Before we move onto the delicious, delicious chocolate, I thought I’d announce the winner of my CSN giveaway. I first diligently wrote down and numbered each entry on a piece of paper (actually, it was the back of a grocery store receipt detailing my purchase of half a savoy cabbage, a jar of sunflower seed butter, frozen broad beans, wheat germ, and floss… because dental hygiene is important), and then I trusted in the random number generator Internet gods to pick a winner for me.
And the winner is…
Gena of the fabulously creative and always immaculately-proofread blog Choosing Raw! Gena, I hope this voucher helps take some of the sting out of your new medical school financial commitments. I can’t wait to see what you pick from CSN! (Expect an email from me soon with the details.)
With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, it’s time for the chocolate. The delicious, delicious chocolate.
Whittaker’s Dark Caramel Chocolate
I wish this chocolate was vegan. You see, if this chocolate was vegan, I could tell the lovely Vaala (who so generously sent it to me from New Zealand) that it’s scrumptious and she must eat it. Alas! As Vaala is vegan and this chocolate is not, I can only tell her that it’s scrumptious.
Also, if Whittaker’s Dark Caramel Chocolate was vegan, I wouldn’t currently be experiencing grumblings from my lactose-intolerant tummy as a consequence of eating half of the 250g block in one sitting.
Sigh. Life is stupid sometimes.
I have to admit to being moderately surprised by how much I liked this chocolate. I’m usually more of a super-dark-rich-not-too-sweet chocolate person, and so creations that tend towards the sugary side of life, as this does, tend to get a lacklustre response from me. However, I’ve come up with a rationale for why I was easily able to eat 125g of this caramel chocolate in one go whilst watching Castle*:
It just works.
The dark chocolate is the same 62% blend I’ve talked about here, and yet an interesting point is that the chocolate tastes far more complex and nuanced when offset by the sweet caramel filling than it does when eaten on its own. That said, this chocolate block is really about one thing, and one thing only… the caramel.
It’s somewhat de rigueur in dessert-loving circles these days to scoff at plain caramel while reserving all plaudits for the salted version. However, sometimes straight-up caramel is delicious and full of layered flavours even without the addition of fancypants sea salt flakes.
The caramel that Whittaker’s employs, for example, starts with a buttery sweetness that transitions into fruity notes of pineapple and citrus. What really sets it apart, though, is its magical almost honey-like taste.
The chocolate’s smoky tones contrasting with the toffee and honey notes of the caramel is, in a word, sweetly-yummy-tummy-fabulous, and becomes even more so when you let an entire square melt in your mouth. And then another. And another.
And then you realise that you’ve had more sugar in the space of twenty minutes than rational people eat in a day, which makes you feel naughty. Luckily for you, though, you know that you’d much rather be a chocolate fiend than a rational person anyway.
* I had no intention of watching Castle, despite loving Firefly, Serenity, and Nathan Fillion. However, a little Chocolate Suze Birdie told me that it is worth watching after all, and who am I to ignore the advice of a lady who chose a giant lollypop for her wedding bouquet?