Yet again my expectations have been blown away by Toronto-based SOMA Chocolatemaker’s creative artistry. I’ve seen pictures of this birch branch on Instagram, but clearly I didn’t pay attention to the scale. Truly, I thought this would be a “bar” that could fit in your hands. Well, it *COULD* be hand-held…if you were Paul Bunyan or the Jolly Green Giant!
Whenever I go shopping for chocolates during the summer, I always take a mini Igloo cooler with me to ensure safe transit of my goodies. When I arrived at Chocolate Maya in Santa Barbara to pick up my SOMA order, I quickly realized that the over foot-long packaging would not fit into my cooler and I certainly didn’t want to remove the delicate molded chocolate from its secure “nest.” Since the weather was a bit warm that day, I put the plastic bag-wrapped box on the floor of the car on the passenger side & cranked up the air conditioning positioned at the feet so that the chocolate wouldn’t melt during the two hour drive back home.
My next “panic attack” was whether or not the box would fit into my 8-bottle mini wine fridge for storage until the weather cooled down enough for a photo session. ? Thankfully the box just barely fit! ?
So, this week, during a cool mid-August morning, I finally decided to sample the realistic-looking, 12 inch long, thick, 10+ ounce branch.
As mentioned on the SOMA website:
“My Dad recently found a beautiful birch branch in a forest up in Lindsay, Ontario that we made into a mould. Beaver-inspired and perfect for sharing.”
They added more humor with little touches to the outer packaging:
You would think that it would be difficult to slice off a tasting round without shattering the rest of the branch. However, a non-serrated knife easily cut through the thin Jamaican dark chocolate shell.
As you can see, the star of the show is the ultra-creamy & buttery gianduja (chocolate hazelnut paste) studded with a praline crunch that reminds me of feuilletine flakes. The ribbon of cherry jam adds just the right amount of tartness and I love that there are pieces of the fruit skin in the jam for added texture.
As the holidays approach & you consider what to have as a Thanksgiving table centerpiece or are tired of the standard Christmas-time buche de noel/yule log, this Birch Branch is sure to bring a “wow factor” to your festivities (plus, it would make an AWESOME hostess gift too!)
*Note: while this might sound like a sponsored advertisement, it’s NOT! I was not paid for my review and really, truly LOVED this unique chocolate!
For more information on SOMA Chocolatemaker, please visit their website: https://www.somachocolate.com/
P.S. Have you missed seeing my posts during my month-long hiatus?! Don’t worry, next month I’ll be returning to the alphabet – this time featuring origins! Stay tuned 🙂