If you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably know that, in general, I shy away from chocolate with cacao nibs. They can be dry, extremely bitter, and add an unpleasant burnt edge to the bar. However, when finely chopped, well-distributed throughout the bar, properly roasted, and paired with a complementary chocolate, nib bars can be quite good, even to me.
This is why I was willing to check out Elbow’s White Nib bar. Could white chocolate be rich and sweet enough to contrast the nibs tastefully?
The Venezuelan white chocolate base, with the somewhat larger than preferable cacao nibs, creates a visual effect similar to the Hershey cookies and cream bars.
Obviously, this bar was a tad different in flavor. Even before tasting the bar, I found strong and pleasing caramel and coffee aromas – something that you never get from drugstore quality chocolate.
The flavor is predominated by caramel and cream, with a hint of noticeable salt. The nibs are nicely roasted, and while a bit bitter, were tasty and provided a nice contrast to the sweet white chocolate. They were a tad crunchy, and I found myself left with a mouthful of nibs to crunch on when the white chocolate melted away. Had the nibs been more finely chopped, this would have been less of an issue, however, given the nice roast, the experience wasn’t unpleasant, but it’s not an ideal finish to the bar.
It’s certainly one of the better nib bars I’ve had, no doubt because of the contrast of the sweet white chocolate. I’d still like Elbow to chop their nibs a bit more.