and just the right amount to chew, suck, nibble and taste. Wash it down with a hot cup of black tea or strong coffee so that it helps the actual taste of the chocolate come forward.
You may still need something sweeter (I normally do) for every day eating, but it is still nice to throw off the conventional shackles of 60% or less and get down and dirty with devilish delights of the delicious Dark Side.