True and authentic. Some of the finest chocolate Switzerland has to offer.
When it comes to chocolate, although I love the milk variety, my heart belongs to dark. I love the bitter notes, the lack of sweetness and the intense and rich chocolate flavour. That is why I was really excited to try this Villars Swiss Smooth Dark Chocolate. I had never tried a Swiss dark chocolate before and having eaten the milk version of this bar, my expectations were sky high.
The packaging was great- the paper wrapper hinting of the rich and intense chocolate covering a proper foil packet. Both of these seemed to protect the chocolate really well, even once opened. When I broke into the packet, the really deep chocolate smell emerged and really had me salivating. The bar was far thinner than those you traditionally get in New Zealand, however, pieces broke off from the bar really easily, and the chocolate easily melted on the tongue, giving you the really intense chocolatey taste much more easily. The chocolate itself wasn't the darkest which I've ever eaten but was rich and deep without being too bitter. I feel it would be a really great middle ground- appealing to most people.
Having eaten a few squares by itself, I decided to put it through its paces in some baking. I made some chocolate chip cookies and included some of this chocolate chopped up into pieces. The chocolate held up well- it was easy to chop and it melted nicely. The chocolate added a really lovely intense chocolate flavour to the cookies without overpowering them. We gave some to our neighbours for Christmas, and they were a real hit.
Overall this chocolate is great. Appealing to a wide variety of chocolate lovers, it is rich, smooth and intense. It is useful for baking as it is for eating, and is a really handy size. I will definitely be using this again.
Villar's smooth dark chocolate is exactly what it claims to be which is a superb dark rich chocolate that has a smooth irresistible texture. I ripped open the paper wrapping and peeled back the light foil covering the chocolate and broke off the first of six rows. Because the bar itself is quite thin at about 5mm it is very easy to break the pieces away which in some cases of chocolate can be a nuisance when the blocks break away unevenly and don't leave you with the perfect square you wanted.
I snapped off an individual piece and when chewing it has a great crisp break from the thinness. The bold chocolate flavour sinks in and clings to the taste buds. The chocolate itself has a light consistency which I prefer to some of the thicker chocolates as they leave a gluggy texture which ruins the enjoyment of the flavour. The chocolate has 56% Coco which is to me is the perfect dark chocolate mixture as I find with the heavy Coco quantity chocolates the flavour is too bold and bitter.
This chocolate has the right amount of bitter to sweetness ratio and I would love to try it in baking recipes to see how its flavour comes across. The price seems reasonable enough for the quality of chocolate but the quantity is quite low at just 100g. As far as chocolate's go this has to be one of my favourites now because of its nice thin crispness and sharp dark chocolate flavour. I will defiantly look at purchasing this at some stage to try out with baking.
As I sit down to write my review for this product I have to be honest. I had plans on using this chocolate in at least two different ways, but once I opened it up and tried a piece I just couldn't stop! I am sitting here now eating the last row of four pieces, having done nothing different with it! However, having chocolate that is so easy to eat is a bonus!
I have only recently begun to enjoy the flavour of dark chocolate. I have always been a milk chocolate fan, as I haven't tended to enjoy the bitterness of dark chocolate. However lately I have been decreasing the amount of sugar in my diet and am starting to enjoy the slightly less sweet, more bitter taste of dark chocolate, so when I received this block in my review parcel I was excited to try it.
The block is only small being only 100g. There were six rows, each row with four pieces in it. The squares are the perfect size - thin enough not to break your teeth but big enough that they are easy to break apart. Sometimes I find other brands of chocolate hard to eat because I have three teeth that have had extensive work and I'm always scared the fillings are going to break! So it was nice to be able to bite into this and not worry about it.
As I tried it I was surprised. The chocolate was definitely very smooth - which was good to find since it is called smooth dark. It had a nice creamy texture, and I was in love! I like my chocolate creamy and delicious and this was just that. It definitely had the slight bitterness of a dark chocolate, but not so much that it wasn't enjoyable. If I was to see this in the shops, I would certainly consider buying it again, although probably when on special as I think $4.99 is a little bit high for such a small block of chocolate, although I guess you do pay for quality.
We had a wonderful time with this chocolate bar (with the dog, ever hopeful, waiting for someone to drop a piece for him even though we had all patiently explained that chocolate is a no-no for canines - talk about selective deafness!) Anyway, quite apart from chocolate being quite unsuitable for dogs, the human testers were enjoying it so much that there was no way we were going to share. Dark chocolate is my variety of choice anyway, but some of my friends said they were starting to appreciate the darker varieties too since I had introduced them!
We started off by passing the bar around and breaking off two pieces each. I found the texture extremely smooth and pleasant; it melted in the mouth to the extent that you did not need to chew it at all. A bonus for Mr False Teeth who was able to enjoy his share along with the rest of us. All of us were impressed by the product and they were in favour of finishing the whole bar, but I wanted to see what else I could do with it so they all had to wait for the next serving.
I put it in the fridge to chill for an hour and then used a potato peeler to make little curls. These were put on top of a passionfruit cheesecake which we were going to have for dessert. Cheesecake can be quite rich so this was the perfect complement. Although the chocolate is not bitter, it is not overly sweet either, so I did not need much to produce an interesting flavour. Mr False Teeth's daughter is trying to lose weight and she thought it would be an ideal addition to her diet as she would not need a lot of cheesecake and chocolate topping to satisfy her sweet craving - she commented that a little would go a long way.
Finally, I had made a festive dessert mix to go with the cheesecake. The main ingredients were chopped preserved ginger, mandarin segments, and fresh berries (boysenberries, raspberries and blueberries). I added the last few squares of chocolate, roughly chopped, and a splash of Grand Marnier to finish it off. I did not mix it as I did not want to squash the boysenberries and raspberries: they are quite delicate and look so exotic when they are served whole.
Reactions from everyone were positive - they agreed it had been worth waiting for, and two of them asked to see the packaging as they planned on buying some themselves. Personally, I loved it and will certainly be buying it again. The bonus for me was the way my normally milk-chocolate addicts enjoyed it too: this makes it a versatile product to have on hand for entertaining.
After starting a semi health kick early in 2017 my husband and I have both developed a taste for dark chocolate. We indulge our inner sweet tooth with 1 square a night and because we only have the 1 square a block of chocolate lasts quite a while and we feel we can spend a bit more money to get the good stuff.
My husband and I decided to melt some of the Villars Classic Swiss Smooth Dark Chocolate down and dip strawberries and marshmallows into it and then let it harden gain in the fridge to be served as a desert one night at a friends place. It certainly went down a hit and everyone was commenting on how well the dark chocolate went with the strawberries, although my friend did say that the marshmallows weren't as nice because since she wasn't a fan of dark chocolate on its own and isn't used to the slightly more tart flavour, the marshmallows couldn't hide the bitterness of the dark chocolate as well as the strawberries could.
After trying a square each (without strawberries and marshmallows) we decided we quite liked the taste and texture it provided but upon looking at the nutritional label we found that it was very high in sugar compared to what we usually have and unfortunately it would be for this sole reason that I wouldn't buy this product again. The taste was perfect and if they can keep that taste and texture and reduce their sugar it would be a massive hit with me. Nonetheless, for others not watching their sugar intake this would be a great dark chocolate to try, it ticks every other box for me.
So I'm a bit of a chocolate fiend. I can eat a heck of a lot of chocolate, and could be an entire kingsize bar of Cadbury's cashew chocolate in one sitting...and still be hungry. Due to the easiness with which I eat milk chocolate, I've recently been transitioning to dark chocolate as it is more filling and lessens the cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. My usual go-to is Whittaker's 72% cocoa dark chocolate, and two blocks of that will keep me happy.
This Villars dark chocolate is 56% cocoa, and the lower cocoa percentage does seem to translate to the effectiveness of the product at satiating the craving. With Villars, it takes a full row or 4 squares. The quite rightly sits between the Whittakers 50% and 72% cocoa dark chocolate products with respects to bitterness and sweetness. While it has a cocoa level closer to the 50%, the amount of sugar in the product is far less, much closer to the amount you'd find in a 72% product. This gives the product a bitterer flavour than you would expect from a 56% cocoa product. but much smoother, sweeter flavour than the 72%.
It provides a nice middle-ground, for those that want that sweet craving satisfied, but can't stand the bitterness of Whittakers darkest products available. Smooth Dark is a very suitable name for the product, and it is a product that would be recommended stored in the fridge during New Zealand summer months, as the bar certainly softens up during the day, and shows how easily it could be made into a dip for fresh fruit, or a rich chocolate sauce for a cold dessert. There are definitely many uses for the product, but all I need is something to stop me from eating too much chocolate. And if I find this product on the shelf, it'll certainly do the job.
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