This cylindrical block of 100% cacao is for a certain kind of chocolate addict. If you love your Cadbury’s dairy milk, this may well not be the bar for you, as there isn’t a sprinkling of added sugar to be found. If you like cocoa nibs and you often head for the bar with the highest cocoa content around, then you will probably be itching to try this offering from Willie Harcourt-Cooze.
Channel 4 documented Willie’s mission to create the perfect bar of chocolate in their series ‘Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory’, which took a look at his struggles and successes as he endeavoured to create a premium chocolate from bean to bar.
So what on earth does this pure stuff taste like? Venezuelan Black comes in three varieties and we got our mouths around the Rio Caribe Superior bar, which comes from a single bean origin, sourced by Willie during his extensive travels of Venezuela. It’s labelled with ‘citrus fruit characteristics’ and tastes on first contact with your tongue, quite sour and savoury before mellowing out with a more rounded flavour. It smells deeply rich, boasts a shimmering, glossy finish and its taste lends itself just as well to savoury dishes as it does to sugar-sweetened recipes. When you peel off the label, there are three recipes inside for Cloud Forest Chocolate Cake, Truffles and Traditional Venezuelan Hot Chocolate. If this doesn’t make you explode with gastronomic curiosity, then we don’t know what will.
If you want to specifically taste the chocolate that has been made on Willie’s plantation, then go for his very own single estate Hacienda El Tesoro. As with the Rio Caribe Superior, the Carenero Superior bar is also made from a single bean origin, sourced by Willie in Venezuela.
It’s worth remembering that for chocolate die-hards, 100% isn’t a new thing – it may only just have hit the shelves of Waitrose, but it has been sitting on chocolatiers counters for a while now, and even a few Harley Street doctors prescribe it for its antioxidant qualities. Excess in moderation? Well, if it’s good for you…
Venezuelan Black is available at Waitrose. All three 180g cacao bars are priced at £5.99.