I know it's a bit late now - but today (7th July) was apparently World Chocolate Day (not to be confused with International Chocolate Day which is an American thing in September I think). Anyway, to celebrate, I thought I would post a bit of research data my wife and I did over the past few weeks. I bought 15 different types of dark chocolate and taste tested them with my wife to see which ones we liked the best. We don't tend to eat a lot of chocolate - but I do occasionally make a hot chocolate (basically melted dark chocolate in warm milk), or a dark chocolate mousse. My go-to chocolate has always been the Lindt Excellence blocks (70% Cocoa usually), but I wanted to try the others to see how they compared. Here is the list of dark chocolate I bought: Cadbury Baking Dark Chocolate Cadbury Coco Green & Blacks Organic Dark Chcolate Haigh's 70% Dark Chocolate Tablet Lindt Dessert 70% Lindt Excellence 70% Lindt Excellence 85% Lindt Excellence 90% Lindt Excellence Smooth Blend 70% Nestle Baker's Choice Choc Bits - Dark Nestle Plaistowe San Churro Chocolate Buds - Dark San Churro Spanish Couverture Bar - Dark 70% Whittakers Dark Ghana Woolworths Gold Swiss Intense Dark Chocolate Here are some others I haven't yet tried but included the data in my research. Haigh's Ecuador Single Origin Dark San Churro Spoon O'Hot Choc - Dark San Churro Mini Chocolate Block - Dark Lindt Dessert Premium Dark 51% Haigh's Dark Chocolate Couverture I was interested to compare Cocoa content and carbohydrate content in each type of chocolate, so I've compiled a list based on the supplied nutritional data - this list is ordered by carbohydrates per 100g, with the chocolate with the highest cocoa content naturally having less carbohydrate (and correspondingly higher fat content). I've also included comments about each product - my wife and I were in agreement with most of these and had very similar favourites. Our personal favourite products are (in order): Lindt Excellence Smooth Blend 70% San Churro Spanish Couverture Bar 70% Lindt Dessert 70% Lindt Excellence 70% Haigh's 70% Dark Chocolate Tablet The Lindt Excellence Smooth Blend is a new product for which they supposedly carefully choose the cocoa beans which give the smoothest taste. I'm not sure if this is a gimmick or not - but the results are undeniable - this is the easiest dark chocolate to eat, it doesn't have the sharp bitterness that other 70% chocolate does and has a much sweeter taste than the other 70% chocolates, despite having less carbohydrate and the same sugar content as the normal Lindt Excellence. I do note that the fat content is quite a bit higher and they have added an emulsifier (soy lecithin) to the Smooth product which isn't present in the regular product. But either way, our previous favourite Lindt Excellence 70% has been superseded by our new favourite Lindt Excellence 70% smooth blend. An honorable mention goes to the San Churro Spanish Couverture Bar 70% which we tried for the first time today after a quick dash to San Churro for hot chocolates at afternoon tea. It's very nice - very smooth and better in flavour than the Lindt Excellence 70% which was our old benchmark. Not quite up to the new high standard of the Lindt Excellence Smooth Blend - but it's close. The main thing letting it down is the price - at $7.06 per 100g ($6 for an 85g block), it's far more expensive than the Lindt 100g blocks which you can usually get at the supermarket for $4 but are often on special for around $3. Interestinly, we found our block of the new Lindt Dessert 70% (which replaces the old Lindt cooking chocolate 200g blocks, but in a not-as-useful new 180g block!), we thought tasted better than we remembered and actually better than the Lindt 70% Excellence we normally buy. The chunkier block intended for cooking makes it more difficult to nibble on, and perhaps it was just this particular block that was lucky to have nicer flavoured beans - maybe we need to buy more blocks to randomly sample for consistency and check whether we still feel it's better than the Lindt 70% Excellence. Our trusty Lindt 70% Excellence has been relegated to 4th place - but that's not to diminish this stalwart of dark chocolate lovers - we would still gladly welcome this into our home at any time, and as my wife has been known to say "hey, it's still chocolate". Finally, at the behest of the chatroom crowd I did a run to Haigh's chocolates a couple of weeks back to try their dark chocolate blocks. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice their 70% Dark Chocolate Tablet was - almost as good as the Lindt 70% Excellence and I would be more than happy to substitute it if I couldn't get the Lindt for some reason ... if it weren't for one not insignificant factor of the price. At $11.25 per 100g block, it was only surpassed by Haigh's own Ecuador Single Origin Dark 63% at $13.69 per 100g ($10.95 for an 80g block) - which I didn't try; and the San Churro Spoon O'Hot Choc - Dark which topped the price list at $12 per 100g ($6 for 50g block) - but at least with the San Churro, you got a wooden spoon to stir your hot chocolate with. So at nearly 3 times the price of Lindt chocolate (4 times the price if you can get Lindt on special) ... one must ask, "is Haigh's really 3-4 times as good as Lindt?", to which the answer is of course a resounding "no" - but as pointed out by the chatroom crowd - you don't buy Haigh's to eat - you buy it to give as a gift. Huh? Not eat chocolate, but give it away? Sacrilege! Lies! Scandal! Okay, the packaging is nicer than Lindt - but I don't know anyone who ever said "oh, my gift of chocolate doesn't look as nice as it should - here, take it back". Not ever. Indeed, given you can buy 3-4 blocks of Lindt for the price of a block of Haigh's ... I challenge you to find someone who would rather receive 1 block of Haigh's than 3 or 4 blocks of Lindt as a gift? Just one last thing to note - having experimented with those exotic other Lindt products - the 85% and the 90% Excellence ... I have come to the following conclusions ... The 85% dark chocolate is just nasty - incredibly bitter and leaves you feeling like you need a spoonful of sugar to take the edge off - in which case you would be better off just having the 70% to start with. However, the 90% is a different beast altogether. Something interesting happens when you get to this level of cocoa intensity. Yes, it is very bitter - but rather than tasting more bitter than the 85%, what I actually found was that the cocoa chocolate taste was so incredibly intense that it overpowered the bitterness and you were left with this glorious sensation of almost pure chocolate. It's by no means sweet and it's something that has to be experienced more than enjoyed - certainly not something I'd "snack" on. But it is an experience, and something I'd challenge any dark chocolate lover to try - just like you would savour a wine - this is something you savour, not devour - pay attention to the complex flavours and how they develop on your tongue - the multiple layers and sensations that are far more than just "chocolate". I'll leave you with my hot chocolate recipe. Get a large mug, put 50g of your favourite dark chocolate in it and then fill it up with milk. Put it in the microwave and cook it until the milk just starts to bubble up (watch carefully - you don't want to burn it or make it overflow). Remove from the microwave and stir for about 30 seconds until all the chocolate has blended into the milk. Enjoy. You can get fancy with adding stuff like vanilla or nutmeg, but that's no longer a hot chocolate - that's something different and you'd probably want to use cheaper chocolate if you're going to spoil it by adding stuff If you ask nicely, I'll share my chocolate mousse recipe too.