Just before Christmas I went to the shops to pick up some bars of Lindt Coffee Intense as a stocking filler for my brother. He has always declared it to be the best coffee chocolate ever, bar none. I was a little bit surprised not to be able to find any available, and with a little research I soon discovered that it had been discontinued – shocking stuff. What was even more surprising was that I was having trouble finding ANY coffee and chocolate bars as a replacement. I tried quite a few shops, and couldn’t find anything. I have been keeping my eyes open ever since and have failed to find a readily available bar of dark chocolate with coffee. I suspect this has something to do with the current ‘caramel thinking’ that we are presently putting up with. It’s the first time I’ve used the phrase ‘caramel thinking’ on the site, and it is one I made up, so let me explain the concept. The country is in a bit of a recession, none of the companies want to be adventurous or produce any products that are risky, so they go with what has always worked, i.e. caramel. Caramel is great, practically everybody likes the stuff, and it is an easy win. I too like caramel, but I feel that the current trend is unfortunately putting a strain on creativity. Examples of ‘caramel thinking’ include: Penguin Caramel, Aero Caramel and Kit Kat Senses Caramel. Also my definition of ‘caramel thinking’ includes relaunching seasonal products that were identical to last years, i.e. something that requires little research because it has already worked at least once before. Examples of this include Kit Kat Bunny Bars and, ironically, Caramel Bunnies.
I realise I have gone off on a bit of a tangent, so let me get back to this chocolate bar. The point I was trying to make was that I finally found a coffee and chocolate bar, although even this isn’t made entirely with dark chocolate. The wrapper states that it is made with both dark and white chocolate, and I naively assumed that the chocolate would be layered, I opened up the wrapper and found that the chocolate was actually marbled.
I say marbled, but perhaps 'mixed' is a better description. The chocolates are blurred together so much, that it would be hard to taste them independently and it makes me wonder why they didn’t just use milk chocolate? I suppose it does look attractive, but more segregated chocolate swirls would have looked just as nice and added the flavour. The chocolate smelt fragrant, with sweet tones and a nice aroma of coffee.
I broke a square of chocolate off and let it melt in my mouth. The chocolate was sweet, creamy, had a lovely soft chocolate flavour, with an aromatic twist of coffee that is mellow but still very much present. The chocolate is thick and sumptuous in its melt and the bar feels very luxurious to eat. It is a sweet rich, creamy bar, and it feels like it has been blended with a mild cappuccino. The flavours work remarkably well together, and it is an absolute pleasure to eat. Please don’t get me wrong, although sweet, it isn’t overly sweet like the coffee creams you used to find in Roses / Quality Street. The chocolate is creamy enough to bring a clever balance to the flavours. I can’t help but feel that this bar isn’t meant for scoffing, it feels far too indulgent for that, it is the sort of thing you would buy as a special treat, or to share among friends.
As much as I loved this chocolate I’m not sure the flavours would be intense enough for my brother’s tastes. It seems rather far away from replacing his Intense Lindt bar, but as a milky sweet treat, it is practically perfection!
If anyone does know of a high street (or even supermarket) dark chocolate and coffee bar please do get in touch, my brothers birthday isn’t that far away...