Box Chocolate Review

Cocoa Design

Info Details
Country USA   (Burlingame, CA)
Style New School      
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
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
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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