Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review: Stirs the Soul Dark Chocolate with agave

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerStirs the Soul
barDark Chocolate
cacao trees(unknown)
size28g ~ 1.0oz
cocoa solids84%
added fatcocoa butter
other ingredients(none)
list price$3.20
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, glossy, scoring, uneven sheen
aromaearth, floral, fruit, spice
tastefruit (pear), earth, spice, tangy, sweet, sour
finishslightly sour
Stirs the Soul hand-crafts stone-ground bean to bar raw chocolate. Their raw chocolate contains only organic or wild ingredients and never exceeds 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44°C) during processing. Rather than including cane sugar, chocolate maker Daren Hayes uses alternative low glycemic sweeteners (agave, date, honey, and coconut palm). We've previously reviewed his two single origin chocolates (Origins Ecuador and Origins Madagascar).

Dark Chocolate was made with only cacao beans, cocoa butter, and agave. It contained 84% cocoa solids. All ingredients were organic and raw, though the chocolate was not certified. The tiny one ounce bar was scored into six pieces. It came wrapped in a bright yellow-sided foil inside a paper sleeve. The bar we reviewed was labeled as lot # 133, but had a blank best before date. As you can see in the picture below of four Stirs the Soul chocolate bars, it had an unusual curved shape (Dark Chocolate is 2nd from the right).

The color of the chocolate was slightly more red than Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface of the bar was smooth and had a glossy top, with an oval of uneven sheen. It had a hard snap.

Dark Chocolate had an earthy aroma, with floral and fruit scents, and some spice. The taste consisted of fruit, earth and spice. The fruit included pear and the spice tasted tangy. The flavor was also both sweet and sour.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a short length. The finish was slightly sour.

Overall, another good raw chocolate. I liked the unusual tangy flavor.

You can purchase Dark Chocolate bars in packs of three for $9.60 in the U.S. directly from Stirs the Soul, or internationally if you phone them at 503-774-4903.

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