If there was one food that I had to name as my favourite sweet treat, it would most definitely be chocolate. Chocolate has become quite the boutique business, and today there are many brands to choose from that are organic, or use alternative sweeteners. In the name of research, this year I’ve given myself the fun task of trying out some of the different brands so I can be well informed on letting you know what’s delicious and what’s so-so. This is of course, just my opinion, so feel free to try them out for yourself and please comment in the comments section below on your favourite chocolates!
For a fair trade, organic product, Trade Aid chocolate was a fairly good buy. It contains just a few simple ingredients, cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter and emulsifier. It also has decomposable packaging which I’ve never seen before. The flavour is nice, but it’s not my preferred choice for dark chocolate. It doesn’t have the smoothness of other chocolates, and it doesn’t melt in your mouth the same as some other brands. I know some people really love this, but it’s not my top pick for flavour.
$3.99 for 100g bar
Lindt 85% Cocoa
Lindt dark 80% cocoa is the lowest sugar of the supermarket brands of dark chocolate I’ve looked at. Generally, the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sugar. It’s my favourite of the over 80% cocoa bars too. I love the thin, large squares and I find the bite and melt in the mouth factor the best. It contains burbon vanilla bean and this gives it a lovely flavour. Being high in cocoa, this chocolate is higher than milk chocolate in the antioxidant flavanols, linked to positive health benefits.
$3.99 for 100g bar
This would be my second favourite dark chocolate chocolate. It has a really smooth, rich flavour and is slightly sweeter than the Lindt chocolate. It’s also fair trade and organic. The price per bar is around $3.99.
If you’re not a fan of super dark chocolate, then this dark chocolate might be the one for you. Milk Whittakers (which would have to be one of my favourite chocolates BTW) is 33% cocoa, so this has 30% more cocoa, but is still sweeter and less bitter than higher percentage dark chocolates. This has a lovely flavour with some sweetness too. But to be honest, if I’m having dark chocolate, I prefer it quite dark and bitter, and if I want a sweeter chocolate I prefer milk chocolate. I use this chocolate in cooking when I want a rich, sweet flavour.
$4.40 for a 250g block.
Speciality “wholefood focus” Chocolates
Loving Earth luvju
I’d been wanting to try Loving Earth chocolate for a while, and on a trip to Wellington last year I bought this one. I actually really wanted the salted caramel but they’d sold out (SOB!!) Creamy, smooth and coconutty is the three words I’d use to describe this. I loved the texture, smooth, melt in the mouth chocolate. But I couldn’t decide if I liked the coconut flavour. It was pleasant, but I’m not sure I’d get this flavour again. I’d love to try some of the other flavours too – they’re not all made with coconut milk.
The chocolate is sweetened with coconut nectar, a low GI sweetener. It is also made with raw cacao which has higher antioxidant levels.
They’ve recently changed their packaging and size of the bars. A 30g bar is around $4.99
Image from Pana Chocolate instagram
I really wanted to like Pana Chocolate. I love their packaging. Their instagram is beautiful. It’s handmade. It uses quality ingredients. I’ve tried mint, fig and orange and coconut and goji. But I’m gonna be honest. I just don’t love it. It doesn’t have the texture of your usual chocolate bar. It’s kind of fudgey almost. I know lots of people love it, but I’m not one of them. Please let me know how you feel about it! Am I the only one that isn’t a fan? Of all the flavours, mint would have been my favourite. It’s expensive but I can understand why, being handmade with organic, quality ingredients. Depending where you buy it, it’s between $7-$10 for a 45g bar.
Wellington Chocolate Factory Salted Brittle Caramel
This salted brittle caramel chocolate by Wellington Chocolate Factory was an award winning product at the Cuisine Artisan awards, and I can see why. It was super delicious. From all the boutiquey type chocolates and flavours I’ve tried, this is my favourite. The caramel pieces are on the bottom of the chocolate and are crunchy, sweet and have just the right amount of saltiness (in my opinion) and the chocolate is dark (70%) and smooth. The chocolate is organic and ethically traded too.
It’s not cheap, but it’s so worth it for a special treat. $13.50 for an 85g bar.
Wellington Chocolate Factory Peanut Butter Raspberry Bar
I love peanut butter, and I love raspberry, so I was keen to try this flavour. Turns out I don’t love peanut butter and raspberry in chocolate. If you’re a fan of other peanut butter chocolates, then you’d probably enjoy this. The peanut butter is from Wellington brand Fix and Fogg which I love. The chocolate is dark and rich and quite delicious, but I’m just not a fan of peanut butter in the chocolate.
The bar is $6 for 40g bar.
Lowest sugar dark chocolate – Lindt 85% dark
My favourite dark: Lindt
My favourite boutique/speciality brand: Wellington Chocolate Company Dark Chocolate
Favourite milk chocolate: not pictured, but I love Whittakers milk chocolate and Lindt milk chocolate too.
What are your favourite chocolates?