Saturday, 3 March 2012

Dark Chocolate with Chilli - Marks & Spencer

It's been a bit of a blogging vacuum this past few weeks as chocolate production has just got in the way.  A recent trip to Excel proved to be a good distraction for a few hours. I'd forgotten how huge Excel actually was and how much the area had developed since I last visited over a year ago. There were several events taking place including Hotelympia (kitchen equipment), a Zumba fitness contest, a baby show and a Superman/X-Men comic strip convention. What a mix!  I've never seen so many bumps, push chairs and scary coloured outfits!  Sorry, but Zumba people you might be fit but you've got no idea how to mix colours or have I missed the point?  Hotelympia proved to be successful and we ended up speaking to Willie Harcourt Couze for a while and tasting some of his 100% dark chocolate which was an experience.  




As I mentioned before the area around Excel is gradually being developed and improved and there are some interesting abandoned buildings to view. The Spillers Millennium Mills is one such building, apparently the largest mill to be built in London. Once the docks started to decline after the 1980's these buildings were left with no choice but to close. Now ram-shackled and broken they still look impressive but how long before the bulldozers move in?  Apparently this area is going to be developed into London's Pleasure Gardens but, I'm doubtful that this great building will remain. An interesting walk though. Ok, let's talk chocolate......






The Chocolate:  Marks & Spencer have chosen a 72% dark chocolate from Ecuador to make their new chilli bar. Dark with an excellent 'snap'! Aroma is good with hints of tobacco and forest floor. The chilli comes through almost immediately and goes directly to the back of your throat setting off a 'fizz' or tingling feeling that builds and builds as the rich, slightly sweet, dark chocolate melts. The heat from the chilli is not overpowering and is relatively mild in comparison to some other bars. The chocolate retains a really good liquid mouth feel all the way through but flavour is fairly short lived with some fruity acidity that cuts through the chilli. Having just consumed four chunks in a row my mouth is now starting to warm up!




Overall this bar of chocoalte works well with the chilli and at £1.69 for a 100g it is a sensible entry level if you like your chocolate hot but want to build up to the scorchers!  You might even consider putting a few chunks in your Chilli con Carne tonight! Score 6/10.