These mini bars are made in Brighton by The Chocolate Heart and one thing that sets them aside from many other chocolate makers is that this chocolate is dairy free, something I happen to know to be very important to a growing number of people. I hadn’t heard of The Chocolate Heart until last month’s South Bank Chocolate Festival in London, and so naturally I was keen to try some of their wares. They also produce raw chocolate bars, but it was these 64% Peruvian cocoa mini bars that caught my eye, and yes, there’s more salty chocolate in this review as well!
I also picked out these Rose Mini Bars, as I have enjoyed floral chocolate in many forms over the past year or two.
Like Lauden’s rather lovely rose ganaches, these mini bars use the same (incredibly expensive) rose oil for flavouring the chocolate. It was chosen for it’s purity of flavour and is reinforced with the addition of dried rose petals on the underside of each little bar. One thing I will say is that chewing on a dried rose petal may not be to everyone’s taste – it’s a little like the feeling you get when you accidentally leave a little piece of paper on a toffee and find yourself chewing on it as the toffee melts.
As far as the chocolate itself goes, the Peruvian cocoa delivers strong, robust flavour as soon as it begins to melt. Slightly sharp but balanced with undercurrents of burnt sugar, the cocoa is quite light and citrussy, with a very soft, smooth mouthfeel. It’s quick to melt, with a clean finish. The additional rose flavour is quite subtle, mingling well with the cocoa but never threatening to overpower it. If you’re a fan of Chocoholly’s Geranium fish you may find the floral flavours in this chocolate a little on the meek side. There’s no rush of Turkish Delight- type rose in this chocolate. It’s a more subtle affair.
The Himalayan Salt Mini Bars use exactly the same Peruvian chocolate as the Rose Bars, so it’s really just a question of whether the salt works well with their choice of coca, and how strong (or not) the saltiness is when you eat them. I’ve never seen Pink Himalayan salt ‘in the wild’ as it were, but the story is similar to the Rose bars. Soft, subtle saltiness without any chunks or highs and lows. It’s a consistent flavour which runs through the entire bar without any drama. The more hardened salty chocolate eater (and that probably includes both myself and Dom after recent experiences) may find these a little on the wimpy side, but I think the balance is good here.
Overall, I’d have to say that I think The Chocolate Heart have come up with some good products here. The dairy-free aspect is obviously a strong selling point for many, but these little bars are of sufficiently high standard to appeal to everyone. There is of course an online shop at their web site where you might be able to pick up more of their products, although when I tried to access pricing information about these Mini Bars I was less than successful.