I saw some interesting looking chocolate bars for sale in a cafe recently, and plucked this one from the display to take home and try.
Lavender seems to be quite a popular ingredient these days, often finding its way into chocolate and cakes. It’s a plant I enjoy in the garden for its fragrance and attractive purple flowers, which do a good job of attracting bees, but it’s not something I ever use in cooking.
Prior to purchasing this bar, I don’t think I had tasted lavender chocolate before. On reading the reverse of the bar, which claimed I would find myself ‘sinking deeper into blissful tranquility with every bite’ I was particularly keen to try it.
From the packaging I learned that this particular bar was both vegan and Fair Trade.
The packet described the chocolate as ‘extra dark’, made with 72% cocoa solids. It certainly looked pretty dark when I opened it up and found it nestling inside a shiny wrapper underneath the paper outer layer.
It had a smooth surface, top and bottom, and was divided into 24 simple chunks with no design or patterning on them.
My first impression on tasting was that they had been very generous with the lavender. Although there was no visible sign of lavender in the chocolate, the intensity of the flavour almost blew my socks off.
To my surprise, when I offered bits to the delightful assistants, neither of them had a similar experience. Delightful assistant no.1 declared that it tasted of ‘chocolate’ and delightful assistant no.2 said he found it ‘not too sweet’. I would agree with both of those statements, but it amazed me that neither of them noticed the powerful lavender flavour. Perhaps I’m abnormally sensitive to flowers in chocolate.
While I was writing this I tried it again, and I must admit that the lavender wasn’t quite as shocking as it was on first tasting, but perhaps that’s because I’m prepared for it now.
I can’t say that I sank deeper into blissful tranquility with every bite, but maybe I didn’t eat enough of it in one go. Most of the bar is still left, so maybe I ought to plough through several chunks in one sitting and see if the ‘Zen effect’ takes hold.