Kekao Dark Chocolate Subscription Box Review

Kekao Chocolate Purveyors offers a dark chocolate subscription box featuring three different bars for $29.99 a month. The bars are often a mix of bean-to-bar and some non-bean-to-bar, but excellent quality (often organic) chocolate. They are offering a discount code for my readers for $5 off the first box when  subscribing. Discount code: DARKMATTERS5

Per Kekao website’s “About Us” section, the founder and CEO, Dino Hodzic, missed out on a hiking trip to Machu Picchu due to a fractured knee. When Dino’s friends came back from Peru they brought back gifts including chocolate bars. This lead to Dino researching dark chocolate and it’s health benefits and thus Kekao.co was born. 

I was given this particular box from Kekao. I had no idea in advance which bars would be included in it.  I’ve included my own nose/taste notes for each bar in this post. 

Kekao Chocolate Purveyors Monthly Chocolate Subscription Box  Continue reading “Kekao Dark Chocolate Subscription Box Review”

Marou Provisions Cacao Powder Review and Thoughts on Baking with Craft Cacao Powder

Marou, a bean-to-bar maker in Vietnam, recently launched their Provisions Marou line which includes cacao powder, nibs and cacao spread.  This post focuses on the cacao powder, that is 100% cacao as well as flavor and thoughts on how single-origin cacao powders might effect baking/recipes.

Provisions Marou Cacao Powder

First, let us start by considering the taste of this particular cacao powder in dry form, mixed with water and then mixed with 2% milk.  Continue reading “Marou Provisions Cacao Powder Review and Thoughts on Baking with Craft Cacao Powder”

Chocolate Naive Nano Lot Drinking Chocolate Review Cacao Review Collection 2

Cacao Review has outdone themselves this year with Collection No. 2, a very limited (only 200 made of each item, ever) chocolate set featuring Chocolate Naive, Marou, Omnom,  Ritual and even a bar by Cacao Review. While a few of the chocolate bars are available for individual purchases (50 individual and 150 box sets) the only way to try Chocolate Naive’s Nano_Lot drinking chocolate is by going for the whole collection (ahem…holiday gift perfection, just saying). 

Chocolate Naive Nano_Lot Drinking Chocolate Limited Edition Cacao Review Collection No. 2

Continue reading “Chocolate Naive Nano Lot Drinking Chocolate Review Cacao Review Collection 2”

Askinosie’s New Avocado Rosemary & Peppermint Chocolate Bars Reviews

Askinosie, one of my favorite bean-to-bar chocolate makers, has recently released two new chocolate bars to their already impressive lineup.  While I have purchased several of their items on multiple occasions, I was lucky enough to have received these two new bars to try thanks to Lawren Askinosie. 

First up is Askinosie’s 61% Tanzania Dark Chocolate + Avocado & Rosemary Bar, for which  Askinosie has partnered with Heath Ceramics to create.  Rosemary is one of those ingredients that can easily overpower other flavors, however, Askinosie did a great job balancing the flavors in this bar!

Askinosie Dark Chocolate + Avocado & Rosemary Pic by Victoria Cooksey Continue reading “Askinosie’s New Avocado Rosemary & Peppermint Chocolate Bars Reviews”

Dick Taylor 58% Milk Madagascar Chocolate Bar Review

When I heard Dick Taylor was making a milk chocolate bar I couldn’t wait to try it and it doesn’t disappoint! Often Madagascar’s fruit notes can get a bit lost in milk chocolate bars, but not in this one!  Dick Taylor manages to capture so many scents and tastes in this bar using Madagascar cacao with milk from Humboldt Creamery.

Dick Taylor 58% Madagascar Sambirano Milk Chocolate Bar

Color: Light/medium brown.

Texture: Great snap with a smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel.

Nose: Red fruit, oak, red currant and orange. 

Tastes: Red currant, blood orange, cream, subtle rosemary and caramel. 

Finish: Malt, caramel and orange notes linger with a medium-length (around 10 minutes) finish.

An exceptional bar!

Dick Taylor:

https://dicktaylorchocolate.com/

https://www.instagram.com/dicktaylorchocolate/

Victoria Cooksey

https://www.instagram.com/victoria.cooksey/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm-lp-lF_wB2oX_592jK9UQ

Raaka Chocolate Single and Double Fermented Chocolate Bars Review First Nibs

As subscriber to Raaka’s First Nibs (Raaka Virgin Chocolate is a craft chocolate maker located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York) I particularly love the August selection of First Nibs educational aspect for featuring both a single and a double fermented cacao bar, made from unroasted Zorzal Cacao, Dominican Republic, with each bar at the 75% mark. 

Raaka’s August First Nibs Single & Double Fermented Cacao Bars
Continue reading “Raaka Chocolate Single and Double Fermented Chocolate Bars Review First Nibs”

Soma Chocolatemaker Creole Gardens Haiti 70% Dark Chocolate Bar Review

Soma Chocolatemaker, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada features bean-to-bar chocolate creations and was founded by David Castellan and Cynthia Leung.

The very first item I tried by Soma Chocolatemaker was their Dark Side of the Mug drinking chocolate (which I was inspired to order right after seeing an IG post on it in March 2016 by Ecole Chocolat).  Since then I have now tasted 23 items made by Soma including chocolate bars, cookies, toffee and drinking chocolate.  Why so many?  Because Soma  always manages to demonstrate consistent quality, texture and taste in their items.  And if you want to know what a great “snap” should sound/feel like when biting into a piece of chocolate this is the maker to learn from. 

Soma Chocolatemaker Creole Gardens, Haiti Bar  Continue reading “Soma Chocolatemaker Creole Gardens Haiti 70% Dark Chocolate Bar Review”

Willie’s Cacao 8 Different Chocolate Bar Reviews

In March of 2018 Willie’s Cacao (a bean-to-bar chocolate maker located in the U.K.) held a live Facebook tasting event featuring eight of their chocolate bars.  I was not able to attend this event, however, my chocolate pal Patricia Baker of the blog Eating the Chocolate Alphabet kindly sent me a piece from each bar to try.  

My tasting notes are based off of having two bites from each bar and not having watched the tasting video.  If you have watched it, or if you have had these bars, please comment below what tasting notes you perceived.  

Willie’s Cacao El Blanco Venezuelan 00 White Chocolate Continue reading “Willie’s Cacao 8 Different Chocolate Bar Reviews”

Raaka 1st Nibs Subscription May 2018 Chocolate Bar Reviews

Raaka Virgin Chocolate is a craft chocolate maker located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York.  Each month their 1st Nibs Subscription features seasonal and creative micro-batch chocolate bars.  

The May 2018 selection involved brunch themed bars including French Toast and Turmeric Latte bars. 

Raaka 1st Nibs Subscription May 2018 Bars Continue reading “Raaka 1st Nibs Subscription May 2018 Chocolate Bar Reviews”

Mini Interview with Luke Owen Smith and Chocolate Tasting Course The Chocolate Bar

Luke Owen Smith of The Chocolate Bar in New Zealand puts together amazing bean-to-bar chocolate bars from all over the world for a monthly chocolate subscription box as well as leads chocolate tastings.  As if that wasn’t enough, want to know what else makes Luke pretty special?  Sometime ago he found out that I never had the chance to try Marou’s no longer available Treasure Island bar so he sent me a piece from the last bar he had in his personal chocolate stash!  When I was trying to locate Chocolate Naive’s one-off bar made with sea buckthorn, The Chocolate Bar was the only place I could find it listed any longer and Luke added an extra one to his site just so I could order it. In fact, my full order arrived quickly and in great condition from New Zealand all the way to where I live in Port Townsend, WA USA.

Luke recently sent me his newest creation, a monthly Chocolate Tasting Course.  The course includes 4 bite-sized pieces  from 4 different tasty craft chocolates by makers from around the world. The first 6 months of the course feature a different lesson card each of those months, such as How to Taste Chocolate and the very first box includes a chocolate tasting notebook. 

Read on for my mini-interview with Luke followed by pictures of his new Chocolate Tasting Course and my video on the course too. 

Luke Owen Smith of The Chocolate Bar Continue reading “Mini Interview with Luke Owen Smith and Chocolate Tasting Course The Chocolate Bar”