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See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 3

May 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

On Monday, I covered four of their truffles. Wednesday, I reviewed four Dark Chocolate without Nuts pieces. Today, I’ll wrap up the week with reviews of two Dark Chocolate with Nuts and two Milk Chocolate without Nuts pieces.

Dark Cocoanut (sic) was “buttercream with angel flake coconut”. I’ve reviewed the milk version of this before, but the fresh version of the cocoanut was world’s better. It also turns out that my coconut tastes have changed over the years!

The fresh Cocoanut blew my mind, as its coconut center was so fresh that it was shiny and moist. It tasted strongly nutty with great fresh coconut flavors.

The chewy shreds squeaked between my teeth and left behind a sweet finish that was tempered by the dark chocolate shell. An OMG.

Marzipan was dark chocolate around “honey almond paste”, and it was another truffle that I’d previously reviewed. This, too, was greatly elevated while fresh, as the flavors were far stronger and more delicious.

My fresh Marzipan had a softly grainy center with just enough moisture to hold it together. It had lovely floral overtones of almond and a nutty finish that lingered after the treat was gone. An OM.

Milk Butterchew was the milk chocolate version of the Dark Butterchew from Wednesday. The caramel was buttery sweet and chewy, and here it was paired with a sweet milk chocolate with a great caramel finish.

I preferred the Dark to the Milk Butterchew, as I felt the dark chocolate better balanced the sweetness of the caramel, but I still wouldn’t turn down a Milk Butterchew. OM.

Finally, the Butterscotch Square was “firm brown sugar buttercream”, which I’d also reviewed before. In my maximally fresh version, the ganache was soft and slightly moist with a pleasant graininess.

I took a bite to take photos, let it sit for a day or two, and when I came back, it had dried and stiffened. It tasted of honey sweet brown sugar, which was complimented by the dusky cocoa finish of the milk chocolate coating.

It was so sweet that I couldn’t eat more than a bite at a time, but I enjoyed all of those measured bites. An OM.

I was pretty happy with all of my See’s selections. At $17.50/lb, See’s is pretty hard to beat in bang for your buck. Highly recommended all around!

Category: caramel, chocolate, coconut, OM, OMG, review, See's | No Comments »

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 2

May 1st, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

On Monday, I covered four of their truffles. Today, I’ll review four Dark Chocolate without Nuts pieces (categories per See’s flavor guide).

Dark Bordeaux (TM) was simply described as “brown sugar buttercream”. It was a round truffle that was covered in dark chocolate and chocolate sprinkles.

The center was soft and sweet with an almost whipped texture. It reminded me of the first stages of cookie making when you whip sugar and butter together into a fluffy mixture of delicious fat and sugar.

The brown sugar and butter center was deliciously sweet, but also so sweet that it burned my throat a bit. The dark chocolate coating was mild with a cocoa-flavored finish.

Though I found it too sweet to have more than a little bite or two at a time, it was deliciously addictive enough to warrant an OM.

Dark Molasses Chip was “molasses honeycomb crisp”. One paper flute of these contained four 2-inch long fingers.

The honeycomb was sweet, crunchy, brittle foam candy. It was golden colored and golden honey flavored with a touch of amber sweetness and just a hint of sour fruitiness.

It crunched up easily, but it also got a bit stuck in my molars. The dark chocolate complimented the center well and a brought a bit of dusky cocoa finish to the end. A tasty enough OM.

Dark Butterchew was a “vanilla brown sugar caramel” coated in dark chocolate. That caramel was chewy with a smooth texture. It tasted sweet and buttery with no scorched notes.

The dark chocolate coating was a great foil to the sweet caramel. It could have been elevated with a hint of salt or scorch to the caramel, but it was still pretty darn good. OM.

Finally for today, Dark Patties were two disks of chocolate covered “chocolate vanilla caramel” per paper flute. This was one of my favorite treats of the box, thanks to its intense chocolate flavors.

The chewy caramel center was lightly sweet with strong cocoa notes and a bit of plumminess, while the dark chocolate coating was intense and bittersweet. An OMG.

One more set of See’s reviews to come!

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review, See's, toffee | 1 Comment »

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 1

April 29th, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

Today, I’ll go through the four Truffles that I bought. First up, the trademarked See’s Apple Pie Truffle, which they describe as rich buttercream with Granny Smith apples and cinnamon. This was a vaguely heart-shaped white chocolate truffle with a light brown center filling.

The white chocolate coating was sweet and took a backseat to the filling, which was quite the standout. It was extremely bright and fruity with a spot-on apple pie-filling flavor.

It tasted intensely of sweet cooked apples with just a smidge of cinnamon. I swear there was also some notes of toasted crust as well, or at least the crust of McDonald’s apple pie. It was basically a slice of apple pie distilled into a truffle. OM.

Almond Truffle was “rich dark chocolate buttercream with ground almonds”. It was a soft square of chocolate ganache covered in little bits of almond that were bound together with some white chocolate-looking butter thing.

The ganache center was sweet with a mild cocoa flavor, while the almonds in the coating were roasted and nutty. While the almonds were nice, I found them to be too tannic. They sapped all the moisture out of my mouth, so just an O.

Cafe au Lait Truffle was simply described as “rich coffee buttercream”. It had a milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate stripes for contrast.

The texture of the golden brown buttercream center was lovely – solid yet lightly fluffy. Its flavor started off strong with mocha coffee notes, lightly bitter but overall sweet, and the milk chocolate added a great caramel finish. OM.

And last for today, the Dark Chocolate Chip Truffle, “rich chocolate buttercream with chocolate chips”. This buttercream held its shape as I bit into the treat but then melted away on the tongue.

I didn’t notice any extra chocolate chips in that ganache; the texture was perfectly smooth.

It had an incredibly intense semisweet chocolate flavor which was redoubled by the dark chocolate shell. The chocolate didn’t have a terribly nuanced flavor profile, but it was deep and it was good. An OM.

Back on Wednesday and Friday with more See’s!

Category: chocolate, coffee, nuts, O, OM, review, See's, white chocolate | No Comments »

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Mango Bites

April 19th, 2013 by Rosa

To be honest, these Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Mango Bites didn’t sound that tasty to me, but my local Trader Joe’s was promoting them all over the store, so I picked up a bag.

Why not? I like chocolate-covered coconut, and I like mangos. Mangos and chocolate and coconut all together could be good?

The resealable stand-up bag described them as “soft, chewy coconut candy bites with a tangy mango addition, covered in rich, dark chocolate.” The bag smelled incredibly fruity and sweet, almost cloyingly so.

The candy bites were 1.5 inches by 1 inch rectangles that were just over half an inch high. The center was a yellow-hued smoosh of moist, shredded coconut.

The dark chocolate shell was mild with a hint of sweetness and a dryly fruity, bittersweet finish. While it tasted great by itself, it was totally overwhelmed by the coconut mango center. Also, it melted into my fingers as I held it, which was a little annoyingly messy.

The center had the squeaky texture of shredded coconut and the piquant tartness of dried mango. The mango flavor was bright and sweet and dominated the treat; I didn’t get any coconut flavor notes, just texture.

While I liked the chocolate in isolation, and I liked the flavor of the mango, the whole thing just didn’t come together for me. I think it was the texture of coconut without any coconut flavor that threw me off. I have no desire to finish the rest of the bag, so an O.

Category: chocolate, coconut, O, review, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment »

Trader Joe’s Laceys Cookies – Dark Chocolate Almond

April 17th, 2013 by Rosa

Cookies? Why am I reviewing cookies on my candy blog? Because these Laceys Cookies are more or less made out of almond brittle and chocolate, so they’re basically candy. Plus they’re freakin’ delicious.

The Laceys were two rounds of thin almond brittle cookies, about 2.5 inches in diameter, sandwiching a generous layer of bittersweet chocolate. Flour was near the end of the ingredients list, and I really couldn’t tell that there was any flour in these at all in terms of texture or flavor.

The cookie portions were sweet and crisp with a solid crunch. I’d guess that they were about 50% chopped almonds and 50% butter toffee/brittle.

The generous proportion of almonds brought a wonderfully roasted nuttiness, and the cookies finished with a toasted butteriness from the toffee. That toffee cleaved and crumbled without any hint of doughy cookieness.

The bittersweet chocolate center had a great duskiness to it and a light sweetness that didn’t overwhelm the cookies. Instead, it complimented the nutty butteriness of the toffee cookies.

A delicious, quickly disappearing treat – OMG.

Category: chocolate, cookie, nuts, OMG, review, toffee, Trader Joe's | No Comments »

Sunkist Lemon Gummies

April 5th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought these Sunkist Lemon Gummies at the dollar store. There were also Sunkist strawberry gummies there, but I just bought the lemon since I like citrus flavors.

The yellow gummies were shaped like little lemon slices. They were firm with a bouncy bite that was too solid for me to tear cleanly through the gummi in just one bite.

They gummies had a light waxy coating on the outside, I think to keep them from sticking to each other. It left a slight residue on my fingers and was slightly noticeable in the flavor of the gummi as a suggestion of waxy aftertaste.

The flavor of the gummy was great – solid and intense. It was sweet with a slightly bright fruity flavor. There was no sourness to the gummy, just a great mellow lemon drop flavor.

I really enjoyed these gummies. They had an awesome intensity of flavor, and a fruity citrus flavor that I really liked. If only they didn’t have that waxy finish!

Still, an OM, as I found myself chasing away that slight aftertaste by popping additional gummies.

 

Category: gummi/gummy, Jelly Belly, OM, review | No Comments »

After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins

April 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

My friends Emma and Jason recently took a vacation to London and brought me back a box of After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’d recall that I spent the summer of 2008 in the UK, during which I reviewed the regular After Eights.

The Mint Chocolate Thin version of the After Eights were much classier than the boxy cubes I’d had before. My 300 g box of thins had ~35 thins, each encased in their own delicate sleeves. The sleeves themselves were prettily decorated with the After Eight clock logo in gold.

The Thins were 4cm square and about 1/4 cm thick. Their bottoms were flat and lightly imprinted with “After Eight” in script, while the tops were wavy and rippled.

The thin dark chocolate shell broke easily to reveal the grainy squishy fondant within. The chocolate’s mild cocoa flavor was barely noticeable and was mostly overwhelmed by the strong mintiness of the fondant.

That mint was refreshing but not mentholated/cooling. It was just a hair too sweet – enough that it felt cloying when I ate two thins in a row.

I thought these were a lovely treat. They look elegant enough to put out for guests, which is pretty good for a mass-market chocolate item. You couldn’t say that about York Peppermint Patties, which is the closest thing to these we’ve got on the American market. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, mint, Nestle, OM, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Skittles Darkside

April 1st, 2013 by Rosa

Skittles Darkside are a new addition to the Skittles line. They’ve apparently been around since January, when Cybele reviewed them on Candy Blog, though I only caught them recently at a gas station pit stop.

The tagline for the Darksides is “the other side of the rainbow”. The flavors were Dark Berry (purple), Pomegranate (red), Forbidden Fruit (blue), Midnight Lime (green), and Blood Orange (orange).

Dark Berry tasted like generic berry candies with a slight seedy undertone. They reminded me more of the UK’s purple Skittles, which are supposed to be blackcurrant flavored.

Pomegranate was seedy to start with a tinge of pomegranate/cranberry juice flavor. It lacked any bitterness or tannic flavors that I’d associate with true pomegranates.

I have no idea what Forbidden Fruit was trying to be. It had a strong perfumey floral flavor, with a start that was almost bubblegummy.

Midnight Lime was zesty to start. It tasted like a darker version of the lime that used to be part of the regular Skittles line-up but lacked the regular lime’s brightly acidic tartness.

Finally, Blood Orange had a great zesty orange depth but was far darker than the regular Skittles’s bright orange. Instead, it had a darker, juicier finish with just a flash of tartness at the end.

I felt pretty meh about these. I think the Blood Orange was the only that I really enjoyed. The others were okay but not outstanding. An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, Wrigley's | 3 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 »

Jelly Belly Pea & Carrots

March 15th, 2013 by Rosa

I’m not sure if these Peas & Carrots mellocreme candies from Jelly Belly are a seasonal Easter treat or not. My little bag was bought at the dollar store, where it was shelved with other Jelly Belly treats. Still, peas and carrots nicely fit in with springtime and bunnies, so it would make a good Easter candy.

Most people probably know mellocreme from candy corn. The peas and carrots had the same grainy, chewy-squishy texture of candy corn, but the flavors were very different.

The orange sherbet flavored carrot cylinders were shaped like Mike & Ikes. They started off tasting like orange sherbet or an orange creamsicle, with a slight orange flavor and a strong dairy component. The finish was a little plasticky/waxy.

The peas were supposed to be green apple flavored and did a pretty spot on job of looking like real peas. They carried just the faintest whiff of artificial green apple flavor – I thought they tasted mostly really off-puttingly medicinal.

While these were a cute idea and fun to play around with, I was not a fan of how they tasted. The fruity flavors were a little off, and the downsides of mellocreme (its weird waxiness and finish) were harder to hide behind such mild flavors. A .

Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed them a year ago, if you want a second opinion.

 

Category: --, Easter, Jelly Belly, review | 1 Comment »