Berkshire Bark’s Mocha Buzz chocolate is like a six-year-old playing dress-ups in her/his (yep, I don’t discriminate) mother’s wardrobe. Picture a pink skirt atop sequined tights underneath a green blouse, black vest and pleather jacket, topped off with three separate strands of fake pearls, a cowboy hat, and red high heels.
What do you get? A hodge podge. An outfit with so much going on that you find it impossible to focus on the person wearing it. You can’t help thinking that certain parts of the outfit are quite stylish, and some even work together (the vest and the cowboy hat, for example, if you’re into that kind of thing). Other parts are completely unnecessary (since when is pleather ever okay?*) yet, somehow, the idea of throwing on everything that appeals is slightly charming.
Enter the following chocolate.
Berkshire Bark Mocha Buzz
The components of the above creation are milk chocolate, roasted almonds, caramel (more like fudge), dark chocolate, crushed coffee beans, and cacao nibs. Altogether, these ingredients create an aroma not unlike a Starbucks Frappuccino, which I’ve mentioned before are a guilty love of mine. A guilty can’t-be-indulged-in love of mine, that is. (Darn you Starbucks for removing your stores from Canberra.)
I found that my experience and opinion of this chocolate differed drastically depending on which components entered my mouth in any given nibble. For example, when I got a bite of chocolate (milk chocolate, that is… I never found the alleged dark chocolate) that had nothing but a chewy lump of fudge-like caramel within, I wasn’t impressed. It was too sweet, as the caramel provided no salty, burnt, or toffee edges to counter the excessive sugar wallop.
On the other hand, the almonds were consistently well-roasted and crisp, so that the bites combining chocolate and almond were pleasant and flavourful. Back to the negatives, the cacao nibs were neither assertive nor plentiful enough to make a discernible impact on the flavour, and instead got lost in the maelstrom of ingredients.
However, on the positive side (again), the crushed coffee beans were dispersed generously throughout the bar. In my opinion, the coffee beans made this chocolate sing. The bitter espresso kick played against the sweetness of the chocolate (and even the fudge, to a degree) in such a way that the sweetness began to make sense. In addition, when I chanced upon a combination of chocolate, almonds, and coffee, all I could think was “more, please”.
I have to admit that the base chocolate used by Berkshire Bark here was nothing special. Moreover, my sense of the chocolate bar as a whole was of that same dressing-up kid trying to do too much, too fast, too soon.
I’m pretty sure I have another Berkshire Bark flavour in my stash and, if I do, I look forward to seeing whether or not it suffers from the same ill-conceived but well-meaning hodge-podginess as this Mocha Buzz.
Question Time: Did you ever dress up in your parents’ clothing? I can’t remember ever doing it myself, but I don’t think I was a particularly fashion-forward child. (See below)
* I wish someone had told 13-year-old me to stay away from pleather jackets.