Yarra Valley Chocolate Swirl

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on February 5 2009 | Leave A Comment

I was in the department store David Jones on a sweltering 39C day and, in air-conditioned comfort happened to ‘find’ myself in their gourmet food hall’s chocolate section.

Yarra Valley Chocolate Swirl

Admittedly what attracted me initially was the similarity to those Hotel Chocolat type of slabs that lucky Dom always gets to try – the mixture of dark and milk swirls in a home-made-looking splodge appealed to my eyes as well as my tastebuds.

Plus, it’s my new local – Victoria. The ingredients looked fine – sugar, cocoa butter, milk, cocoa mass, emulsifier and vanillin, but I laughed at their suggestion that the bar consisted of six-and-a-quarter 25 servings of 20g each. Then, after looking at the price tag of $13.95 for a mere 125g, their measly serves made sense – this stuff costs $2.23 for a mouthful, or $111.60 per kilogram. This is significantly more than the standard luxury chocolate, hand-made truffles, than generally retail for around $95 per kilogram.

That’s big bucks for a small block. But was it worth the price?

Yarra Valley Chocolate Swirl

The smell was a very sweet one when freed from the strong plastic wrapper and I was encouraged by the description as ‘Belgian-style coverture chocolate.’ Coverture is essentially good quality chocolate that is favoured by chocolatiers because it melts quickly and has at least 32% cocoa solids. The cocoa solids weren’t specified in this block, probably because it was a mixture of milk and dark.

There was no satisfyingly snappy ‘thock’ sound when I broke off a chunk, but I’m prepared to allow that the summer heat was more responsible for this than the freshness of the product.

In my mouth, the chunk was decidedly creamy and it was the milk chocolate stood out as the key note flavour. This surprised me, until the dark asserted itself. Sadly, the dark had a distinctly unpleasant ‘cooking chocolate’ taste to it that jarred unflatteringly when compared to the sweet and superior blend of the milk. Instead of being a nice pairing, the dark actually ruined the bar for me and this would not be one I’d ever buy – or pay such a price for – again. In fact, I don’t think it would stand a chance against faithful stalwarts like Cadbury or Nestlé either.

Moral of this story – Pretty, Local and Pricey doesn’t necessarily equal Delicious, Decadent or Deserved.


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Comments On This Post

  1. river

    The bar does LOOK very pretty though. Shame about the taste.
    I’m more curious as to how one “finds” oneself in a department store. Does one accidentally walk past a mirror, look into it and say “oh, THERE I am..” Heh.

  2. Anton

    I am surprised by your experience. I was introduced to the Yarra Valley chocolates during a tasting at David Jones before Christmas. My wife and I enjoyed the design and taste so much that we purchased several for gifts (and some for ourselves). We particularly enjoyed the competing flavours of the milk and dark chocolate. The gifts were very well received and we expereinced many compliments. Although I am not a fan of dark chocolate, I found that the combination of flavours, and the quality of the dark chocolate was such that I was left with no bitter after taste. To each his own, I guess…

  3. Sandy

    I like Anton gave Yarra Valley Chocolate a try and was both surprised and delighted, Yuuuuuuuummmmmm!!! It was creamy, rich and smooth. A real treat!! The mixture of dark and milk chocolate really worked for me too, Anton. Now my afternoon indulgence consists of a cup of hot tea and some Yarra Valley Chocolate. The hot tea melts the chocolate in your mouth. I even confess to having a little with my morning coffee on those special occasions like Christmas or Easter.
    For those of you who love your chocolate I highly recommend you give Yarra Valley Chocolate a try. I was definitely not disappointed.

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