Archive for November, 2011

Chow’s Fancy Pixy Stix

November 10th, 2011 by Rosa

For me, Pixy Stix are a candy that I loved as a kid but have no desire to revisit as an adult. If you have more nostalgia for them than I do and want to try a grown-up twist on them, check out Chow.com’s recipes for what they’re calling Trixy Stix.

The Trixy Stix have the same sugary base, but their flavors have been upgraded to things like Chile-Tamarind, Beet-Rose, and Yuzu.

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Javaz Milk

November 9th, 2011 by Rosa

I found two bags of Javaz candies at Cost Plus World Market. I’ll review the milk ones today and save the dark ones for Friday.

They’re chocolate covered coffee beans – a once novel treat that’s become fairly run of the mill these days – but with a twist: they’re also covered with a candy shell.

The beans are absolutely gorgeous to behold. The milk chocolate ones had smooth and shiny cream colored shells flecked with brown. If they were stones, they’d make gorgeous earrings!

The shell was crunchy and lightly sweet while the beans in the center were gritty. It wasn’t the most pleasing texture combination, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

The milk chocolate was sweet with a nice butteriness to the finish. It reminded me of a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar, thanks to some creamy dairy notes.

The coffee bean was doing the heaviest flavor lifting here. At times, I felt it overpowered the lovely nuance of the milk chocolate, but when you buy a coffee treat, you expect the coffee to be a star, so I shouldn’t complain. An OM for this version.

 

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White Chocolate Tips

November 8th, 2011 by Rosa

I went grocery shopping a few days after Halloween, and they’d already replaced all the Halloween displays with Christmas stuff. That means it’s time to make peppermint bark!

If you’ve got some leftover white chocolate after you’re done, check out these comments on a post from The Kitchn with some fun suggestions on what to do with lots of white chocolate.

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Lindt Excellence Black Currant

November 7th, 2011 by Rosa

I saw this Lindt Excellence Black Currant bar at Cost Plus World Market and couldn’t resist picking it up, both because black currant is an unusual flavor to find in the U.S. and because I’d never seen it before, so I thought it was a new product.

Apparently, I’m a little behind the times, as Sera and Debby have both reviewed this before.

The Lindt Black Currant bar smelled like grape jam. The chocolate was thin and layered with flat slivered almonds that added a sharp crunch and just a hint of nuttiness.

I’m not sure how necessary those almonds were. I don’t feel like their flavor elevated the bar, and their textural addition disrupted the melt.

The chocolate had a bright fruitiness that really popped. It reminded me of a dark berry jam, some mix of blackberry or blueberry, perhaps.

The fruitiness was so powerful that it obscured much of the flavors of the chocolate. There was some cocoa flavor in the finish, at least.

I enjoyed the joyful flavor of the chocolate, but it wasn’t good enough to make me reach for more. I think I took issue with the almonds disturbing what could’ve been a lusciously smooth melt. An O.

 

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World Market – 72% Dark, Pomegranate Dark, and Chipotle Chili Dark

November 4th, 2011 by Rosa

Today I’m wrapping up my coverage of Cost Plus World Market’s store brand chocolates with three of their mini squares. You can check out earlier entries on Monday and Wednesday.

72% Dark Chocolate was a plain, solid square. Instead of looking like a smaller segment of the larger bars with the World Market logo imprint, it just had a striated top.

The chocolate first melted into fatty lumps in my mouth before smoothing out. It had a light, nearly fruity sweetness with a dry, just shy of astringent finish.

Not bad, but not great texture-wise, and nothing to crow about. An O.

Pomegranate dark chocolate had a 64% base. It had a sharp snap with the same uneven melt as the plain dark chocolate.

The chocolate started with a nice touch of fruitiness that grew progressively stronger as it melted in my mouth. The flavor developed quite nicely, though I wouldn’t have pegged it as pomegranate. Some nice plain dark chocolates can carry such a fruitiness naturally.

I enjoyed the flavor, but the texture knocked it down a peg for me. An O.

Finally, the chipotle chili dark chocolate also had a 64% cacao base. It smelled quite smoky, as expected from chipotle chilis.

I usually love chili chocolate. When it’s well done, it leaves a slightly smoldering tingle in the back of your throat.

This bar packed a firey punch that did more than smolder – it burned painfully and set my whole mouth on fire, including an especially acrid burn in my throat.

It was far too spicy for my taste. A .

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Candy versus medicine

November 3rd, 2011 by Rosa

Via my friend Kevin, a bit of candy news that I found both adorable and alarming. A couple of intrepid sixth graders found that many kindergartners and their teachers had trouble distinguishing between certain candies and similar-looking medicines.

The study definitely sounds the alarm on the importance of keeping medications out of kids’ reach, but it’s also adorable because it’s 6th graders doing science! The kids even got to present their work at the American Academy of Pediatrics conference. Great work, ladies!

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World Market Toffee Caramel Milk Chocolate

November 2nd, 2011 by Rosa

I’m working my way through Cost Plus World Market’s store brand of chocolate. Monday, I reviewed the Strawberry and Champagne Dark Chocolate. Today, we’ve got the Toffee Caramel Milk Chocolate.

I was curious as to exactly what World Market meant by toffee caramel. Generally speaking, your basic combination of sugar and butter is either toffee or caramel, depending on the texture, so how could something be both? I guess they were just trying to cover all their bases.

The chocolate bar had an unusual appearance. Flecked with bits of toffee throughout, it was funnily speckled and rather visually unappetizing in my opinion.

The toffee bits were visible along the break of the bar. Some looked craggy, while others looked light and full of air pockets.

It smelled strangely of spices with a strong overtone of anise. Blech. I hate anise, hence my aversion to licorice and fennel and absinthe.

Alas, that anise scent crossed over to the flavor of the bar. It just tasted off, like no toffee/caramel I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t handle more than a bite.

The texture didn’t help matters either. It had the same poor melt and deficient mouthfeel as their dark chocolate. A .

Category: --, caramel, chocolate, review, toffee | 2 Comments »

Candy Bar Infographic

November 1st, 2011 by Rosa

Infographics are a fun by-product of technological advances in data mining and digital design. Via Jezebel, a crazily detailed infographic that can help you find the candy bar that will satisfy whatever flavor combination you’re craving. Phew!

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