I have to admit that the marketing tag line does put me off a bit; but it also intrigues a little: I’d never heard of Seaton Fire. But then again, I’m not much into chilli chocolate as well – it’s one of those things that seems a neat idea and frequently disappoints. So I was not really expecting much – perhaps because I’m especially fussy. I’ve also found that colleagues and friends tend to have a love/hate relationship with chilli in chocolate. In case it’s not obvious – I’m kinda lukewarm about chilli chocolate. OK, enough of the puns.
Anyway, the samples had arrived: Slightly Wild dark chocolate (cocoa 57% and heat rating 4/10), and Mild Chai (cocoa 35% and heat rating also 4/10). I’d expected to be the usual piggy and rip open the packs, to see what was inside. I was foiled at the first step though – the packaging here is simple, yet very striking. I paused to consider that this might be something out of the ordinary. A cardboard outer package – the same on all products – with a simple sleeve gives way, inside, to a huge chilli cut-out showing the bright foil wrapping beneath. I’ve never seen anything like this before – simple, and stunning. Removing a layer reveals a printed card (bookmark?), that is different in each pack. One was instructions on how to taste the chocolate!
However, moving on, each needed to be tasted in turn.
Being a dark side dweller, it seemed appropriate to do things completely the wrong way and check the “Slightly Wild” first. Opening the foil is interesting – the chocolate bursts with a rich, slightly sweet, slightly spicy aroma. This is clearly made from a quality couverture – I was curious enough to email the makers and ask. They won’t tell me what they use, only that it is Belgian and the highest quality they can get.
On tasting and letting it slowly melt, the chocolate flavours leap to the fore, and there is a little sweetness. Personally, I’d like it a little darker and a little less sweet but it’s still VERY nice. The chilli slowly develops into a pleasant heat which does not overpower or dominate. I’m pleasantly surprised. I asked The Lady Of The House to give it a try – she’s not a chilli chocolate person at all. But she agrees, this is very good indeed.
Next: the Mild Chai. This is a milk chocolate containing mysterious Chai spices. The web site does not enlighten me at all. I’ve always assumed Chai is just a fancy word for Tea. Perhaps not, at least in this case. The colour is noticeably lighter, and the aroma on this is less pronounced – there is a slightly spicy tone, but it remains a bit of a mystery. Tasting this is unlike other milk chocolates and about as far as you can get from a Cadbury Dairy Milk. There is a faint and very subtle spiciness, a building flavour and complexity profile, and then the chilli develops. I have no idea where the flavours come from, but it’s really yum. The chilli heat builds slowly, again, not dominating or overpowering. I don’t normally like milk chocolate much but I could scoff the block of this down without any effort at all.
These would have to be two of the best examples of chilli chocolate I’ve ever come across: both are exceptional. That marketing spiel was right. The only downside is the cost – at A$15 each these are not cheap. However, for something very special I can certainly recommend them.