Posts Tagged ‘slave free chocolate’

HOT CHOCOLATE

February 11, 2010

Valentine’s Day is Sunday and candy aisle shelves are as decimated as the bait shop at a Pro Bass tournament. It’s enough to make the most dedicated shopper panic. In the mayhem, you  may wonder: does a box of chocolate-covered scotch kisses from the mall say love? How about a trout shaped double crisp bar with the words “You’re a Keeper’ emblazoned on the novelty packaging? It all depends on your sweetmeat’s whims. But before you go trolling for truffles, you should know about Christopher Michael Chocolatier.  

The heat is on!

From bacon bars  and chocolate covered corn flakes to genteel tablets infused with lemongrass and lavender, this OC-based small-batch retailer reincarnates single origin Venezuelan fair trade chocolate into many forms. Some like it hot. There are a number of high-end bars combining chocolate and chilies out there. Could there really be that much difference between the products?

 

 I did a blind side by side taste comparison of Michael’s Aztec Spiced Bar with two other contenders in the Galley Girl test kitchen with little expectation. The results were surprising. Trying to detect chili heat in the other bars was like trying to find a Tag Heuer with a Little Tykes metal detector on CDM State Beach in August.

  

Wrapped in innocuous brown and robin’s egg blue and cast in a boring tablet format, Michael’s decieving bar had Scoville cred from the first bite. Shimmering with pleasing heat as soon as it began to melt and well after it was gone, the square delivered deep, fully developed cacao flavor and even-tempered velvety mouthfeel with radiant cinnamon and vanilla notes.  I planned on fully stocking my butter compartment with the stuff, but Michael was fresh out and I got the last one at Hi Times yesterday. Luckily, he’ll be making more this afternoon.

2346 Newport Blvd. Suite A 3, Costa Mesa, 92626. 949.566-9810. 

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