Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As a little early birthday present, Michael and Wonja ordered a couple of custom-designed chocolate bars to be sent to me at school. They used a company called Chocri, which is based in Germany and lets you design your own chocolate bars from over 100 toppings. This bar was Wonja's design -- it has strawberry, basil, pine nuts, and candied lilac (!) Also, they give you a bar code to re-order the same chocolate bar that was made for you -- so they keep every bar recipe on file.
Cocoa content: 64%
Notable ingredients: strawberry; basil; pine nuts; candied lilac
Everyone has to visit this website. It's amazing. I did a little trial run to see what toppings Chocri offers, and some of them are really out there: I could make a bar with chives, licorice, and a couple of marzipan carrots for instance. Chocri will also write things on the bar if you so desire, and you can order from a list of pre-designed bars with themes such as "Happy Graduation" and "Summer Fever." Wonja's design feels kind of like a summery salad atop a chocolate bar.
The strawberry and candied lilac were really interesting ingredients, and they nicely balanced the savory taste of the basil and the slight bitterness of pine nuts. You wouldn't normally think of pine nuts going on a chocolate bar, and while they fit in with the other ingredients, I would say that slivered almonds might have been more effective. Also, the pine nuts were so plentiful (as you can see) that they sort of overwhelmed the taste of the chocolate at times. I thought to break off two pieces and eat them like a little sandwich with the toppings on the inside, and it worked better that way because the chocolate had a chance to catch up with the pine nuts. The candied lilac was divine and original.
I think the chocolate itself was pretty good -- honestly, it was hard to tell because there was so much on top. But it definitely had a good, pure texture and an impressive snap. Overall, this whole concept is so cool and I like that Wonja got super creative with the toppings. Why order a custom chocolate bar if you're not going to take risks with flavor?
This grade represents the taste of the bar, my admiration of its concept, and my appreciation for the gift! A.