Box Chocolate Review

Ernst Knam

Info Details
Country Italy   (Milan)
Style Neo-Modern      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
From the outward signs, pretty unassuming... even humble – setting up low expectations. But when you expect very little, often you get a lot. Ernst Knam deals & delivers.
Presentation   2.7 / 5
mix of hand-rolled & simple molds; all uninspired dullards
Aromas   3.9 / 5
herbal perfume
Textures/Melt   8.1 / 10
Shells: medium gauge
Centers: soft yet substantial; nearly 1:1 ratio
Flavor   43.6 / 50
working in Italy but Austrian heritage comes thru dark & deep
Quality   26.7 / 30
Simple, save for a signature horizontal movement that usually proceeds from the flavored infusion to essential chocolate flavor, as though virtually programmed via the art of pairing & proportion.
Selections
Couverture: likely Felchlin
Plain Dark – little ball of TNT; dry & dense in texture & taste yet detonates flashes of licorice, plum, blackberry & dried black-velvet apricot
Plain Dark-on-Milk - very neutral, almost canceling effect
Chili – unprepossessing... Dark-on-Dark lull until ambushed by pepper that rages on before nicely settling back into the mix to enhance the plum / pomegranate / molasses accents of chocolate; excellent
Dark Peanut – strong lateral motion; evolves from nut presence, then eventually subsumed by cocoa, coloring & changing its profile in the process
Marzipan/Grappa – stays on this side of almond, practically roasted by the rising heat of alcohol, all directed toward Knam’s now-signature evolution to heightened chocolate endings; terrific
Pistachio – out of character & out of place; deadpan pistachio marzipan; should stay put in the bakery section
Strawberry - Dark-on-Milk berry whip; comes off manipulated & teased like a mousse marmalade designed to win over pink-hearted taste buds
Cinnamon – variation on a Knam theme; Dark shell over Dark ganache rolled in cinnamon which again leaves chocolate standing enhanced... once the dust settles
Gianduja – hazelnut blended into Milk Choc for a thick paste w/ an underside of caramel that becomes central; heavy on the glucose & ultimately unsuccessful but right on concept
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