Lavender chocolate

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.

Seed and Bean Lavender bar

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.

Seed and Bean Lavender bar 2

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.

opening up the lavender bar

It had a smooth surface, top and bottom, and was divided into 24 simple chunks with no design or patterning on them.

simple chunks

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.

no sign of lavender

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.

a pile of lavender chocolate chunks

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20 thoughts on “Lavender chocolate

  1. Aaggh, I am not sure I’d have been brave enough to try this, Lorna! I’m trying to imagine it, but lavender and chocolate doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven. I’m not even keen on the idea of lavender in cakes (do you ever use it?) I would say, if the zen effect isn’t showing itself by now, it might be a long wait!

    • I think you might be right, Jo, but I have to finish up the chocolate so I don’t mind having another bash at finding tranquility. I would agree with you about lavender and chocolate although according to Wikipedia they pair well together. Also mentioned on Wikipedia is the use of lavender in scones, and that reminds me that I did once have a very nice lavender scone in a tearoom, so perhaps some culinary uses are more pleasing than others. I’ve never used it in cooking/baking but I’m thinking now that I should try it in my own scones some time. I might just do that before the lavender dies off.

  2. I’m with Jo on this one, I’m willing to try most things, but I think I’d give lavender chocolate a miss. The thought of it reminds me of those lavender sweets we had as kids……………damn, I just looked them up, I was thinking of the very floral parma violets, so maybe I would try the chocolate afterall 🙂

  3. They must use lavender essential oil in the bars rather than bits of lavender flower. That would explain your powerful first impression. Although I like lavender + chocolate, a little goes quite a long way. For blissful tranquility, a regular bar of dark chocolate ought to do the trick ;-)!

  4. I pretty much only each 72% dark chocolate and lately have had bars with orange, coconut, dark cherries, and even ginger…not sure I would go for the lavender … i enjoy lavender as a bath inclusion or scent on an eye pillow but hmmm not sure about with chocolate.

    • I’m with you on all the other flavours, Linda, although I haven’t had a dark chocolate bar with coconut, as far as I can remember. Orange, cherries and ginger are all good with chocolate though, in my opinion.

  5. I love lavender. It adds so much to foods, especially desserts like cookies and panna cotta. Every now and again I find that the cook (or manufacturer) has a heavy hand, and there is just too much lavender for me. I think a little goes a long way. This chocolate sounds divine. I will have to see if I can find it at a store near me. Thanks for the introduction!

    • The use of lavender in foodstuffs seems to be more popular in the USA than in the UK. I think heavy-handedness was the issue here, just a bit too much lavender. Having said that, I had no trouble eating it.

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