March 14th: The Chocolate Truffle Co. Noir Collection Costa Rica 64

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Coming right off the back of my flirtation with The Chocolate Truffle Co.'s Lait Collection (See HERE) I am going to kick start things this week with a review of one of their dark chocolate bars. Similarly to the Lait Collection offering from last Wednesday, this was a bar that was produced using cocoa beans sourced from a Rainforest Alliance certified farm, which the on-pack label tells me will help protect the environment and improve the lives of cocoa growers. The cocoa here was again from Costa Rica and had been handmade in to a bar here in the UK. Having shared my feelings about the Rainforest Alliance certification last week I can only reiterate my views that it is all well and good having a chocolate that is ethically moral, but it also has to pass the taste test to make that all worthwhile.

Just like the milk chocolate bar this came in a 48.0g size which lasted me a course of three separate sittings. As you can see above in the photo the packaging was consistent from the other bar, and despite being more clued up with the knowledge that The Chocolate Truffle Co. are somewhat limited financially in this area, I still think this is an issue that need to address going forward. Inside the chocolate bar itself was again lacking personality visually but not so much aroma wise. The scents being emanated from the plastic packet were unsurprisingly very cocoa heavy but they were fresh and had a subtle red fruitiness that added a good degree of intrigue.

I always like to eat my dark chocolate with a fresh black coffee and I have to start off by saying that a few squares of this went down extremely well as an accompaniment. Letting each block slowly melt on the tongue the taste that developed wasn't anything I would describe as unique or differentiated from what I have consumed previously, but that is not to say it wasn't of a good quality. Much like the smells indicated the taste was very cocoa rooted and the unsweetened cocoa flavours were immediately established from the outset. The cocoa volume increased with the progression of the melt, though the aftertaste was somewhat of a tipping point and there was slightly sweeter milkier note left in the mouth with each block. If I was being fussy (like I am) I would say that I would have liked to have some other type of flavour influence to come to the party, like say a a minor hint of coffee, nut or tobacco etc. In reality the taste was perhaps what you would describe as slightly one dimensional, but luckily that one dimension of really fresh tasting, raw cocoa was very nice.

Overall this dark chocolate wasn't as unique tasting as the vanilla noted milk chocolate I tried last week, but it was still a good quality dark chocolate that I would was noticeably of a better quality than an average mass produced dark chocolate. Personally speaking I would have welcomed an additional depth to the taste and would possibly have liked it a touch stronger. However I think the 67% recipe will probably be about spot on for most dark chocolate fans sp I wouldn't advise them to make ammendments to their recipe there. Putting aside my usual grumbles about the packaging and claims etc, I think that The Chocolate Truffle Co. have really solid foundation of dark chocolate on which to build something special. What I would love to see is this chocolate used in some form of truffles and/or a few flavoured dark chocolates etc. I think with the added enhancement of say something like macadamia nuts or fruits sourced from these rainforests they could build a more compelling proposition, and one that might excite the average consumer more than just with the plain dark and milk chocolate bars they have currently. My own view is that this is a line of products to keep an eye on, as I can imagine special things might be round the corner.

7.7 out of 10