Thursday, 24 February 2011

Thorntons 38% Venezuelan Tonka Bean Milk Chocolate Bar

Not being a big fan of Thornton's normal milk chocolate, I find it too sugary, I was pleased to see that their newish range of little bars you can buy from there has incorporated different flavours and cocoa percentages of chocolate ranging from different origins and was hoping that maybe they would offer something a bit different to their "normal" stuff.

There was so many to choose from but I had heard someone briefly mention Tonka chocolate before and when I saw that it had won a silver award from the Academy of Chocolate I had to try this for myself, would it be award winning?

With 38% Venezuelan cocoa solids it has a much higher cocoa percentage than their classic milk chocolate they use in figurines etc, and is made with tonka infused cocoa butter, now I wasn't actually sure what the Tonka bean was so I did a bit of chocolate research! The tonka bean is a seed from a species of flowering tree in the pea family native to South America, they are small black and wrinked and have a smooth brown interior providing aromas reminiscent of vanilla, almond, cinnamon and cloves and are often used as vanilla subsitutes or can be even used in perfume!

This was the first of the Thornton's chocolate block range I have tried so I'm not sure whether all are packaged the same, but this block was packaged in a lovely silver foil wrapper, which after many attempts I just couldn't get into, ahh the anticipation! On opening the chocolate you are hit with a wonderful earthy vanilla smell and the chocolate, for a milk chocolate, provides a good thick snap to it.

Thorntons 38% Venezuelan Tonka Bean Milk Chocolate

I snapped off quite a big chunk for my first try, I really wanted to get the full experience and on tasting you can definately taste the wonderful light vanilla and almond flavours that the Tonka Bean provides, however I also got slight fruity flavours coming through as it began to melt on my tongue, which I believe may come from the Venezuelan cocoa beans. This chocolate bar reminded me of a tropical sandy beach, the wonderful light vanilla and almond notes building in the mouth before peaking just before swallowing, this chocolate is definately one where the flavour builds within the mouth, leaving a pleasant taste once gone!

Thorntons 38% Venezuelan Tonka Bean Milk Chocolate

The texture the chocolate provided was exquisite, it was extremely smooth and creamy and melted beautifully on the tongue filling the mouth with it's wonderful flavour, coating every nook & cranny! This chocolate definately is far more complex than Thornton's milk chocolate and provided much less of a sugar dense experience, I definately preferred it. Nevertheless despite it being better than the original I still haven't been completely won over by Thornton's chocolate, I think I would still sway to Hotel Chocolat's 40% milk. However I will probably have to try more of the Thornton's block range...just to verify of course.

Thorntons 38% Venezuelan Tonka Bean Milk Chocolate

Taste - 7.5/10 - It was much nicer than the my usual Thornton's experience and provided much more of a complex different flavour, a good milk chocolate.
Texture - 9/10 - A gorgeous texture, wonderfully creamy and melts easily on the tongue.
Appearance - 8/10 - A good shiny finish, presented in a wonderful silver foil wrapper.
Price - 8/10 - At £1.79 for a 70g bar it's a bargain, how could you resist!
Overall - 7.7/10 - Definately better than usual and a very tasty different milk chocolate, would I buy it again if I wanted to satisfy my milk chocolate fix, probably not but I did really enjoy it.


  1. I don't thin I've tried much Thorntons chocolate. Did it used to be housed in quite different packaging? :)

  2. The salted macadamia is nice as is their chiili one ;o)

  3. I need to start rating chocolate on my site! ;)

    ...and maybe cheesecakes.

  4. So interesting. I've never heard of the tonka bean before, and I loved learning a bit more about one of my favorite foods...chocolate. Thank you for sharing this with us today! I hope you are having a great end to your week.

  5. Not Quite Nigella - They've never done proper chocolate blocks like this before, normally all their chocolate was moulded so this is quite new.

  6. I'm suprised by the low taste score on this one. I for one think the Tonka bean was possibly the best chocolate Thorntons have made in years (they have since discontinued it) and only the Pistachio chocolate and macadamia are close in terms of the bars now for me. Tonka beans are not used much in food due to danger to the human liver I believe! In small quantaties though its fine, so probably a good thing they discontinued this Chocolate as I was getting quite addicted to it myself!