December 2nd, 2011 by Rosa
These salted caramels from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates were free samples that I got in the same package as the candy cane bark (Wednesday’s review). I’m a total sucker for salted caramels, especially when they’re covered in chocolate.
The label simply described them as “buttery caramel and sea salt enrobed in rich chocolate.” The box of 10 had 5 that were milk chocolate and 5 that were dark. All were sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt.
The caramel centers were a beautiful amber color flecked with little black vanilla seeds. The caramel had no pull when bitten into but was thick and sticky when chewed.
It was possible to hold the caramel on my tongue and just let it melt into a pool of sweet, limpid butteriness. Alas, I was too impatient and preferred to pick the deliciously sticky errant strands out of my teeth.
The flavor of that caramel was incredible. It tasted as deep and scorchy as it looked. It was just shy of burnt, which gave it a great complexity and just a hint of bitter edge.
The caramel itself was salted as well. Every once in a while, I’d chomp on a crunchy bit of sea salt, which released a flash of saltiness that really set off the scorchy brown butteriness of the caramel.
The milk chocolate coating added a mild sweetness and light malty chocolate flavor to the caramel. I preferred the dark chocolate version, which added a deep, rich cocoa complexity.
My only complaint was that some of the caramels with larger salt pinches were a tad too salty. But that wasn’t much of a deterrent – I polished off over half the box in my tasting session as I kept reaching for “just one more” to lock down my tasting notes.
This gets a ZOMG! in the true sense of the rating, as I was a little frightened at how quickly my box of 10 disappeared.