Readers: Is Whole Foods taunting you with gorgeous chocolate displays? My local Whole Foods has set up this nice little table by the coffee counter and on it they've artfully displayed some of the most beautiful chocolate bars I've ever seen, along with some other special treats like Herrell's chocolate fudge (of Boston!) And this is in addition to the quarter aisle that is already devoted entirely to chocolate -- which, in some towns, offers the best selection around. I've been taunted - and enticed - by this bar for weeks, so I finally decided to shell out $8 for it. Actually -- make that $40, when you take into account the other 4 that I needed to complete this photo. Just kidding -- camera is on the fritz.
Chocolat Moderne: Kashmir Spice
Cocoa content: 51%
Notable ingredients: toffee; cardamom; cinnamon; cloves
What is with me and chai spices recently? I feel like I am forever trying to relive the wonder that was that Montezuma's Nutmeg bar -- but, alas, none of these more recent chai bars contain nutmeg. This Chocolat Moderne bar was in fact a little different because it included toffee, too. Actually, the toffee itself may have been infused with the chai spices, which would mean this was a chai toffee chocolate bar.
At first, I didn't respect this bar. I left it on my desk during one of the hottest days of the summer when my AC wasn't on, and when I tried it for the first time it was obviously soft and chewy. Then I stuck it in the fridge for a few days, and when I tried it again the whole bar had shifted a bit, such that squares were no longer squares and the toffee stuck out in parts where the chocolate had thinned, crag-like.
So I felt like there was something wrong with the texture of this bar, but that might have been entirely my fault. I thought the toffee stood out too much from the other flavors, that it was too tough and hard for the consistency of the chocolate, and that eating it was a separate experience from tasting the chai spices. The chocolate tasted more or less like those Le Pain Quotidien and Dolfin bars -- the remains of which, by the way, I crumbled into a bowl of dough so as to make Chai Chocolate Chip cookies.
So I might have missed my chance to sample this bar in its prime, but as we've seen before on this blog, there are other spiced bars in the sea. B.