Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Raven Chocolate Bean to Bar 45% Hazelnut

I don't know of many bean to bar UK chocolate producers so when I read about Raven Chocolate, based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland I was eager to try their products, made with fresh, organic ingredients and single origin beans.

Raven 45% Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

I used to quite enjoy dark chocolate and I still am partial to it now and then but to be honest my heart lies with milk varieties (and when executed well white chocolate), so the 45% hazelnut bar sounded like something I would enjoy, made with West African cacao beans topped with crushed hazelnuts & popping candy. Although to be honest I was slightly skeptical about the popping candy, I didn't feel that it really had a place in an elegant bean to bar chocolate.


Raven 45% Hazelnut Chocolate Bar 

Firstly I absolutely adore the packaging, it looks extremely classy, the raven logo & the map/poster style paper wrapping makes it really stand out. Opening the bar however was like getting into Fort Knox, it was stuck all over the place!! However I loved the actual shape of the bar; quite often chocolate companies opt for a simple thin slab where as I loved the 3d style shape Raven have opted for.

Raven 45% Hazelnut Chocolate Bar


The snap of the chocolate itself is quite crumbly and didn't have that crisp, smooth snap I am accustomed to. Popping a bit into my mouth I was quite surprised by the flavour the bar presented, I was expecting that it would be quite sweet with hints of nutty praline with a sweet tang from the popping candy. In fact the bar offers a slightly bitter, yet lighter flavour, with slightly fruity undertones, I didn't really get a lot of flavour from the hazelnuts but they offered a nice textural contrast in the bar. However there certainly was no "pop" from the popping candy, I don't know whether it's possible for it to lose its "pop" but if so this definitely had, personally I thought this was a good thing as I wasn't really sure what it was doing in the bar in the first place. Despite being surprised by the flavour I actually quite enjoyed eating it, a lighter, less sweet/intense eat.

Raven 45% Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

In terms of texture I thought I was going to be disappointed, crumbly chocolate is never normally a good thing, but actually on eating it provided an almost aerated experience, with the light delicate texture complementing the overall flavours of the bar.


Taste - 6.8/10 - Not what I was expecting at all from this bar but was actually rather enjoyable.
Texture - 6.9/10 - Again, not what I expected but the crumbly nature of the bar actually provided a great eat.
Appearance - 9.4/10 - I absolutely adore the design of the bar/packaging.
Price - 7.1/10 - At £3.50 for a 75g bar for an organic, single origin, bean to bar chocolate bar I think it's pretty good value.
Overall - 7.6/10 - A less sweet yet still delicious eat for those looking for a better quality milk chocolate bar whilst supporting UK producers!
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WHO FOR?Anyone that already enjoys bean to bar chocolate bars or those looking to transition from sweeter milk chocolate bars to higher cocoa % bars.

WHERE TO BUY?
Online at Raven's website here.







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