Archive for September, 2013

Guest post: Lindt Lindor Panna Cotta Passionfruit

September 30th, 2013 by Neil

Note from Rosa: Here’s another guest post from expat friend Neil. He wrote this in May 2013 but only just now found the photos.

I try not to subject you to reviews of candy I’ve let expire, but I’m making an exception for this. January 2013 wasn’t that long ago, right…?

This came from a German supermarket in summer 2012. I was intrigued by the notion of passionfruit panna cotta and the all-caps dictation to “ENJOY COLD!”

I thought it’d be a bar. The eighteen individual chocolate squares surprised me. Each had a Lindt logo on top and the chocolate appeared milky, though maybe a bit dried out by the unintentional aging.

My experience with passionfruit is limited to candies and juice, so whether or not these taste of the fruit off the vine is up to a proper produce-eater. The chocolate is quite satisfactory, and the passionfruit aspect is what really shines.

There’s almost a bright, sparkling pop in your mouth a few seconds after you finish a square, which is all fruit. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, Lindt, OM | No Comments »

WTF Candy Box dessert + blogging update

September 24th, 2013 by Rosa

Hey guys,

I’m sorry I’ve remiss about posting new reviews lately. I’ve been out of town for the last 3 weekends in a row, and I was just at a conference for the better part of last week. Weekends are usually when I get all my blogging done, so I’m now fairly behind in blogging (and in life in general).

On the plus side, I picked up some local candies in my travels, so expect those in the pipeline soon. In the meantime, check out this weird “Candy Box” dessert from a restaurant in Berlin. If anyone can explain WTF is going on with it, I’d appreciate it!

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Weirdest mainstream chocolate bar?

September 19th, 2013 by Rosa

I’m used to small artisanal brands like Zotter making chocolate bars with strange flavor combinations. More mainstream brands, however, generally come up with tamer combos.

I was pleasantly surprised to catch this review of a Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar made by… Cadbury! It sounded strange, but Kev gave it a positive review. I really want to try it!

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Chocolate consumption rituals

September 17th, 2013 by Rosa

A recent study from the journal Psychological Science found “that ritualistic behavior potentiates and enhances ensuing consumption.” In plain English, engaging in rituals before eating makes the eating seem more pleasurable.

The authors of the study ran one experiment in which half of their participants were instructed to eat a chocolate bar in the following way: “Without unwrapping the chocolate bar, break it in half. Unwrap half of the bar and eat it. Then, unwrap the other half and eat it.” The other half of their participants were just told to eat a chocolate bar “naturally”.

 

Those who ate the chocolate after the ritual reported significantly higher enjoyment of the chocolate and were even willing to pay more for it: $0.59 for those who performed the ritual compared to $0.34 for those who didn’t.

Moral of the story seems to be to savor your eating experience to get more out of it!

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Astor Belgian Chocolate – Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake

September 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I picked up these Astor Belgian Chocolate bars as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. It looks like they sell a variety of their signature bars on their website; I was also told that they repackage these under other brands as well.

Both bars – Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake – were lightly scored into 6 rectangular blocks that broke easily into different segments. All were striated as well.

Angel Food Cake was a white chocolate shell with a white chocolate ganache inside. The white chocolate was sweet and creamy and thick, with strong dairy notes.

The ganache had a bit of a grit to it, like it was full of dried cake crumbs or cookie crumbs. They added some crunch, along with a birthday cake/vanilla flavor.

This bar was fun but too sweet for my taste. An O for this.

Devil’s Food Cake was a dark chocolate with a bit of chocolate ganache in the center. The dark chocolate had a bit of a snap, while the ganache was softer and creamier.

This was an intensely chocolatey bar. It make me think of fudgey cake batter or rich chocolate pudding. I loved the richness and depth of pure chocolate flavor that it provided, so an OM.

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

Jelina Chocolatier – Fleur de Sel

September 13th, 2013 by Rosa

Wednesday, I reviewed Jelina Chocolatier‘s Espresso bar. Today, I’ve got a review of another of their organic chocolate bars, the Fleur de Sel. Both were free samples that I picked up at the Sweets and Snacks Expo.

Again, this bar was comprised of 15 rectangles, which came sealed in a silver wrapper tucked inside a cardboard box. This one was cutely decorated with a line drawing of a salt shaker.

The chocolate had a dry, smooth, velvet melt that felt comfortably matte on my tongue. Sprinkles of salt could be found throughout the bar, adding a bit of crunch along with a salty hit.

The chocolate had deep, dark earthy notes that occasionally found themselves set off with a hit of salt in a burst of sweet/sour/salty. The finish was intensely chocolatey and lingered pleasantly on the tongue.

I thought this would make for a great snacking bar. Simple but wonderfully chocolatey and kept interesting by the addition of salt – an OM.

Category: chocolate, OM, organic, review | No Comments »

Cybele’s lesson on sugar substitutes

September 12th, 2013 by Rosa

I love Cybele’s Candy Blog for her great reviews and mouth-watering photos. She recently write a review about Lily’s Dark Chocolate, which was sweetened with Stevia. The review of the chocolate bar is great, but you should really check out for her little lesson in how chocolate makers use sugar substitutes. Very educational!

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Jelina Chocolatier – Espresso

September 11th, 2013 by Rosa

Last year at the Sweets and Snacks Expo, I picked up two chocolate bars from Jelina Chocolatier, a Canadian chocolate company that was looking for a U.S. distributor. I loved those two bars and gave them high marks and kept hoping they’d make their way to the U.S. market. Unfortunately, they’re still looking for a U.S. distributor, so I’ll just have to keep hoping.

I saw Jelina again at this year’s Expo and was lavished with a few more free samples. I’ll cover the Espresso bar today and their Fleur de Sel on Friday.

Like all of their bars, the Espresso was organic and came rustically packaged in a simple cardboard box. I liked the little line drawing of the stovetop coffeepot that decorated it.

Inside, the chocolate bar came sealed in a separate silver package and was segmented into 15 striated rectangles. The bar’s texture was dry and thickly gritty, like Taza Chocolate or Mexican-style chocolate. You can see the grit in the photo below.

The chocolate tasted incredibly intensely of roasted coffee beans. Somehow, they managed to capture all the flavor of coffee while minimizing its bitterness. The bitterness was there but barely noticeable.

This was a perfectly balanced bar with just the right mix of sweet chocolate and robust coffee. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, coffee, OMG, organic, review | No Comments »

Gooey Caramel Twix Bar recipe from Serious Eats

September 10th, 2013 by Rosa

Serious Eats recently ran a recipe for Gooey Caramel Twix Bars. It’s chocolate, nuts, homemade caramel, and chopped Twix bars on a shortbread cookie. It sounds good and looks decadent! Though the added presence of Twix seems superfluous, no?

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Zoë’s Chocolate Co – The Sports Bar

September 9th, 2013 by Rosa

Last Friday, I reviewed some truffles that I had received as free samples from Zoë’s Chocolate Co. They also sent along a free sample of “The Sports Bar”, which was described as “crispy puffed caramelized popcorn-like rice crisps mixed into luscious dark chocolate and topped with carefully roasted honeyed peanuts.

The peanut studded bar was lightly scored into 24 rectangles that easily snapped apart. The puffed rice crisps brought a light crunch but otherwise weren’t really noticeable.

The peanuts were the main attraction here. They came in all sizes, from whole peanuts to halves to itty bitty bits (probably the little center peanut nibs, which is technically a peanut embryo).

They were honey roasted and coated in sugar, making them lightly sweet with just the slightest hint of salt. When paired with the chocolate, they made for the classic combination of cocoa and peanuts.

The chocolate base of this bar was a dream. Its melt was smooth and soft and left behind a slightly cool, fatty feel on my tongue as it disappeared. The flavor was sweet and purely cocoa, while the finish was a little dry and a little sweet.

I loved this bar mostly for the deliciousness of the chocolate base, and the honey roasted peanuts were a nice addition as well. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, nuts, OMG, review | No Comments »