Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pure Allergen Free Chocolate Bars from Pascha

I know, I know, it is June where is the ice cream and frozen treats on The Chocolate Cult. We'll get there, we'll get there, I promise. Do you remember that just two weeks ago we shared five flavored chocolate bars from Pascha Chocolate with you all? The photo to the right should trigger your memory, that is the 55% with cacao nibs, our favorite of the set of five. If do not remember, go back and check that article out before you continue reading about these three pure chocolate bars from Pascha.  Go ahead, we shared the link above. (We received those five bars and the three we are sharing with you today in exchange for testing and review.)

Now that you are back, let's check out the 55%, 70%, and 85% 3.5 ounce PASCHA chocolate bars. At 3.5 ounces these are bars you can use to bake or make candy with or you can eat them as is. We're going to do a bit of both with these bars but let's start with a direct comparison of the bars themselves in terms of their cacao content and how it affect flavor and color. I hope you can see the differences in colors in this photo but if it doesn't show there is a radical difference between the 55% and the 85% in terms of the darkness of their brown color.

We'll start with the 55% bar and work out way to the darkest then I'll show you how else I used these big bars. The bar has fairly easily break apart sections, 10 sections = one serving of 240 calories. This has a nice slightly golden brown color and a slightly fruity scent when I take a whiff of it. It makes a snap when I take a bite and immediately I get sweet chocolate flavor that grows in sweetness and a butteriness with each chew. There is no bitterness here, only sweet chocolate. Letting a bite melt in my mouth smoothed out the chocolate and sweet flavors and lets out a bit of a roasted edge as well.

The 70% bar may seem a bit intense for some of you. This was a bit more difficult to break into sections but again 10 sections = one serving of 250 calories this time. This is a solid brown color and has a stronger cocoa fragrance to it. The snap it makes when I take a bite is louder than the previous bar. The chocolate here is not as sweet, it does have a slight bitterness to it after a few chews. If you let it melt in your mouth the bitterness is really toned down quite a bit but the cocoa buzz I got increased.

I know that most of you reading now are going to cringe when I say it is time for the 85% bar because for most of you, this will be too bitter, you start thinking of chocolate as baking ingredient but I personally love the 80-90% range most of the time. Here 10 sections = 260 calories and each section was hard to break apart but you can do it. The color of this bar is much darker in color but interestingly it has a slightly sweet fragrance to it. Also it makes a softer snap when I take a bite and at first there is a sweetness that changes to a darker flavor with each chew but the sweetness never disappears. The slower approach of letting it melt in the mouth decreases the sweetness but did not increase the bitterness to me until right at the end. For some folks this might start to dry out your mouth but I didn't find that to be the case for this particular bar.

Back when it was cold, February 2015, our local Kroger had a grand reopening and as part of it they had a sale on strawberries and coupons for these -- I got two pounds of strawberries for $1 using these two discounts so I also turned them into a sort of strawberry 85% chocolate treat that you in the photo to the left. Yes, I used the 85% barf from Pascha. Why the darkest? Strawberries tend to be very sweet or tart so they need a good counter. Plus they have a lot of water and fiber so I think they only increases the healthiest aspects of darker chocolate. I made 7 servings of 142 calories each.

I melted some caramels (also on sale and with a coupon) with the leftover 70% bar, again the darker chocolate balanced well with the sweet caramel. I molded these in my larger molds with a result of 21 chocolate caramels with 55 calories each.

Finally I used the rest of the 55% bar to just make into molded chocolates. 55% is something all of our friends can enjoy while darker or milk chocolates tend to be more limited in their appeal. The result was 12 smaller molded shapes of 48 calories each.

Amazing 3.5 oz bars from Pascha that you can use in several different ways. These definitely earn our Sacramental Status!

2 comments:

elizabeth said...

I'll keep an eye out for these bars. I'm always excited to find good dairy and gluten free chocolate!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Unless it is a baked good or a candybar with wafers or something, NO chocolate should have gluten... that's my very strong opinion on that matter... lol