A little while ago I did a sugar comparison on dark chocolate brands to help you get an idea for those that are high and those that are low when it comes to sugar content.
I advocate dark chocolate as a lower sugar option in a number of instances e.g. better than a sugary low fat yoghurt, better than a Special K bar and better than a 100 calorie milk chocolate bar. However, as my previous post demonstrated, not all dark chocolate is equal.
I really used dark chocolate to help me transition from my post meal sweet fix for a period of time and I still dabble every now and then if I really fancy it. There are a world of brands and varieties out there. I can’t review them that fast because I simply don’t eat it often enough!
Nevertheless, here are some reviews on many of those that I compared and a few that have made it into my home!
Willie’s Cacao Venezuelan Gold 72%
I ended up with this chocolate because I mentioned to my mum I wanted to try their 100% cacao block, and she was on the lookout for it as a present. I wanted the block because it’s good for grating and using in recipes. However, my mum found they had run out of it, and not wanting to disappoint, she picked me up a different one from the same brand.
This Venezuelan Gold 72% is about as sweet as I can tolerate – I don’t like to go below 72% cocoa solids these days (oh how things have changed!). This bar has quite a distinct unusual nutty flavour – sometimes I think I really like it, sometimes I’m not sure. It comes wrapped as two big thick squares, so it’s not great for breaking off and eating (I like thin and snappy) but it is superb for grating though. Try it grated over full fat natural yoghurt and frozen berries for a tasty, sugar sensible dessert.
Green & Blacks organic 85% (&75%)
This is a classic and the 70% is usually pretty widely available here in the UK at a reasonable price in most supermarkets and shops. A smooth texture and lovely taste, it’s quality dark chocolate.
I prefer the 85% as it’s a bit lower in sugar, but the 70% variety can come in a really cute little bar. This is great for those that struggle to stop at one or two squares and need a bit of forced portion control…and it’s just so cute!
12% sugar (coconut nectar – so one of the healthiest forms of sugar)
80% cocoa solids
Dairy & gluten free
OK, I was given a Lovechock bar to try at a show I attended. It’s really really nice, so much so that I found I got ‘I could easily eat the whole bar’ syndrome. I don’t usually get this so I wonder if this has something to do with the different ingredients or if it’s just way up there in terms of taste. They also gave me an orange and goji berry one, which again was totally delicious, but a little higher in sugar and it put me on the border of being in sugar control!
If you want to try, you need to buy online, I found Detox Your World sells it for £2.78
Lindt Excellence 90%
This is dark. It’s for the hardcore dark chocolatiers. It’s the lowest in sugar content, so it’s more bitter than sweet. I love this chocolate now, but I expect if you gave it to your Dairy Milk sugar-loving friend, they would screw up their face like they’d eaten a sour grape and say ‘That’s not chocolate.’ Try it and let me know how you get on!
It’s definitely one to work towards and if you can grow to like it as much as I do, then you can satisfy your chocolate fix with practically no sugar…result!
Nero & Bianco
I picked this up in my office canteen one day. I have to say I’m not a massive fan. It’s quite sickly sweet and doesn’t feel as good quality as other brands. I still have half a bar of it leftover that I haven’t touched. Enough said.
Lindt Excellence Chilli
This is so unusual and I love the chilli-choc combination. It’s a nice smooth texture with a great velvety kick afterwards.
However, despite being ‘dark’, it’s nearly 50% sugar, so beware. Don’t go eating this thinking you’re being dark chocolate virtuous, because I’d count it more towards the regular chocolate camp.
It was largely my dark chocolate of choice for a while, but as I became aware and I moved to the darker end of the scale it edged down the ranks. As my tastebuds continue to get used to a life less sweet, I probably won’t buy it again or at least for a while.
What other dark chocolate brands have you found and would like to share? I will continue to try some new ones over the next few months.