One of my earliest and most staunchly supportive blog readers (who wasn’t a family member or friend from daily life) was the inimitable Louise, also known as she of many blogs. Although Louise initially found my blog through being an internet friend of my mother, we soon bonded over our love of chocolate, Paris, and chocolate.
*** Oops, hang on. The Ballad of Czolgosz from Sondheim’s Assassins has just come on iTunes. You’ll have to excuse me while I march around my room singing. Czolgosz, angry man / Said, “I will do what a poor man can. / Yes, and there’s nowhere more fitting than / In the Temple Of Music by the Tower Of Light / Between the Fountain Of Abundance and the Court of Lilies / At the great Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo!”
Okay, I’m done now. ***
Louise not only cheers on my chocolate obsession through considered comments on this blog, she’s even gone so far as to send me a parcel of chocolate from her holiday in New Zealand. Louise, I thank you profusely for your generosity. Smileface!
Bennetts of Mangawhai 70% Dark Chocolate
According to the Bennetts of Mangawhai website, the chocolate pictured above is simply one of many delicious creations made by Mary and Clayton Bennett who, after training in Europe, set up a chocolaterie in Mangawhai, New Zealand. I was delighted to get the chance to sample a non-Whittaker’s New Zealand chocolate, and found myself opening my bar of 70% Dark Chocolate with eagerness.
As soon as the chocolate came into view, I became transfixed by the fine straight lines running down each square of brown-black chocolate, so much so that I almost missed the chocolate’s subtle aromas of lychee, golden syrup, rooibos tea, cloves, and cocoa powder.
Luckily, I managed to pull myself away from the hypnotic embossing on the chocolate, but was almost immediately distracted again by the way in which the name “Mangawhai” reminds me of “Mogwai”, that super-cute pre-evil-gremlin creature.
Eventually, though, I managed to focus on the chocolate itself.
And what a treat it was! Louise, you done good. While I’ve often shied away from 70% range in favour of darker chocolates, I was thrilled by the undulating waves of cream, smoke, caramel fudge, muscovado sugar, butter, and lingering rich deep chocolatiness that swept over me with each bite of this chocolate.
The texture provided a slight resistance before melting into a dense fudginess, and every time I let the chocolate dissolve on my tongue I was amazed by how, right when you thought the flavour must finally vanish, a burst of floral, caramel-esque, dusky, woodsy, not-burnt-not-acidic-not-sour-but-vanilla-marshmallow-tinted chocolate deliciousness would appear.
Having now discovered that Bennetts of Mangawhai makes a dark chocolate worthy of savouring, I can’t help longing to try the same company’s Feijoa Chocolate.
Anyone want to buy me a return ticket to New Zealand?