Monday, April 13, 2009

Scharffen Berger Dark Milk (68%)

Scharffen Berger Dark MilkWhen I first tried Scharffen Berger, years before I started Candy Blog, I didn’t like it much. Granted, all I’d tried was their Semisweet, but I found it rather bitter and acrid, a strong sourness that just didn’t have those qualities that I love about chocolate. 

But over the years the Scharffen Berger product line has grown and I have found some superb products among their line that I really enjoy, such as their Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs.

For years I’ve spent time trying to love what other people love. But most of it is just not for me. Until the Nibby bars came along.

First it was the Nibby Dark Chocolate with Roasted Cacao Nibs (62%). I never reviewed it. The 62% base was rather sweet and melted a bit thin but the nibs are crunchy and have a great nutty and buttery crunch. I still prefer the panned nibs, which are much less sweet by proportion (they also use the 62%) and of course so spectacularly shiny and cute.

Scharffen Berger Dark MilkThen in 2007 I met the Milk Nibby Bar. This was a chocolate bar that was also food. Malty, mellow, caramel notes, a smooth and sticky chocolate background with the crunchy nibs. It was the perfect lunch.

I didn’t think anything ever needed to replace it, top it, or even compete with it.

Then at the Fancy Food Show in January I was walking by the Scharffen Berger booth. I’ve had mixed experiences there and usually just glance over things and move along to other booths. Instead I got a warm welcome and was urged to try their new Dark Milk 68% Cacao.

Oddly enough, it’s not a bar I would have been interested in if I were buying. I already liked the Milk Nibby. What I didn’t know was that the Dark Milk actually has nibs in it too! (Why that’s not really mentioned on the package is beyond me.)

Scharffen Berger Milk Nibby and Dark Milk

Shown above is the Milk Nibby (41%) on the left and the Dark Milk (68%) on the right.

I wanted to compare it to the Milk Nibby and the Dark Milk. One of the things that the wrapper tells me is that the Dark Milk has more fat - 19 grams per serving over the 15 grams per serving from the Milk Nibby (that means 10 more calories per ounce). Sounds like a good start!

As you can see from the photo above, there’s very little difference in the appearance of the bars. The Milk Nibby is only slightly lighter, but if you just handed me one without the other to compare, I doubt I could tell on sight alone.

It doesn’t smell like a milk chocolate bar. It smells woodsy, dark and slightly tangy, a little bit of coffee and a little bit of toffee.

On the tongue though, the milk notes come out pretty quickly. The Scharffen Berger tangy is there, but the milk moderates it. There are some strong bitter elements, they’re dark roasted bitter flavors, like coffee and a sharp cheddar cheese. But there are other nice notes in there too, a sweet toffee, strong vanilla and oak. The malt is not as pronounced as the Milk Nibby bar, but it still makes an appearance.

This is not a morning bar, I think it’s an evening bar. Even though the bitterness lingered, I liked the complex notes and of course the texture. I found myself reaching for pieces of it until it was gone. Every once in a while I do get some bad crunching nibs, ones that seem more like shells than beans (but I find that with most nib products).

I’m still going to stick with the Milk Nibby bar (and just decided to , but this is an excellent high cacao bar for people who probably don’t like high cacao content. But if I can’t find the Milk Nibby, this one will be a more than adequate substitute. I had no trouble finishing the bar.

Related Candies

  1. Isle of Skye Seeds of Change Milk with Crispies
  2. Askinosie Chocolate
  3. Lindt Chocolate Bunnies (Dark & Milk)
  4. Milka Alpenmilch
  5. Theo 3400 Phinney Bars
  6. Equal Exchange: Espresso, Mint & Nibs
  7. Villars Swiss Milk Chocolate
Name: 68% Dark Milk
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Scharffen Berger (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: sample from Scharffen Berger
Price: retail $3.99
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Chocolate, Nibs, United States, Scharffen Berger, Hershey's, Kosher, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:32 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. It’s super bizarre that they do not tell you on the package that there are nibs in here. They seem to have ground them up to very small bits, and are trying some experiment, both in how small they make the nibs (trying to make you think it’s “rice crisps” or something?) and also in not telling on their label. The latter must be some kind of market research—“Will they buy more, or less, without the word ‘nib’” for gosh sakes!

    I felt like some of the tang was as if coming from yogurt powder or some cultured milk powder, or perhaps goat milk powder, tiny bit reminding me of the the Askinosie sensation, but not all the way, or as good, of course. If they are not telling about nib inclusions, feeling that when they said “cocoa beans” they had told enough, perhaps they have mixed in a little sour milk (already reviving Ye Olde Hershey Chocolate days?) and likewise felt “milk” was all they needed to say. Now it’s getting all uber secret at SB HQ, I wonder if this means that new oompa loompas are working in the factory….

    Comment by Casey on 3/20/10 at 9:43 am #

Name:

Email:
(not published)

Location:
(not published - please don't put your address in there)

URL:

Comments may be held for moderation to prevent spam and other violations of the Candy Blog Comment Policy

Remember me!

Get updates to comments on this post?

Next entry: Gourmet Gumdrops

Previous entry: Happy Easter My Friends




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT

FEEDS

CONTACT

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.

EMAIL DIGEST

    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

CANDY RATINGS

TYPE

BRAND

COUNTRY

ARCHIVES

Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon

COUNTDOWN

Halloween Candy Season Ends

0 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

image

ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

image