Raaka First Nibs Selection – September 2018

Because my First Nibs Selection subscription with Raaka comes every other month, I get super excited when I see a Raaka box on my doorstep. I’ve raved in the past about their unique inclusions in these limited edition bars. For September, my eyes almost popped out of my face. Nibby Butter Buckwheat Cookies?! Cranberry Sage Pie?! Already the names of these bars are very interesting!

According to the description sent with these bars, Food52 is releasing a new cookbook on September 4th (we’re past that now). They chose three of their dessert recipes that would work well with chocolate and handed them off to Raaka to “work their magic”. The new cookbook is called “Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake”.

The first bar is Nibby Butter Buckwheat Cookies in Asochivite, Guatemala 72%. That’s quite a mouthful for the title! According to the description, buckwheat is an alternative to wheat flour. The recipe originally calls for using grassy buckwheat and bitter cacao nibs in shorbread cookies. Raaka believed these flavors would pair well with a fudgy Asochivite.

For me, the scent of this bar was a mixture of fruity and earthy. With the buckwheat side down on my tongue, I first tasted salt followed by strong herby and light fruity flavors. The toasted buckwheat bits literally added a “pop” of flavor and texture. Once the buckwheat flavors had dissipated I was left with fudgy brownie. The thought of fudgy pecan brownies crossed my mind, but instead of pecans there’s buckwheat. This bar was like having a party in my mouth! There was a lot going on with texture and flavors, and in the end it comes down to reminiscing about brownies.

The next bar is Cranberry Sage Pie in Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania 66%. First of all, this bar is gorgeous to look at! The brown sugar glistens in the light and the deep red cranberries are like little dark rubies. The description for this bar mentions the Elsen sisters who run a bakery called Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn. They go beyond creating traditional pies “splashing bitters into their filling and showering salt across the top”. This bar was inspired by a pie they made that uses raw and dried cranberries, sage and fall spices.

The scent of this bar is like Christmas with the brown sugar scent reminding me of gingerbread cookies and the strong cranberry scent was like cranberry sauce that’s seen around Thanksgiving. If you don’t like chocolate, then the scent alone is what you need. I want the essence of this bar as a perfume that I can wear during the fall and winter. I first tasted the sweetness of the brown sugar followed by the sweet yet tart dried cranberries. The sage was subtle and I could definitely taste the fall spices. The Tanzanian chocolate is described as being sweet and it was a nice way to pull all the sweet things together yet balance out the sage. This bar is SO good!

The last bar is Roasted Sugar in CAC Pangoa, Peru 68%. The description for this bar says it was inspired by a happy accident of Stella Park (writer behind the book “Brave Tart”) in leaving sugar in an oven at low heat for hours. Instead of melting, the granules became “more caramelly”. The bar smelled sweet like honey. The flavor reminded me of the brown sugar in the Cranberry Sage Pie bar and like light molasses. This is a great chocolaty, sweet bar that is subtle rather than intense for people who are exploring dark chocolate bars but don’t like bitterness.

One again Raaka made three very unique bars! The Nibby Butter Buckwheat Cookie bar is great for people looking for a flavorful and textural experience. The Cranberry Sage Pie is awesome for fall-lovers such as myself who love the holidays of the colder months and the foods that come along with it. The Roasted Sugar bar is good for savoring anytime of the day and anytime of the year. If I had to pick one out of the three, I gravitated the most to the Cranberry Sage Pie. And I’m saying this as I’m already popping another piece of it in my mouth 🙂

Raaka Chocolate

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Though at the time of writing this post I am working in the chocolate industry, my work in the chocolate industry has no affect on my personal thoughts and experiences with the chocolate products shared on Time To Eat Chocolate. 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.


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