My best friend Lemon bought some Valrhona Chocolate last week from Simon Johnson and he finally brought it over for me to try. He had first heard about Valrhona when he worked at La Renaissance Café Patisserie in The Rocks. I had never heard of Valrhona before and was quite skeptical of how nice it could really be when it I found out it was $13.50 for a 70g bar. But when I tasted it, I could see why. Each chocolate had its own distinct taste. Even some with a difference of 2% cocoa made the chocolate taste quite different. Each chocolate is from a different region.
Jivara 40% Grand Cru 70g Bar $13.50
Valrhona’s Jivara is created using cocoa from Ecuador and is a smooth and mild mannered milk chocolate with added malt and brown sugar. The 40% cocoa content provides an easy eating milk chocolate with a creamy texture and light finish.
Manjari 64% Grand Cru 70g Bar $13.50
Manjari a 64% Grand Cru is created from a blend of Criollo and Trinitario beans from Madagascar. An aromatic bouquet of fresh slightly acid chocolate flavour, with intense hints of red fruits. A delight that works well with the pieces of preserved orange peel.
Caraibe 66% Grand Cru 70g Bar $13.50
Valrhona Grand Cru – Caraibe 66% is a blend of Trinitarios cocoa beans from the Caribbean Islands. The “grands crus” are created from beans grown in a given geographic region but on different plantations. It is gentle and fruity revealing delicate flavours of almond and roasted coffee.
Guanaja 70% Grand Cru 70g Bar $13.50
Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate – Guanaja – 70% cocoa – a blend of Criollos and Trinitarios cocoa beans from South America. Bitter dark chocolate revealing exceptional complexity and incredible length of flavour.
My favourite was the Manjari 64% Grand Cru. Although the Caraibe 66% Grand Cru has only 2% difference in cocoa, there was a distinct difference in taste. The 64% was slightly sweeter and also had a smoother texture in the mouth. Whereas I enjoyed the taste of the 66%, but it left a dry feeling in my mouth, which is what I don’t like about dark chocolate when there is too much cocoa. Which is also why I didn’t really enjoy the 70%. I found the 40% one too sweet, milky and creamy for my liking. I’m not a big fan of milk chocolate because of this.
Lemon also bought me a bar of 68% Le Noir Gastronomie bar to cook with. I was researching on the Internet last night and I found some recipes on their website. I don’t want to waste such an expensive chocolate so I decided to make the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake and Le Souffle from the Valrhona website. I will post up photos when I do get around to baking these desserts.
68% Le Noir Gastronomie 250g $28.50
Le Noir Gastronomie bar is made from a blend of Criollos and Forastero beans from South America and Africa. Used in chocolate desserts, this chocolate is well-rounded, powerful and has a slightly bitter taste.
Happy nom nom nom-ing!