A huge thank you to Victoria Cooksey, fellow chocoholic and blogger of Dark Matters Chocolate Reviews, for these Dormouse bars! It was a pleasant surprise to receive this package in the mail, and I had never tried this brand before. I couldn’t wait to try them and besides, the tiny bars are absolutely adorable 🙂
I was aware of Dormouse chocolates, but I hadn’t gone out of my way to get any for myself, which was why these bars were an awesome gift. I didn’t even realize that Dormouse was based out of England. They’ve been the first bean to bar chocolate maker in Manchester since 2015 and were started by Isobel who learned about bean to bar while working for a luxury chocolate brand.
Starting with the Venezuela Patanemo bar, the chocolate had a strong floral scent that kind of reminded me of lavender with a nutty undertone. The flavor was immediately a mixture of floral and nuttiness. Astringency developed that reminded me of tannins in wine, but rather than grape, I could taste the subtle flavor of apricot. The chocolate melted slowly, smoothly and evenly.
I’m confused that this bar is labeled as 37% white chocolate, but it’s milk chocolate. I’m assuming it’s a packaging oops. The chocolate smelled like creamy and like goat milk. The flavor was very similar to those browned butter bars I’ve had before (like Patric’s browned butter bar). Toward the end the chocolate tasted like caramel. This bar was smooth, sweet, creamy and addictive!
Added Note: Dormouse reached out to me and said the bar actually is white chocolate but looks like milk chocolate because the milk powder if caramelized before being added. Now the “toasted milk powder” on the wrapper makes sense! Thank you for the information, Dormouse!
The back of the 75.6% Madagascar bar lists the tasting flavors as having a “roasted start,” some spice and a finish of cherry and raspberry. The chocolate smelled woody to me, as though I were sniffing a finished wood table. My tasted buds were immediately hit by astringency and that roasted flavor that was mentioned. The astringency decreased to a flavor like tannins in wine. I didn’t taste anything that obviously reminded me of spice, but if I were to search for it, I could say that with the combination of the tannin flavors I’d think of mulled wine. The berry flavors were very subtle at the end since the astringency still lingered and was strong enough to mask all other flavors for me.
I’m intrigued when chocolate makers include details such as the conche time. The 75.6% Madagascar bar had a conche time of 25 hours. The wrapper listing the 38% white chocolate bar had a conche time of 28 hours. The Venezuelan bar had the longest conche time of 72 hours. I know that conching helps aerate the chocolate which leads to flavor reduction (learned from Ben Rasmussen), and this is shown in the level of astringency being less intense in the 72 hour conched chocolate compared to the 25 hour conched chocolate. It’s neat to try bars with different conching times side by side and taste the difference!
I rarely get to sample a chocolate that combines floral and nutty flavors together, like the tiny Venezuelan bar. I really enjoyed experiencing the taste of chocolate that reminded me of browned butter again. And I have never used the description of a bar smelling like a finished wood table, and that’s not bad since I genuinely like that scent! Overall, the bars Victoria picked for me provided a unique experience and one that I will definitely and fondly remember. Thank you again, Victoria! 🙂 If you want to read her reviews on other Dormouse bars and her interview with Isobel, go here!
Dormouse Chocolate: Made in Manchester, England
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.