Archive for March, 2013

Chocolate Limes

March 29th, 2013 by Rosa

These Chocolate Limes were the other candy treat that Ariel and Logan brought me from Bermuda (the other was the excellent Cadbury Time Out that I covered on Wednesday). It turns out that I’ve actually covered a version of this treat in my British Boiled Sweets round-up, only this time I got a fresh bag rather than a few candies that had been sitting in a bulk bin for who knows how long.

The bag of Chocolate Limes (with Milk Chocolate Centres), depicted the candies in their unwrapped state, which made me think that they’d be chewy candies of some sort. Instead, they turned out to be individually wrapped hard candies, each about the size of my first thumb joint.

The candies were a vibrant light green with a smidge of chocolate brown that ran through the center. They were a smooth hard candy with a brightly tart and tangy lime flavor with lots of lime zestiness. I thought they tasted just like a hard candy version of lime Skittles (RIP).

The chocolate stripe down the center was a scant amount, so its flavor wasn’t super noticeable. It tasted a little fake, with the same chocolatesque-flavor that Tootsie Rolls have. I think the closest thing that we have to this in the U.S. is the lemon-lime Tootsie Roll Pop.

Honestly, I could have done without the chocolate component. The lime hard candy was delicious in its own right, and while the chocolate didn’t detract for me, some of my lab mates weren’t a fan of it. I give this an OM because I love citrus candies, and this was a great lime hard candy, but I’ll warn you that your mileage may vary.

Category: chocolate, hard candy, OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Washington Post Peeps Dioramas

March 28th, 2013 by Rosa

Every year, the Washington Post runs a fun Peeps Diorama contest. This year’s winners are up, and they’re great, as usual. Check them out here.

There’s also a Peeple’s Choice contest for the public’s favorite diorama. I like the meta one about the human diorama contest in Peep land, and the pink slime one.

Category: news | No Comments »

Cadbury Time Out

March 27th, 2013 by Rosa

As I’ve noted before, one of the many perks of being a candy blogger is that friends who travel to exotic places often bring me back candy presents. My friends Ariel and Logan returned from a mini-vacation in Bermuda with a couple of candy gifts for me, including this Cadbury Time Out.

The wrapper described its contents as 2 milk chocolate covered wafer fingers with milk chocolate centres. The obvious comparison here is with Kit Kats. In fact, I found these to be even better.

Each finger was about five inches long and less than half an inch across. I was happy that they came two to a package, though I sort of wish there were more. Because I already ate them both (in two sittings, at least).

The wafer cookies were crisp and toastier than Kit Kat’s version. Instead of the cream that Kit Kats have, the two wafer cookies sandwiched a layer of folded chocolate, which made the Time Out taste really rich and chocolatey.

The chocolate was the best part. It had a surprisingly complexity for a mass-produced bar, lots of bittersweet coffee notes that kept it from being overly sweet. Instead, it tasted like a well-balanced, grown-up treat. An OM.

Category: chocolate, cookie, OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Matzo Crack S’Mores

March 26th, 2013 by Rosa

Back in December, I wrote about Serious Eats’s recipe for matzo crack as a twist on holiday bark. Now the geniuses there have come up with an even better twist – use that matzo crack to make s’mores!

 

Category: news | No Comments »

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates – Corned Beef and Cabbage Truffle

March 25th, 2013 by CamNMere

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates whipped up a special batch of Corned Beef and Cabbage truffles that they gave out as a free St. Patrick’s Day treat. My friend and former Rochester roommate Meredith got one to try and review. ~Rosa

I wasn’t planning to do anything (or really leave the house at all) for St Patrick’s Day, but I woke up to find my social media informing me that beloved local establishment Hedonist Chocolate was offering free corned beef and cabbage truffles all day. Uh, what?

Hedonist is only a couple of blocks from home, and I’m not one to turn down a one-off gustatory challenge. Nor to turn down the opportunity to stock up on their phenomenal salted caramels, which are perfect for bribing myself to finish writing projects at work. I picked up an extra caramel in case I needed a chaser for the corned beef and cabbage truffle.

(Cameron did the photography, but lacked the intestinal fortitude to participate in the tasting experience. His loss?)

I’m happy to say that the caramel chaser lives on in my chocolate drawer for another day when its services are more urgently needed. The corned beef and cabbage truffle had a thin milk chocolate coating, with an even thinner layer of dark chocolate lining the bottom of the truffle.

The coating easily gave way to the creamy ganache filling, which had a sweet frosting texture with a hit of savory-salty flavor. Much of that savoriness came from little nubs of meat embedded in the filling:

Though the corned beef I’ve had in the past was texturally closer to pulled pork, these nubs were firm and chewy, like bacon. This seems like probably a wise textural choice (though now I am envisioning delicious pulled-pork-truffle collaborations between Hedonist and Sticky Lips BBQ, and ok now I really want that to happen).

The corned beef did have more of a briny flavor that came through mostly in the aftertaste, but otherwise if I hadn’t been paying close attention I might have just assumed it was a bacon truffle. The cute little blob on top of the truffle was candied corned beef, hitting the same delightful sorts of salty-sweet-candy-chewy notes as candied bacon. I would happily have eaten a whole tray of these.

I couldn’t detect any textural evidence of cabbage (again, a wise choice!) but it did contribute a vegetal, garlicky funk to the filling that was more pronounced in the aftertaste than in the initial flavor. It wasn’t actually bad by any means — it was fairly subtle, and I just finished off an embarrassingly large supply of generic milk-chocolate discount truffles from the post-Valentine’s sales so the complexity of cabbage-chocolate was surprisingly welcome.

But I think the truffle would have been better overall if it had just focused on the corned beef, which had plenty of complex savory flavors to offer. As it was, I think some of the smoky meatiness might’ve gotten lost in the sour cabbage aftertaste.

I can’t imagine a more competent execution of this concept, and I consider making a corned beef and cabbage truffle that is not only edible but actually sort of good a pretty remarkable feat. That said, it was still pretty weird. Grading on a bit of a novelty-chocolate curve, and taking into account that delicious candied beef topper, I’d give this truffle an O.

Category: chocolate, guest post, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, limited edition, novelty, O, review | 2 Comments »

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared

March 22nd, 2013 by Rosa

I’ve never been a big Snickers fan. There have been quite a few varieties of Snickers that have come and gone, but I’d let them pass me by. I wound up with a Snickers Peanut Butter Squared because my boyfriend wanted to try them.

The candy bar pack contained 2 squares of the treat, which sounds like a nice portion control strategy. The wrapper said that they were “filled with peanut butter, peanuts, caramel, & nougat and covered in milk chocolate.”

The peanut butter and nougat formed the base layer. I couldn’t tell where one started and the other ended. At any rate, the bottom layer was crumbly, sweet, and nutty.

The middle layer was a hearty section of half peanuts. They had a dry crunch and a strong, roasty peanut flavor.

Above that was a generous pour of caramel. I thought the caramel totally killed the treat – it was far too sweet, dominating the other flavors and bringing a sour burn to the back of my throat from its sugar intensity.

The milk chocolate coating was sweet as well. It may have also contributed to the overwhelming sweetness of the whole thing.

Alas, I could not stand to take more than a bite or two of the Peanut Butter Squared square. A shame, really, as the peanuts and nutty nougat were ok (not exceptional, but ok), but that caramel just blew out my sugar sensors.

An O because I can see how others may like the super sweetness. My boyfriend ate the other square and the rest of mine. His take? “It was nutty and had chocolate.” That is why he doesn’t guest post…

Category: review | 3 Comments »

Gummify Yourself

March 21st, 2013 by Rosa

Technology is moving forward in leaps and bounds – it is now possible to use a 3D body scanner en route to making a gummy version of yourself! The Japanese company offering the service only charged about $65, but unfortunately only offered 9 slots. Alas, I’ve missed out this time.

otoko-gummi1

 

Photo from FabCafe.

Category: news | No Comments »

Anastasia Confections Creamy Coconut Patties – Original and Key Lime

March 20th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought these two packs of Creamy Coconut Patties at the dollar store for – you guessed it – $1 per pack. One was regular/original (“dipped in real dark chocolate”), while the other was key lime (but also “dipped in real dark chocolate”).

Each Coconut Patty was heartily sized, 1.75 inches square, and there were 2 per pack in a cardboard tray. They were like topless Mounds: squares of moist coconut patties with the bottom and sides coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate.

The original had a plain, sweetened coconut patty that was pure white. The coconut was confettied and smooshed together, which gave the whole thing a sushi-like look.

The coconut had a nice texture: lightly moist, soft, squishy, and a bit squeaky between my teeth. It tasted sweet and floral with a strong nutty and fresh flavor.

The dark chocolate component was minimal and mostly got lost in the coconut patty. When I ate it by myself, it was sweet and fruity.

While the patty was great for the first bite or two, the sweetness of the coconut quickly became overwhelming. More chocolate to temper that sugary sweetness would’ve helped, I think.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this Dollar Store treat. The original gets an OM, as long as you eat the patties in multiple sittings.

Key Lime was just like the original, only the coconut was a fluorescent lime green. The patties had the same sweetly nutty coconut of the original but finished with a fruity lime zestiness.

The lime flavor paired with the coconut and hint of chocolate was a set of flavors that I found more weird than pleasant. I ate most of the original patties on my own, but I haven’t taken more than a bite of the Key Lime ones. An O for the Key Lime version.

Category: chocolate, coconut, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Senate Candy Drawer

March 19th, 2013 by Rosa

When I was a kid, I loved visiting my mom at work because she had a candy drawer full of full-sized candy bars. Apparently, the U.S. Senate has a rough equivalent, a “candy desk” hiding in the back row of the Republican side.

That Senate candy drawer came in handy for Rand Paul as a source of sugar and calories during his filibuster. Everyone should have a candy drawer!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Guest post: Sier Ijscups Chocolade

March 18th, 2013 by Neil

Ex-pat in the Netherlands Knile is back for the day! ~Rosa

It’s been far too long since I’ve been in this space. It’s not for lack of material, believe me. My candy-purchasing has sloped off a bit as I stare at my candy shelf’s growing pile including once-tasty-looking items that are now past their best-by dates. (Sorry, English candy bars!)

So perhaps, while I enter the phase of life known as “spring cleaning“, I will put some reviews on this site as I send some shirts to the thrift shop and a few months’ worth of paper recycling out to the curb.

Today, I found myself staring at my 24-pack of Sier Ijscups Chocolade. I bought these on a goofy evening of impulse purchases at a Coop supermarket here in the Netherlands.

Ijs can mean ice but it can also mean ice cream, so I wasn’t sure what the deal was with these. They looked like miniature Reese’s Mini peanut butter cups with their scalloped brown wrappers.

I cut one open for photographing purchases, before I even ate any, and was a bit surprised to see the lack of anything resembling a peanut butter filling inside. This should not have been surprising, as the chocolate/peanut butter combination is not as popular anywhere as in North America.

The cups are, perhaps unsurprisingly given the source and price, rather fake-seeming. Sure, they’re creamy and a bit nutty (though that might just be priming from the visual similarity to the Reese’s cups!). The ingredients list tells me the first ingredient component is a mass of “partially hydrogenated vegetable fats”, which I’m pretty sure not healthy for me. Because there’s no filling, and thus no shell, the consistency ends up being uniform: it’s tender, becoming a pleasant squishiness very quickly.

I’m even more sure that these fats are the driving force behind the flavor. Overall, it’s a very standard “cheap chocolate” flavor. The texture, though, wins me over into guilty pleasure territory. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, OM, review | 1 Comment »