Box Chocolate Review

Cocoa Design

Info Details
Country USA   (Burlingame, CA)
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Nothing radical or revolutionary. Just innovations on classic pralines dipped, dunked, coated, tumbled &/or rolled every which way in cocoa dust or chocolate covered.
Presentation   4.6 / 5
beautiful fugly critters
Aromas   4.1 / 5
earthen
Textures/Melt   8.5 / 10
Shells: either dusted or light covered
Centers: crunchy nut concourse
Flavor   43.4 / 50
strong & long; hand-roasted caramelized nut pralines dusted up in cocoa; + a few bars & caramels
Quality   24.3 / 30
A-1 finesse & fun
Selections
Couverture: Cacao Barry; Schokinag; Valrhona; El Rey; Scharffen-Berger
Earl Grey Tea Caramel – sugar drill w/ medium pull; tea pops in the second flush
Azteque Caramel – soft & yielding punctuated w/ traditional 4-spice of minor chili presence save for a streak of heat at the very back tail
Nuts Lait – almond dressed & disguised as peanut brittle candy; way sweet
Nut Azteque – assembly of nosher crunch almond, American 4-spice masala & cocoa dust; the FXs - cinnamon sugar & dry-wind dust-ball creating a hazmat Heimlich maneuver; tame the sugar-dust up & it’s a BB (bon bomb)
Nuts Epices - well-stated spice melds to cocoa & edges almond along; a complex of elements yet simple enough elegance which is the beauty of the collection
Nuts Framboise – ingenious pairing devolves into a berry marzipan

BARS Epices – the already formidable épices-blend amplified here in a cocoa bed that does a menage-a-trois on the head, dance stepping thru spices & nuts & cacáo that by chewing becomes part of the art of grinding... leading to twirls & swirls of a roasted plum note (El Rey’s Mijao?); entrancing; one cavil – trace too sweet
Extra Noir – oh yeah, that’s the spot; honest take on ancient classics; praline adds culinary tech to earth-driven cacáo that makes you want to dig in the dirt
Azteque – neo-traditional American spice embedded in deeper folds of cocoa; again, a streak too sweet... a factor that runs counter to Mesoamerican preparations (agave & honey... probably, but foremost as condiment rather than sweetening agent)
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