Chocolat Bonnat, Voiron, France (Source: Venezuela)

Bonnat was founded in 1856 (and making bean-to-bar chocolate since 1884!) by Félix Bonnat and is currently run by sixth-generation chocolate-maker Stephane Bonnat, who refers to himself as a confiseur rather than a chocolatier.

A chocolatier is [someone] really transforming the beans into chocolate. A confiseur is someone who uses the chocolate, along with ingredients such as praline, nougat, ganache and almond paste to make bonbons. On many old advertisements you would see “Chocolatier-Confiseur” written, which meant that the two activities were done within the same company. Today, everyone calls themselves chocolatiers, even though they don’t make their own chocolate.

Today, we’ll be looking at Bonnat’s Porcelana and Java bars.

Bonnat Porcelana 75% (Venezuela)

Bonnat's Porcelana Bar

Bonnat’s Porcelana Bar

Porcelana cacao is a type of criollo, one of the rarest. This bar uses Porcelana beans from Venezuela.

The bar comes wrapped in foil-lined paper.

The bar comes wrapped in foil-lined paper.

Bonnat's Porcelana Bar - nice, thick mold!

Bonnat’s Porcelana Bar – nice, thick mold!

Chocolat Bonnat Porcelana 75% (Venezuela)

Packaging: 4 out of 5 - has an “olde tyme” feel to it, something you would buy in a
chocolate shop in 1920’s Paris.

Molding: 4.75 out of 5 - excellent sheen, some minor air bubbles. We love how thick the
mold is - you definitely feel like you're biting into something substantial

Snap: 5 out 5 - perfectly crisp and clean

Nose: 4 out of 5 - floral, roses, very deep chocolate with some sharp rose petal notes

Mouthfeel: 5 out of 5 - perfectly silky. Love the way it coats the palate - excellent

Taste: 4.75 out of 5 - deep mocha, earthy, tobacco, leather. But then, vanilla, roasted
coffee. Very mild, not acidic at all

Finish: 4 out of 5 - slight dry finish, perfectly clean, get the gourmet oreo, toffee,
slight synthetic taste at the very end

Overall: 4.75 out of 5, excellent balance, wonderful finish, very flavorful. It’s very
expensive for what it is (~$16-$18 for 3.5oz/100g) - we expect miracle-level magic with
this price of a bar. It’s really good, but it would not be the sort of thing that we
would be able to buy every day. Definitely a special-occasion bar.

Bonnat Java 65% Milk Chocolate (Blend)

The Java bar is a blend of cacao sourced from 5 different plantations

The Java bar is a blend of cacao sourced from 5 different plantations

It’d be nice to know the source of the blend, but we’ll have to suffice with the general experience. According to chocosphere.com, it’s a blend from Indonesia and Southeast Asia/Oceania (?)

Bonnat's Java Bar features a rich light-brown color!

Bonnat’s Java Bar features a rich light-brown color!

Chocolat Bonnat Java 65% Milk Chocolate (Blend)

Packaging: 4 out of 5

Molding: 4.75 out of 5 - excellent scheen, some minor air bubbles, very light in color

Snap: 5 out 5 - incredible for a milk chocolate bar, very loud snap

Nose: 4.5 out of 5 - deep caramel and salt, slight cardboard scent as well

Mouthfeel: 5 out 5 - perfectly silky

Taste: 4.75 out of 5 - milk, caramel, cardboard, vanilla, salt, nuts - toffee

Finish: 4.5 out of 5 - slightly dry, but very nice and clean and long, that "gourmet oreo
cookie" finish, with that same synthetic aftertaste on the sides of the tongue.

Overall: 4.75 out of 5 - incredible milk chocolate bar that's held back from perfection
due to that slight synthetic aftertaste

For more information, here’s a great interview by Dessert Professional with Stephane.

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David Menkes

David Menkes

David is a writer and photographer for Little Brown Squares
David Menkes

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