French finesse and origin chocolate. It should be a golden combination. However, as many chocolate bars I’ve tasted over the years, I haven’t come across French made bean to bar chocolate too often. Sure, big names such as Pralus and Cluizel are easily found in delicacy shops and many high profile pastry chefs work with Valrhona chocolate. But I’m looking for the smaller chocolate makers out there. And today I bring you Beau Cacao.
Run by Bo San Cheung and Thomas Delcour create chocolate bars using only Malaysian cocoa. They go further than other bean-to-bar producers, who used cocoa grown in a single country or region. Their bars are single estate chocolates, meaning the cocoa comes from distinct plantations. You can’t get more specific than this in expressing the terroir flavors of cocoa.
Beau cocoa has a strong commitment to produce chocolate in a responsible and environmentally friendly way. I can’t describe their mission any better than how they put it on their website: “Our purpose as People, as a Company is to make it easy for you to turn what you love eating into an intimate, shareable moment of healthy joy, without recklessly taking our Earth’s resources in the process.”
Made in the French Alps, the chocolate of Beau Cacao is meant to bring you joy and excitement and a journey in the real flavors of cocoa.
As an introduction, I bought the Asajaya bar. South Asian cocoa is an origin which can bring specific flavors, different from their South American counterparts. Time to relax and discover Beau Cacao’s expression of Malaysians cocoa.
First impressions are very good. A bright yellow package with Asian design and a large golden diamond shape with the Beau Cacao logo give a very luxurious feel to the bar. It shows the origin, plantation and percentage. Proudly produced in the French Hautes-Alpes.
A thin cardboard sleeve on the outside. Inside a golden wrapper with embossed logo protects the piece of chocolate.
Next you discover the chocolate itself. Such a piece of art. With the very stylish design, lots of relief and different, irregular shaped pieces, the chocolate bar shines like non before. Perfectly executed, sharp edges, and luxurious looking. It is clear that a lot of attention goes to the molding of the bars. This is exactly the kind of effect a chocoholic likes to see.
The ingredients list is short and makes a quality chocolate lover happy. Cocoa beans, cocoa butter and cane sugar.
Excellent stuff so far!
Bean: not mentioned
Origin: Asajaya – Malaysia
Maker: Beau Cacao – Briançon – France
Ingredients: cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cane sugar
Price: € 7,4 – 55 g (webshop Beau Cacao)
Batch: not mentioned – best before 6/02/2023
Color: brown/black – intense shine
Aroma: roasted cocoa, earthy , faint spice
Taste: Deep chocolate flavors a plenty. Lush chocolate moelleux comes to mind. The bar can’t hide it’s French signature with a silky smooth mouth feel. The flavor remains focusing on the chocolate flavors, full bodied, comforting and familiar. A slight sweetness is remarkably present and keeps the flavor very round and balanced. There is a nutty note floating around and near the end of the melt, slight tannins appear, reminding me of the flavor of roasted cocoa nibs. The after flavor keeps following the same flavor profile, but there suddenly is a brief flash of peanuts.
This chocolate bar doesn’t offer wild flavor changes, but brings satisfying, crystal clear chocolaty notes to the palate. Your ordinary mass produced chocolate will seem dull and bland when tasted next to this Beau Cacao bar. As pretenseless as it may seem at first, there is more than meets the eye. Especially when you take the time to really experience the bar. Subtle extra notes will appear when you slow down and savor some pieces over time. And it has a clear French signature. Beau Cacao has mastered the art of creating a silky smooth chocolate of high percentage, without being overpowering or buttery.
Enjoyable and satisfying!
General final evaluation:
Visual appeal: 5/5
Melt and mouth feel: 4/5
Flavor profile : 4/5
Overall: 19/25 (****)