Today we take a look at three bars from American chocolate makers Scharffen Berger. Using restored, vintage machinery from Europe, and starting from the raw cacao beans, this is the very definition of artisanal chocolate. I sampled a bitter-sweet, with 70% cacao content, and two semi-sweets of 62%.
The bitter-sweet is very smooth and chocolatey, while still possessed of a pleasant, but not overwhelming sweetness. As with all good darks, a little goes a long way. One bite should satisfy one’s chocolate craving, but it’s delicious enough that one can go through a 1-oz bar (28 g) in one sitting without meaning to.
I preferred it to the plain semi-sweet, which was still good, but not chocolatey enough for my taste. This is, of course, completely personal. The perfect balance between sweetness and chocolate is a moving target.
The highlight of today’s chocolate offerings was the semi-sweet mocha. I’ve had chocolate-covered coffee beans before, but could only handle them in small doses. A whole coffee bean with a thin layer of chocolate is a bit much; Scharffen Berger’s mocha bar provides a more palatable coffee to chocolate ratio. The ground coffee also contributes a pleasant crunchiness to the bar’s texture, and offsets the sweeter chocolate a bit.
All in all, I would say Scharffen Berger is an excellent choice if you are looking for high quality chocolate. You can find more information and place orders at their Web site.