While I’d never claim to be the easiest person to buy gifts for, there are definitely a few safe bets which will always keep me happy. And that’s probably why every Christmas, one friend always stops off at Toronto’s Soma Chocolatemaker to pick up some bits and pieces for me.
In addition to replenishing my stash of their wonderful Dark Fire chocolate (I was getting a little twitchy not having some in the house for emergencies), she also got me one of their special Chocolate Twigs that they make just for the Festive Season. This year they had Coconut Caramel with Maldon Salt, Mudslide (with Kahlua, Baileys and Whisky) and Pineapple Ginger, which is the one I was given.
The twig came very well disguised in a cardboard mailing tube, making it hard to know just what was hiding within. Whilst the name conjures up mental images of slim, slightly irregular chocolate fingers, that wasn’t the case when I opened up the tube – these really aren’t very twig-like at all. Instead, there was a single chunky bar of chocolate, between six or seven inches in length and an inch wide. More a plank than a twig, but that’s just splitting hairs. Or logs.
There’s a lot to take in from the outside with this particular variety. One side is very knobbly thanks to a layer of souffletine – those small crisp cereal balls – which adds plenty of crunch to the bar. But the real stars here are those advertised on the outside: the pineapple and the ginger because they are the things that dominate the proceedings.
The chocolate is nice and dark – no percentage stated but I’m thinking about 60% – but it isn’t one of Soma’s big bold chocolates because it is happy enough to hold back and let the added stuff do the heavy lifting. Ginger is the most obvious flavour with its distinctive tingle, and then after a bit of chewing there’s the sweetness of pineapple sharing the spotlight. It is a great combination that I wouldn’t necessarily associate with Christmas as it made me think more of sunnier, tropical climes which isn’t a bad thing to be thinking about during a Canadian winter.
It is definitely the kind of bar which needs to be nibbled rather than eaten in one sitting because it is a little on the sweet side. Plus the dimensions of the twig make it easier to cut chunks off with a knife rather that bite at. It might even be designed to be shared, but sharing Soma’s chocolate isn’t always the first thing that comes to my mind at least.