The chocolate scene has flourished in and around Ottawa in the last ten years. With new bean-to-bar chocolate makers and several new chocolatiers, as well as many shops offering imported fine chocolate, a chocolate lover certainly has endless choice in Canada's Capital.
One more chocolatier has been added to the list: Baroness Chocolate. And they may very well be the most unique addition to Ottawa's tasty trove of treasures. By mixing several different Rainforest Alliance-certified couverture chocolates together, including milk and dark chocolates, Baroness has created completely original chocolate bars with inclusions that are made in-house.
I received a box of seven of the newly launched line of chocolate bars by Baroness Chocolate. Without hesitation, I tasted them all. Each bar offered an explosion of flavours new to my palate.
So why were these chocolate bars so good? For starters, one of my favourite treats is sponge toffee. So I was delighted when I discovered that Baroness Chocolate makes two different chocolate bars with large, delicious pieces of sponge toffee inside of them: Mocha krunhjay and Subversive squirrel. They were two of the tastiest chocolate bars that I have ever eaten.
I also love cookies dipped in chocolate, and so I was again excited by Baroness's chocolate bar called Tummy Rub, which had large pieces of a very crunchy and tasty cookie inside of a rich, creamy milk chocolate. It was so delicious that I had trouble resisting it. If you like milk chocolate and cookies (which happen to be gluten free), you will LOVE this chocolate bar.
On a final note, I sometimes cannot choose between milk and dark chocolate. I love them both (I prefer dark chocolate, but milk chocolate was my first love). And with Baroness, I never have to choose. Most of the their chocolate bars combine milk and dark chocolate. So no chocolate flavour is too sweet, nor are they too bitter. To be clear about it, they have a little graph printed on the front of the package to show how they fold deep milk chocolate together with medium semi-sweet chocolate and dark bitter-sweet chocolate.
In order, here were my favourites:
1. Tummy rub - Milk Chocolate and Cookies
2. Subversive Squirrel - Dark chocolate, salted peanuts and peanut brittle (oh baby, more sponge toffee!)
3. Mocha krunhjay - Dark, semi sweet and milk chocolate, almonds, coffee and toffee (here is that sponge toffee!)
4. Aiyaaaa! - Chocolate, butterscotch and almonds (oh yum..., seriously nice for any kind of chocolate lover).
5. Dob Dobs - Chocolate, caramel and pecans
6. Love & Blessing - Straight up organic milk and dark chocolate (I am not sure what to make of this one. It is like dark chocolate, but with a melt-in-your-mouth quality, like that of milk chocolate).
7. Tantric Tiger - milk and dark chocolate with cranberries, almonds and sea salt (this was tasty, but dried fruit in chocolate is not my thing).
All of the flavour inclusions are made by Baroness, including the sponge toffee and gluten free cookies that can be found in my favourite bars.
Owners Kaye Wong and Bill Macy started Baroness Chocolate to honour Ms. Wong's daughter. You can learn more about this in the Ottawa Citizen article written in 2013 (updated May 2014). Their Kickstarter campaign was funded last November and their factory opened in February of this year. Check the website for more information on where to buy Baroness Chocolate.