Team Taste Test Series: Chocolate Edition September 26, 2015
Chocolate is quite possibly the most versatile (and delicious) food in the world. The HelloFresh Team has hundreds of recipes in our personal archives that involve twisting this ingredient in interesting, different and exciting ways. We could go on and on about how much we love it, and what our favorite flavors are. But what better way to decide what brand and flavor is best than a blind test where loyalties are left at the door and faces are covered in chocolate?
Welcome to this month’s Team Taste Test Series: Chocolate Edition. When we first opened this opportunity to the HelloFresh family, responses were overwhelming. Chocolate parties at work are a dream for most, but a reality here. Work hard, eat hard!
So let’s meet the very lucky judges that were treated to an afternoon of indulgence:
For each of the four contestants, our judges tasted the milk chocolate and then the dark chocolate. While particular favorites were across the board, the team mostly preferred Dark to Milk. Something about the deep, rich, natural flavor of strong cacao in dark appealed to our group more-so than the traditional childhood favorite of Milk. That being said, each brand had one bar of each flavor, so the competition was wide open.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the thoughts exchanged during the test:
MILK CHOCOLATE- CADBURY
Nate: It’s got kind of a tacky taste…
Rebecca: And a thick mouth-feel.
Alexis: It’s kind of clumpy, and almost has a burnt caramel taste? But not too burnt.
Rebecca: There is no doubt this is a milk chocolate. It’s so chalky!
After only one piece, Nate requests Milk.
DARK CHOCOLATE- CADBURY
While eyes are still closed, Jordan eats his piece very quickly and puts his hand out for another.
Alexis: It’s got a grassy, leafy, oil-y taste.
Gus: Dill? Is there dill?
Jordan: I’m sensing some earth tones…
Rebecca closes her eyes and announces she is trying to really experience the taste.
Jordan: I’m getting chocolate fatigue!
MILK CHOCOLATE- DOVE
Alexis: It’s sweet but it’s not too complex- it’s one-dimensional.
Rebecca: Tastes like toasted chocolate, and definitely coats your mouth differently. Like a good wine- a Pinot or a Cabernet.
Nate: This one is much thinner than the first one.
Alexis: I’m getting holiday memories, anyone else?
Jordan: Tastes like…chocolate milk! Like fine notes of Ovaltine and Nesquik.
DARK CHOCOLATE- DOVE
Rebecca: None of these have a very high cacao count, do they?
Gus: I am getting some floral undertones… it’s kind of like a beginner’s dark chocolate.
Alexis: I agree it definitely is more fruity and floral.
Jordan: More complex…maybe 68% Cacao?
MILK CHOCOLATE- LINDT
Rebecca: OK this one definitely has the highest sugar content of the three.
Jordan: Oh yea, it’s like aggressively sweet!
Gus: It tastes like melted chocolate ice cream.
Alexis: And kind of syrup-y.
Rebecca: Yea, the corn syrup feel….this does not taste high quality.
Jordan: Yes…this is like the low thread count of chocolate.
DARK CHOCOLATE- LINDT
Rebecca: Mmm, silky.
Nate: Probably about 60% cacao content. It’s my favorite of the darks so far.
Gus: It has an agave taste…there are some coffee undertones to this one.
Jordan: Yea, sort of a mocha flavor.
Alexis: Not a fan of the texture!
Rebecca: This one is more bitter…it has a thin mouth-feel…
MILK CHOCOLATE- HERSHEY’S
ALL: S’Mores chocolate, hands down. This is definitely the chocolate you use to make S’Mores
Jordan: I can actually FEEL the branding with my tongue…
Rebecca: I don’t taste chocolate- just sugar!
Nate: Chalky and cheap.
DARK CHOCOLATE- HERSHEY’S
Alexis: Oy! Not a good oy… it tastes like cardboard!
Gus: It’s like fake dark chocolate. It’s too sweet like, you don’t want to taste the sugar in dark chocolate.
Nate: Or do you?
Jordan: Now THIS is low thread count.
Gus: The after taste is horrible! It tastes like someone peed in the street.
Final results? Well first of all, the general learning was to always pace yourself when eating large quantities of chocolate. All of us felt happy but also a little sick. We all had our chocolate sugar-crashes throughout the rest of the day, dropping like flies in the office while the rest of the team enjoyed the leftovers of our experiment. But our favorites? Cadbury for Milk Chocolate, with 3/5 votes (Dove was a close second with 2/5 votes). For dark chocolate, Cadbury again took 3/5 votes, while Lindt had 2/5.
In honor of this delicious post, Chef Nate wanted to share his favorite chocolate recipe below with step by step ingredients and instructions:
Basic No-Egg Chocolate Mousse:
12 oz semisweet chocolate – finely chopped, or chips – Dark, White, and other types work as well
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/4 C White Sugar
3 C Whipping Cream
Optional Ingredients: 3/4 C Cream, block/bar chocolate for shaving
Food Processor (Or finely chop the chocolate and mix the hot cream in gradually while stirring)
Stand Mixer/Electric Whisk
1 – Combine chocolate, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Bring 1 C cream to a boil in a small saucepan (do not scald the cream). With the processor running, slowly pour the hot cream into the chocolate/vanilla/salt and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and cool to room temp, stirring occasionally
2 – Beat 2 C cream and the sugar in a large bowl to stiff peaks. Fold the chantilly cream into the chocolate mixture. Pipe the mousse into serving glasses or a pate sucre crust (or an oreo or graham crust). Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hrs.
3 – Optional: Whip the remaining cream and decorate the chocolate mousse with the cream and chocolate shavings.
P.S. – This recipe lends itself well to flavor combinations. Berry purees, peanut butter, coffee, and liquors can all be incorporated into the mousse. Nate’s favorite is a vanilla-bourbon whipped cream with a peanut butter-chocolate mousse in an Oreo cookie crust.
So what’s your favorite brand, recipe, or way to indulge in chocolate? Comment below and share, and join us next month for another Taste Test Series!