They say great things come in small packages, so does that mean this tiny 22g bar of raw vegan chocolate ought to taste great?
I spotted the diminutive bar as I perused the shelves of Whole Foods Market in London and was intrigued by the simplicity of the recipe. After all, with just three ingredients, this has to taste as pure as it gets, right?
It's a tiny, slimline bar of chocolate so there's a natural limit to what can be done with the packaging. Raw Halo opted for a foil-backed plastic wrapper that was heat sealed at each side.
Triangles in a colour palette of white, soft blues, and gentle lilacs decorate the wrapper, alongside a big Great Taste 2015 award badge. The Soil Association logo confirms this bar is organic, while text confirms the bar is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan friendly.
The reverse of the packaging briefly explains Raw Halo's mission, and lists the handful of ingredients alongside the nutritional information.
Raw Halo 76% Pure Raw Dark Chocolate ingredients:
Raw cacao butter, raw cacao powder, coconut sugar. Cocoa solids 76% minimum.
The bar contains 21.6% sugars and a 22g helping comes in at 124 kcal.
Raw Halo Dark 76% Chocolate Review
Opening the wrapper I was greeted with a very pungent smokey aroma, which almost verged on dark malt tones. It was quite a harsh, bitter fragrance that released over-roasted notes.
The bar was sectioned into six portions, each embossed with the Raw Halo emblem. The snap was clean and crisp, and the break lines followed the mould, making it easy to form six generously sized pieces.
The notes I detected in the aroma followed through into the taste. In addition to the dark smokey tones, I also picked up a leatheriness. There was a distinct bitterness which only seemed to magnify these flavour notes.
My palate craved some sweetness and while there was a hint of it, it only started to materialise towards the end.
In the aftertaste, the smokey, leathery, malty, burnt flavour notes mellowed out, but left me with a flavour much like that of Marmite on slightly burnt toast.
Just like the yeast extract spread, this chocolate bar polarises opinion. You either love it or hate it. This was a bar I just couldn't finish, but if you like darker, more bitter flavours in your dark chocolate, you may well love this one.
I applaud the use of just three simple ingredients in this vegan raw chocolate bar, and the packaging was both appealing and practical for the small 22g portion. I also liked the look of the chocolate bar itself along with its clean snap.
I reckon a lighter flavour profile with more floral or berry notes would work wonderfully in this simple, clean recipe. But the bitterness and smokiness in both the aroma and taste was far too intense for my liking, which surprised me as I'm a big dark chocolate fan.
Should you wish to try this 76% dark chocolate bar yourself, you'll find it available on their website, at Ocado, in Morrisons, and at Amazon°. The packaging has changed since I purchased this bar, and the pack sizes are now 35g and 70g.
Raw Halo Dark 76% Chocolate Review
RRP: £2.99 | Raw Halo | Shop now
This 3-ingredient 76% vegan raw dark chocolate bar was smokey, leathery, and malty. While a good looking snack-sized bar, it was too intense in bitter acrid notes, and I failed to eat it all, even over several sittings.
Have you tried Raw Halo's three-ingredient 76% vegan chocolate? What did you make of it? Let me know in the comments below.