Sunday, 13 November 2011

Divine Intervention

And my prayers were answered. A box crammed full of Divine chocolate delights, nestling on a bed of colourful recycled packing material, arrived in the post.

Divine is a fairtrade chocolate company set up in 1997 to provide an outlet for the chocolate grown by a Ghanian co-operative of small scale cocoa growers. The company is 45% owned by that co-operative, Kuapa Kokoo, so much of the profits are reinvested back into the local communities as well as the farms. Benefits have included schools, where none existed before, children being able to attend school, better health care and cleaner water.

The packaging is an important part of the aesthetic and luxury experience I expect to get from good quality chocolate. I have an aversion to chocolate wrapped in plastic and am surprised at how many "good quality" bars are wrapped in it. Divine bars, I'm pleased to say, are all contained in an inner casing of gold and silver foil, thus scoring top marks from me. The outer paper wrappings come in a variety of colours matching the  ingredients within and are covered in attractive West African symbols called adrinkas. Each one has a specific meaning and if interested some of the meanings can be looked up on the Divine website. In my thrifty eco friendly way, I recycle these chocolate papers as gift wrapping.

The chocolate is not top of the range and at around £2 for a 100g bar, you wouldn't expect it to be. But it is still good chocolate and of a far higher quality than the average chocolate bar you can buy in the UK. It is also widely available. Even in the wilds of our small town on the edge of Bodmin Moor, it is stocked in both our local Co-op and Oxfam shop. I'm familiar with the 70% dark chocolate, which I often use in my baking, such as this Chocolate and Almond Fudge Cake. For a dark chocolate, it has a mild and soothing quality which I find pleasant. But I am less familiar with other Divine bars and had no idea they made fudge at all.

It was the fudge I dived into first, not so much because I'm a fan of fudge; I used to love it, but these days I generally find it too sweet. The description enticed me in though. I have been won over by the salt / sweet combination that's doing the rounds and salted fudge sounded intriguing. I was more than pleasantly surprised. The salty fudge was really quite delicious and because the chunks were quite small and thickly covered in dark chocolate, they were not overly sweet in the least.

Having said, I don't like things too sweet, I am a fan of butterscotch in chocolate, so I was pleased to see a 45g bar had been included in the box. I haven't tried Divine's version before but it didn't take me long to rectify this. Despite the milk chocolate being only 27% cocoa solids and not skimping on the butterscotch, this was not cloyingly sweet, in fact it was more than pleasant.

The next up to try was the 70% dark ginger and orange 100g bar. I had something specific in mind for this and used it to make gingered chocolate mincemeat. I did, however, manage to snaffle a couple of squares - for my usual research purposes! The chocolate had the same mild quality of the 70% bar but had a subtle ginger flavour with tiny pieces of orange dotted about. I could have quite happily eaten the whole bar, but managed to resist.

Three 100g bars remain and I am trying to be very good and not go into a frenzy of flying gold paper fragments and inelegant gulping. No - I have plans for these - baking plans. So what's left: 70% dark chocolate with raspberries, orange milk chocolate and white chocolate with strawberries.

23 comments:

  1. Oh my...I couldn't resist that if I were you, I'd be full of chocolate by now!

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  2. TASTY and Ethical chocolate with not too much packaging, my kind of chocolate!

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  3. I love divine chocolate and I always think their packaging is so attractive on the supermarket shelf

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  4. This is such lovely, lovely chocolate and what a treat to receive a whole boxful in the post! I'm also very impressed with your willpower with those 100g bars hanging around waiting to be chomped down...

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  5. Mmmmm I love Divine chocolate, I used to eat the milk chocolate bars all the time when I was at uni - didn't realise there were so many other flavours! Will have to keep an eye out. You lucky thing!

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  6. Oh my goodness, what magnificently packaged chocolate! I wouldn't be able to resist that box if I came across it in the shops!

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  7. Mmmm, salty fudge sounds absolutely amazing - I need that in my life :-) Also massively jealous of you receiving that hamper full of goodies...lucky you!

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  8. Being a chocoholic myself, I know this nice gift package won't last a day... I want to try EVERYTHING and I will definitely lose my control... Love the package - so cute!

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  9. Scott - it's rare for me to be self-restrained, but to be fair, I did have quite a bit of cake in the house ;-)

    Karen - yes this really is ethical chocolate and the packaging was mostly cardboard and paper and not too much of it either.

    CC - I really like their wrappers attractive and somehow jaunty :)

    Kate - it was a real treat indeed and I'm still not sure those bars will make it to cake ;-)

    Kim - I was very lucky to be sent this box of yummy treats, but it has made me rather addicted to Divine fudge!

    Celia - it's good chocolate and seems to be becoming increasingly popular which is great to see.

    LittleLoaf - I'm very lucky and it was so exciting unpacking the box to see what treasures lay within. I'm now addicted to the fudge, which is really really good.

    Nami - I'm trying for restraint, but I will try everything at some point ;-)

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  10. It's just got to be the butterscotch milk chocolate bar.

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  11. I've not tried the butterscotch one ..yet!

    I agree on the packaging, has to be pretty!

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  12. oh you lucky so and so! A big box of choccie yum!

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  13. Amazing selection of chocolate! jealous? no ;) It's great that you recycle the wrapping.

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  14. Viking - you're a man after my own heart.

    Anne - true, though I haven't yet turned down chocolate on the basis I don't like the packaging ;-)

    Janice - one a week would be nice ;-)

    Baking Addict - I know, I was really pleased to get it and recycling is one of my "things".

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  15. Dark chocolate with raspberries- yes
    Dark chocolate with ginger AND orange- another yes
    Chocolate treats sent in a lovely box- big yes!
    Lucky gal :-)

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  16. Maggie Osborn9 March 2013 12:51

    They all sound delicious!

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  17. I love divine - the raspberries one is amazing, never seen the butterscotch before - would need to try it!

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  18. Maggie Osborn5 April 2013 18:26

    Ethical AND delicious, brilliant combination! :)

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  19. My fifteen year old son first introduced me to divine chocolate he loved the fair trade idea and the quality of the chocolate well it's divine : D

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  20. They Look amazing i have seen this brand a lot of times in the stores but i have never tried it but i really want to now :)

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  21. I love Devine chocolae, the quality is worth the price...

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  22. https://twitter.com/GlennHutton/status/458539204138766336

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  23. This is one of the nicest brands of chocolate I have ever tasted...

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