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Think of late summer and you might picture picking blackberries from brambles lining country hedgerows. While I turned my stash of blackberries into a tasty crumble, Chocolate Tree has been busy pairing the flavour with cardamom.
The result is a 58% dark chocolate bar, liberally sprinkled with dried blackberry pieces and ground cardamom. So, what's it like and is it worth buying? I unbox and unwrap the chocolate to find out.
The pretty box features a Celtic design around the frame with a window to see the chocolate bar. A purple band runs across the centre of the box, while the gold-foiled Chocolate Tree logo glistens in the top left hand corner.
Chocolate Tree Bramble & Cardamom Dark Chocolate ingredients:
Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, dried blackberries (2%), cardamom (<1%), vanilla. Cocoa solids: 58% minimum.
Sugars make up around 41½ percent of this bar, so, just like the Chocolate Tree's Haggis Spice bar, it should be quite sweet for a dark chocolate. This plant-based recipe looks to be suitable for vegans and vegetarians, although it is produced in a factory that handles nuts and dairy products.
Chocolate Tree Bramble & Cardamom Dark Chocolate Bar Review
The bar is sealed in a transparent plastic film. Contrary to expectations, the aroma carries notes of cloves alongside mildly smokey and earthy qualities. I'd expected lively berry notes but couldn't quite pick any out.
The bar is shaped using a traditional chocolate bar mould, creating 32 bite-size segments on the face of it. A clean and crisp snap helps to make portioning the bar easy.
The rear of the par is liberally sprinkled with dried blackberry pieces, ground cardamom, and cane sugar crystals.
On tasting, the most striking quality is the slow melt. It takes a long time before the sweet chocolate begins to yield itself to body heat.
Despite the chocolate's 58% cocoa content, it's the blackberries that sit centrally in the flavour. The taste is occasionally punctuated with the sharp tang of the dried blackberry pieces on the surface of this bar.
Cardamom shyly sits in the background, and is remarkably mild in nature. It appears mostly towards the end of the melt, with fleeting warming instances, revealing a very mild ginger/lemongrass type warmth in the mouth.
While there's a slight bitterness in the finish, a sweet, general cocoa flavour lingers long after the chocolate vanishes. You'll also get spikes of tartness or warmth as you discover odd bits of blackberry and cardamom trapped between your teeth.
I craved a little more richness and a little less sweetness from the chocolate, while in the toppings, I think a little more cardamom would have enhanced this flavour combination. It felt almost apologetic in nature and I'd like to see it put up more of a fight against the sweet, tart blackberries.
Chocolate Tree Bramble & Cardamom Dark Chocolate Review
RRP: £3.95 | Chocolate Tree | Shop now
A very sweet dark chocolate, with the tart flavour of blackberry front and centre, and cardamom playing a supporting act. I wished there was less sweetness and more of the cardamom to add a bit more excitement to this bar.
Where to Buy Online
You can buy this Bramble & Cardamom dark chocolate bar directly on Chocolate Tree's website (£3.95).
The packaging has been updated since I purchased my bar, but the bar's recipe appears to be identical. The film wrapper is now a biodegradable type, ensuring the packaging is fully recyclable.
Have you tried this bar? Let me know what you think of the flavour combination in a comment below.