Hello again everyone, I hope you had a great easter.
This week, I’m celebrating with some seriously hot chocolate so, if you didn’t get all the cocoa-based delight you wanted or, if you’re somehow still not sick of the stuff, read on for my thoughts on the Psycho Chocolate, from Doctor Burnorium’s Hot Sauce Emporium.
It just might be what you need to round off the festivities.
It’s covered in chilli flakes and chunks of white crystallised ginger to enhance its spicy ginger beer flavour but its ghost pepper content is actually pretty far down the ingredients list:
Belgian Dark Chocolate (min. cocoa 53.8%) 87.5% (Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Soya Lecithin, Natural Vanilla), Crystalised Ginger 10% (Ginger, Raw Sugar Cane), Chilli Flakes 2%, Naga Jolokia Chilli Powder 0.4%, Natural Ginger Beer Flavouring 0.3%.
Yet that 0.4% is far more than the 0.1 in Grim Reaper Foods’ chocolate and there’s another 2% milder chilli on top. In theory, this should be much hotter but, in practice, it’s a bit difficult to compare the two.
Unlike the Hell Raiser, Black Widow or Purgatory bars I’ve had in the past (some on record, some off), Doctor Burnorium’s Psycho Chocolate has a rather slow building warmth with a late throaty kick to follow.
It takes significantly longer to properly hit you and it does so very differently when it finally gets around to it. Far more sharply, in my experience.
Yet this isn’t the first bar I’ve tried.
It was a gift from my social media manager and one that, quite honestly, I wouldn’t have bought for myself.
Of the three chocolates that the good doctor makes, this was the one I was most excited for (though his Popping Mud Pie flavour came close) but also the one I least liked when I sampled it in his “emporium”.
The ginger was old and musty. The chilli flakes were bitter. The whole thing was a bad time and it left a lingering taste in my mouth that I can only describe as chemical. Almost like your average oleoresin chilli extract.
Frankly, between that and his garlic sauce, I was going to write Doctor Burnorium off as incapable of making anything that cared about flavour.
So, if you’re reading this, buddy, thank your lucky stars and the guy who does my twitter for me. His generosity has saved your image on this site.
Because what he gave me wasn’t bad chocolate in the slightest.
I guess that first sample must have been stale or something because the crystallised ginger on my new bar is top notch and there’s no problem with its chilli flakes either.
Typically, I prefer brown ginger over the whiter sort featured here but its sharper flavour is definitely the better choice for a product that mimics the taste of a carbonated drink. And the subtle taste of unrefined sugar cane adds a touch of those golden notes anyway.
The naga in here is too little to taste and the ginger beer in the chocolate, while probably helping to blend the flavours of its ingredients together, can’t actually be picked out unless you scrape off all the toppings first.
All I really taste from the base is the good quality dark chocolate that it looks like, albeit one with heat.
The exciting flavours are simply what’s on top but they do pair well with the chocolate itself, even if the flakes of chilli are a tad generic.
I really enjoyed this product so it’s a shame that I had to complain about its seller’s free samples but I wasn’t doing so just to be mean. Honest!
No, I was doing so to explain how I’ve ended up trying the item several times, without ever bringing it up in the past, so that I could talk about its burn a bit.
Because, while I’ve told you how it hits, I haven’t told you how hard. And there’s a reason for that.
I talked about the Grim Reaper’s heat inconsistencies (which I have yet to experience in their milk chocolate) when I shared Sweet Kitchen Science’s Triple Chocolate Brownies but the Psycho Chocolate range seems even more erratic.
The sample I first tried, which I can only assume had been out for way too long, hit me with a whopping five out of ten heat, not unlike a first ingredient ghost pepper sauce.
Yet the square I was given mere days before writing this was far weaker. An almost impressively low one point five. More the high end of mild than anything even remotely hot.
Which would, perhaps, imply an increase with age or a change of recipe. But no. Today’s bar, purchased at the exact same time as that second one, reached the upper limits of my
Milder than that first taster, certainly, but still a pretty fierce treat. Not far from rivalling the Grim Reaper’s hottest batches and exceeding his milk version by a fair amount.
I’m calling that most recent number its level for today’s review but I have no idea what I’m going to put on the sidebar. I have three different ratings for this product in three different heat categories – Mild, hot and super hot – And no clear answer as to which is most likely when you buy it.
It’s delicious and the wrap-around skull and crossbones card, with its portrait of the maker and many shades of brown, does make it look fantastic. I just wish I knew what strength to expect so I could more easily recommend it to people.