Sunday, 12 September 2010

Madagascan 71 - Sambirano Superior - Willie's Delectable Cacao

This has to be one of the greatest success stories in the history of chocolate making in the UK! If you've not heard of Willie Harcourt-Cooze then I suggest you visit his website now and start reading up on his amazing story. His website is not one of the easiest to navigate but well worth a visit.

Not only does Willie make his chocolate using antique machinery but he has his very own plantation in Venezuela. I followed his program for months and lived through all the agonizing ups and downs as probably did millions of others. He is one of those great entrepreneurs who just never gives up, whatever the setback. All his hard work and support from his family and friends paid off in the end, as he's now selling his chocolate creations all over the world. 

The Packaging: Before you've even popped open the lid the packaging tells you this is likely to be a quality chocolate. The pink lettering against the brown of the box is a bit garish but remember we're talking about Willie Harcourt-Cooze who is anything like a shrinking violet. It has a sophisticated feel about it. Nothing about the environment which is to be expected when you know the focus is on great flavours. The chocolate comes in two squares and each is beautifully presented in gold foil which continues the 'no expense spared' feel.

The Chocolate: There is a loud 'crack' as I break into the little bar. I expected to be darker and am surprised by how light it looks and it certainly does look handmade. That is not a criticism as it looks like it has been hand crafted rather than machine made. 

The taste is delicious especially the 'fruit' flavours coming through, raspberries spring to mind! There is definitely a tangy zest from this bar. There is no bitterness only a distinct cocoa flavour as you swallow the last morsel. That's one square demolished!

Ingredients: Dark chocolate - contains cocoa solids (71% min). Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Cuban Raw Cane Sugar.

Overall I give this bar 9/10 as it has superb flavour and great presentation. A bit more information on the environment please! 

At £2.99 for 80g from John Lewis it's worth every penny. I'll be back for more.......


  1. Weirdly I have heard a real diverse range of reviews about this chocolate. It seems to be a real love it or hate it kind of chocolate.

    I'm thinking people are too used to Bournville and so shy away from this and maybe don't try it properly to give ti a fair tasting and assume it'll be that cardboard from Cadbury's.

    I'll have to grab myself some soon!

  2. Thanks for reminding me about this as it's been a few months since I reviewed his chocolate. Some people are probably put off by the flavours which are so unexpected from a bar of chocolate. I might even try reviewing a bar of Bournville against WHC's offering. That's two more sales this year he's going to get :)