Archive for October, 2012

Sugarfina Cocktail Hour – Part I Cordials

October 3rd, 2012 by Rosa

Sugarfina is a new online candy “boutique” that sells candy that they’ve curated from around the world. They recently sent me a generous selection of free samples of their products, including their cocktail hour tasting bar. It contained 8 different candies, so I’ll cover the cordials today and leave the gummis for Friday.

The candies came beautifully packaged in a white box. Inside were 8 little plastic bags of booze-inspired candy nestled in Tiffany blue tissue paper. Each little bag contained a handful of candies (8 gummi bears, half a dozen cordials, etc) and was labeled with a sticker so I could tell what was what.

The top row are the cordials: Cognac VSOP, Single Malt Scotch, and Absinthe Cordials, none of which contained any actual alcohol. The fourth bag contained Martini Olive Almonds, which were gorgeous and tasty chocolate-covered almonds decorated to look like olives.

The cordials were all prettily shiny spheres with liquid centers with a light sugar crunch around the center liquid. I believe the sugar layer kept the liquid from being absorbed by the chocolate.

Cognac VSOP was a dark chocolate cordial. The center tasted lightly sweet and fruity with a boozy undertone.

The alcohol flavor was noticeable but mild and lacked the true headiness you get from real cognac. It was much sweeter than real cognac is, though it wasn’t all that sweet for a candy.

Single Malt Scotch was also dark chocolate. Again, the center liquid was fairly sweet with the flavor of alcohol in the finish.

It lacked the firey burn and complexity of real scotch – instead, it just carried the edge of alcohol. In fact, its neutral alcohol flavor made me think more of vodka.

Finally, the Absinthe Cordial had a shiny, crunchy green outer shell hiding dark chocolate and a liquid center. I tried real absinthe once in Brazil (back when it was still illegal in the U.S.) and was not a fan – it tasted like black licorice, and I hate licorice!

The liquid here was quite distinctively flavored. It carried an edge of anise, which I normally hate, but here it was mild and vegetal, like fresh fennel, and the sweetness of the chocolate and sugar shell made it more palatable.

I enjoyed these, and especially appreciated the uniqueness of the absinthe cordials, but I think they’re more of a special occasion candy – maybe for some themed party – than everyday candy. An O.

Stay tuned for Friday when I cover the booze-flavored gummies.

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British Candy Round-Up from The Awl

October 2nd, 2012 by Rosa

For some reason, the Awl ran a piece about some standard British candies. I’ve seen but not tried Penguins, and Terry’s Chocolate Orange is available in the U.S. The rest was all new to me. As was the ridiculous penguin joke.

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Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree

October 1st, 2012 by Rosa

This Sea Salt Soiree bar is a new addition to Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark line. At least, I believed the corner label that said it was new – that’s what prompted me to buy it in the first place!

Turns out it’s been out for at least a year. It’s like those “Grand Opening” or “Closeout Sale” banners that hang in front of stores for years.

The outer box described it as, ” dark chocolate with sea salt and roasted almonds”. There’s also a milk chocolate counterpart in their Gourmet Milk line called Sea Salt Escape that I saw at Sweets and Snacks.

Inside, the bar was lightly scored into 8 logo-ed squares. The break along the scores was a nice, sharp snap.

Little bits of almonds were liberally mixed in and added a nice crunch factor. They also brought some astringency to the finish and not nearly enough roasted nutty flavor to the chocolate.

The flakes of sea salt brought occasional flashes of flavor that really picked up and brightened the flavor of the dark chocolate. The dark chocolate was lightly sweet, but alas, I felt that its flavor profile was lost in the astringency of the almonds.

I thought the bar was okay, but I wanted more almond nuttiness and more chocolate flavor. An O.

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