When I was initially going through inclusion ingredients in my head during the planning stages for “round 2” of this Eating the Chocolate Alphabet project, I don’t think I fully realized that the letter “I” would be relatively difficult to fill. Maybe it’s me, but the only English-language foods that I could think of involved the word “ice.” Now it’s your turn, go ahead & take a moment, I’ll wait! While I was waiting, I did a search for Spanish foods and discovered Idiazábal (a Basque smoked cheese); if someone finds a chocolate paired with that ingredient, I’ll try it! Google also revealed that there are imbe fruit, ink nuts or iyokan (which is a Japanese citrus similar to a mandarin orange), but I’ve never seen any chocolates with those flavorings, have you?
Since I was undeterred, it was now time to find an “I” word modifier: like Icelandic, Irish, Italian or Israeli. I’ve had several chocolates with Icelandic Sea Salt, but that didn’t seem “special” enough for this blog. Someone suggested Irish Coffee, but I’m not a fan of the coffee flavor profile. So, when Jack from Chocolate Covered San Francisco mentioned that he had an Irish Whiskey bar, I knew I had finally found something I could feature and enjoy!
Ococoa is not unfamiliar to me since in mid-January I tried Diana Malouf’s flavorful and unique ingredient/flavor combinations that are part of her 9 piece Butter Cup Collection. If only I had paid more attention to her other product lines during that visit, this Irish Whiskey Caramel bar could have avoided a 700+ mile journey to reach me!! Oh, the irony!
This Irish Whiskey Caramel bar is made up of 6 thick filled rectangles, decorated on the “back” with a wood-grain patterned transfer sheet. The tops of some of the rectangles were starting to implode a little bit, partly because of the transit and partly because, by the time I was sampling this bar, the “enjoy by” date had elapsed by about a month :’(
There was a strong alcohol aroma and the rectangles cracked while I was segmenting this bar by hand. The milk and white chocolate caramel center from the first rectangle I tried seemed a little grainy and/or crystallized rather than runny, chewy or gooey.
However, when I bit into that piece (and all subsequent pieces), the middle was creamy and smooth, almost like a dulce de leche texture, but wow…it is BOOZY! Probably not what I should have been eating first thing in the morning! It would make for a perfect after-dinner treat though!
Overall, I liked the amount of burnt sugar caramel encased in the thin dark chocolate shell and the slight back-of-the-throat burn from the alcohol. Next time I want to try the Honey Liqueur Caramel bar, the Cardamom Orange truffle bar or the Peat Smoked truffles!
To learn more about Ococoa, please visit: https://ococoa.com/
And if you find any other unique “I” inclusion ingredients, PLEASE send me a message to let me know!!