Archive for March, 2010

Hedonist Spring Teas Collection

March 19th, 2010 by Rosa

Having fairly recently reviewed and enjoyed Charles Chocolates’s tea truffles, I was excited when I got the chance to try Hedonists’s take on the genre when they gave me a free box of their Spring Teas Truffle Collection.

Jasmine was beautifully painted with green swirls and green speckles. It tasted mostly of deep, dark chocolate with an aftertaste of dim sum tea that was lightly astringent, but not unpleasantly so. The jasmine flavor was more mild than Charles Chocolates’s interpretation, but it was still a great pairing.

Earl Grey was topped with a sprinkle of crisp, dry tea leaves. It had a dark and fruity undertone of “tea-ness.” Earl Grey is supposed to have citrus extract, but I thought it tasted more purple – if that makes any sense. Another lovely flavor pairing.

Lapsang Souchong was topped with a dry roasted almond. It tasted super whoa smoky, like liquid smoke smells. I wouldn’t seek it out over others in the collection, but I did enjoy tasting it.

I usually find chai chocolates to be overly flavored and/or sweetened, but Hedonist’s chai truffle was spot on. It had nice spice notes of mostly nutmeg. The chocolate flavor is the main player here, with a mild sweetness that’s nicely tempered by the nutmeg.

The green tea truffle had pretty green stripes with a cheery green ganache center to match. The green tea was a subtle flavor addition to a delightfully creamy filling.

I thought it had a mild grassy finish, but that could have been the green filling exerting undue influence on my taste bud interpretations. I found it deliciously intriguing, and it was my favorite of the bunch.

I love how thoughtful Hedonist’s truffles are. Instead of letting the flavor additions take over, they keep the chocolate in the starring role. The chai truffle in this collection was a great example of that. An OM as a whole, with a bonus G for the green tea truffle.

Category: chocolate, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, OM, review | No Comments »

Kit Kat Map

March 18th, 2010 by Rosa

It’s a well-known fact (at least in the candy blogosphere) that Japan has all sorts of crazy Kit Kat flavors. I’ve reviewed some here and here, and Jen’s got a whole blog devoted to it.

Via my friend Katie and Jezebel, here’s a map of this year’s regional flavors. If only it was blow-upable or more legible!

Category: news | 2 Comments »

Hedonist Pecan Cranberry Bark

March 17th, 2010 by Rosa

I’ve got some more Hedonist goodies to review, courtesy of free samples from Zahra and Jennie. Today we’ve got their Pecan Cranberry Bark, and I’ll cover their Spring Tea Truffle Collection on Friday.

The Pecan Cranberry Bark is described on their website as, “shards of semi-sweet chocolate (55%) swirled with white chocolate and sprinkled with dried cranberries and candied pecans.” The bark was quite pretty, with its white chocolate swirls studded with red jewels of cranberry. It’s a visual treat.

The semi-sweet chocolate was nice and snappy. It tasted deeply of cocoa with a sweet and mild finish.

The candied pecans were my favorite component of the bark. They were coated in a crispy caramelized sugar glaze, and they added a nice, occasional crunchy sweetness. The pecans, along with the sweet cranberries, paired nicely with the chocolate.

The standalone chocolate was a little sweet for my taste, but it was nicely tempered by the pecans and lightly tart cranberries. I picked out the most highly studded bits, and my boyfriend happily ate the rest. An OM.

Category: chocolate, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, nuts, OM, review | No Comments »

Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict

March 16th, 2010 by Rosa

“What is a Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict?” is a perfect Jeopardy Before and After question. It also looks like a serious sugar bomb. Check out Cakespy‘s… inventive recipe for an all sweets Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict at Serious Eats.

Category: news | No Comments »

Caramel Apple Sugar Babies

March 15th, 2010 by Rosa

I received several fun-sized bags of Caramel Apple Sugar Babies last Halloween in my NCA goodie bag. I thought they were a new product, but apparently they’ve been around for a while, as Candy Blog and Candy Addict both reviewed them back in 2007.

The wrapper called them “milk caramels with apple candy coating.” To me, they were like a chewy version of caramel apple lollipops (which I love).

They had a shiny panned shell in a cheerful shade of bright green. The shell was slightly crumbly, like that of jelly beans. It tasted of sweetly tart green apples, with a lovely brightness.

The caramel centers tasted of burnt brown sugar. They developed a grainy chewiness at the end as they melted away. At first, the caramel melded nicely with the apple coating, but as soon as the apple coating disappeared, the sweetness of the caramel became totally dominant.

They’re far from gourmet treats, and after a hand/fun pack-ful, the sweetness becomes overpowering, but I found them tastily addictive. An OM.

Category: caramel, OM, review, Tootsie Roll | 1 Comment »

Lindt a Touch of Sea Salt

March 12th, 2010 by Rosa

Lindt‘s “A Touch of Sea Salt” bar has been on the market for a while: Chocablog covered it way back in August 2008, and Cybele wrote about it last October. I finally picked one up last week because it was on sale at good old Wegmans.

The package design is simple – a balanced Lindt square with a visible sprinkle of coarse salt and the curiously (carelessly?) capitalized note, “with Fleur de sel Sea salt crystals”. I love the blaze of blue in the background. A bit reminiscent of a PowerPoint slide, yes, but also pretty!

The chocolate itself looks like standard dark Lindt squares, with Lindt Excellence’s characteristic deep sheen and sharp snap. Unlike in the Salazon bars, there were no visible grains of salt. Unsurprisingly, the taste of salt was also far more mild in the Lindt bar.

The chocolate had a dark, thick, and glossy melt. It tasted deeply of cocoa but was sweeter than I remembered dark Lindt bars being. A glance at the back of the package showed that it had just a minimum of 47% cocoa solids, which put the relative sweetness in context.

The salt really was just a touch – a few grains here and there. When the fleur de sel did flash on my palate, it brought out a nice sweet and sourness to the chocolate (in a fruity way rather than a cheap Chinese takeout way).

I think this is a fine addition to the Lindt line and a great bar for everyday snacking. It wasn’t as complex as the Salazon line, but I found it quite admirable for a mass market bar. An OM.

Category: chocolate, Lindt, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Chow’s Hot Chocolate Recipes

March 11th, 2010 by Rosa

Is it spring yet? I’m not used to living with snow on the ground for 3 months straight!

Chow’s got 10 hot chocolate recipes to take away the chill and satisfy your sweet tooth. They look tasty!

Category: news | No Comments »

Zero

March 10th, 2010 by Rosa

Hershey’s Zero bar‘s claim to fame is its white coating. Specifically, it’s “caramel, peanut and almond nougat covered with white fudge.”

Mine came free, courtesy of Munchies Sweets and Treats.  It was a bit too abundantly full of caramel, I guess, as my bar’s trademark white coating was streaked with it.

The bottom layer of nougat was faintly sweet chocolate with strong almond extract notes. Every once in a while, I hit an actual peanut, which introduced a bit more nuttiness, but the almond extract was the predominant player.

The nougat was covered with a stripe of sweet and serviceable caramel. The white fudge coating was milky and overly sweet.

Overall, I found this bar to be too sweet, and its flavors weren’t distinctive enough. I needed to eat it slowly and carefully to pick out the different flavors, as they got all mushed together and masked by the sweet. An O.

Category: caramel, Hershey's, nuts, O, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

Playable Chocolate Records

March 9th, 2010 by Rosa

My boyfriend shared this YouTube video about a German man who makes playable records out of chocolate. Let it be known that he sent me the scoop before Serious Eats wrote about it; it just took a while to make it through my posting queue for publication.

Category: news | No Comments »

Wonka Sluggles Gummies

March 8th, 2010 by Rosa

I think Nestle deserves a prize for making a candy with a name that’s so much fun to say: Sluggles. Sluggles sluggles sluggles sluggles. And so friendly sounding! I wonder if that’s why the Snuggie caught on more than the Slanket, because the former was way more fun to say than the latter?

Tangent aside, these are a fairly new addition to the Nestle/Wonka line. I bought them at the same time as the Puckerooms, and both were released together as Wonka’s inaugural gummies.

Sluggles came in four flavors – orange, lemon, strawberry, and grape – and four shapes. I hereby dub them almost-snail, worm, stepped-on, and standard-slug. Like the Puckerooms, all the flavors came in all the shapes.

The gummies were soft and immensely sproingy, a textural combination that I find ideal for maximal chomping addictiveness.

Orange was blandly sweet with a zesty citrus aftertaste. Lemon managed a brightly zest lemon flavor but was more muted than I would’ve liked.

Strawberry and grape were both bland. The formal was floral and sweet, while the latter was mostly sweet with a grape-y finish.

Compared to the Puckerooms, these gummies were rather disappointingly mild. I loved the texture, but I wanted punchier flavors.

At least the shapes are fun, and sluggles is still fun to say. An O.

And finally, here are Cybele’s review and Sera’s take.

Category: gummi/gummy, Nestle, O, review, Wonka | 3 Comments »