This is Hammond’s version of Grasshopper Pie, converted into a dark chocolate bar with a creamy mint chocolate centre. As you might have guessed, it’s American!
After finding a selection of Hammond’s chocolates in Munich at American Heritage, I was super excited to give this dark chocolate bar a try. Now I’m not exactly a fan of American chocolate… We’ll call it the “Hershey’s Effect”, as that unfortunate excuse for a chocolate product has absolutely tainted my perception of chocolate from the USA. However, I had high hopes this would be different.
Having never had a Grasshopper Pie, naturally I turned to the internet to find out what it’s all about:
First came the grasshopper cocktail, a sweet digestif the essential ingredients of which are green (thus the grasshopper) crème de menthe, white crème de cacao, and cream; then, in the sixties, came the eponymous pie, which always has a crust of either cookie or graham cracker crumbs and is served chilled. | Epicurious
Looking at the recipe, it’s a gelatin set and chilled dessert. It’s made with egg and whipped cream, flavoured with alcohols (white crème de cacao and green crème de menthe) and uses a cookie crumb base.
Hammond’s themselves offer a slightly different description of the dessert:
Grasshopper Pie – A take on the classic dessert of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and chocolate cake, this bar has a rich dark chocolate shell filled with a creamy, green mint center. No grasshoppers were harmed in the making of this bar! | Hammond’s
One thing we’re all agreed on? The filling should be minty and there’s definitely some chocolate involved.
The first thing to address is the white, scuffed appearance of the chocolate. I’m pretty sure it’s my fault.
After carrying the bars around for the whole day (bearing in mind we’re in a Bavarian summer), I plonked the chocolate in the fridge when I got home. My more recent chocolate bars hadn’t been faring so well in the cupboard and I really didn’t want to have these Hammond’s bars turn into a melty mess.
As it is, I don’t think I should have worried.
The bar contains soy, milk and eggs and it may contain wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. It may also be produced with genetic engineering (!) and includes such joyful ingredients as “marshmallow fluff” and”neon green and lemon yellow color gels”. The full list can be seen here (my packet has a German language label stuck over the top).
Starting with the chocolate – it’s got quite a snap to it. Even when it had been left to come to room temperature, it really wasn’t for melting. Now dark chocolate isn’t as quick to melt as milk, but this was a little more melt resistant than I’d expected! I found myself munching and crunching through it, more often than not.
When it does melt, it’s got quite a nice texture to it. There’s none of the false fatty fillers that coat the tongue and linger on. The lack of those fatty ‘extras’ (unfortunately so standard in the chocolate industry) gives the bar quite an enjoyable, ‘clean’ feeling melt.
Flavour wise, it doesn’t really hit the strong cocoa notes I’m used to in a European dark chocolate. If anything, I’d say this is more like a semi-sweet chocolate, with only a slight cocoa bitterness that hits the back of the tongue (even when you’ve waited for the chocolate to melt!). In a way, it makes me think of a good quality cooking chocolate.
The ‘mint’ colouring is very much in the Ghostbusters and Slimer ballpark. The Grasshopper filling has a sweet, sugary flavour that’s lighter on the mint than I’d expected. It’s soft, liquid and relatively smooth. The subtle mint flavour does a fair job against the chocolate and makes for an enjoyable enough bar.
Is it like a Grasshopper Pie? Well, I couldn’t judge. Did I like it? Yes, actually. The flavours weren’t as strong or pronounced as I’d expected, but the taste profile worked for me regardless. Plus I’m a fan of mint chocolate, which always helps.