Whoopsie-daisies! I started reviewing the new Yarra Valley Chocolaterie chocolates my brother sent me for Christmas before I finished telling you about the Bush Tucker chocolates he sent me for my birthday (see parts one, two, and three here).
It’s hard to keep all the chocolate in my life straight sometimes.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Red Desert Sun White Chocolate
I slightly adored this Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Red Desert Sun White Chocolate bar before I’d even opened it, for how could my so-long-such-a-long-time-away-from-home heart resist the lure of the wallaby on the front, the talk of “a hot fiery zing” within, and the evocation of Australian summer in the title, which brought to mind My Country by Dorothea Mackellar?
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains…
The white chocolate, as you can see, was thick, creamy, and absolutely swirled through with dried strawberries and native mountain pepperberries (in the form of pepperberry oil). It’s quality chocolate, comprised of no more than sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, emulsifier and vanilla.
I smiled at the first nibble as the fruity burst of true strawberries — not artificial berry hellishness, ahem, Lindt — swept over me, mixed with the rich taste of custard. The tangy sweetness reminded me of the time my friends and I made cocktails with champagne poured over hibiscus (rosella) flowers in syrup, but more delicious because of the rich buttery creaminess of the white chocolate. The mountain pepperberries added a bright jazzy spice, too. I very much enjoyed this chocolate.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Dreamtime Harvest Milk Chocolate
Sitting at the opposite end of the spectrum to Red Desert Sun’s simple ingredient list was this Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Dreamtime Harvest Milk Chocolate bar. Are you ready? Steel yourself. I have never, in all my years of chocolate reviewing (and additional squillion years of chocolate eating), come across a chocolate bar with this many flavours packed into it.
Ingredients: Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, emulsifier [soya lecithin], natural vanilla flavour), furikake seasoning (4%) (sesame seeds, sea vegetables, wasabi oil, lemon myrtle sprinkles (lemon myrtle, anise myrtle), alpine pepper (mountain pepper, pepperberry, Szechuan pepper, sumac, salt, forest anise, white pepper, forestberry herb, mountain pepper extract), sugar, green tea extract) bluegum oil (0.4%).
The aroma was not as overpowering or intense as I expected, reminiscent only of toffee, caramel and vanilla (along with, you know, milk chocolate-iness). I took a bite, fearing a cacophony of jarring, fighting tastes (ALL THE HERBS AND SPICES), but instead what I found was a lovely and subtle blend of flavours that sang to me the memory of walking through cool dark-green canopied paths of the Daintree Rainforest.
– crisp, sweet, a flavour like the scent of trees, something savoury yet not jarringly so;
– tickles of pink peppercorn, a little citrus, more like lime than orange (thank heavens), texture crackling;
– sweet rich vanilla notes, a slight salt kick, perhaps the nuttiness of sesame seeds;
– nuanced, lovely, balanced savoury-hinted sweetness. Moreish.
And now I must listen to some Australian music to strengthen my soul. Toodles, lovelies!