Dark chocolate – flavoured

Last updated 6th August 2015

  • Amelia Rope Dark Ginger: I really don’t want to say this, but I was so disappointed by this. I loved the packaging, love the look of the company, and I love dark chocolate with ginger. I didn’t really think it could go wrong. However, there was no kick to the ginger, being only very subtly present, and the chocolate is fairly dry. Maybe the other flavours are better, who knows, but this has really left me quite cold, and looking at the price tag, I don’t think I’ll be taking a chance.
  • Butlers Dark Chocolate with Orange and Almond: A nice thick bar of smooth and not-bitter dark chocolate, but what stands out is the super juicy orange flavour – absolutely spot on! Small almond pieces scattered throughout add a nice crunch, and the surprising addition of sparkly pineapple granules results in a slightly chewy mega-citrusy pop. Really love this!
  • Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Chilli and Orange: The same recognisably smooth and voluptuous dark chocolate, lifted with a juicy yet perfectly balanced orange taste, and followed just seconds later – just when you start to worry they’ve gone too mild – by the warmth then the tingling of the chilli. It’s truly perfect.
  • Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Mango and Coconut: I was afraid this would be a bit of a gimmick and not taste significantly different, but they nailed it. The chewy mango pieces taste of mango (slightly tangy, richly sweet), the almost-crunchy coconut flakes add a subtle hint of fragrant exoticism, the chocolate is good as always, the company is ethical and their packaging is spot on. Definitely one to keep in the cupboard for when you need good chocolate with a twist.
  • Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Pear and Ginger: Pear and dark chocolate are paired so often I’m surprised this isn’t a more common flavour! Good smooth Divine dark chocolate as always, with chewy crystallised pear and ginger “granules”. The pear flavour is juicy and buttery, the ginger is slightly warming and tangy. A bit of an effort to eat and very sticky in the teeth, but a nice change from the usual flavour pairings!
  • Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries: Although the raspberry flavour is tangy and juicy, this is probably my least favourite Divine chocolate. The silkiness of the chocolate doesn’t come through as much as their other flavours, and the raspberry flavour doesn’t mesh with it quite so convincingly. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination though.
  • Divine Mint Dark Chocolate: Mint and chocolate rarely goes wrong and this bar is no exception. The breezy freshness of the mint sits perfectly with the deep rich chocolate, with just the right balance of everything. Lovely.
  • Galler Noir 70% Menthe – Citron Vert (Mint and Lime): Good quality chocolate, smooth and rich, creamy yet light, but the flavour didn’t work for me. The lime is highly dominant in sherbet-like crystals, while the mint gives a sweet and soft undertone that doesn’t quite mesh. Wouldn’t go back for this one.
  • Go*Do Organic Dark Chocolate 60% Espresso Coffee: At first I was dismayed by the grittiness of the ground coffee beans, but I began to find it strangely pleasing. The coffee hit is strong but not bitter, and the chocolate is smooth once you get past the grittiness. This bar is bold, rich and mature, without being bitter or overwhelming. A perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up!
  • Godiva 72% Dark Chocolate with Almond: Surprisingly tasty bar. It’s one of those really thin luxury bars that I feared would be all packaging and image and no flair, but I really couldn’t fault the strong roasted flavour, elegantly bitter but effortlessly smooth, subtly crunchy with roasted almonds. Tastes darker than 72% dark, I would advise people who aren’t committed to strong dark chocolate to stay away. More for me!
  • Green & Black’s Espresso: Ok so if you don’t like coffee, and aren’t a fan of rich dark chocolate flavours, stay away. Leave it to me. This stuff is wonderfully sophisticated – creamy and rich and bold, but still avoiding that bitterness thanks to the smoothness of the vanilla extract. Possibly not a before-bed treat, but definitely screaming out to be turned into brownies.
  • Green & Black’s Ginger: Very nice chocolate bar, just enough of the warmth of ginger to round out the sharpness of cocoa, but slightly crumbly because of the crystallised ginger.
  • Heidi Dark Pistachio: A rare flavour pairing, which I do wish we saw more often! Crunchy little shards of pistachio are scattered throughout this thin bar, but the flavour is strong; however, this may be due to the added pistachio flavouring rather than the nuts themselves. Also disappointing that the cocoa content, at 50%, is not higher – the sugar hit gets in the way of more refined cocoa flavours for me.
  • Hotel Chocolat 70% Dark Chilli Batons: Classic Hotel Chocolat smooth and creamy dark chocolate, which melts effortlessly in your mouth without leaving a pasty coating. After a few seconds, the chilli heat starts to tingle but never gets to burning point. A luxurious experience suitable for everyone.
  • Kingdom (by Montezuma’s) Dark Chocolate and Cherry: Good dark chocolate with a slightly softer cherry-flavoured centre. I was initially disappointed that there was no distinctly truffle-like filling, but it is noticeably creamier and smoother than solid chocolate. The flavour is just potent enough, but it is an “artificial cherry” flavour rather than a more natural fruity flavour – I know many are really opposed to cherry-flavoured items but I enjoyed this!
  • La Maison du Cacao Noir 70% cacao au gingembre (dark 70% with ginger): A nice thick bar with easy to snap off squares, the flavour was disappointingly lacking. The cocoa lacked a bit of depth, and the ginger lacked its zesty kick. Not terrible by any means, but not particularly impressive.
  • La Maison du Cacao Noir 70% cacao au piment (dark 70% with chili): Possibly the strongest chili kick I’ve experienced in a chocolate – it’s great! The chocolate itself is smooth, thick and creamy; the cocoa flavour is full of body and depth. All-round, a really decent chocolate bar.
  • Le Pain Quotidien Dark Chocolate with Earl Grey Tea: Good chocolate, a slightly odd gritty texture to it but otherwise quite creamy and rich. Unfortunately I couldn’t detect any Earl Grey taste which was disappointing, but still very good chocolate!
  • Le Pain Quotidien Dark Chocolate with Pink Peppercorn: The chocolate was good, smooth and tasty, but I just couldn’t quite convince myself that I enjoyed this combination of flavours. They didn’t really seem to mesh well together, I got the sweetness first, then the peppercorn, then the cocoa flavour, then one last whiff of pepper going up my nose. It was certainly an experience, but I’m a little disappointed with it.
  • Madécasse Toasted Coconut: Creamy smooth and subtly sweet, this beautiful bean-to-bar chocolate has a tropical depth to it that I’m finding hard to put into words. Think piña colada without sickly pineapple, think sunshine and honeysuckle. A light sprinkle of buttery toasted coconut adds a bit of chew. Just perfect.
  • Maverick Fairtrade Dark Chocolate with Honeycomb Crisps: I was surprised at the quality of this chocolate. The 70% cocoa is rich with a hint of coffee mellowness, yet smooth and melts in your mouth. The occasional crunchy-then-chewy honeycomb crisps are not needed, but do add a bit of textural interest.
  • Montezuma’s Charlie’s Luck: The chocolate is good but unfortunately the flavour is lacking. Peanuts have quite a strong flavour so I was really surprised to taste no peanut at all and barely see any in the bar. A slight hint of warmth from the spices is all I got; I won’t be buying this again.
  • Montezuma’s Dark with Orange and Geranium: A little disappointed with this; even beneath the perfume-floral geranium, the chocolate itself didn’t impress me much. There are far better chocolates in the Montezuma’s range to bother with this one.
  • Montezuma’s Sea Dog: I am really getting into salty-sweet combinations, and I loved the tingly salty presences in this bar – however, it didn’t really seem to mesh much with the other flavours; rather, it hovered over the top of them. Still a tasty bar with a citrus twang but I feel everything could be developed a little more.
  • Montezuma’s Shake & Shiver: Peppermint and cacao nibs – why are they not paired together more often? The smooth richness of the Equadorian chocolate melting in your mouth, releasing the fresh tingle of peppermint, with the odd crunchy explosion of a cacao nib. Simple and delicious.
  • Morrisons The Best Dark Chocolate with Orange: Decent chocolate. The chocolate is just sweet enough, with a good texture, and the chunks of candied orange are zesty and generous. Perfectly fine.
  • NomNom Clementines & Thyme: Despite this bar being a little thinner, being the same length and width for just 80g of chocolate, each mouthful is no less satisfying. The chocolate is creamy, the citrus flavour is juicy and natural-tasting, and the thyme is merely there to underline the fruit and give it a bit of backing warmth. Not quite what I expected – much better.
  • NomNom Fig Jam: Although the filling is generous and oozing, the fig offers no discernible taste which is disappointing. However, it does add a pleasant mouthfeel and the chocolate is good!
  • NomNom Strawberry & Goose 72: The packaging of this sold it to me, and that it truly is artisanal chocolate. Although the chocolate exterior itself doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, the filling-to-coating ratio is absolutely spot on, and the jam inside is rich, fruity, just sweet enough, and the perfect consistency. This was expensive, but totally worth it.
  • Prestat Dark Chocolate with Raspberry: Really impressed with this actually! With more raspberry dark chocolates coming out, I feared it would be a bit boring, but the raspberry flavour really leaps out of this bar. The chocolate is smooth and rich, but their is a really sweet juicy raspberry flavour to the whole thing, with extra tang from the crunchy little pieces of raspberry buried throughout. “Charming” would be the only way to describe this chocolate bar!
  • Rittersport Marzipan:  Not bad, but nothing special. The chocolate is quite plain and unforgiving, but as a chunky marzipan bar it sort of works.
  • Rittersport Peppermint: As above, nothing of the finesse of an after-dinner mint as the filling is generous and fairly hard-set (pretty much the consistency of marzipan, actually). Personally I don’t find it rivals either after-dinner mint thins or its marzipan-filled relative.
  • Sainsbury’s Free From Mint Crisps: Well we have established that chocolate and mint always work, and that I like things in different formats – so these little individually-wrapped discs with their occasional minty crunch are really quite a nice addition to the Free From range.
  • Seed & Bean Organic Coconut & Raspberry Extra Dark Chocolate Bar: I find some raspberry chocolate overly tangy, the raspberry’s acidity enhancing the cocoa’s bitterness and detracting from any sweetness. Either Seed & Bean have found a way to soften this, or their pairing with the toasty rich coconut is just enough to mellow any tang out – either way, this sweetly-packaged bar is deliciously creamy and juicy, and everything you’d want from a raspberry-coconut chocolate bar.
  • Seed & Bean Organic Fairtrade Lemon & Cardamom Dark Chocolate Bar: I was surprised by how dark this chocolate tasted despite being only 58% cocoa; normally cocoa contents below 70% just taste of sugar to me, but this had a strong roasted cocoa flavour to it, and real smoothness. The lemon and cardamom flavours blended just right, to a mellow, sunny and sophisticated flavour – though I could have maybe done with something a bit punchier. Still, a great chocolate bar from a great company.
  • Seed & Bean Organic Fairtrade Mandarin & Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar: A beautifully refined, fresh, and complex bar from Seed & Bean. First you get the mandarin flavour, quite distinctly different from traditional orange chocolate with its extra tang and floral notes – then the ginger kick warms your mouth and throat and rounds everything off. Truly stunning.
  • Tabasco Spicy Dark Chocolate Wedge: I’m a fan of chili and chocolate but often find the spice too meek. This one turns it up to exactly the right level – a barely discernible tingle at first bite growing to warmth with a few chews, and leaves a good kick dancing on the tip of your tongue for a good few minutes after finishing. The chocolate itself isn’t amazing, but I would buy this again for other reasons.
  • Whittaker’s Dark Peanut Slab: At 50% cocoa content, I wasn’t expecting a miracle from this cute little chunk of chocolate, but that is completely eclipsed by the peanut content. There are about as many crunchy earthy peanuts in this than there is chocolate, and it’s great!
  • Whittaker’s Ghana Peppermint 72% Dark Chocolate: The texture of the chocolate itself isn’t the most amazing I’ve had, but this whole bar works really well – the chocolate is thick so it doesn’t break and leave peppermint goo sticking all over your hands, the fondant centre isn’t too sweet, and I love the packaging. More of an afternoon snack than an after-dinner mint.
  • Vivani Black Cherry: Reliably good dark chocolate with almost sherbet-like tangy sour cherry bits. Not quite what I was expecting and it didn’t quite hit the spot for me (I was expecting something more voluptuous and rich-tasting) but a good product nonetheless.
  • Vivani Dark Nougat: With 36% cocoa solids and 25% hazelnut paste this is more of a praline or gianduja bar than a dark chocolate (reflected in the French and Italian names), but delicious anyway. Hard to comment on the cocoa notes as the hazelnut is so dominant, but pleasantly smooth and barely cloying, with the odd crunchy bite of hazelnut brittle sprinkled throughout.

Total: 43

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