As a chocolate lover, I’ve come across single origin chocolate, made with cocoa from a single country or region. And I’ve come across single estate chocolate which, as the name suggests, is produced by one cocoa plantation.
But I’ve never before come across “single côte” chocolate such as Hotel Chocolat’s new Rabot Estate Marcial 70% Dark.
Instead of blending all the cocoa grown across their property in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, Hotel Chocolat have picked and processed the cocoa from each plot of land within the estate separately. The Marcial plot is described as “mix of grizzled 80-100 year-old trees and fresh new four-year-old trees planted as seedlings” near the Rabot lake.
Hotel Chocolat refer to the cocoa variety grown in Marcial as Trinitarios, a “rare bean unique to the Rabot Estate”. I assume it to be a variant of Trinitario, a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero. (Criollo makes up only 5% of the world’s cocoa crops. It demands high prices because it’s difficult to grow and yields are low. Forastero, on the other hand, makes up the bulk of the crop, being far easier to grow and harvest. However, it’s described as bland and lacking in complexity of flavour. Trinitario is said to combine aspects of both parents, and represents around 15% of cocoa grown).
Flavour wise, the marketing blurb for the bar says it has “notes of shiraz wine, antique oak, roasted cocoa and
stewed spiced plums”.
Personally, I don’t pick up wine, oak or stewed plums but the chocolate has a wonderful fruitiness that is reminiscent of cocoa from Madagascar, which is a favourite of mine. It’s nicely balanced with a hint of acidity that reminds me of balsamic vinegar in flavour. The roast is well judged too, enough to taste but not enough to make the chocolate too strongly bitter. It’s a lovely bar indeed.
Marcial 70% Dark is one of 18 chocolates that make up the Rabot 1745 range, a collection of chocolate made with cocoa from the world’s top cocoa growing regions. The batch label on each bar will not only tell you where the cocoa was grown but also the length of time it was roasted and conched, the name of the individual chocolatier who created it and the year of harvest.
It’s a great way of learning about the characteristics of chocolate from different parts of the world and narrowing down your personal preferences.
Currently in the collection are bars made with cocoa from Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Java, Madagascar, Peru, St Lucia, Trinidad, Venezuala and Vietnam.
Hotel Chocolat have generously offered a set of all 18 bars (35 grams each) in their Rabot 1745 collection to one lucky Kavey Eats reader. The prize is worth over £60 and includes free delivery anywhere in the UK.
HOW TO ENTER
You can enter the competition in 3 ways:
Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me which Rabot 1745 bar you are most looking forward to trying, and why.
Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.
Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win the @HotelChocolat Rabot 1745 Collection from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/HJ2Go #KaveyEatsHotelChocolat
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the hashtag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)
RULES & DETAILS
The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 7th June 2013.
The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
The prize is a set of eighteen 35 gram bars of Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot 1745 collection and includes free delivery anywhere in the UK.
The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
The prize is offered and provided by Hotel Chocolat.
Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.
Kavey Eats received sample bars from the Rabot 1745 collection.