I know this is a bit late but it’s a new year and we have already been busy. We have had sessions for children and adults in the Chocolate Studio, some excellent reviews in some unlikely places and seen one of our favourite chocolate friends on TV. We’ve even squeezed in a week off in Scotland although we didn’t get to see any chocolate other than the bars that we took with us unfortunately.
One of our regulars uses our chocolate as couverture occasionally and posted this picture of her dessert on our Facebook (Duffy’s Chocolate) page. Looks tasty:
This month we’ve had more reviews than events and the Commodity Connoisseur published reviews of four of our bars – Guatemala 70% dark, Nicaragua 70%, Dominican Republic 65% dark and the Venezuela 55% dark milk. Judged on flavour, appearance, aroma, texture etc each received 9.5/10 overall. Here’s the link:
Elsewhere, Sharon Terenzi, writing as The Chocolate Journalist, posted this review:
The Chocolate Journalist
4 February at 19:17
If you are a Duffy's Chocolate
fan, you can already recognize this bar by the color of its packaging.
For those who don't know it, this bar is a Single Origin Honduras, Indio Rojo 72% made using cacao sourced and directly traded by Xoco Gourmet
The smell is mainly chocolatey, with hints of coffe and caramel, and a very subtle citrusy note. Pleasant and delicate, it really makes you anticipate the first bite.
Once you put a piece in your mouth, the rollacoaster begins!
Honestly, there were so many interesting tasting notes at the very beginning that I didn't even bother trying to recognize them. I just enjoyed the moment. Sometimes when you try too hard to analyze a chocolate bar, you lose the main purpose of the experience which is simple pleasure.
But at a certain point, in a background of cream and coffee, a specific tasting note hit me like a punch in the face: TANGERINE
I usually tend to second guess myself regarding tasting notes, but this is as clear as a sunny day in August. So tangy and citrusy, it sits at the back of your cheeks, in the corner of your jaw, for 15 minutes straight. Interestingly enough, the more chocolate I kept eating (you really thought I'd stop at one bite, you fool?), the more the tangerine note intensified.
A tasting packed with emotions.
Lovely the note inside from the maker:
"These bars have won many awards because of the complexity and difference of the flavors that they deliver. The beans deserve all the credit - I see my role as one of just trying not to ruin them."
Have you tried the Indio Rojo bar by Duffy's in England?
The Daily Mail did a review of several chocolate bars last week and we came out on top of their pile, if you ignore the “eye-poppingly expensive” comment:
I even had to go and find a copy of The Field after hearing from a customer that we featured. They recommend the Nicaragua Chuno 70% and the Honduras Indio Rojo bar there too – next to adverts for hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Here’s a link to the shop and a part of the well-written article:
Earlier this month Countryfile on BBC featured a good friend of ours – Charlotte Flower. She is a chocolatier in Aberfeldy (near Perth) and likes to use locally-found ingredients to flavour her creations – Scots Pine, Sea Buckthorn and the like. She is an interesting person and here chocolates are great. Check them out (Ginger caramels – yum) if you get the chance.
We are gradually introducing cartons pretty much throughout the range. I’ve talked previously about the protracted design time. We looked at all of them and have revised all the old ones a bit and added new ones. I checked each carton about 10 times for each one during the approval process – and still missed a glaring error. The Corazon del Ecuador 83% bar has milk powder listed as an ingredient – when all of our dark bars are vegan-friendly. There’s no milk in any of them. I can’t throw away two thousand new cartons so I will cross “milk” out with a felt pen. Whilst I kick myself repeatedly.
We had a few comments and some complaints about the Dominican Republic 65% bar last year. I think what happened was that the first sack of beans we used was OK and subsequent ones were a lot smokier. Too smoky, in fact. I have spoken to the bean importer (it’s one of two beans that we don’t buy from the grower or farmer) and they swapped the old beans for new ones. The new beans are of course still from the Dominican Republic and still organic but with a more rounded red-fruit flavour. All the bars we sell from now on will be made from the new beans.
We’ve been experimenting, too. The first trial is an 80% Guatemala bar and I fully expected it to be punchy and spicy and full of honey flavours. Like its’ 70% cousin though it is initially – erm, flat and disappointing. I shall have to be patient and wait a couple of months to see what – if anything – develops. This might be the last you hear of it.
We’re looking at a hot drinking chocolate too and the first batch was finished today. It needs to mature whilst we design the packaging. This is full of flavour from the off; different beans with different characteristics. I’m using the Panama beans as they are clean and easy to work with and give a nice bright drink full of flavour. I haven’t even thought about packaging yet so again the chocolate can sit and age/mature whilst I get my act together. I mould the bars, untempered (so that they will melt quickly in hot milk) and then grate them before packing into bags.
As usual I have picked a name out of the hat (RB, who has been notified) and she will get these three bars that have been reviewed recently to compare, contrast and to enjoy.
Nicaragia Chuno 70% dark chocolate
Dominican Republic Taino 65% - 2018 version
Honduras Indio Rojo 72%