When Chocolab offered me the opportunity to create four of my own chocolate blocks, I was pretty excited. Their online platform is easy to use. Head into their creation lab and decide upon a base made of white, milk or dark chocolate. They’re all made from fine couverture chocolate and will set you back about nine bucks per block. The dark Belgian chocolate base is lactose free, which also makes it vegan-friendly.
Now for the fun part: go through Chocolab’s illustrated lists of ingredients and design your own marvellous creation. I found it easiest to have a theme for each block. With the dark chocolate base I wanted something moody so I added Chilli Powder ($1.50) and Sea Salt ($1.50) to enhance the flavour; Brownie Bites ($2) for texture, and freeze-dried Raspberries ($1.75) for a bit of lift. Every block can have a possible five ingredients; though don’t feel compelled to fill them all. I didn’t on this Dark Chocolate Block ($15.65) and was very happy with the result. It’s moody and interesting, though I wouldn’t mind a bit more of a chilli kick.
I based my favourite Chocolab creation on a Jersey caramel. I started with a White Chocolate Base ($8.90) and added Caramel Bits ($2), Salted Caramel Flakes ($2), Caramel Popcorn ($1.50), Caramel Fudge ($2) and Salted Caramel Crisp Pearls ($2.50). My resulting White Chocolate Block ($18.90) was like eating a bowl of milky caramel cereal - it didn't break very easily into squares, so it was devoured super quickly. This was easily my favourite Chocolab creation, mostly because the white chocolate base is wonderfully creamy without leaving a film on your tongue like mainstream white chocolate bars.
For my next creation I wanted something that would look colourful and exciting on here. Starting on a Milk Chocolate Base ($8.90) I laid down bright Popping Candy Rocks ($1.50), pale green Mini Mint Chips ($2), more red freeze-dried Raspberries ($1.75) and tart yellow Passionfruit Powder ($1.50). I topped it off with a white chocolate Custom Message Plaque ($5.00) saying Does My Bomb Look Big In This? For a chocolate designed for looks, it ate very well. Sourer ingredients are a win against the sweetness of my Milk Chocolate Block ($20.65) and who doesn’t like the feeling of popping candy? The subtle mint chips were nice by themselves but they did get bit lost in this particular creation.
My final Milk Chocolate Block ($18.40) was designed to be that perfect combination of sweet and salty you want at the movies. I threw in Mini Peanut Butter Cups ($2.50), Roasted Peanuts ($2), Pretzels ($1.50), Peanut Brittle Pieces ($2) and some Sea Salt ($1.50) for good measure. It’s junky, chunky and fun to eat without needing an accompanying packet of chips.
There’s a lot to like about the process of designing your own Chocolab chocolate. I think the novelty outweighs the slightly hefty per block price tag - and each block is hand-made. The best ingredients were not the ones I thought – texture turned out to be very important – brownie pieces, pretzels, caramel fudge and peanut brittle scrubbed up very well, as did the white chocolate custom name plate against the milk chocolate block. With the wisdom I gained from this order, I think next time I could really nail it...
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