Last week at SIAL, I caught eye of this small chocolate company,
sandwiched between a large-scale red bean distributor and an
enthusiastic basmati-hawking salesman. And yes, the first thing that
caught my eye was their speculoos bar. That, and their impressive
selection of tea-infused chocolate bars. Flavored Belgian chocolate is
new, for me, at least. Perusing the selection at SIAL, it seemed that
the most common varieties were various slabs of milk, dark, and white,
with some almond-chunked versions thrown in for fun. I was curious to
see how Cafe-Tasse would treat not only the time-honored beauty of
speculoos, but how they would infuse that with coffee in an attempt to
recreate one of the world's most satisfying sensations, outside of
applying flavored body cream to a partner or leaping into a kiddy pool
full of puppies: dipping cookies into coffee.
naysayers be damned, this is yet another example of how awesome
speculoos is as an ingredient. This particular bar is a thick, molded
bar filled with a speculoos and coffee cookie dough. I didn't know that this was cookie dough in advance, but in retrospect, the textures are one and the same: very gritty, sweet, and creamy, with chunks of crispy cookie.
The pieces are a little large, but are very satisfying with the milk
chocolate, a fantastic example of Belgian expertise. It has a creamy, cool melt and coffee-infused flavor.
Very well-executed, and most importantly, well-balanced with the
filling so that neither overwhelmed the other. (Note: This was
accidentally packaged in the "Lait and Speculoos" wrapper but a label on
the back indicated that it was "Cafe et Speculoos". Either that, or
this is an elaborately-enduced placebo effect that I'm not yet aware
of the speculoos-themed desserts have fared well in my book, but this
is my favorite so far due to its ingenious usage of combinations in a
single chocolate bar. It reminds me of a better-executed version of the Trader Joe's speculoos bar.
The construction of this leads me to believe that Cafe-Tasse may also
be the distributor for their plain version as well, though personally, I
find this to have a better, less greasy texture.
Labels: 9, candy, chocolate, gay paris