As much as I LOVE milk chocolate (and caramel stuffed chocolate, and white chocolate, and chocolate desserts, and I could go on forever) for its creamy deliciousness, occasionally I feel like being a chocolate purist and going for the dark stuff. Not only is it packed with anti-oxidants (and a bunch of other benefits I can't remember off the top of my head but that a quick google with reveal), but you can satisfy your chocolate craving with a much smaller quantity. I can eat truly frightening amounts of milk chocolate (especially Lindt's variety-but that's a matter for another review), but with real dark chocolate (ie anything over 70%), usually about an ounce or so hits the spot (which is not to say I can't eat more-it's just that it's easier to restrain myself).
As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to chocolates you can get from a supermarket shelf, you simply can't go better with Lindt, and this particular variety is no exception. The black and white packaging (and golden lettering) is elegant, simple and luxurious, and a perfect fit to the quality of the product. The chocolate itself is potent enough to get that cocoa high without the slightly bitter aftertaste higher concentration of cocoa other varieties have, making it appealing to a wider range of palette. The pieces melt easily in your month resulting in a very thick, gooey chocolatey deliciousness you'll probably still feel for a while after your first taste.
At around two pounds, this is not a cheap chocolate, but I personally think it's worth every pence. And the various offers make it more affordable-I just bought two for 2.50 from Waitrose today, so start looking for those bargains.
I am a total chocoholic, so try to sample as much of the stuff as I can. My favourite chocolate is Lindt. It has so many varieties to choose from, white chocolate, milk chocolate, flavoured chocolate and a wonderful range of dark chocolate, with varying degrees of cocoa in them. The dark chocolate I prefer of them all is the 70% bar. It is dark and bitter, without being too rich and has a good snap when it breaks..always a good sign of quality chocolate!
It is made from the finest ingredients, and has an amazing smoothness and flavour. The ultimate in chocolate!
This chocolate is very versatile, as not only can you enjoy it as a dessert chocolate, it is also great for use in cookery. I have made many a dessert with Lindt 70%! When you melt it, treat it with care and never overheat, as it will spoil. The chocolate melts to a lovely smooth consistancy and makes a very good couvature chocolate. You could temper it or instead add a few drops of flavourless oil to the melted chocolate, which gives a shiny sheen to the surface of the set chocolate. I use it to coat truffles and it is very good for dipping purposes. Chocolate fondant puddings made with 70% chocolate are just heavenly!
As far as chocolate is concerned, you get what you pay for and this is quite expensive compared to other chocolate bars. For a special occasion it is worth paying that little bit extra though!
Price of 100g bar is £1.79.
Just found this product here on Dooyoo and thought I may as well bring my review over from Ciao, so here it is.
This variety of Lindy can often be found in most stores and retailers, the price however is the only downside to this outstanding piece of Swiss confectionary. You're looking at normally around £2-£3, a pricey choice for a little indulgence. However, at certain times the product can often be found discounted. If this is the case, grab it!
Health benefits of dark
As I stated, I adore chocolate, BUT, only the milk variety. So being used to Lindt's down-right divine sister product I never tend to buy Lindt Dark varieties. This product however came as a surprise, literally. Receiving it from a relative for Christmas I found myself in a win win situation. Also, although people often write off dark chocolate for its acquired taste and often bitter after tastes, it is in fact a wonderful treat, possibly even a treat that's good for you! Studies show that eating dark chocolate may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That's because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate's health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants.
Now, back to the product:
Packaging and a little about what makes this chocolate special
The packaging on the product is wonderful, contributing to the brands well known quality. The straightforward yet slick looking wrapper on the bar compliments the brand great. Inside the wrapper you'll find your 10 squares of pleasure sitting on top of a thin cardboard layer, possibly due to the chocolate being extremely brittle, hence the loud "snap" that will occur when a bar is broken, unlike the bulky fatty chocolate of the 21st century, Cadbury's chocolate for example only results in a clunk when broken. But this chocolate is different. The packaging states all that the consumer needs to know, calories, ingredients etc. Speaking of ingredients, a strange thing about chocolate these days it that mass produced common chocolate contains only small amounts of actual chocolate, most mass produced chocolate contains around 20%. These kinds of chocolate are usually thickened up by adding vast amounts of sugar and also vegetable fats, the resulting product could sometimes be up to 50% sugar. On the other hand, this product contains 70% cocoa mass. This is a figure Lindt are SO proud of they slap it across the packaging
in large writing. And so they should!
The ingredients should look something like this:
Ingredients: chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla flavouring. (Cocoa being the main ingredient)
Evidently, Chocolate, the real thing, real, dark chocolate contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter with a small amount of sugar so that the bitterness isn't too bitter plus an emulsifier such as lecithin to bind it all together. Personally I've always thought it a great pity that we don't make the same distinction between real chocolate and wanna-be chocolate in the UK.
Texture and appearance
Lindt chocolate presents itself as a different concept to chocolate using simple things like the appearance and overall quality of the bar. Therefore, Lindt chocolate (such as this one) appear shiny and even glossy. This is probably due to the content of the bar that is actually chocolate and made up of real chocolate ingredients, not just bulked up by half a tonne of vegetable fats as mentioned above. This is where Lindt often really distinguish themselves from other mass-producting confectioners.
The bar comes as a 10 squares. Each seperated by a small indent type line ensuring a smooth break, guaranteeing that oh-so satisfying snap upon breaking it. Overall I'd rate this bar 4/5 on appearance, it might stink of quality but could possibly be improved.
Taste & Smell
Now, the bit you've been waiting for, the taste. Although this may be biased seeing as I am a chocolate lover, and dark chocolate most certainly is an acquired taste I will try my hardest to describe every sense that the product tickles. Upon inserting a square (one piece at a time of course) into ones mouth they are instantly hit by a smooth slow melting mass in their mouth. At the point of biting, the action results in a crisp snap, releasing the full flavour of wonder. The flavour strikes instantly, attacking what seems like every taste bud in the mouth with omnipotent flavours of bitterness, yet at the same time sweetness. Although at first the square was smooth, it will now begin to turn slightly grainy upon biting, possibly the only downside to the tastes. However the tastes are still truly a great combination. If one analyzes deeper into the taste of the chocolate, a slightly fruity hint comes out, revealing the underlying high content cocoa. However, the process isn't over yet. A small swallow reveals an evident after taste, once again slightly fruity but holding that bitter sweet flavour. This chocolate is truly outstanding in terms of taste. As well as taste, the chocolate possesses an intriguing smell, almost as if the cocoa itself comes out to occupy the nose, one is hit by an interesting combination of almost peppered fruitiness and a strong stench of the chocolate itself. This is a nice touch to contribute to the brilliant flavours of the taste. Whether it is taste or smell, this chocolate truly caresses all of the senses.
As described on the adverts and product itself, this product is from The Master Chocolatiers, a statement which is truly shown by this downright winner in the category.
If you are one of a minority that can't get enough of the (dark) brown stuff, then you'll be blown away by this divine indulgence, however, for its price and other negative contributories, give it a try, just once. Unless you like it of course. This is a generally wonderful bar of chocolate from "The Master Chocolatiers". I'd recommend to all!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to rate and comment appropriately.
External information can be found on the Lindt website.
P-Boy-D © November 2010 (Originally from Ciao)
When it comes to chocolate, I think I know a thing or two, and in fact, consider myself somewhat of a chocolate gourmet. With this comes the necessity to be a bit of a snob about chocolate in general, and of this, I am certainly guilty. One thing about being a snob about chocolate is that the true test of any chocolate maker is the quality of their dark chocolate, and the darker the better. Also, it is well known that the finest makers of dark are traditionally from Belgium. This is the first drawback of Lindt chocolates, since they are a Swiss company, and the Swiss are better known for their milk chocolates, especially since they were the ones who first powered milk, making it possible to mix the oil based cocoa with the water based liquid that milk is. Still, one of the more popular dark chocolates from Switzerland is the Lindt 70% Excellence bar.
Look and Scent - When you first open this bar up, you may notice that the dark brown colour here is slightly on the red side. You may also notice that it has a partially shiny surface to it, but not glossy looking. These are both very good signs in a dark chocolate. What you'll also notice when you first open this is the scent here, which in addition to the obvious cocoa scent also has a hint of cinnamon to it, and just a touch of something that is almost like anise mixed with honey. This whole combination is very pleasant, slightly spicy scent on the whole.
Sound and Breakage - When you break this bar you'll notice the sound it makes is that of a slightly hollow cracking noise. When you do this, you may also notice that the bar cracks very solidly, but leaving some crumbs. This means that the bar has been fairly well conched, which is the process of mixing the cocoa mass to distribute the cocoa butter as evenly as possible. The more crumbs, the less well conched a bar is, and it seems here that it could have done with a touch more of this process.
Mouth Feel - What you look for in a dark chocolate is something smooth and velvety, which gives easily to your biting into it. Unfortunately, this is another place where we find a slight drawback of this bar. When you bite it, it will feel a bit hard and a tiny bit on the dry side. This is probably because it hasn't been completely conched to perfection, and that also gives this a slightly grainy mouth feel. This means that when you eat it, you will feel as if there are granules left in your mouth. This also has a slight chewiness to it that is not all that unpleasant, but it does seem a touch tough in your mouth instead of giving you the feeling it would melt there, which would have been preferable. In other words, when you first put this on your tongue you'll feel the urge to chew it instead of letting it melt in your mouth. One would expect this more from a bar with a higher percentage of cocoa solids, which is a letdown for me personally.
Taste - This is, of course, the ultimate test. I find that the flavours here are mostly good but just a tad monotone. First of all, the cocoa here which is fairly strong with just a hint of woody taste to it coupled with a touch of strawberry when you first put this in your mouth. After eating for a moment or two, you might detect a slightly sweet spicy flavour here that is akin to honey. One reviewer I read noticed a grassy taste here which is only slightly detectable to me, which gives this a clean taste that is actually very nice. Unfortunately, the aftertaste here is on the sour side and you aren't left with a nice strong chocolate flavour in your mouth when you swallow. This could be because they use vanillin which is a synthetic version of vanilla, which masks the bean's taste. This is also far sweeter than most high cocoa mass chocolates due to their using more sugar than they could have gotten away with and you'll be missing what I often prefer in an aftertaste, which is the flavour of coffee.
Conclusion - Lindt's 70% Excellence is a good, basic dark chocolate that has been mass produced and has some good qualities to it. It has an average mouth feel which is only slightly grainy but not quite melty enough and is slightly hard and dry. It smells and looks very nice but could be glossier, if they had conched it just a tad more. There are some good complex flavours to the overall taste but using vanillin lets this bar down in the end with an unfortunate aftertaste. For those wishing to become chocolate gourmets, this is a good bar to start with and because it is mass produced, it is both easily available and reasonably priced. In all, I'd give this a rating of about 7 out of 10, but for the purpose of this review, give it four out of five stars.
Davida Chazan © November 2010
The website for this bar can be found at http://www.lindt.com/uk/swf/eng/products/excellence/excellence-70/ and one shop I found online sells this for £2.25 per bar, but I'm sure you can find this for less in regular shops.
This review is about the Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Bar.
I must admit, I do like my chocolate. Not in huge quantities mind, I'm not talking Easter time amounts here, but a nice sit down in front of the box with a quality bar is very relaxing for me. Most often I will buy something made buy one of the giant multi-national confectionary brands, like a large Galaxy or Bournville bar, but occasionally I do like to dip my taste buds into some tasty Swiss chocolate, and Lindt is one of the brands I would always choose ahead of the others. Here is my review on one of their most commonly available bars, Excellence 70% cocoa dark chocolate.
Ever since the 19th century chocolate has been produced and distributed from Switzerland from various factories, the Suchard brand was one of the first to do this. Swiss chocolate is recognised worldwide as some of the best quality chocolate produced, predominantly the milk variety, and Lindt were one of the companies to produce such great tasting chocolate. They were founded in 1845 under the name Confiserie Sprüngli, and in 1899 changed their name to Lindt & Sprungli. The company have six factories, five of which in Europe and the final one in the USA. Their headquarters are located in Kilchberg, Switzerland.
Famous products made by Lindt are their delicious Lindor variety, which are typically chocolate balls with a silky chocolate fondant centre, but can come in bar form as well. The Lindor style comes in many different flavours and pack sizes. Another, even more well known and instantly familiar product is the Gold Bunny, a hollow milk chocolate rabbit wrapped in gold foil, commonly available at Easter time and Christmas.
You may have seen various Lindor, Gold Bunny's and standard large bars of Lindt chocolate at the usual supermarkets, sweet stores and even some garages. This is quite a recent thing, as Lindt's quality of chocolate and their general reputation seem to indicate they have more in common with other Swiss brands like Suchard and Frey, and also high quality British brands like Thorntons and Bendicks, but they now sell their bars side by side with the giant chocolate names like Cadbury, Mars and Nestle, producing the chocolate in mass numbers. On comparison of prices, the Nestle's and Cadbury's of this world will be cheaper for the equal or greater amount of chocolate in any given bar. An example of this is that a 125g bar of Dairy Milk could cost around £1, where as this 100g bar of Lindt Excellence featured here cost me £1.85 from a local Tesco Express. To be honest, I very rarely see these bars on a offer, but don't let this detract you from buying this chocolate now and then, continue reading and you will see why.
This product is very well packaged with a sharp, and quite a classy design. For a start, it is not wrapped in a paper label, but a thin card box. This holds the chocolate in shape and is sealed well, with a tear off tap on the back to enable easy opening of the wrapper. The box is white and black in colour, with flashy gold writing for the titles and highlighted details. It has an image of one of the chocolate pieces with gold motif of cocoa beans and a ship. It certainly fits with the brands reputation for quality. It also has the words 'extra fine dark chocolate" written down one side, and the same slogan but in Spanish on the other side. Printed on the back is the description of the chocolate and ingredients all printed in English and Spanish. It is in a small typeface, but is clear and easy to read. The allergy information is minimal though, and could be missed by some people. All the other usual storage recommendations and production details are printed in the same format.
To keep the chocolate fresh inside, it is tightly wrapped in silver foil which is embossed with the Lindt logo and placed inside the card casing. This keeps the contents fresh and more protected from heat damage than other products of a similar nature. The bar itself is divided into ten squares, has a thickness of about 5mm, and also embossed with the Lindt logo.
This is excellently presented and make you wonder how good the chocolate could be with a wrapper of this extravagance. Yet even though with all this apparent luxury and uniqueness to the appearance, the bar doesn't stand out on the shelves as you thought it should. Most of the time in supermarkets and shops, it is placed next to bars of Green & Black's Organic, which itself has a more striking package design, and therefore takes the shine of the Lindt bar.
--Taste & Texture--
What really important is how this product tastes, and it doesn't disappoint in the slightest. With a 70% cocoa level, there is a distinct bitterness to the chocolate taste, and I find this very flavoursome. It's not so bitter as too dry your mouth out, much like that 85% variety does, but does strike a cord on your tongue. It doesn't melt too quickly, flakes and breaks apart whilst you chew, all the time keeping that cocoa twang in your mouth, with a very trace sweet vanilla tingle. Oddly, I found most of the sweetness taste becomes more evident when finishing a piece, with a slightly syrupy cocoa aftertaste. People may not find this pleasant and can leave a dry perched sensation at the very back of the throat, but I found this only happens if you are eating piece after piece continuously. It also doesn't become sticky on the roof of your mouth like milk chocolate can, and doesn't get stuck in your teeth very easily. Half a bite of one of the squares is the right amount to eat without filling your mouth up, and also to enjoy the flavour to it maximum potential.
The aroma is a quite intense cocoa hit, the quality of the beans used really becomes clear when this hits your olfactory senses the moment you open the silver foil wrapper. It smells sweeter than it tastes as well. It is not overly strong, but does give you that itchy feeling in the nose, similar to a peppery sensation. It definitely makes the prospect of tasting it more desirable.
One thing I love about this chocolate is its texture. It is quite brittle and has a very satisfying "crack" when you bite into it, followed by a very slight crunchiness before it starts to dissolve. It partially flakes and crumbles as it does this too, a pleasant sensation indeed. It really is difficult to stop yourself reaching for another piece just to feel that snap of the chocolate breaking again in your mouth. This does of course produce a small amount of crumbs in the foil, and be may be a tad messy.
This chocolate is fairly flexible with it's uses too. It melts well, and tastes lovely in cakes and biscuits. If grates and crumbles nicely as well, so sprinkling it over your ice cream, yogurt or cake icing adds a fun and tasty touch to your home baking.
--Ingredients and Nutritional Information--
Cocoa solids: 70% minimum.
Cocoa mass, sugar, Cocoa butter, natural Bourbon vanilla beans.
Allergy Information: This product may contain traces of Soya lecithin, hazelnuts, almonds and milk.
Average quantity per 100g
Energy - 2180kj / 520 kcal
Protein - 8g
Fat in total - 40g
Of Saturates - 24g
Carbohydrate in total - 33g
Of Sugars - 28g
Sodium - 60mg
It is worth noting that the label on my particular bar states this is the Australian nutritional information, but I assume this is the same as the UK and therefore no different. Also, it appears this Lindt bar has a lower fat content than similar luxury dark chocolate bars in the same class. Tesco Finest 70% 100g dark chocolate bar contained a total fat content of 43.5g, while Green & Blacks Organic 70% 100g dark chocolate bar contained 41.1g, but both were cheaper to purchase.
If you are the kind of person who loves plain chocolate, I would unquestionably recommend this Lindt dark chocolate bar. It looks the part, with unique packaging design that is not only attractive but also functional, smells appetizing and tastes wonderful. Even if you normally side-step dark chocolate, it doesn't have the strong bitter taste you may wish to avoid, but also does enough to satisfy a dark chocolate lover. The price may put you off too, given that the likes of Green & Blacks, Thorntons, Hersheys and supermarket 'finest' chocolate products may cost a tad less, but I don't think they deliver the chocolate hit that this product can deliver, and the price of this chocolate isn't exactly a bank breaker. In closing, I feel it's not the sort of chocolate you can eat all of the time, but maybe give a quality treat to yourself now and then.
Thanks for Reading. Also Posted on Ciao.co.uk © Novabug.
Judging by the large number of chocolate bars that I've eaten and reviewed over the years purely to help all you readers out (why does nobody believe that?) I was somewhat amazed when Lindt 70% reviews started popping up and I saw that I hadn't already written a review on it. Bizarrely the icon on dooyoo for this product is of the 85% but it's listed as "lindt-dark-chocolate-70-cocoa", so this is where the review is going.
Doubly odd that I haven't already reviewed it given that this is the bar of chocolate that I eat the most often. No, I'm not posh or elitist about my chocolate or anything, it's just that it's one of the cheapest and most readily available bars that don't have dairy in which means it's safe for the likes of me. Plus it tastes pretty good too. So I'm not quite sure how it got missed out from the reviews before now, but I'll take any excuse to eat a bar of it that I get.
Also this chocolate is from a Swiss chocolatier who have been in business since 1845, factors that I find are usually promising in a chocolate. That's more optimism on my part than snobbery though - I had no idea from the taste that this was originally a Swiss chocolate. I find that the quality difference is less apparent with dark chocolate than with milk as the cocoa percentages are so much higher anyway.
==Obtaining the chocolate==
I'm not sure how much the actual SPECIFIC bar of chocolate I ate to review cost because I stole it. Well, half of it anyway. From a friend, I hasten to add, not from a shop. And they still think I'm fabulous even though I ate their chocolate, so all is well in the world. But I buy this brand quite often and I know the price varies between about £1.50 and £2.50 depending on how tree-huggingly hippy/small the shop you buy it from is and whether it is on special offer. Currently it's at £1.78 for a 100g bar in Tesco. I've seen it at most health food stores, large supermarkets and many corner shops and newsagents as well - it's very often the only non-dairy bar which shops sell.
The bar comes as a foil-wrapped cardboard-encased thin slab about eight inches across and four inches wide and a quarter inch deep, making it incredibly flat and thin and so very, very breakable. I lose track of the number of times in the past that I have bought a bar of it as a present for a friend but accidentally dropped it and smashed it and had to eat it myself. Sometimes I had to accidentally drop it two or three times to get it to break, so the quality in that regard is very variable.
Each bar is formed of 10 squares of thin chocolate about an inch and a half square. As well as the grooves between the pieces, they are scored faintly with lines diagonally across the chocolate which means they have favoured directions in which to break and if you do try to break a piece off, you often end up with a triangular piece and shards of chocolate flying every which way.
Be very careful though that you don't drop crumbs of it on yourself - it's quite brittle and when you break it it has a bit of a habit of having bits fly off and landing on your clothes. If you don't notice and brush yourself down immediately, these bits can melt into your clothes and are a nightmare to get out again.
As would be expected for a dark chocolate, it is a very dark brown, almost black colour. If your bar looks lighter than this, see the separate section in this review on bloom and what to do with the chocolate.
The thing I like about this bar of chocolate is the taste - because of the high cocoa content, it tastes intensely of chocolate, but isn't horrifically bitter because it's got a lot of sugar in. Not really high enough for my taste, but there isn't a readily available 50-60% bar of chocolate around which doesn't have dairy in. It has hints of a vanilla taste to it, but (hint hint to anyone from Lindt who is reading this) - I reckon they could get away with making the taste even more vanilla-rich. It also has a fabulously rich chocolatey smell to it which really adds to the eating experience - too often when I have a cold, I can't actually taste the chocolate because I've lost my sense of smell.
I find that the taste signature of this product can be a little bit variable - perhaps this is because it gets overwhelmed by the sugar? Overall it has a very gentle taste compared with the 85-99% cocoa (which can be far too harsh for me!) and I find that the smooth texture and the sweetness dominate in the mouth-feel. The usual high-cocoa chocolate hints of cinnamon are present, but I can't detect much of a citrus tang to it. The salty coffee-like bitterness of the 90% variety is almost entirely absent, leaving just a gentle hint of peppery bitterness to counteract the sugar which is something my delicate stomach appreciates (but which my more refined friends find unappealing). Comparing it to the 90% is like comparing a latte to an espresso - they both clearly come from the same plant, but one of them is like being hit over the head with a sledgehammer and the other is mass-market - easier on the stomach, doesn't require sophistication to appreciate. If you want a jolting taste explosion to overpower your bitter taste buds then go for the 90%. If you want a smooth, velvety-rich delicate chocolate that even children would like, go for the 70%.
It also has a high enough cocoa butter content that it is extremely smooth, which gives it a very rich creamy taste even though it has no dairy in - a big thumbs up for the texture from me. Unlike a lower percentage chocolate though, there is no cloying after-taste or after-touch and the chocolate leaves the mouth completely rather than coating and sticking to the teeth and tongue.
Unfortunately for my waistline, this sweetness and texture combination means I could easily put away a whole 100g bar over the course of the day unless I ration myself.
I find that the large squares really help in this regard - I just break a couple of them off and put the rest of the bar away and that generally gives me the chocolate "hit" that I'm after. In my opinion 70% is good in this regard because you need the high cocoa to get the chocolate taste and feeling of eating delicious chocolate, but equally the sugar is important to give me a much-needed mid-afternoon energy boost.
The ingredients of the chocolate bar are cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter and natural bourbon vanilla beans. It states that it may contain traces of soya lecithin, hazelnuts, almonds and milk, presumably because it is on the same production line as these. I can't speak for the safety for the very-allergic, but I have asthma that's brough on by dairy and I've never got ill from it, so I can definitely endorse it as good for most of my non-dairy type friends, but do take care.
It's actually very hard to get a good vegan chocolate without soya lecithin in, so I'm not quite sure how they managed to get this to emulsify properly. Voodoo? I suspect it must be something like this, because how can something taste that good?
Per 40g serving (four squares of the 10 square bar) it has 208 kcal, 3.2g protein, 16g fat (9.6g saturated), 13.2g carbohydrates (11.2g sugar) and 24mg sodium. Obviously this doesn't fit well with a diet, but I find that the higher cocoa chocolate leaves you satisfied sooner than a cheap milk chocolate bar.
==What does the 70% mean?==
Short answer: It means it tastes nice, isn't hideously expensive and doesn't have any dairy in!
Chocolate afficionadoes have Firm Opinions about chocolates based on the percentage listed. Me? I base my opinion on the taste, but I know that I like 70% chocolate and am not keen on anything above this, unlike my afficionado friends who think the higher percentage the better. I'm sure they know much more than I do but they are very dull at dinner parties.
In this case, 70% means that 70% of the weight of the product is cocoa solids that derive in one way or another from cacao beans. That includes cocoa butter and cocoa mass (from the cocoa liquor). You don't want to confuse these because they really are there for different reasons - the cocoa butter is fat and gives it the smooth creamy texture that melts at around body temperature (which is why it melts in your mouth and tastes smooth and nice) whereas the cocoa mass is what flavours it. So chocolatiers do have to look carefully at how much is cocoa butter and how much is cocoa solids when working out if it's a proper posh chocolate or not. Personally though I don't care - I just scoff it down no matter what!
==What's the other 30%?==
Mostly sugar. Which might sound really awful, but it makes the chocolate taste better. And milk chocolate is even worse in this regard - as well as the milk, milk chocolate generally has a lot lower percentage cocoa and more sugar added to it.
==What's this odd white colour on the bar?==
Assuming it isn't more than a few months after its best before date (which in my experience you can largely ignore), that's bloom from at least one of the sugar or the fat and means the chocolate has not been stored correctly (depending on which, it has either got damp or the temperature got too hot). It's perfectly safe to eat, but can affect the taste or texture.
To tell what to do with the bar, try brushing the surface - a surface bloom will brush off and the chocolate underneath is usually fine and still tastes good. If it doesn't, it may be brittle all the way through because the chocolate has melted and re-set. If that has happened and you don't like the texture, then use it as cooking chocolate.
==My 70% chocolate tastes crunchy/waxy/of nothing! Is it safe?==
Again, yes, it's safe. Unless by "crunchy" you mean foreign objects like razorblades or something, in which case no it's not safe, someone is trying to kill you. Don't eat those, go to the police.
What has generally happened if it's got a funny texture to it is that your chocolate got too hot and started to melt a bit and when it cooled, it set in a different way to before and its new melting point is higher. The creamy taste that you get from chocolate is because it melts in your mouth. Your chocolate won't melt in your mouth now and you may as well be eating a big lump of sugary wax. I figure at that stage that I'll get the same nutrition from it (calories and fat) but it doesn't taste very good, so I don't really see the point of eating it even if it is safe. Time for baking!
Did you leave it in the sun? Did you put it in a pocket next to your skin? Is it the middle of summer in a hot country? If so, that's why. If not, make a note not to go back to that store again and go to one that does know how to keep chocolate properly instead.
==How long will it keep for?==
Why on earth would you want to keep it? It's not a fine wine! The shelf life of this bar is generally at least a year - my bar is best before November next year. But I've had emergency bars in the cupboard that have ended up well past their best before date and you can really tell as and when they aren't fit even for baking purposes any more. If it hasn't turned to powder, I figure it'll be fine.
The longer you leave it, the more it turns crystalline. If that happens, I bake with it. My suggested easy cooking tips are either a)turn it into fondue with cream or b)grate it into hot chocolate or if you are really keen, then c)take a rolling pin to it and bash it to bits and put the chunks into fairy cakes or muffins or similar.
As a vegetarian type, I am under orders (from my medical doctor friends) that I have to boost my iron levels and that dark chocolate is a great way of doing this. No, I've never been anemic in my life, but this way I will stave it off, so I'll listen to them as long as they are telling me to eat chocolate.
==Is it good hiking food?==
It'll do as hiking food, but it's not ideal. The bar is too flat and thin for this, which means it always ends up melted, broken and and in fragments at the bottom of my bag and I'm picking bits out for weeks afterwards.
If anyone fancies getting me a random bar of chocolate, this is the one I tell them is best to get. It's easily available from supermarkets and health food stores, isn't too expensive to buy, but still has a nice posh feel to it which I think makes it very good value, especially for a non-dairy chocolate. I would give it five out of five stars, but I actually find that 70% is a little bit too high cocoa for me and I'd rather a 50-60% range one because they are sweeter still.
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate is made by the Swiss company Lindt & Sprungli. I bought a 100g bar of 70% cocoa dark for £1.55 at my local Morrisons.
I like Lindt packaging, it reflects the quality product it contains. The bar is packaged in a cardboard outer 'box.' This box is white with raised gold lettering, a picture of the product and some gold embossing. The entire box is sealed around the bar. It's easy to remove the box, and inside you will find the chocolate bar wrapped in silver foil. The whole thing is distinguishable from other brands because of it's shape. Lindt make these bars very thin, very flat. The box itself is only about 5 mm thick. To me there is something about the chocolate bar being thinner that makes it feel better quality than others. All clever psychological stuff I'm sure, but it works!
The chocolate bar is segmented into large squares, 8 of them in a 100g bar. Because the chocolate bar is so thin it seems to melt in your mouth easily and you can taste the flavour more. This is a very luxurious tasting chocolate with a really velvety texture, it has a strong, but not too overpowering cocoa flavour and a hint of vanilla. If you like dark chocolate it's really worth a try.
An average 40 g (3 squares) serving will provide you with 208 calories and 9.6 grams of saturated fat. That's 5 weight watchers points if you are following the plan. A bit hefty!
Lindt Excellence is a very dark, fragrant chocolate made with 70% cocoa. A 100g bar costs around £1.39 if you are lucky enough to find it.
Not all supermarkets, newsagent shops, garages, etc stock this amazingly tasty chocolate. I did manage to find some in a large newsagent, though. Perhaps this depends on where in the country you live.
The packaging is simple like the product. It is white and black with brown and gold. It suggests strong contrasts and a clean taste. In my opinion, an excellent design as it adds something to the product, rather that just covering it. In this case the presentation is excellent.
First of all the aroma. It is wonderful and writing about it even makes my mouth water. You smell the cocoa which is a curious mixture of sweet, citrus and floral aromas. Its just like tasting and smelling a good wine.
. The slab of chocolate is very thin and its divided into ten squares. Breaking one off makes a definite cracking sound and releases the aroma. It is almost impossible to eat just one square of this chocolate. There is always a need to eat more, although, even for me, a confirmed chocoholic, a whole bar is too much at one time.
The chocolate itself has a soft velvety sheen to it and as soon as you put it in your mouth it starts to melt. This is because of the high cocoa content according to the manufacturer.
I don't really mind why it does that, as long as it does. Aroma, taste and texture work together to make this a very special chocolate experience.
Lindt are expert chocolate manufacturers and have been around since 1845 so you would expect them to know a thing or two about the subject, and they certainly do.
Would I buy this again? Oh yes! Certainly. But it would be nicer if some else would buy it for me.
Ok, Lindt dark chocolate - 70% chocolate. This is a GODSEND for chocoholics trying to diet. I dont personally 'need' to diet. So I didnt buy this chocolate to diet. I bought it because I like dark chocolate. I can happily get through a whole big bar of chocolate (100g) when in a crazy chocolate mood. This stuff is really nice until you've got through 2, 3 or at most 4 pieces. Then you feel sick of the stuff. I dont know how that happens, because its so nice tasting upto that point. Its the high cocoa content I guess. I can promise you if you need to cut down on chocolate this will do it for you. Also dark chocolate is quite good for you, so another advantage. This chocolate it pricey but take into account it should last you a while because you can only eat a bit. It completely kills chocolate cravings. This chocolate isnt something I'd not really recommend for basic chocolate lovers unless your trying to cutdown on calories. If your just a basic chocolate lover stick to good old cadburys unless you feel like something rich.
Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa solids chocolate is surprisingly a fab idea if you’re a chocoholic who is trying to diet. This may surprise you unless you are familiar with the joys of plain chocolate but I will endeavour to explain. The addictive chemicals in chocolate are so concentrated in this bar that one or two squares is enough to satisfy the cravings of the most ardent of addicts whereas normally an equivalent 85g pack of milk chocolate is easy to consume in one go. Two squares of Lindt 70% would give you calories 110, calories from fat 75, total fat 8.5g, saturated fat 5g total carbohydrate 6.5g and would completely satisfy your chocolate craving – trust me. As all connoisseurs know, one of the best ways to assess the quality of a chocolate is to look at the percentage of cocoa solids, however not all high cocoa content chocolate is as smooth as Lindt. A better and more reliable way (other than tasting of course) is the sound and feel when you break off a square. Lindt 70% gives a firm snap indicating the high cocoa content and quality of the chocolate. Lindt balance the bitterness with a touch of vanilla making this very high cocoa solid content chocolate fine for eating on its own as well as the more usual use for 70+% chocolate in cooking (unlike the nestle 74% product). A lovely way to serve it is to make fantastic hot cocoa. Melt two squares in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and slowly whisk in hot (not boiling) milk. Top with whipped cream and chocolate curls for the ultimate indulgence (blow the diet for one day!) I’ve spotted recently that Lindt have started to stock 85% Excellence. Has anyone tried this?