Hello again everyone and happy white day! I know I’m technically a day late for japan’s most chocolate-themed holiday but that’s just how my schedule panned out. And don’t worry, I’ve got the goods:
Boom Sauce’s Fix Up D’Heat chocolate and the trinidadian-style hot sauce from which it gets its name. Based on an old family recipe.
Today, I’m going to start with that sauce, so that I really know what I’m looking for when I taste it in the chocolate. So it only makes sense to take a closer look at its bottle:
Its design is simple and geometric. A large, two-fifty mil bottle divided diagonally into a black bottom half and a transparent top, where the orangey-red of the sauce inside is on full display.
Where the two meet, its inspiration is made clear by the trinidad and tobago flag, while bold black bubble lettering up above catches and draws in my eye. With a nice three out of four chilli rating shown at its base.
It’s no more complex that Professor Pods’ recent labelling, yet far more sleek, stylish and visually informative. I’m impressed!
But, as great as it is, there’s still only so much that we can learn from the Fix up D’Heat sauce’s exterior. So here’s what can be found within:
A thin and watery, orangey sauce with flecks of red chilli oil and just the slightest sign of seeds, beneath its surface. A strong scent of pickled ginger wafting up as I fill my spoon.
And, indeed, that’s also the main flavour. An intense, earthy and really quite salty taste of the golden root which is at least as much a part of this product’s feel as the chilli, itself. Both in the way that its low,
heat comes across – A quick front of the mouth zing which lingers on with a gingery warmth in the back – and in the fibres of the plant which pair with the pepper seeds for a truly unexpected amount of texture. The Fix Up D’Heat may be thin but it’s far from insubstantial!
However, when it comes to its flavour, I do think that the ginger and salt dominate a bit too much. The savoury, red mix of scotch bonnets and thai chillies only really creeping in at the end, along with some of the vinegar.
It’s bold and it certainly stands out but, for me, this one’s rather more limited in its usage than other recent features. Liable to find its way into stir-frys or onto meats, as a marinade, but unlikely to come out of the cupboard otherwise.
That said, though, bold salt and ginger are two things that I really enjoy in a high cocoa chocolate. So, while today’s is only thirty percent, I’m now very curious as to how it’ll play with this remarkably rooty sauce.
The bar in question is clad in card, around its middle, with a very similar design today’s sauce. The main difference being a white background, this time, to highlight the stripes in their flag. Yet, despite the extra opacity, the card in question is only a thin band, with clear plastic wrapping showing off the chocolate’s unusual chilli print, around its edges.
A beautiful, repeating design of interlocking cayennes, not really reflecting what’s in the bar, itself, but definitely hinting at its red pepper and heat. The whole thing shining with the same gloss as the surface of the chocolate, though sadly not picking up on my camera.
It’s a well tempered treat with a serious snap to it. And then, suddenly, it’s not:
The Fix Up D’Heat chocolate is a good centimetre thick and at its core is a firm, yet soft, gnache, filled with both chocolate and all of the ingredients of the sauce. Providing both a velvety smooth mouthfeel, after the hard exterior, and that delightful hit of salt, in with my sweet.
The cocoa, itself, comes in right away, alongside it, then smoothly spreads around my mouth, leaving behind subtle hints of ginger, red chilli and apple. While the hit hits only at the very end, with a sharp and again, almost gingery
in my throat.
Compared to many of the other bars that I’ve had from artisan chilli companies, thirty percent cocoa is not a lot, even for milk chocolate. So I’m a little taken aback by just how bold and dominant the salted cocoa flavour is. Not to mention the sheer creaminess.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought this chocolate and I was intrigued, once I’d tried the sauce, but now I’m in awe. Because Charlene’s Chocolate Factory have really knocked it out of the park, making Fix Up D’Heat into chocolate for the people at Boom Sauce.
Here’s what they put into it:
Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Natural Vanilla Flavouring, Ginger, Cider Vinegar, Scotch Bonnet, Thai Chilli, Olive Oil, Garlic, Sea Salt, Water, Colour: E171, E120, E162, E172, E100, Spirulina Powder.
As well as, I would assume, a bunch of unlisted cocoa solids. Given that this isn’t a white chocolate.
And, while they don’t explicitly list the original sauce, you can definitely see its own list in the middle there. It contains:
Ginger, Cider Vinegar, Scotch Bonnet, Thai Chilli, Olive Oil, Garlic, Sea Salt, Water and a pinch of Trini Love.
The last of which I’m pretty sure is just a PR addition.
Personally, I wasn’t especially impressed with the Fix Up D’Heat sauce. But I will absolutely be going back for more of that shockingly good chocolate and some of Charlene’s other, non-chilli creations. Because it was astounding!