From Bean to Bar – Product review: Chocolarder, Cornish Honeycomb

We’re five days into the New Year, and I’ve already eaten enough chocolate to last me up until 2016. If I see another tub of Roses or Quality Street, I’ll throw up. Every Christmas and New Year, I lose all prior knowledge of calories for about a week, until I eventually prise myself away from the TV, force myself up off the couch and reluctantly step onto the weighing scales (I’m still too scared this year, for the record!) I really have eaten more than my fair share of chocolate lately, but amongst all the sharing tubs and selection boxes I’ve munched my way through, this bar from Chocolarder deserves a special mention on my blog.

Image copyrighted to Chocolarder

Based in Penryn, Cornwall, Chocolarder has been making artisan bean-to-bar chocolate for three years and is one of only seven producers of its kind in the UK. The chocolate production process involves roasting, winnowing and grinding cocoa beans in small batches using machinery invented on-site by founder and former Michelin star pastry chef, Michael Longman. This takes four days, after which time the ground beans are left to mature for 30 days. The chocolate is then hand tempered and formed into bars, using ingredients foraged from Cornish hedgerows to create flavour.

As Chocolarder’s products are ethically and sustainably sourced, they don’t just taste good, they do good, too – so you don’t feel quite as guilty about eating a whole bar to yourself! The beans used are all organic and are imported from single estate, family-run plantations in Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Chocolarder kindly sent me a sample of their Cornish Honeycomb milk chocolate to review. At £3.95 for 70g it’s by no means cheap, but the price is justified somewhat by the elegant presentation and the superb quality of the chocolate.

The bar is enclosed in a paper wallet inside a cardboard, envelope-style package, the openings of which are sealed with a transparent circular sticker bearing a gold cocoa bean. The label informs me that the beans are of the Trinitario variety from Java, they have been ground for 68 hours and the bar contains 40% cocoa solids.

The bar itself is perfectly formed (or at least it was until I dropped it on the floor, cracking it into three pieces) with whole cocoa beans engraved onto the front. Although many producers don’t make real honeycomb nowadays, the Cornish Honeycomb milk bar uses traditionally made honeycomb; with honey gathered from bees who feast on the Lizard peninsula’s wild heather, gorse and clover. Believe me, it tastes even better that it sounds. 
 

Biting into the bar, the strong honey tones taste delicious paired with the creaminess of the chocolate (30% fresh milk), which has a subtle hint of raisins to it (and fudge apparently, but I couldn’t detect that). The honeycomb is of varying shapes and sizes, randomly dispersed throughout the bar. I’ve never tried traditionally made honeycomb before, but it’s delicious.

I really enjoyed Chocolarder’s Cornish Honeycomb milk chocolate, although at £3.95 per 70g I would be more likely to purchase some as a gift for a chocoholic, rather than as an occasional treat for myself. What’s the most expensive chocolate bar you’ve ever bought? Would you fork out £3.95 for a Chocolarder bar?

Click here to visit the Chocolarder website

Chocolarder sent me a complimentary product sample to review on The Rare Welsh Bit, but I was not obliged to write a positive review.

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