In the comment section of my Vestri Girone dei Golosi post, Camille recommended Askinosie for a good white chocolate experience. Askinosie makes its white chocolate with non-deodorised cocoa butter and goat’s milk powder, and the flavour is utterly unlike your standard supermarket Cadbury Dream-style white chocolate. I have, pre-blog, had Askinosie’s plain, pistachio, and cacao nib white chocolate bars, and would have them in regular rotation in Australia were it not for the fact that they cost $AU20 per 85g bar. (Still, cheaper than Manolo Blahniks, right?)
The discussion about Askinosie was most fitting, though, because I had just bought one of Askinosie’s newer dark chocolates with the intention of reviewing it. So what better time than now?
Askinosie Davao Dark Milk Chocolate with Fleur de Sel
First of all, at 62% and very dark in colour, I doubt anyone could pick this bar as milk simply by looking at it. It also tastes nothing like normal milk chocolate. Instead of using sugar and milk powder as its primary ingredients, Askinosie’s Davao Dark Milk lists cocoa beans first, which means that the cocoa is in higher proportion than the sugar and dairy components.
The other, and perhaps more significant, reason for this bar’s delectableness is that the dairy used is goat’s milk powder – and it shows. Don’t get me wrong; eating this chocolate is not like chewing on goat’s cheese. However, the tangy flavour of chevre is definitely present, and oh my bucket is its presence welcome.
From memory, the chevre flavour was stronger in the white chocolate, but that makes sense as the cocoa beans here lend an assertive chocolatiness that cuts through the cultured dairy richness. The tanginess could also be likened to that of plain yoghurt or buttermilk, and the overall flavour to a rich, dense, luxurious chocolate cheesecake.
Interestingly, the sea salt is here integrated into the base chocolate rather than dispersed as tiny flakes or crystals (which seems the more common format for a chocolate + salt bar). As a result, the salt simply strengthens the cocoa, chevre, and cheesecake notes rather than jumping out with salty assertiveness at unexpected moments.
As I worked my way through this chocolate (in one go… *ahem*), I thought of thick hot chocolate, cultured butter, hay, marscapone, and molasses, but mostly I thought about how utterly satisfying and get-again-able this chocolate was.