Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chuao Firecracker

I would say that this is the most unusual chocolate bar I have seen from the Californian chocolatier Chuao (owned by two brothers from Venezuela), this is a dark chocolate, at 60% cacao content, bar with chipotle, salt and popping candy (essentially dried carbon dioxide in sugar, that "pops" when you eat it; the solid carbon dioxide becomes gas in your wet mouth). The ingredient listing is again good, cacao liquor, sugar, cacao butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, popping candy, chipotle, chili pasilla and salt.

I saw this program as to how the Firecracker truffles were made (forgive me if I don't recall exactly how they were made, I'm doing this from memory, and it's likely they glossed over a few steps). Firstly, hot caramel was added to Chuao Chocopods; the two were mixed until smooth. To this was added the spices and salt, again mixing until well combined. Once the chocolate was cooled off a little, popping candy was added; the chocolate and candy were mixed well. Individual truffles were formed from this mixture. The truffles were then coated in cacao powder, then in melted chocolate, then again in popping candy, and again one more time in melted chocolate.

Like the other bars I have tasted, the cacao is from Venezuela, from the famous cacao-growing region called Chuao, in central Venezuela (Chuao Chocolatier contributes to the Aguasanta Growth Initiative, a program dedicated to the restoration of cacao in Venezuela).

How does it taste? Well, this was the most unusual bar that I have eaten in a long while, and I savoured the flavour of the chocolate by allowing it to melt in my mouth, the spice warming my tongue and throat, and then came the sometimes violent popping of the candy. I would like to try the truffle version, certainly, and it was much better than the previous encounter with chocolate and popping candy. I would buy this bar again, if I were to find it, but I think I prefer others of theirs.

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