The rise of ‘dark milk’ chocolate - that is chocolate with the high cocoa content of dark but with the addition of milk products - sees chocolatiers exploring the potential flavours this combination offers. Among them are Friis Holm, Mikkel Friis Holm’s Danish chocolate company, which offers a Dark Milk Chocolate bar in its range of chocolate bars.
While browsing through the tempting range ‘bar library’ at Alexeeva & Jones’ West London shop, my eye was caught by Friis Holm’s simple yet striking packaging, with its appealing retro air. The bar wrapper is made from textured, matt paper, divided into blocks of cream and dark purple, with the cream-coloured upper section bursting into a sun ray into the dark purple. The information re content and maker is clearly presented on the front of the bar: Dark Milk Chocolate, Nicaragua 65% Cacao, 100 grams and the maker Friis Holm – no flowery language or adjectives here, just a down-to-earth statement of the facts. The back of the wrapper lists the ingredients: cacao beans, sugar, milk, cocoa butter, as well as tasting notes and the information that the cacao is sourced from Xoco, the Nicaraguan cocoa company, with this bar showcasing six different indigenous Nicaraguan cocoa varieties.
The chocolate bar inside, like the wrapping, was in appearance simple yet appealing – a grid of small squares around one large central rectangle. The colour was a rich, full brown with nice shine and the thickness – a good 7-8mm – gives a substantial air and it broke with a good clean snap. The chocolate aroma was sweet and mild, with dairy notes. On biting into the chocolate, one instantly gets a pronounced chocolate acidity combined with an agreeably pleasant, creamy, smooth texture as the chocolate melts, then caramel flavours coming to the fore, and a noticeably long chocolate-flavoured finish, ending with a tingle of pleasantly bitter coffee notes. With its interesting flavours and appealing texture, this would be a great bar to introduce people who have taken against dark chocolate to its subtleties and complexities. In short, this is chocolate with character.