I hope your day was filled with hugs, laughter, delicious eats, socks warm from the oven (what?), hugs, more hugs, and chocolate.
As is tradition in my family, we drove out of Canberra to enjoy a leisurely long lunch in the countryside. This time, we went to a restaurant situated next door to an equestrian centre, which made me long to relive my cowboy glory days. Unfortunately, my dress wasn’t exactly appropriate riding gear, so I had to placate myself with deep-fried goodness for lunch instead.
But more on that later. Today, being Easter and all, I thought it more appropriate to bring you a chocolate review. Not of Easter chocolate, because I don’t have any of that, but chocolate nonetheless.
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Caramel
While wandering the aisles of my local Coles the other day, shopping basket in hand full of tofu, Brussels sprouts (they were on sale! O Happy Day!), Listerine, and puppies, I spotted something that made my heart skip a beat.
A new Lindt chocolate bar. One I had heard no prior rumblings about, either from the vicinity of the chocolate blogging world or from my psychic stomach.
“Fine dark chocolate with crispy caramel pieces” proclaims the blurb on the back. Sadly, the blurb on the back also proclaims milk fat, lactose, skimmed milk powder, and a rather lowly 47% cocoa solids. This bar is therefore not vegan, not dairy-free, and not really proper dark chocolate, but I care about you all so much that I bought and ate it anyway. Please address your thank-you notes to my lactose intolerance.
Onto the tasting! Onto the tasting notes! Yippee!
I was surprised by the crisp snap of this chocolate, as I’m used to Lindt’s 47% Excellence range tending towards a softer texture. Aroma-wise, I picked up caramel milkshakes, a hint of raspberry, and notes of McDonalds’ hot chocolate fudge sauce, which I haven’t had in over a decade but which I used to love as a kiddlywink.
My first bite brought forth the flavour of sweet toffee, with hints of salt and butter that don’t seem to be reflected in the ingredients list. But then again, who am I to judge? Perhaps milk fat and lactose combine to taste exactly like the butter they’re derived from? You know, like how the babies that result from a tiger breeding with an echidna start to resemble both species as they grow up?
Interestingly, the sweetness of the crispy, crackly, and generously-dispersed toffee pieces in this Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Caramel enable the chocolate itself to seem far darker than its 47% cocoa content would suggest. The dark chocolate carries notes of pineapple, brown sugar, and again that certain fast food chain’s hot fudge sauce. The chocolate is smooth and melts well, interrupted only by the impossible-not-to-chew-and-crunch caramel pieces.
While my favourite Lindt block has always been the 85% followed by the Chilli, I may have found another contender for the throne. My heart does baulk at the 47% cocoa content and the silly use of dairy in the caramel, but I can’t help thinking that this chocolate is rather nice.
I think I’ll buy more.