It may be Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but regular readers will know I don’t buy into that. Here, instead, are three lovely bars to treat yourself to.
Marou 48% milk, £6.95/60g, is from Cocoa Runners. The cocoa is from Vietnam and the milk is from grass-fed cows and, I swear, you can tell. God this was so good. My restraint was sorely tested once I’d flicked the foil open. (‘Where’s that yummy milk gone, Mamma?’ my children asked as I slid it under my diary.) With its creamy, almost meaty mouthfeel, you can kid yourself it’s OK, because it’s a dark milk. Thoroughly enjoyable.
If you fancy something a little darker, but want some inclusions, and who doesn’t, then Karuna’s 62% Hazelnut and Dark cashew Nougat, £7.95/60g with cocoa from Mexico, is absolutely wonderful (also from Cocoa Runners). It doesn’t taste madly nougat-y, so don’t let that put you off if nougat is not your thing. But if it is, then don’t expect chewy nougat bits, think more nutty bits. It’s organic, fair paid, bean to bar, it’s got it all going on.
For something darker, but a bit more exciting than a regular non-inclusion bar try Cocoa Retreat’s Whisky Nibs, £6.25 /45g. It’s 70% single origin Ecuadorian chocolate with cocoa nibs that have been soaked in 10-year-old single malt Glenmorangie whisky, which you can taste. As it happens I’ve been to this distillery, so I learned how to pronounce it, and it’s in a wonderful part of the world so brought back great memories.