Thursday, December 04, 2008

Review: Cocoa Farm Shiraz Chocolate Barrels

As if anyone needs ANY more chocolate in their life. I certainly don't. One more square of 70% (strictly for the antioxidants, you see) and it'll be Mrs Creosote Central around here.

But forget the 70%. Cocoa Farm have a new range of elegant little dark chocolates, infused with Australian shiraz. They're little barrel-shaped, bite-sized bundles of love, and what with the dark chocolate coating and the grapey tannin-soaked insides, they're so stuffed full of antioxidants that they could single-handedly fend off the plague, or a nuclear blast.
They come individually wrapped in a box of eight. Just the right size for after dinner, with the last bottle of red wine. There's about two bites per chocolate, and they are soft, toothsome, delectably savourable and with a strong yet subtle presence. These chocs know their place. They don't overpower, or undermine others. They devote themselves to evoking dreams of shaded southern vineyards, long lazy lunches, white linen tablecloths, sun-drenched courtyards and decadent, sensual afternoons. Mmm. If only they came with a bonus handsome Italian.

And these are the kind of thing that would be perfect for the wine buff, the wannabe wine buff, the mother-in-law, the social butterfly, the boss, the grandparents, the health nut, the sports freak or just someone who needs a treat. Personally, I think these would be great as Christmas standbys: much more original than the bottles of wine I usually keep as a standby, and much more likely to appeal to a wider clientele. Last year I made jams: the year before it was gingerbread hearts. This year it will be shiraz chocolates... so much easier, more original, and so much more forgiving.

But I really must address the thorny issue of fruit and nut. You may or may not know that I detest fruit and nut chocolates, chocolate-dipped strawberries, etc. It's the two kinds of sweetness, the refined sugar plus the fructose that undoes me. So one must admit that one was a little hesitant about the chocolatey, grapey goodness of Cocoa Farm. However, I was convinced by two things: its not-too-sweet aroma and fresh, bitey, tannic aftertaste, and the perfect balance therein of the grippy shiraz wine and the dark chocolate. Neither overly fruity nor sickly sweet. Not at all like the usual fruit/nut combos. I liked it a lot.

Whence to fetch them? Bottle shops and specialty sweet stores, or check the website. Cheers!
Note: This review is an entry in Cocoa Farm's editorial contest. They sent me a sample pack.

No comments: