February 1st, 2008 by Rosa
Hershey’s Cacao Reserve line (BUY!) is their attempt to appear upscale while still being mass-market. The generous 9.1 oz bag of Holiday Collection truffles sent by Hershey’s contained about 8 each of their milk (35% cacao), dark (65% cacao), and spice milk (35%) chocolate truffles, all individually wrapped. While the packaging extolled the virtues of their carefully selected beans and gave elaborate tasting instructions (“swirl the melting chocolate across all surfaces of your mouth, noticing the early flavors, smoothness, mouthfeel, finish, and lingering notes”), nothing can change the fact that these truffles are mass produced. They’re nice, but I don’t think they’re worthy of that much elaborate ritual.
The milk chocolate (left) had a smooth and creamy molded chocolate shell with a nice melt and a slight sourness. The ganache had a slight grain to it and was the same sweet and slightly tangy milk chocolate.
The spice milk chocolate (right) had the same milk chocolate shell, but its ganache filling tasted of chai-like spices. I think I tasted cloves and maybe nutmeg? I’m not a huge fan of chai tea, but I enjoy chai-flavored things, and this was my favorite truffle of the mix.
The dark chocolate (center) was a disappointment for me. I love dark chocolate for its slight bitterness and character. The dark truffle turned out to seem just as sweet as the milk truffle and was rather bland for dark chocolate. If it hadn’t been labeled as such, I’d never have guessed that it had such a high cacao content.
Overall, I found Hershey’s offerings to be unremarkable but serviceable. The chocolate shells were nice and creamy, but the fillings could have been more smooth. If you’re looking for a comparatively inexpensive truffle indulgence, these would be a good buy. I’d rather shell out a little more and spend my indulgence calories on nicer chocolates from somewhere else. An O for the lot.