I’d like to point out that several of the full-scale bars belonged to Amber, and the smaller packets were mostly samples (thank you Mallory and Askinosie!) that Amber and I shared with Amber’s husband, Matt. (I would have shared this chocolate with my husband, too, except he doesn’t exist.)
The above photo is of chocolate-induced happiness. Just so you know.
The full-size Askinosie chocolates I bought will be reviewed later. Today’s post is about those I enjoyed in smaller quantities, but certainly not smaller enjoyment. Forthwith!
77% Davao, Philippines Dark Chocolate bar
Aroma of smoke, cedar, coffee, and wet earth in a rainforest. Vanilla and toasted marshmallows flicker lightly. Crisp snap and rich woodsy earthy tobacco notes with a lemon twang, yet what lingers is the taste of still-warm brownies. Fudgy, not quite as silken in texture as Valrhona. Smoky vanilla malt and smoothness. Wonderful.
62% Davao, Philippines Dark Milk Chocolate Bar + Sea Salt
Similar profile to the 77% Davao but more mellow, a little tangier. The tanginess emanates from the goat’s milk powder, with yoghurt as well as a light chevre flavour coming forth. At first bite, I’m delighted by strong caramel and a memory of South American dulce de leche, all accentuated by the sea salt. There’s a little grassiness, a little marscapone.
The rich chocolatiness lingers, lingers. At times I find myself preferring the Davao Dark Milk to the 77% Dark, as the dulce de leche notes sing to my soul more than the citrus twang of the 77%.
Dark Chocolate + Malted Milk CollaBARation™ Bar
This bar tastes brilliantly like Milo, but on a richer, higher, less sugary, more deeply chocolate-y plane. The flavour is not necessarily complex, but true and full. Eating this took me right back to my tween years of filling opaque plastic cups near to the brim with Milo and then carefully adding just a centimetre of milk on top, so that if Mum walked past she’d think I was drinking a glass of milk. Sorry, Mum. The truth of the matter is this: most of the time you thought I was drinking milk, I was eating full glasses of straight Milo powder.
Dark Chocolate + Coffee CollaBARation™ Bar
The aroma and taste of this bar is intensely espresso-forward, but smooth and sweet without any acrid bitterness. Mallory told us that Askinosie worked hard at perfecting the recipe so that the coffee beans could infuse the chocolate without needing to be embedded themselves. As a result, this is a silky chocolate, smooth both texturally and in terms of the coffee flavour. A very cohesive flavour for coffee lovers.
72% Tenende, Tanzania Dark Chocolate Bar
Tastes of milky coffee and berries to start, with vanilla and toast edging in. Sweet notes of demerara sugar, lemonade, and whipped cream. Caramel builds up with an undertone of charcoal, making me think of campfires and something almost savoury, like bruschetta. Finishes with dark yet sweet caramel notes.
To be continued.