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Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate Review

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In the leafy surroundings of Corsham, Wiltshire, a short skip and a hop from historic Lacock and the city of Bath, lies the Lick The Spoon kitchens. Chocolatiers Diana and Matthew Short tend to produce chocolate products using Chocolat Madagascar and Casa Luker couverture, which are both made at source in the countries of origin. However, they also craft small batches of a unique "Bronde" chocolate from scratch, which is refined in small grinders for 72 hours.

I spotted a bar that pairs coffee with Bronde chocolate in the farm shop at Gloucester Services. I was on the fence when deciding which bar to pick. It was a tough decision between this coffee chocolate bar and their Blackforest Dark Chocolate Bar, but I ultimately opted to try the fruits of Diana and Matthew's bean-to-bar labour with the coffee bar. Was it the right decision?


Packaging

The small cardboard box features a hessian sack textured design as the backdrop, together with a contrasting repeating brown cacao pod motif at the base and along the sides of the box.

The Lick The Spoon logo sits at the top in gold-foiled print, with a crest denoting '2006', the year Diana and Matthew began their chocolate journey.

Café Bronde Caramelised Chocolate text sits beneath this, followed by a more detailed description of this bar. It's a bean-to-bar chocolate bar made with Grenadian cacao and Arabica coffee.

Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate Review
A hessian texture design provides the backdrop to the box

On the reverse, you'll find more details about the chocolate. The 39.5% cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate uses beans from the Nonpareil Estate in Crayfish Bay, Grenada.

The packaging also refers to the sustainability efforts of the Raisetrade initiative.

The nutritional information and ingredients sit near the bottom of the box.

Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Chocolate ingredients:
Sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, cocoa beans, butter, coffee (4%), sea salt. Cocoa solids: 39.5% minimum.

The sugar levels are a respectable 31% in this bar. It may contain traces of nuts and wheat.

Inside the box, the tan-coloured chocolate bar sits inside a compostable film bag, making all the packaging recyclable or biodegradable.


Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate Review

The 50g bar is cast in a familiar mould that is widely favoured by the chocolatier community, imprinting a cocoa pod design into the chocolate. There's a couple of air bubbles trapped on the surface of the bar, and there's a slight mottled film over the surface of the soft, quick-melting bar.

Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate Bar
The 50g chocolate bar

The aroma is a curious blend of coffee notes with caramel, lactic notes. There's a helping of dairy fudge in there too for good measure, together with a background of espresso notes. The combination sounds like it should work, but the fragrance is almost uneasy, with a savoury earthy undertone.

A good, clean snap is music to my ears.

Lactic notes dominate the flavour, with notes of hard cheese revealed first, which morph into creamy, tangy, soft cheese vibes. On top of this sits the caramel and butterscotch notes, with the top notes being of green coffee.

Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate Bar Closeup
A closer look at this bar

The texture of the chocolate is beautifully smooth, with plentiful flecks of coffee bean adding a subtle crunchy texture to this sweet and creamy chocolate bar.

The aftertaste is a medley of coffee and sweet condensed milk flavours, which linger for a good time after the chocolate melts away.

Overall, I like the concept of pairing caramelised chocolate with coffee, but I'm not keen on the heavy lactic, cheese notes that I detect in this bar. It's more reminiscent of the flavours of a coffee cheesecake than an espresso or café latte.

I certainly appreciate the effort that goes into crafting this chocolate, with the 72 hours of refining clearly demonstrated in the silky smooth texture of the chocolate. However, the nuances of the Grenadian cocoa is dwarfed by the assertive flavours of the caramelised milk used in this recipe. The coffee adds a novel twist to the Bronde recipe, but perhaps is too bold a flavour to appreciate the fine flavours of the Caribbean cocoa.

Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate Review

RRP: £3.75 | Lick the Spoon | Shop now

This bar fuses caramelised milk, Grenadian cocoa and Arabica coffee to create a scratch-made café latte-type bar. The result is a bar that exhibits coffee cheesecake qualities. It's certainly a curiosity, and fuses a generous amount of coffee with wondrously smooth chocolate, but the cheese-like lactic notes are too intense for my taste. If you like coffee and caramelised chocolate, I'd encourage you to try this bar and let me know what you think of the combination.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 4.4

Where to Buy Online

You can buy the Café Bronde Caramelised Milk Chocolate bar directly from Lick the Spoon here (£3.75). Other than on the shelves of Gloucester Services' Farm Shop, I haven't spotted this in the wild anywhere else.

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What's your favourite coffee chocolate bar? Let me know which bars you'd recommend in the comments below.

Disclosure: I purchased a 50g bar of Lick the Spoon Café Bronde Caramelised Chocolate from Gloucester Services for £3.45. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

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