Archive for February, 2013

Dark Chocolate Camembert Truffles

February 28th, 2013 by Rosa

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates made a goat cheese collection that I really enjoyed. The tangy creaminess of goat cheese worked really well mixed with chocolate in truffles.

The funky stank of camembert, on the other hand, does not sound like a natural fit for pairing with chocolate. But The Creative Pot thought they’d be a good match and posted her recipe for making dark chocolate camembert truffles. I sort of want to try them but am sort of scared. H/t Knile.

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Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

February 27th, 2013 by Rosa

I had been eyeing these trapezoid-shaped boxed of chocolate-covered marshmallows at Whole Foods, but I’d never pulled the trigger. When I spotted a similarly shaped box of dark chocolate covered marshmallows at Trader Joe’s but for a dollar less than Whole Foods’s version, it was enough for me to add the box to my cart.

The box promised “light and fluffy marshmallows drenched in smooth, dark chocolate.” The marshmallows were boulder-shaped domes (not the flat squares depicted on the Whole Foods box).

They smelled sweet and a bit earthy from the chocolate. There was just a thin layer of that dark chocolate, and it cracked when I bit into it.

It tasted sweet for a dark chocolate, with a flavor that I found reminiscent of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. There was also a light graininess to its melt.

The marshmallow centers were foamy with an intense squishiness and a decent chewiness. Their sweetness was bright and had a hint of golden syrup‘s amber sweetness to it.

The dark chocolate covered marshmallows were a tad too sweet for my taste. Other than that, they were decent but on the boring side, and I have no desire to buy more or even finish the rest of my box. An O.

Category: chocolate, marshmallow, O, Trader Joe's | 2 Comments »

Make Your Own Mints

February 26th, 2013 by Rosa

Via Lifehacker, the blog One Good Thing has instructions for how to make your own mints out of gum paste and essential oils. It looks like a fun project that I wish I’d known about when I was in high school and saved all my Altoids tins.

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Trader Joe’s PB&J Milk Chocolate Bar

February 25th, 2013 by Rosa

I made a Trader Joe’s run over the weekend, so this week will be all about some new candies I spotted there. We’ll start with the PB&J Milk Chocolate Bar, which Trader Joe’s has smartly positioned as a $1 impulse buy at the cash register.

After Hammond’s PB&J Sandwich bar took a top prize at last year’s Sweets and Snacks, it seemed logical that the trend would eventually trickle down to Trader Joe’s. I’m fairly sure the Trader Joe’s was not an unbranded version of Hammond’s take, as the two bars looked and tasted quite different.

The 1.75oz bar was subdivided into 6 segments that readily broke to reveal a thin sliver of peanut butter that ran through the segment divisions. The jelly component was a red/purple translucent gel that sat on top of the peanut butter layer in the segments themselves.

That goo tasted brightly fruity with a slightly seedy finish. I noticed that seediness because the wrapper promised raspberry jelly, but I’m not sure if I would have noticed that it wasn’t a standard grape jelly.

The peanut butter was perfectly smooth on the tongue and tasted nicely roasty and nutty with a salty hit to the finish. I would guess that it was the same peanut butter from the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles, though who can be sure since Trader Joe’s sources their wares from all over the place.

The chocolate was fine but unexceptional. I didn’t really notice its contribution much, as the peanut butter was the dominant flavor here.

This bar was okay, but I wasn’t super wowed by any aspect of it, and I wouldn’t bother to buy it again. If you’re a peanut butter and chocolate fan, your mileage may vary, and Cybele gave it an 8/10. I give it an O.

Category: chocolate, O, review, Trader Joe's | Comments Off

Hi Chew Fanta – Orange and Grape

February 22nd, 2013 by Rosa

These Hi Chew Fantas were purchased at an Asian grocery store in my hometown. I think this is the first time that Hi Chew has partnered with another brand for their chews.

From the outside, the Hi Chew Fantas looked like standard Hi Chew fare – rectangular prisms of a colored center enveloped in an off-white shell. The Hi Chews carried a surprise, however, as the stiffly sproingy chews were embedded with bits of crunchy, compressed sugar candy that added a subtle fizzy effervescence.

Orange was tart with an undertone of zesty orange flavor that mellowed as the chew progressed and the crunchy candy bits disappeared. It did a pretty good job of capturing the flavor of orange soda, though it tasted less artificial than its soda counterpart.

Grape, too, started out sour and then mellowed out as I chewed it. It didn’t taste like real grapes, but it also didn’t taste quite like grape soda, as it was more floral and rotund.

These Hi Chews were a fun twist on the original. I enjoyed the added fizziness of the candy bits, and the flavors, as usual, were bright and intense. I hope they add more Fanta flavors to the line. An OMG.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

Cookie Colosseum

February 21st, 2013 by Rosa

Via Serious Eats, check out this post from an Australian who made a Colosseum replica entirely out of Tim Tam cookies. It looks epically delicious. Every toga party should have one.

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Moonstruck Chocolate Bar – Dark Chocolate Chile Variado

February 20th, 2013 by Rosa

On Monday, I reviewed Moonstruck‘s Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee bar. Today, I’m covering the Dark Chocolate Chile Variado, which is the other bar that I nabbed at the movie theater.

According to the Moonstruck website, the Chile Variado is a dark chocolate that’s infused with ancho and chipotle chiles. In this case, the dark chocolate was a 68% cacao base.

This bar was decorated quite differently from the milk chocolate one. By comparison, the Dark Chocolate Chile Variado was rather plain. It was scored into 8 rows, most of them glossy and smooth, and was stamped in the center with, “Share if you dare”.

The dark chocolate had a brisk, sharp snap and a dry break. It had just a hint of sweetness with a cocoa flavor that was deep and earthy.

The chiles made themselves known by adding a dry, acrid spiciness. The heat started off as an undertone of spiciness, then swelled into a firey blaze that burned in the back of my throat and made my tongue tingle.

This bar was tasty in small doses but quickly became painful in larger, more continuous bites. While this was tasty, I prefer Lindt’s take on chili chocolate. An O.

 

 

Category: chocolate, O, review | Comments Off

Delicious Belgian Stamps

February 19th, 2013 by Rosa

While the U.S. Postal Service is having a rough time, Belgium’s post office has decided to get whimsical. They’ve launched a line of stamps with images of chocolate that smell and taste like chocolate too!

The BBC has a fun video that shows how they’re made, along with some people who take their stamp-making jobs very seriously. France did something similar a few years ago. Do you think the USPS would ever give this a go?

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Moonstruck Chocolate Bar – Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee

February 18th, 2013 by Rosa

I first came across Moonstruck Chocolate Co. via their truffles. When I saw a selection of their chocolate bars at my local independent theater going for $3.75 (a bit less than their usual price), I snatched up the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee and the Dark Chocolate Chile Variado to try. I’ll cover the former today and the latter on Wednesday.

The Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee bar was actually milk chocolate with toffee and almond bits. The bar was gorgeously decorated: lightly scored into segments and stamped with stars and the Moonstruck logo in the center.

The bar was surprisingly snappy for a milk bar and broke easily along the scored lines, exposing bits of dark brown toffee and white almond bits. The milk chocolate was lovely, with a rich, creamy caramel flavor.

The crunchy bits of roasted almonds added a great nuttiness and a hint of salt that played off the sweet milk chocolate base. The toffee bits added a crunchy crumble and extra toasted sugar sweetness.

This was one of the best balanced milk chocolate bars that I’ve ever had. The milk chocolate was sweet but not overly so, without any of the throat searing burn that milk chocolate can have, and the inclusions added a contrast of flavor and texture.

I would keep this bar around for snacking purposes. A solid OM.

Category: chocolate, nuts, OM, review, toffee | Comments Off

JinJu Chocolates – Akoya Collection

February 15th, 2013 by Rosa

Today’s JinJu Chocolates’ Akoya Collection came in the same dual-layer swivel box as the Fleur de Sel caramels that I reviewed on Wednesday. The collection consisted of 5 gorgeously painted/airbrushed molded dome truffles in mostly fruity flavors.

Berry Mascarpone was a magenta truffle decorated with red speckles and a brown X. It was a “summer berry jelly layered with mascarpone crème ganache in Swiss milk chocolate.” The prettily layered truffle had a bottom half of white mascarpone crème that made the berry pink of the jam really stand out.

The milk chocolate shell was sweet with caramel notes. The mascarpone crème was rich and slightly tangy, like a cream cheese, while the berry jelly added a brightly sweet top note of jammy fruitiness that was just lovely.

Tropical Fruit was airbrushed with a reddish-orange sparkle and was comprised of “passion fruit and mango with a hint of vanilla, in milk chocolate.” Its ganache was smooth and with a thinly fatty melt.

It started off with the milk chocolate shell’s dusky caramel sweetness, then took on the bright lemony citrus notes and an intense flavor of passionfruit.

Key Lime was an emerald green, a truffle of “fresh key lime juice and zest blended with white chocolate, in dark chocolate.” Its ganache was thicker than that of the Tropical Fruit and had a snappy dark chocolate shell.

It had a great intensity of key lime flavor – really bright soaring high notes of tart, fresh key limes with an undertone of slightly bitter lime zest – and a great finish of bittersweet dark chocolate. My favorite of the bunch for its complexity and balance.

Lemon White Chocolate was a white chocolate shell, airbrushed with yellow, and was described as “lemon infused white chocolate ganache in creamy white chocolate.”

Its ganache had the sweet flavor of a really nice vanilla frosting, then took on a flare of lemon sweet and sourness, before finishing with a creamy vanilla white chocolate finish.

Finally, Vanilla Dream was the only non-fruity one: “Tahitian vanilla bean infused caramel blended with Swiss milk chocolate, in dark chocolate.” It was speckled with white and gold, which looked great against the chocolate brown shell.

That shell hid a smooth and thinly limpid sweet caramel. The flavor was great, slightly sweet with a nutty caramel flavor that reminded me of cooked condensed milk. My second favorite of the mix.

This collection was top notch. Its flavor assortment was both delicious and creative, and the chocolates and packaging had a luxe, classy feel. An OMG for the mix, and a hearty ZOMG! for the Key Lime and Vanilla Dream.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, review, white chocolate, ZOMG! | Comments Off