This bar is made using cocoa from the Dominican Republic sourced in collaboration with Uncommon Cacao before being blended with browned butter from the Ronnybrook Farm Dairy. Once harvested these beans are shipped to the Catskill Mountains of New York where Bryan Graham turns them into one of his Fruition chocolate bars.
I’ve tried a good amount of chocolate from the Dominican Republic, but only a few dark milks from this area. The ones I have tried have tended to be on the creamy and caramelly side of dark milks. Here we have a slight take on a dark milk though with the addition of browned butter, which suggests that it should be a little richer, a little darker and lightly flavoured. It seems a complementary pairing to me, but one that encourages the richness of a dark milk chocolate, which leads me to feel that this bars’ quality will rest in its balance and refinement. My expectations are for something fairly archetypal in turns of a dark milk, but my hope is that the bar is smooth, refined and generally expresses quality. Opening the packaging I’m presented with a glossy looking slab with Fruition’s geometric cocoa pod circle moulding. Breaking off a piece – in fairly warm conditions – reveals aromas of grassy fresh milk and jersey cream, before sweet notes of buttercream in the finish. Placing a piece in my mouth the chocolate has a firm creamy texture that’s glossy, but more buttery towards the end, it’s rich and fatty much like the best ice creams. To taste this chocolate is a rich and creamy display of archetypal cocoa and sugar flavours, there’s sweet notes of buttercream and honey that develop into golden syrup, alongside base notes of Jersey cream and archetypal chocolate flavour. This reminds me nostalgically of all the best parts of Galaxy chocolate, that creamier more indulgent chocolate that contrasted the lighter, fresher and more milky hard milk chocolates of my youth. There’s some good development here that pushes some bigger, bolder finished flavours on you, there’s no mistaking the intensity of flavour development. This is one for those who like rich chocolate, those that reach for creamy desserts, who enjoy French cuisine and aren’t afraid to cook with half a pat of butter in the pan. Best enjoyed with French dessert wine, caramelised apricots, Pastel de Nata or black fig jam.
Ingredients: Cane sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa beans, nonfat milk powder, butter, vanilla beans
Colour: Milky brown
Texture: Smooth, light aeration, light sandiness
Mould: Fruition pod circles slab
Snap: Soft (warm conditions)
Notes: Grassy fresh milk, jersey cream, buttercream
Quality: Fresh, rich, sweet
Texture: Jersey cream, glossy, buttery
Quality: Rich, fatty, firm
Notes: Jersey cream
Quality: Smooth, rich, lactic
Notes: Buttercream, honey, golden syrup
Quality: Rich, golden, developed
Type: Sweet, salt
Notes: Jersey cream, buttercream, cocoa, honey, golden syrup, butter, salt
Quality: Rich, full, warm
Flavours are bold and long making large arcs before rounding on peaks of rich sweetness
Notes: Golden syrup, butter, salt
Quality: Bar remains chocolatey from start to end, but turns golden in the finish with rich golden syrup notes that are balanced by a salty butteryness that leaves lingering milk chocolate notes
Bar has an overtly sweet driven balance, medium, but firm structure is enough to provide some stability, but plenty of anchoring, rich creamy base contrasts well with enriched sweet top notes
Bar has plenty of depth with some good dimension, small amount of complexity is well balanced and structure is consistent, expression is true of inclusion with processing encouraging rich creaminess
Fruition’s Tasting Notes: Locally churned Ronnybrook farm dairy browned butter lends deep caramel flavours to our interpretation of a classic milk chocolate.