Chocolate Tree Coconut Milk 55% 88/100

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Made with cocoa beans from Madgascar, this bar is more about its individual flavour than it is about its cocoa origin. Designed to be a dairy free milk chocolate, the important aspect here is to make an enjoyable milk chocolate without using traditional cows milk. This bar is produced in Haddington just east of Edinburgh at Chocolate Tree’s factory where husband and wife team Alastair & Friederike Gower work to create a dairy free Chocolate Tree chocolate bar.

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My expectations for this bar are based on my general culinary exploits, I use a lot of coconut milk both for desserts and Asian cooking. Just like with chocolate not all coconut tastes the same, different coconut varities tend to have different flavours and terroir also has a part to play. So in terms of my expectations for flavour, I only have a general expectation for coconut flavours and for the sugars in the bar to be leaning more towards caramels, as in traditional milk chocolate. Opening the bar it’s pretty familiar Chocolate Tree territory here, except in the appearance, this is less glossy or shiny than the usual bar and its texture is less smooth. This is likely to the difficulties in using a new non traditional ingredient in the mix, one that is potentially less smooth than traditional milk, from here proceedings get back to the familiar with the exception of an unrefined and uneven melt, quickened due to the inclusion of milk. After that though it’s an intense ride of coconut and dark sugar flavours, with a sharp acidity that takes the edge off. It’s not as delicate or refined as milk chocolate can be, but it packs way more of punch than milk, as opposed to dampening the flavours down, coconut milk seems to express way more of its own qualities in connection with the chocolate. Great length and decent balance help this bar on the way out and to be honest it’s a little moreish. For anyone with a love of Asian desserts this might be the chocolate hit for you and I dare say this might go down pretty well in those markets, where chocolate isn’t such a huge player.

Ingredients: Cacao beans, organic coconut sugar, coconut milk, cacao butter, tapioca syrup, emulsifier: sucrose esters

Appearance 8/10

Colour: Light milky brown
Texture: Soft, ice cream, brittle
Mould:
Chocolate Tree flower print uneven blocks
Snap: Crisp, light
Temp/Shine: Matte

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Dessicated coconut, honey
Quality: Honest, sweet

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Medium
Evenness: Brittle, uneven
Texture: Creamy, syrupy, smooth
Quality: Unrefined, full, pleasurable

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 5
Notes: Coconut, lime
Quality: Sharp, cutting, balancing


Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9.5
Notes: Caramel, golden sugar, burnt toffee, molasses
Quality: Developed, complex

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Sweet, salt, bitter
Notes: Creamy coconut, complex dark sugars, bee pollen
Quality: Sharp, distinctive, big

Length 9.5/10

Flavours are bold and long and have lovely round to them

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Bitter sugars, cream, pear
Quality: Big waves of sweet coconut finish leaving behind the bitter end of sugars, with a creamy feel and hint of pear

Balance 9/10

Bar is powerful and intense, but manages to balance its attributes well with complementary appeal, structure is somewhat weak, but manages to funnel the flavours together

Overall 9/10

Bar has a tonne of depth and there’s a lot of dimension in the sugar notes of the bar, complexity is well balanced and structure while weak is uniform, expression is true of coconut inclusion


Chocolate Tree’s Tasting Notes: Delicate, soft coconut with a delicious earth finish.

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