Sunday, 7 November 2010

Devnaa - White Chocolate with Pistachios, Cardamom and a hint of Saffron

Devnaa is not a company that I've heard of before but I recently came across them on Twitter. At the moment, you can win a free bar of their chocolate until the end of 2010 by just following them on Twitter! A family business based in Wembley they provide a range of chocolate bars and chocolates inspired by Indian spices. Only this year Devnaa were awarded a Gold Taste Award for their chai masala milk chocolate. I'm not exactly sure where their chocolate comes from but their website information claims that they use some of the worlds finest Belgian chocolate couvertures. They cater for the Indian market especially festivals such as Diwali with their eye catching boxes of chocolates. 

The business was founded by Jay and Roopa Rawal literally from their kitchen table. To quote from their website, "Roopa’s knowledge of authentic Indian cooking has been learned from our Mum’s superb recipes and also from our Grandmother’s guidelines. Our grandmother was famous amongst her local community in Nairobi for making the best Indian sweets! We knew that if we were going to make our treats available to the rest of the world they would have to surpass all expectations people associated with Indian sweets". Both Jay and Roopa have put a lot of work into getting this business off the ground. Jay went to India to research Indian chocolates and Roopa went to the Slattery School of Excellence to learn about artisan chocolate.

Devnaa support heal which is a UK registered charity committed to providing shelter, support, education and healthcare for children in India. With each bar sold 5p is donated to heal.

The Packaging: I'd love to know where the name Devnaa actually came from as it is intriguing and I can't seem to find any reference on their website? Each of their 70g bars are wrapped in traditional foil with a colorful outer wrapper. The design on the front is distinctly 'Indian' reminding me of the beautiful henna designs you see on Indian women.

The Chocolate: The bar I'm tasting today is white chocolate with pistachios, cardamom and a hint of saffron. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to white chocolate and it is important to use one that has a high cocoa butter content. According to their packaging this bar contains cocoa solids 28% min, milk solids 22% min. Sugar is at the top of the list so I expect this bar to be very sweet which considering the market this is aimed at is probably the right approach.

The strong aroma of cardamom is the main scent that hits you when you release this bar from it's package. Both the pistachio and cardamom have been ground up and mixed into the chocolate to give a light speckle effect. The bar has been well tempered and as it quickly melts you can feel the small pieces of pistachio and cardamom on your tongue. The bar is very sweet and has slightly soapy feel. I'm pleased to say that I picked up the hint of saffron that comes through at the end. Apologies for the picture quality but the bar didn't make it through Royal Mail unscathed!

Devnaa White Chocolate Bar
This bar wasn't for me possibly due to the over use of Cardamom and the fact that it was very sweet. The bars are available from their website starting at £4.99 for two. Overall I give this bar 5/10 for presentation, price and corporate social responsibility.

If you'd like to find out more about Devnaa click here.

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