Given that it was recently Australia Day, it seems like an appropriate time to review some Australian chocolate. Luke and Thea Spencer are the owners and brains behind the one-of-a-kind Spencer Cocoa, and let me tell you, it is one-of-a-kind. Although they make their chocolate in Mudgee, Australia, all of the beans are sourced from Vanuatu, an island nation in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. It’s pretty common to find single origin chocolate from Madagascar, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, or even Vietnam, but when was the last time you came across a bar from Vanuatu? That’s what I thought.
So what does chocolate from Vanuatu taste like? Spencer Cocoa keeps things simple with only 2 offerings: 42% milk chocolate and 72% dark chocolate, both of which come in 100g bars. It’s interesting how the addition of whole milk powder gives the milk chocolate its own unique flavour profile compared to the dark. You can tell that both bars are made from the same Vanuatu beans but while the dark chocolate is smoky with tobacco, cherry, and coffee notes, the milk is nutty and caramely, maintaining its “chocolateyness” without being overwhelmingly sweet. Taste-wise, I enjoyed both bars equally, but between the two, I found the texture of the dark bar to be slightly more creamy and smooth when it melted on the tongue. It’s no surprise that it was awarded a Gold Medal at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards 2015.
If you are in search of a new single origin chocolate to taste test, Spencer Cocoa is a must-try. Now that I think about it, it would make a delicious coating for Lamingtons too….