Another fun and unusual filled chocolate bar from Chuao Chocolatier. I loved the Milk Chocolate and Potato Chips bar. Crumbled salty chips broken up into a milk chocolate bar. As if you even need to ask if that would be good. It was amazing.
Today we have panko. Japanese bread crumbs typically used for their fine texture and coating for breading and frying things.
Click to enlarge images.
Type: Filled Semisweet, 60%
Ingredients: Dark chocolate (cacao, sugar, cacao butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), panko (unbleached wheat flour, dextrose, yeast, salt), salt.
Sample Size: 80g or 2.8oz
Appearance: Deep dark chocolate color, very dark brown, Shiny and beautiful bar with almost a glittery-like effect from the panko on the top of the surface. Monogrammed tablet, textured surface on the back with a well blended and filled bar.
Snap: Deep, firm snap with fairly loud and crisp snap sound, crumbly break lines due to the panko.
Aroma: Sweet, deep and hidden berry notes, pen ink, lightly smoky, roasted cacao and tobacco notes.
Taste: Tangy acid notes, very fruity, big berries and sweet cacao, very small hits of salt.
Texture: Smooth but very hard chocolate, a little waxy, medium melt time, very gritty panko crumbs but a nice crispy crunch.
Beautiful looking bar. Nice shiny and unblemished surface with the panko on the top almost looking like glitter. Click the first picture in the set of the bars to see what I mean about that glittery effect. Cool surface on the back and proves that the bar is evenly distributed with panko crumbs.
Good, very strong snap. I only scored it lower because of it's grit it leaves when snapped. That is of course, due to the panko, but I have to say it is one of the more messier bars when snapping a piece off. But the firmness of it and the sound was excellent.
The aroma was kind of weak. It had all the hallmarks of big South American chocolate but it was so subdued. I wonder if the sugar content had something to do with that or if the panko crumbs stifled the aroma. But it did have berry notes, smoke, and tobacco. All trademarks I have come to know from Venezuelan beans.
A bit acidic in the first taste. Tangy and tart. Very sweet and sugary with big berry flavors. Not enough salt to handle the sugar content of this semisweet bar. The panko didn't have as much of a toasted taste as I wanted and pretty much just added a crispy texture and absorbed all the flavors of the chocolate. I found it to be too sweet over all. There simply wasn't enough salt for this bar. The sugars from the chocolate completely trumped the salt and panko.
The panko ended up being a bit annoying for me in the end. It didn't add enough flavor, just a crispy texture that I did like, but then it ended up being gritty and kind of obnoxious as I was trying to focus on the finishing flavors but ended up rinsing my mouth to clear it of the crumbs.
I think this is one of those bars that sounds good on paper but didn't come out as well as it could have. Put this on milk chocolate, and add more salt and you would have a winner despite the lingering grittypanko crumbs on the finish. The creaminess of the milk chocolate, the added creamy milk flavors and the salt would help tone down the acidity of the chocolate and the huge berry flavors and allow all the flavors to present themselves nicely.
A milk chocolate would be a nicer melting chocolate as well. I get that you are supposed to bite into and crunch it up. But there was still a slight hard waxy texture to the chocolate. It should have been smoother and softer to accommodate or not get in the way of the crispy panko.
Final Score: 90.4