December 7th, 2007 by Rosa
After being impressed by Lula’s Chocolates’ Aloha Rocky Road, I was eager to dig into my sample of their assorted (and handmade!) caramels. Whoever writes their product descriptions really knows their way around food adjectives.
“I start with small batches of premium butter and fresh, heavy cream, which I slow cook in heavy, copper pots. We offer plain caramels, and, for nut lovers, we add fresh, whole almonds, cashews, or macadamia nuts.”
I can definitely taste the quality of the ingredients in these generously sized caramels. They’re super, super buttery and creamy – so much so that I almost expected them to literally melt away in my mouth. The plain caramels are almost too rich and buttery, if that’s possible. They don’t stick in your teeth at all because they’re so greasy. The caramel is sweet and light without any dark notes, and the intense creaminess is almost overwhelming in the plain version.
The addition of nuts helps a lot. It’s nice to have the contrast between the soft caramel and the crunchy, grainy nut. The macadamia (left) helped texturally but didn’t add much in terms of flavor, as macadamia nuts are pretty buttery tasting and high fat too. The almond ones (right) were a taste revelation. The smoky almond flavor balanced out the caramel and broke up the texture better than the macadamia nuts did. I wish there were more almond caramels in my assortment. As far as I could tell, my bag had no cashew ones, though it’s possible I may have eaten one thinking it was macadamia nut.
These caramels are a delicious and decadent treat. Because they’re so rich, you can only eat one or two at a time, but that just means you can savor them for a longer time. My only complaint is that the wax paper was sometimes a little embedded in the caramel and impossible to remove before eating. I take that little foible as further proof that these caramels are truly handmade. An OMG for the almond ones; an OM for everything else.