One of the best things about being a grown-up is that you can eat chocolate recklessly, like a 4-year-old who's gotten into the pantry, whenever you want. I usually keep a few bits & bars in stock in case of immaturity emergency -- anything from Vosges to Choxie. I've been depleating my supplies recently, so the other night while I was at the grocery store I picked up a couple of minibars by Dolfin, a Belgian company that I'd never tried anything from, including their Milk, Hot Masala from India bar.
Upon opening the bar, it smells like chocolate and then SPICE and then chocolate again, and then spice. I suspect that they're not kidding about the "Hot". My little 30g/1.058oz bar has 4 sections, so I break one off -- it's a milk chocolate but it's got a good snap to it, if not much temper shine.
Tasting a piece, the spice hits my palate first -- this tastes like an Indian restaurant smells, an almost floral bouquet of cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper. The flavor of the chocolate only comes to the front as it begins to melt -- but it's so smooth, like a sip of creamy cocoa. Bars like this are why I'm getting into milk chocolate again after years of being a fiend for dark. It's a really big, full-mouth flavor, surprisingly not hot for as spicy as it smells, and so rich that I'm perfectly fine with eating only one quarter of the tiny bar at a go.
My only (and slight) qualms with the bar: It's got a very very slight grit to it due to the lovely spice content, so once in awhile I find myself chewing on a bit of spice -- but it's a texture thing, not a flavor thing, and overall the quality of the chocolate is so nice that I can forgive it. Also it's got a bit of an odd aftertaste to it from the lingering spices -- I think the cardamom's going to stay with me awhile. A drink of water mostly clears my palate.
If you like masala spices, and/or cardamom in general, you need to find a bar of this pretty much immediately. It's brilliant, feels indulgent, and the minibar is sized for preventing too much of a caloric splurge (~41 Calories/7.5g quarter section, or ~164 Calories/bar… for contrast, a Hershey's Kiss is ~26 Calories/4.6g kiss, and I have to eat 3 or 4 of those to feel sated). I give it 9.2 nom nom noms out of 10! Though I found mine at my local Whole Foods, Google lists several online retailers who carry the Dolfin line. I bought mine, at a discount, for $1.69 (normally it'd be $2.20 or so at my WF).
I'd definitely try other bars from this confectioner -- and that's a good thing, 'cause I've got a bar of their Dark with Pink Peppercorns that's next in line.