Archive for January, 2008

Hammond’s Caramel Covered Marshmallow aka Mitchell Sweet

January 4th, 2008 by Rosa

I’d never heard of Hammond’s until I picked up their Caramel Covered Marshmallow (BUY!), which they call Mitchell Sweets, at The Candy Store. I kind of wish I’d spent my money on something else, though to be fair to The Candy Store, I realize now in hindsight that one of the proprietor’s had gently tried to turn me towards a different caramel. But I, of See’s Scotchmallow loving backing, could not be dissuaded from the caramel/marshmallow combination.

The marshmallow turned out to have a terrible texture. It was spongy, it was tough, and it was too chewy in a hard gummy way, not in a nice sticky way. It also tasted of nothing but blandness; no vanilla, no toasted marshmallow tinge.

The caramel was sweet, with a lingering butter flavor. The Mitchell Sweet came wrappe in wax paper, and the caramel was so sticky that it stuck to the wrapper. I wish the caramel were more burnt or had some sort of redeeming flavor qualities, but alas, none were to be found.

I give the Mitchell Sweet an O for it’s terrible texture and blandly sweet taste. Cybele from Candy Blog liked them, though, so to each her own. I much prefer the See’s scotch kiss (#19), with it’s duskier caramel and it’s fluffy marshmallow. The scotch kiss is frighteningly addictive, whereas I’m okay with never eating another Mitchell Sweet again.

Category: caramel, Hammond's Candies, marshmallow, O, review | 5 Comments »

My friends are awesome!

January 3rd, 2008 by Rosa

My dad finally got around to picking up the mail we asked the post office to hold while we were on vacation, and guess what was there?

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A box filled with Russian candies! They were sent by my friend Leslie, who is on her second year of living and teaching in Russia on a Fulbright. Leslie was kind enough to buy me candy and ship it to me at her own expense, and she even labeled everything (because I don’t read Cyrillic) and explained what it all was. I’m excited about tasting the 72% dark aerated chocolate and the Russian halvah and basically everything else inside the box. Thanks, Leslie! I can’t wait to dig in.

Also this week, I got a box of Mini Froer from Denmark, which are basically chocolate frogs (froer is Danish for frog) of various flavors. They were from my friend Laura, who spent last semester in Copenhagen working in a hospital and studying biology. The Harry Potter lover in me got super excited about the chocolate frog part, and the candy lover in me was happy that they were made from chocolate. Thanks, Laura!

Photo from danishfood.net, because my box got accidentally stepped on and teeny bit squashed in a corner during our New Year’s Eve festivities. My box is even better because Laura picked out a variety pack. Hooray!

So, in conclusion, having friends is awesome. Having friends who bring you exotic candy that you can’t get your hands on yourself is even more awesome. Looks like I’ll be adding extra categories under region soon.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

XOX Truffles

January 2nd, 2008 by Rosa

I’m in a quandary. On the one hand, I’d like to take advantage of my remaining 10 days of winter break to get into shape after reading and exam period (three weeks of being stressed out, getting free food at study breaks, eating through late night study sessions, and skipping the gym) and being on vacation (eating out every meal). On the other hand, I have sooo much candy deliciousness in the house, and the truffles need to be eaten soonish, as they’ll only keep for a few weeks. What’s a candy blogger to do?

Put the quest to fit back into skinny jeans on hold, of course! And enlist friends to eat my tasting leftovers. Unfortunately, when I tasted my XOX truffles, there were no leftovers… In my defense, though, they’re really small truffles, about the size of a nickel or quarter.

The XOX Truffles store is about a half mile from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, definitely within walking distance. I expected a fancy looking boutique in the vein of Godiva. Instead, it turned out to be more of a funky coffee shop, as you can see from the picture. While I loved the chill feel, I wish the truffles had been more nicely laid out. They were arranged in mismatched bowls of different sizes, which was quirky and endearing, but the bowls were haphazardly placed, and some bowls obscured the views of others. You can see how there’s a little bowl hiding behind the big green one holding the noisette truffles. I had to crane my neck around the glass display case to see all the flavors, and I bet I still missed some.

The truffles are much cheaper if you visit the store in person than if you order online. They’re $0.75 each individually, $0.45 each if you buy 20 in a little takeout container, and continue to get cheaper the more you buy. I picked out four. Clockwise from the top left, they are liqueur de noisette (hazelnut), cinnamon, green matcha, and Earl Grey. And they were all pretty tasty.

Liqueur de noisette was rolled in sugared hazelnuts. While I liked the candied nuts, their sweetness, along with that of the liqueur, obscured the hazelnut flavor, which didn’t come through at all.

Cinnamon was dusted with ground cinnamon and tasted lightly of cinnamon sugar. A nice blend with the chocolate.

Green matcha was coated in some sort of green tea powder, rendering it slightly bitter. A light green tea bitterness in the ganache that was mostly covered by the chocolate’s sweetness.

Earl Grey was dusted with bittersweet cocoa powder. I didn’t get anything but dark chocolate flavor in the ganache, though it was still delicious.

XOX Truffles know their way around ganache. All the truffle fillings were smooth, creamy, and rich, and the surface of all the truffles had dried a bit, producing a nice, thin hard shell around the ganache. I wish that the various flavors had been stronger, however, so that the truffles would stand out more. Only the liqueur de noisette and the cinnamon obviously tasted of something other than chocolate.

I’ve made this type of truffle before, and I know how hard it is to get the ganache to take the additional flavorings. Perhaps the stronger flavors, like French roast, peanut butter, and the liqueurs would have stood out more. An OM, as the truffles are good, but no extra letters because I found the flavors to be too weak.

Category: chocolate, nuts, OM, review | No Comments »