Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Michel Cluizel 99%

Michel Cluizel Noir InfiniFor about six months I’ve been looking for the Michel Cluizel Noir Infini 99% bar. It’s not that it’s new, it just happened that the usual stores where I find Cluizel products were sold out of the bar.

I like the responsible size of it, it’s only 30 grams (1.05 ounces) instead of the usual 100 gram size for Cluizel’s large tablets.

Even though I declared this sugar free week, it wasn’t until I was prepping this post that I found out that there is sugar in this bar. The ingredients are: cacao (99%), cane sugar, spices, cocoa butter & Bourbon vanilla. Honestly, with a list like that, I can’t imagine it’s more than a pinch per pound. The wrapper also explains the bar further: This chocolate with its long kneading process and extremely high content of cocoas, reveals deep and dense strains for connoisseurs’ palate.

Michel Cluizel Noir Infini

It is a lovely little bar, with a rich and deep scent of chocolate.

On the tongue the thin bar melts pretty quickly. Overall it feels a bit like a clay slurry ... not quite chalky enough to call it, well, chalky or dry. The vanilla notes are pretty strong, as is a bit of a green wood and black tea note. By the end I was getting mulch, vanilla grass, pecans, burnt hazelnuts ... all wrapped up in smoke and charcoal.

Though it was bitter, there was very little puckeringly acrid acidity that I get with other high cacao bars (I’ll have a rundown of some of those tomorrow).

But not really a lot of fun. I was grateful that it was a small bar.

Michel Cluizel Cacao Forte

The other chocolate on my list of pursuits lately has been the Michel Cluizel Cacao Forte bonbon.

It’s amazing what a difference it makes when the intensity of the cacao is reduced by just a bit. While this truffle has no added sugar, it is a ganche and contains butter and/or heavy cream. So while the chocolate is 99%, the truffle itself is not.

The ganache is soft and melts quickly. The lighter berry & fruit notes come out much better, the bitterness is nearly gone and the finish, though dry is not acrid or acidic. But it feels thin in flavor, and I’ve tried quite a few Cluizel chocolates, so I know I can do better.

After eating the straight chocolate, the bonbon is a relief and seems almost sweet by comparison. But if you have this in a box and have been eating Champignon Caramel or Madagascar Dark Chocolate Ganache it will be jarring.

These pieces feel like exercises, like some single origin bars that give us the sense that it’s great that so many chocolate makers blend beans to give us a consistent and appealing flavor profile. I appreciate them, I grant that they have the right to exist, but I don’t care to eat them again.

As for the aspect that they’re free of added sugar (effectively), they’re not a low calorie food. Chocolate has oodles of fat in it and the bar comes in at 151 calories per ounce and less than a gram of carbs. (I don’t know what the bonbon is, but I’ll guess it’s even higher in fat.) However, if you’re looking for a chocolate punch that won’t raise your blood sugar level (and dark chocolate has been shown to lower insulin resistance, lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol levels, blah blah) this is an interesting “theraputic” option that’s probably cheaper than many other medical alternatives. It’s also just an interesting excercise all chocophiles should experience. The Noir Infini tasting square can be found in Cluizel assortments, so that’s probably the best way to experience this ... as part of an entire trip, not as the destination.

Related Candies

  1. The Alien Forehead Chocolate Collection
  2. Mori Ex Cacao Gift Set
  3. Recchiuti
  4. Michel Cluizel Les 1ers Crus de Plantation
  5. Pierre Marcolini Chocolates
Name: Noir Infini & Cacao Forte
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Michel Cluizel
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits (LA) + Chocolate Covered (SF)
Price: $3.25 & $4
Size: 1.05 ounces & unknown
Calories per ounce: 151 & unknown
Categories: Chocolate, France, Michel Cluizel, Sugar Free, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:07 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I love the Noir Infini bar! I don’t mind the bitterness at all and actually crave and enjoy it when I’m certain moods.

    Comment by Sera on 5/07/08 at 12:19 pm #
  2. Hee hee, I think I’ll stick with the Champignons for now ... I love the gianduja ones with a brown stem. Thanks for the review. My friend had it out of curiosity and liked it better than she had expected.

    Comment by Verena on 5/07/08 at 12:32 pm #
  3. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I do remember La Maison Du Chocolat’s 100% Coro bar to be super low fat.

    Comment by Rosa on 5/07/08 at 2:34 pm #
  4. Oh….yum and cheers for chocolate, especially organic raw chocolate (although I love all organic vegan dark chocolate).

    Comment by Kristen's Raw on 5/08/08 at 2:37 am #
  5. They sell the Noir Infini 99% in little bitty squares for 50 cents at Cacao in Portland - the perfect size for the awesome intensity of this bar.  I get one of those and let it sit on my tongue until it dissolves. It gives me the chills, in a good way.

    Comment by Joanna on 5/08/08 at 8:59 am #
  6. This is THE BEST chocolate out there. The 99% is truly heaven, to just let it sit on your tongue and let the divine flavors and superbly creamy texture slowly drip into your tongue and down your throat.
    I do not, however eat sweet things as a rule, so this really feels like just enough sweetness for me.
    These chocolates are very hard to find however.

    Comment by johanna on 5/16/08 at 3:35 pm #

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