This lovely company sent me some samples of their chocolate powders after a patient alerted me to them. So far I have tried the ‘Pure Dark Chocolate Powder, West African flavour (mellow)’ as a hot chocolate drink. Even though it is 70% cocoa solids, it was indeed ‘mellow’ and almost milk-chocolatey in flavour. Very smooth and not at all bitter. The only complaint I had was it didn’t dissolve very well even in very hot soya milk.
Here is the description and the ingredients list for this product. Note it is very useful for chocolate lovers trying to avoid soya as, unusually, the lecithin comes from sunflower:
We’ve blended cocoa liquors from Forestero-type cocoas from Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria to produce a chocolate with a rounded flavour, having the raisin and sultana notes typical of this region. This is a mellow, dark chocolate with a deep and comforting chocolate flavour.
Pack size: 220g Price: £3.80
Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Sunflower Lecithin, Cocoa Solids 70%
Of course, I had to ask more questions – here is their reply when I asked if it was brown sugar (often the caramel colour is derived from corn):
“The fermentation process of cocoa is created by the breakdown of natural sugars occurring in the sweet pulp that is found around the cocoa beans inside the cocoa pod, there is nothing added to the cocoa to aid this process. We use refined white sugar to make our chocolate, as brown sugar often has its own flavour that can interfere with the coca notes that we are trying to get into our chocolate. Cocoa liquor (or cocoa mass) is simply the cocoa material that results once the shell of the bean has been removed and the beans have been ground with a little heat: the resulting liquid cools down and hardens into cocoa liquor/mass, which looks a little like chocolate, but does not contain any sugar at this stage and is very bitter. We use no grain, corn, dairy or soy ingredients in our process and there are none in our finished product.”
The powders can be used in cooking and I am looking forward to making some chocolate muffins, which I will report on soon.
Other products in my sample box include a darker Ecuadorian powder (Intense) and, wonder of wonders, a dairy-free WHITE chocolate powder! I am just checking these out and will be back soon on these. Oh, the hardship.
You can buy these powders mail order or from Waitrose.