Chocolate makers are far from an amorphous bunch. I try to proffer this view whenever I can. They range from the faceless corporations which, for some reason, remind me of the type of corporations depicted in Robocop with fingers in many different pies to 'make at home' guys like Dom Ramsey. Profit and passion seem to be an inverse relationship when it comes to chocolate.
I've known Dom as a chocolate blogger for many a year. He immerses himself in the stuff and with the advent of cheap wet grinders and many a maker such as Duffy to shine the way, along with HB Ingredients to provide beans we all can make chocolate - to some degree. I have beans. I have a grinder. I don't have the time. But if I did I'd like to think I could do a good job on 'batch 3' as Dom has done with these Ecuadorian beans and produce the kind of chocolate he has done.
I don't know what Dom aimed to produce. If he had a flavour profile in mind when he first opened up the sack of beans, but I love the outcome. It smacks of Caribbean fruit and nut. Those little bags of dried shards of coconut and mango which I've spent many a youthful evening knocking back as they were adolescent glasses cheap plonk.
Typically we are lead to think that Ecuador allows for fruity and floral chocolate and if we are to gauge Dom's chocolate on that premise then he has done fine work. The truth is that Ecuador isn't an origin that provides a set flavour profile. Not only is the nation known for Nacional Arriba beans, but just like many other origins the region cacao with various genetic histories has 'invade' the area. But that is a moot point. Dom was just experimenting with process at this point and will, no doubt, continue his education by noting varieties, origins along with roast, grind and other protocols.
It is may be a rustic chocolate in terms of punchiness of the flavours which could be tinkered with to explore if there are any other flavours available, but, for third batch I'm exceptionally impressed and jealous - I can only hope to achieve what Dom has done in such a short space of time!
p.s. the eagle-eyed of you would note the blooming and melting of the chocolate above - I believe this was done on the train home where the chocolate may have been against the heater.