This is one of a stack of bars I bought following our recent trip to the Zotter chocolate factory in Austria. With a huge shop, packed with hundreds of different products, it’s difficult to know where to start, so along with the selection of pralines, I just picked up a few of these “Hand Scooped” bars and a few from the “Labooko” range of solid bars.
The Hand Scooped range was my first introduction to Zotter back in 2010, when I looked at the rather odd Bacon Bits bar. This time I chose something a little more down to earth – Zotter Balsamic Orange bar is made with orange and balsamic vinegar.
In this case, the filling is made into a smooth ganache that’s really rather tasty. It’s made with orange concentrate, apple balsamic vinegar and grappa and has a good balance of chocolate, orange and acidity from the vinegar.
The entire bar is wrapped in a thin layer of Zotter’s 40% bean-to-bar “Mountain Milk” chocolate. It’s very nice, but with such a thin layer, it doesn’t bring a lot to the party. As with most of the Hand Scooped range, this is all about the filling.
I found this bar all to easy to eat. The texture is light enough that it’s almost like eating a piece of chocolate cake rather than a chocolate bar, and consequently it disappeared a little too quickly.
Of course, there are many people who simply don’t like the combination of chocolate and orange – or have had their tastebuds forever tainted by the Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Personally, I liked this a lot. It’s obviously not the most refined chocolate experience, but in terms of quality and flavour, it’s a huge step up from your average confectionery chocolate bar.