Interview with Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder, and Lead Instructor by Victoria Cooksey

Note:  This interview first appeared on 11-4-16 on my original Blogspot site.

This week’s interview is with Pam Williams.  Pam is the founder of Ecole Chocolat, lead instructor, and co-author of Raising The Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate. (Did I mention I got both my chocolate certifications from Ecole Chocolat?).

I want to thank Pam for taking time out of her busy work schedule to answer these questions.

Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder & Lead Instructor Continue reading “Interview with Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder, and Lead Instructor by Victoria Cooksey”

Dick Taylor Solomon Islands Exclusive Release Dark Chocolate Bar Review

I hope you were among the lucky ones to score this Dick Taylor Solomon Islands Exclusive Release dark chocolate bar last weekend at the NW Chocolate Festival.  When purchasing an exclusive release, or limited edition bar, I’m always hopeful the bar will live up to my expectations, and this one definitely delivers!

Continue reading “Dick Taylor Solomon Islands Exclusive Release Dark Chocolate Bar Review”

Askinosie Chocolate 1,098 Line Dirty White Chocolate Vintage Cocoa Gravel Review

The pouch this bar comes in is made by Trappist Monks (the order was founded in 1098, so 1,098 bars), the cocoa butter is from the Philippines, and is from the first pressing (which gives it the “dirty” white), the cocoa nibs are aged for two years, and covered in chocolate (the nibs, and chocolate are from Tanzania).  And this bar has goat’s milk in it. Talk about complex!

#517 of 1,098 Dirty White Chocolate Vintage Cocoa Gravel by Askinosie Chocolate Continue reading “Askinosie Chocolate 1,098 Line Dirty White Chocolate Vintage Cocoa Gravel Review”

Dormouse Chocolates 55% Columbia Arauca Milk Chocolate Bar Review

Dormouse chocolates is a bean to bar chocolate maker located in Manchester in the U.K.  I recently ordered this bar from their online store.  It’s listed as made from a mix of criollo, and trinitario beans, batch 076, and with a conch time of 48 hours.  (The higher the quality the beans, the less conching time is needed, and it let’s the real flavors shine through too).

Pic of Dormouse Chocolates taken in Port Townsend, WA Continue reading “Dormouse Chocolates 55% Columbia Arauca Milk Chocolate Bar Review”

Dark Matters Blog Chocolate Awards 2016

Note:  This post was originally posted on 12-30-16 when this blog was on Blogspot.

I think I might be in shock if I actually added up all the different chocolates I’ve tasted this year. (I have 3 large bags of wrappers waiting to be put into a scrapbook!).

So many of the chocolate bars I’ve tried have been rather amazing, so I thought I’d end 2016 by handing out some awards!  My very top favorite chocolate will be listed at the end of this post. (Tasting descriptions for most of these bars may be located in other posts from this blog). Not all of these bars are new to this year, however, this year is the first time I’ve personally tried them.

Best white chocolate bar award goes to Chocolat Madagascar 34% white chocolate bar. A wonderful combo of high quality cocoa butter, and vanilla bean! Continue reading “Dark Matters Blog Chocolate Awards 2016”

NW Chocolate Festival 2016: Chocolate Trends with Victoria Cooksey

Note:  This post was originally posted on 11-15-16 when my blog was on Blogspot.

This past weekend I attended the NW Chocolate Festival in Seattle, WA.  Luckily, for me, it’s just a bit over a hours drive, plus a short ferry ride away.  (I reside in Port Townsend, WA).  With the topic of trends I’m looking at both what I found to be different from last year’s festival, and what is trending in general in the wonderful world of bean to bar chocolate.

These trends are listed in no particular order.

1. Coconut.  Both coconut milk, and coconut sugar (along with other non-dairy ingredients) are being utilized more frequently in chocolate bars. Continue reading “NW Chocolate Festival 2016: Chocolate Trends with Victoria Cooksey”

Beau Cacao 72% 2014 Serian Malaysia Dark Chocolate Bar Review

This 72% 2014 Serian Malaysia dark chocolate bar is the 2nd bar I’ve had by the London, England based craft chocolate maker Beau Cacao.  This particular bar is #302 out of just 3,800 bars that will be made from the 2014 harvest.

Beau Cacao was founded by Bo San Cheung, and Thomas Delcour, and currently features two bars made from Malaysian cacao. Continue reading “Beau Cacao 72% 2014 Serian Malaysia Dark Chocolate Bar Review”

Beau Cacao 73% 2014 Asajaya Malaysia Dark Chocolate Bar Review

 

Beau Cacao is a handcrafted chocolate maker in London, England that has recently launched their bars.  Founded by both Bo San Cheung, and Thomas Delcour, Beau Cacao makes bean to bars from Malaysian cacao beans.  Their focus is on making fine chocolate bars with a direct link from growers to consumers, working with small-scale growers, and maintaining transparency of the product.

I ordered this 2014 harvest 73% Asajaya Malaysia dark chocolate bar (200 of 4,500 bars) from the Beau Cacao website (http://www.beaucacao.com/) Continue reading “Beau Cacao 73% 2014 Asajaya Malaysia Dark Chocolate Bar Review”

White Chocolate Bar Reviews on Åkesson’s, Askinosie, WKND Chocolate, and Original Beans

When it comes to white chocolate things have definitely changed!  I’m talking single-origin, and first pressed cacao butter, not adding vanilla, and so on.

WKND Chocolate’s Turmeric of a Goat Thing is an inclusion bar with turmeric, etc, added.  However, when I mention what I “taste” in the other bars that is the expression of the cocoa butter, milk, sugar coming through, and not added ingredients.

Re-think what you know about white chocolate and check out my video.

Thanks for watching!

Victoria Cooksey