Tag Archives: chocolate Naive

Chocolate Naive’s Dark Chocolate Coated Blueberries, Strawberries, and Caramelized Hazelnuts

Chocolate Naive’s new trio of freeze dried blueberries, strawberries, and caramelized hazelnuts in chocolate is a unique addition to the plethora of products vying for your chocolate fund.

Eating even one of the tiny blueberries is like being transported into a fairy tale. Each mini orb an amazing combination of ethereally crunchy, freeze dried blueberries. The texture somehow melts on the tongue, along with 41% Madagascan chocolate, while a little dusting of cocoa provides the perfect hint of intensity. Out of curiosity, I bit into one to discover a shocking burst of magenta, which just added a visual thrill to the whole experience.

The strawberries are Brobdingnagian in comparison to their Lilliputian brethren. With a thicker shell of dark chocolate and a huge berry inside, these confections offer up the essence of strawberry with a super rich dark chocolate. (Can this really be 41% cacao?) These are as different from a fresh strawberry dipped in chocolate as chalk and cheese. I am not a fan of the fresh ones, as they always seem like a mess: fruit juice mingling with broken pieces of chocolate and none of it cohering. Here, you have a seamless marriage of textures, flavors, and the gustatory excitement of something new.

Their chocolate covered caramelized hazelnuts are just divine. Unlike the couverture on the fruits, which tastes like dark chocolate to me, this is a dark milk finished with confectioner’s sugar. The nuts are perfectly roasted and lightly caramelized. Crunchy, creamy textures along with a just sweet enough chocolate shell deliver a supremely satisfying, decadent treat.

One thing that takes all three of these up a notch is the addition of sea salt. It’s the tiniest bit, but it catalyzes the fruit, nuts, chocolate, and sugar into something really remarkable.

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Chocolate Naive Encyclopedia of Chocolate: Origins

Chocolate Naive gets an A+ for presentation with their new Encyclopedia of Chocolates collection. Eight tasting sized bars are nestled in a white box like a little library, with a descriptive title on their different colored spines. Not only does every .53 ounce square sport its own lovely cardboard cover, each is wrapped in re-closable cellophane. (This set comes in the mini version I reviewed, and one with full size bars.)

Most of these bars are conched for 60 hours, which makes them exceptionally silky and smooth.

Milk Chocolate with Salted Caramel was the gentlest chocolate of the eight. It starts with a 38% chocolate roasted at a medium level of heat. Sugar and milk solids are caramelized through a slow browning and finished off with a touch of vanilla and sea salt.

Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut Cream is a 33% cocoa roasted at light heat. This gianduja is super velvety and rich.

Milk chocolate is a 53% blend of Criollo and Forastero beans. The flavor is highly influenced by the lightness of the Criollos, which is fairly typical of dark milk bars.

Dark chocolate, 70%, is sourced from Trinidad and Tobago and made from Trinitario beans. This is a more complex bar, enhanced by a light roasting.

Dark chocolate with Creamy Coffee is a delicious edgy mocha experience roasted at medium, containing Trinitario beans and Pacamara coffee with 65% cocoa.

Dark chocolate with Forest Honey, 67%, is a lovely pairing of Trinitario beans from Madagascar and biodynamic honey.

Dark chocolate with Sugar Crystals is a wonderful textural juxtaposition of creamy dark 70% Trinitario chocolate and tiny, crunchy sugar crystals.

Dark chocolate Nacional. 78% pure Peruvian Nacional beans serve up my favorite square of the collection. Deep, dark, earthy, yet with a sophisticated velvety texture, this bar’s fruity undertones are complex, yet accessible.

Chocolate Naive’s Encyclopedia of Chocolate would make a very attractive and fun gift for any chocophile on your list.

Chocolate Naive

Whimsy goes a long way in my book, and Chocolate Naive has a healthy dose of it on every wrapper. Each micro story they print, like a semantic Magritte or Zen koan, is philosophical and endearing. Another fetching feature is the chocolatier’s signature and production date.

While the wrapper is a riff on lightness and innocence, their mostly dark 70 gram bars are deep and intriguing. The chocolate is poured to a very well tempered, glossy, thin, flat shape I always find enhances the experience, since it melts faster and delivers itself up almost instantly. I also like their lovely retro image of a man on a unicycle in chocolate bas relief.

The 43% Organic Milk illustrates how cows from Lithuania produce distinctly different milk from cows grazing elsewhere. There’s a freshness, along with a hint of grassy flavors that permeates this delicious darker milk bar. The finish is a bit sere, which complements the creamy texture enhanced by a 60 hour conche. I could eat it, if you’ll pardon the expression, until the cows come home.

Their 68% Ugandan bar with sea salt and vanilla, conched for 55 hours, also boasts a creamy texture, softening the slight acidic edge and bite of the salt.

A 71% Grenadan chocolate, conched for 59 hours, is a completely different experience. At first taste, it’s a bit dry, but that gets dominated by a rich, full cacao flavor, where no one note predominates.

63% Organic Orange and Cinnamon with Nibs has been conched 19 hours and uses the House Blend of Haitian and Ugandan beans. I might have thought the far shorter conche would make this a much more rustic bar, but the addition of crunchy nibs masked the slightly less creamy texture of the base. Hints of orange and cinnamon support an earthy chocolate flavor perfect with the nibs. Since they are scattered unevenly across the bar, you can break pieces off with them, or without them, getting two different chocolate experiences from one bar.

Chocolate Naive isn’t easy to find, but they have an active Facebook page and a website that should be up and running soon.