First, I have to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to write such lovely words of support on my last post. You see, I’m well aware of the fact that my story could have been interpreted as that of a young lady influenced by the same substance that led The Beatles to write Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
Luckily, I wouldn’t know such a substance from a bar of soap. I mean, think about it. I can make a single bottle of Corona last for three hours. My BFF nicknamed me Cubey, because I go beyond being square sometimes. My idea of a dare is eating a pickle relish-topped peanut butter pretzel.
And I take tasting notes of every chocolate that I eat.
Casino Délices Noir Tanzanie 85% aux Amandes Effilées
You know what it means when I showcase a chocolate from France, right?
It means that my favourite pastry chef has been wearing her superhero-friend outfit again. Yep, the lovely Camille, who took me to both a Vietnamese restaurant and an innovative patisserie in Paris last year, recently sent me a care package of chocolate from France. She said it was to replace the 800g of chocolate I was forced to throw out when weevils attacked, but I knew better. It was just because she’s lovely.
With a high cacao content of 85%, it came as no surprise when this chocolate was almost black in colour, and broke apart with a satisfyingly sharp snap. (A “clack”, if you will.) What was surprising, though, was that this Casino Délices chocolate didn’t have much to offer in the way of an aroma. My (admittedly not-stellar) nose was barely able to pick up on hints of brown sugar amidst dusky cocoa notes.
When I took my first bite, I tasted… nothing. I started to wonder whether Camille was playing some sort of cruel French joke on me that I lacked the language skills to understand. (J’aime des chameaux is about the extent of my French-speaking capacities.)
Before I fell too far into a spiral of chocolate sadness, however, I took another bite.
This time, the chocolate was delicious. My only guess is that, somewhere between the first and second nibble, the world spun on its axis and my chocolate brain (as opposed to my normal brain) started working again.
The chocolate was intense and rich, smoky like the ember-flecked swirls that arise from backyard bonfires, slightly sour with raspberry notes, and mellowed by the flavours of clotted cream, bitter cocoa powder, and sweet vanilla. The almonds were thin slivers of crunchy, darkly-roasted nuttiness, and the texture of the chocolate was far smoother than is often the case with high percentage chocolates.
Camille, please forgive me for my moment of doubt. This chocolate was splendid, and provided the perfect energy-boost for continuing with yesterday’s cartwheeling.