Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Gourmet Chocolate Easter Egg and Other Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Treats for the Bunny Basket

SOMA Chocolatemaker in Toronto has launched a delicious selection of treats for Easter this year.  I have already told you about the very unique Roasted White Chocolate Bunny, and about all the other delicious chocolate creations this Canadian craft chocolate maker has introduced in the last several years. Here are few more that I have tasted and reviewed this past week:

Gorgeous Chocolate Egg on Hazelnut Nest

The marketing for the launch of SOMA's beautiful chocolate egg was well executed. In addition to delicious-looking tweets and Facebook photos, SOMA's egg was mentioned in Chatelaine's top 10 gift-worthy Easter chocolates.  Having the privilege of tasting the egg before the Easter Bunny arrives, I can tell you that this is definitely a special gourmet treat for Easter.

Inside the egg is an individually packaged and unique chocolate-coated fig, stuffed with a roasted almond and caramel. The Peruvian dark chocolate exterior perfectly complements the slightly sweeter interior. The fig is not overly chewy and overall, quite enjoyable.

The egg itself comes in milk or dark chocolate, but mine was dark chocolate.  SOMA's signature Peruvian dark chocolate has that high-cocoa flavour that I find common in Peruvian chocolate, with a slightly sweet and fruity aroma. It is smooth, delicious, dark chocolate that has a nice bitterness for a high 60%-range chocolate. It was a little melted (with bloom) just around the edges where the egg was placed together, but otherwise beautiful.

The hazelnut nest is not only super-fun to eat, but also smooth and absolutely delicious, like a smooth hazelnut milk chocolate truffle (except in pasta form!). It is not overly sweet and pairs nicely with the dark chocolate egg.

If you need to buy for a fine chocolate enthusiast, or if you really want to avoid commercial junk-filled Wal-mart treats this year, this may be a way to step it up and give the gift of gourmet this Easter.

Dark Chocolate Birch Branch

Nothing says spring more than the gorgeous chocolate Birch Branch, a signature product at SOMA. The mould was sculpted from an actual birch branch found in Lindsay, Ontario. The dark chocolate branch is truly an artistic piece, with perfect branch knots and bark-like lines that make you truly feel like you are eating a piece of Ontario woodland. Inside is a delicious truffle-like hazelnut milk chocolate with a feulletine crunch.  It is not commercially-sweet (which I like) and a little on the thick side when eaten alone, but with the cherry paste centre, it melts in the mouth with a perfect sweetness. Find it on Page 17 of SOMA's brochure.

25-Gram Mini Samplers - perfect to toss into an Easter basket
I picked up two SOMA small origin bars: Rugoso Nicaragua 70% and Madagascar 70%. Weighing in at 25 grams, and a cost of $4 each, this is a great way to taste and compare a few different bean-to-bar origin chocolates with the same percentage of cacao solids.

Madagascar origin chocolate can be found everywhere these days.  If there ever was a 'staple' origin chocolate, Madagascar would certainly be a front runner for the job. And it is no wonder because of the strong fruity flavour found in chocolate made from Madagascan beans. So strong in fact, that after a few comparative chocolate origin tastings, a novice chocolate taster can likely identify a Madagascar-origin chocolate blindfolded. SOMA`s fine, smooth and delicate bar definitely had that distinct Madagascar flavour. It offered a bold punch of fruity and chocolaty flavour.

The Nicaragua origin chocolate bar was a bit tangy and lightly fruity with bright flavours. It was certainly less bold in flavour than the Madagascar chocolate. Overall, it was quite enjoyable.

Where to buy?

You can find all of SOMA`s seasonal Easter treats and non-seasonal products in their product brochure online.  Buy in-store in Toronto or via e-mail.  Find out more on their website: http://www.somachocolate.com.

To read other reviews of SOMA's bean-to-bar chocolates, simply type the word 'SOMA' into the 'Search this Blog" box on the right of The Ultimate Chocolate Blog's webpage.

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