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Moonstruck Chocolates

April 29th, 2011 by Rosa

I bought these Moonstruck truffles at a posh gift shop in Rochester. They cost a pretty penny, so I limited myself to three: Peppercorn and Sesame (it was on sale; half off), Ocumarian, and Chocolate Malted Cream Cone.

Peppercorn and Sesame was a dark chocolate square prettily decorated with a pink speckled white chocolate topper. It had a breathtakingly sharp peppercorn scent that was echoed in its acrid flavor.

The ganache also tasted weirdly floral. A light undertone of sesame wasn’t enough to counter the off-putting acrid floralness. I can see why it was on sale. A .

The Ocumarian was prettily molded with fluted sides and the Moonstruck logo on top. Moonstruck’s website describes it as, “a ganache of dark chocolate derived from rare and exotic criollo cocoa beans from the Ocumare Valley of Venezuela, infused with ancho and chipotle chiles.”

The thick and smooth ganache was deep and rich with cocoa flavor, while the spices brought in a latent tingly burn. The dark chocolate shell tasted deep and dusky, with an incredible intensity. An OM for the awesomeness of the chocolate that formed the foundation of this truffle.

I bought the Chocolate Malted Cream Cone because of its striking appearance and because I love malt. It was described as “a milk chocolate and malted milk-flavored French butter cream, inside a milk chocolate cone, topped with dark chocolate and finished with a dusting of malt.”

The cone itself was milk chocolate, while the top was dipped in dark. The butter cream filling was incredibly airy, more like a whipped mousse than a typical butter cream. It melted very fattily on the tongue and tasted of cocoa powder and malt.

The sprinkle of malt powder on top brought a slight crunchy grit. I love malt, and I loved this. An OMG.

Category: --, chocolate, OM, OMG, review | 3 Comments »

Tom and Sally’s Organic Skinny Bars

March 28th, 2011 by Rosa

I bought two Tom and Sally’s 100% Organic Skinny Bars at a little chocolate shop near the Berkshires in Massachusetts. I tried to look up more about them, but Google seems to think there’s something scary about their website.

First up, a Belgian 41% milk chocolate infused with cocoa nibs. The chocolate was dark for a milk bar and scored into 6 even sections.

It had a weird plasticky, moldy undertone that was rather off-putting. The melt was mostly smooth, except where it was broken up with the crunch of the cocoa nibs.

While I wanted to like this bar for its organic-label, the chocolate was far from scrumptious, thanks to that weird undertone. An O.

The other bar was a Belgian 41% milk chocolate infused with cinnamon and nutmeg.

It smelled amazing! Sweet with the undertone of cinnamon spice. I wanted to mix it into tea and drink it up.

Unfortunately, the heavy spice scent was the result of an overly spiced bar. The strong presence of spices made the chocolate extremely gritty and astringent.

I found it unpalatable and couldn’t manage a second bite. A .

Category: --, chocolate, O, organic, review | 2 Comments »

Cemoi Atelier des Gourmets

February 25th, 2011 by Rosa

I bought this box of Cemoi L’Atelier des Gourmets at Whole Foods. They were half off in a post-winter holiday sale. There were four different chocolates in the box, each with their own hoity-toity name: Kheops, Evasion, Arabica, and Coupelle.

Kheops was described as, “crunchy gianduja and whole almond.” It came in a pretty flat-topped pyramid shape with Kheops etched into the side.

The center gianduja was rather dry and pasty. It had a light, almost airy crunch that made me think there were rice crisps inside.

The chocolate and hazelnut filling tasted sweet and fruity with notes of citrus. Hitting the center whole almond bought a nuttiness to the confection, but the finish was still too fruity for my taste. An O.

Evasion was a square “hazelnut and almond praline” with leaves etched on top. It had the same citrus fruitiness of the Kheops.

The almond praline was featured in little crunchy toffee bits. They would have been a nice addition to nearly any treat, but the cloying, cocoa finish of the rest of the Evasion was off-putting enough to outweigh any praline benefit. An .

Arabica was described pretty simply as “coffee mousse.” I thought it was the most visually striking, with the contrast between the chocolate brown coffee bean (not a real bean; it was made of chocolate) and the white chocolate coating.

Biting into the Arabica revealed even more contrasts – the inside ganache was milk chocolate. It tasted lightly of coffee with a slight, almost burnt bitterness. The whole thing made me think of Mocha Frappuccinos.

The ganache was thick and, like the other chocolates in this box, a tad too sweet for my taste. Another O.

Finally, the Coupelle, which was, “crunchy chocolate mousse.” It was a pretty little fluted cup of ganache topped with crunchy chocolate sprinkles.

This was by far my favorite of the bunch. It was made with dark chocolate. It was still sweet, but not as cloying as the others, and the cocoa flavors were deeper with red fruit notes.

And it had an amazing dusky finish that made it addictive. Furthermore, those chocolate sprinkles added a nice depth of cocoa flavor. An OM.

I’m really glad that I didn’t pay full price for these chocolates, as the Coupelle is the only one that I would want to eat again. Overall, not recommended, despite all the fancy packaging and hoity-toity names.

Category: --, chocolate, coffee, nuts, O, OM | 2 Comments »

Japanese Kit Kat – Sweet Potato

February 2nd, 2011 by Rosa

My friends Nana and Justin have been living and blogging abroad for the last few years. They’ve been a generous source of awesome foreign candy.

Their latest gift was several Japanese Kit Kats in Wasabi and Sweet Potato flavor. I’ll cover Sweet Potato today; Wasabi will be reviewed on Friday. And stay tuned for giveaway news, as Nana and Justin sent me more than I could ever eat!

I love how the tear-away notch on the right of the wrapper is mirrored by an extra triangle on the left. Each individually wrapped package had two prettily pale yellow fingers that had to be characteristically snapped apart.

I was both excited and nervous about trying these. Excited because I love sweet potatoes in just about any form (steamed, roasted, french fried, etc). Nervous because the sweet potato and sesame version that I tried a couple of years ago wasn’t great, though that also didn’t taste much like sweet potato.

Lack of sweet potato flavor was definitely not an issue with this Kit Kat. The flavor was totally spot on – starchy and sweet, with some root vegetable earthiness. It tasted just like a real sweet potato.

Unfortunately, though the flavor was exact, it was really off-putting when combined with the dairy, buttery creaminess of the Kit Kat chocolate. I got totally weirded out and couldn’t handle it. A .

Come back Friday for the wasabi-flavored Kit Kat review and details on how you can try to win some Japanese Kit Kats for yourself! And you can find Nana and Justin’s take on their website.

Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Nestle, received as gift, review | 3 Comments »

Little Friend’s Mushrooms – Chocolate and Redbean Chocolate

January 21st, 2011 by Rosa

Today’s review is of chocolate mushroom cookies that I picked up in China. The brand name literally translates to “Good Friend”, but I labeled them “Little Friend’s Chocolate Mushrooms” when I uploaded the photos, so I’m not sure which is technically correct.

They were all over the place in Shanghai, so I bet that they may be available in local Asian groceries/Chinatowns.

At any rate, these were definitely a cute confection. They were little mushrooms comprised of a butter cookie stem with a solid, fluted chocolate cap.

The cookie was nicely crunchy and very lightly, neutrally flavored. The cap in the pure chocolate version was milk. The chocolate was snappy with a lightly sweet and mild cocoa flavor, and its melt was creamy but not thick.

(They may look bloomed in the above photo, but they were actually just a little dusty/scratched from being all in a jumble together.)

While these chocolate mushrooms were fine, they were too mildly flavored and boring for me. I think Meiji’s Chocorooms are way better – Meiji’s version’s flavors are more intense, which makes the mushrooms addictive.

I’ve actually bought several boxes of Chocorooms, but I always eat them before I get around to photographing them for review. I was happy to share the remainder of the Little Friend’s Chocolate Mushrooms with friends, who eagerly finished them. They get an O.

Little Friend’s also comes in a Redbean (sic) flavor, where the cap is chocolate plus red beans. I guess because it’s red beans, the mascot is a girl in pink instead of a boy in blue, though the chocolate cap atop her pink curls kind of makes her look like she’s in drag.

In China, red beans and green peas are common dessert additives. I’m not sure why, as I hate their mushy grittiness, and I feel that the vegetal earthy flavors of beans and peas don’t belong in dessert, but it’s just a cultural thing, I guess.

I found the red bean flavored mushrooms to be unpalatable. The caps tasted of the strong, savory earthiness of refried beans plus the blandly sweet cocoa of the chocolate, which to me just does not mix.

But my vegetarian roommate from New Orleans eats a lot of red beans, and she adored the red bean mushrooms, enough to polish off the box. So who knows – you may not feel like these warrant the that I’m giving them.

Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, O, review | Comments Off on Little Friend’s Mushrooms – Chocolate and Redbean Chocolate

Sour Power Sortz

January 19th, 2011 by Rosa

These Sour Power Sortz were included in my NCA shipment full of free candy samples. Yes, that shipment was over a year agoCandy keeps pretty well, especially in chilly Rochester, and I have a Sisyphean supply of it.

It was billed as “candy straws in 4 different flavors. Strawberry, Apple/Peach, Raspberry/Grape, & Tutti Frutti.”

The straws were stiff, plasticky tubes with long grooves down the sides. All were sprinkled with sugar granules that were brightly sweet and lightly sour.

Red was maybe strawberry? It sorted of tasted like red fruit.

Purple was the Raspberry/Grape. It had a strong seediness with the plastic tinge of red Twizzlers.

Yellow was sweet with just a hint of pear, followed by a plasticky bite. Orange just tastes sweet and plasticky. I have no clue which of these two is supposed to be Tutti Frutti and which is Apple/Peach.

All were too wheaty and plastic-tasting to be palatable. A definite . I’d rather have Sour Punch Straws, which at least have some discernible flavors.

Category: --, chewy, review, sour | 2 Comments »

Super Mario 3-Dees Gummies

January 3rd, 2011 by Rosa

Happy 2011! Hope y’all had a restful holiday season. Mine was great. And now, back to work! On with the review…

I love Au’some’s fruit strings and nugget treats (I’ve always eaten them before I could get around to properly reviewing them), so I was excited to try these Super Mario 3-Dees Gummies, also by Au’some.

My pack was a like a theater box – paperboard, with the gummis wrapped in two clear cellophane packs of 5 each. They come in Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Mario, and Yoshi. All were well-formed; even DK’s tie was crystal clear.

They also come in four flavors: mixed berries, orange, watermelon, strawberry. The characters don’t correspond with the flavors, and my flavor distribution was rather uneven (I only got 1 strawberry).

All had a stiff chew with no stickiness. It reminded me of an extra stiff gelatin: a slight bit of jiggle that instantly yields to the teeth.

Green was watermelon. It was sweet with a plasticky undertone and a very artificial fruit flavor.

Blue was mixed berries. It had a bitey fruit punch flavor and also carried a strong plasticky undertone.

Yellow-orange was orange. It started with a zesty citrus bite and finished on a lightly aspartame/artificial sweetener note. Still, it was my favorite of the bunch.

Pink was strawberry. It had a sweet, floral taste and clean, clear flavor. It had the best flavor profile, but I’m not a huge fan of red fruit flavored candy.

Orange and strawberry get Os. Unfortunately, the plastic notes in mixed berries and watermelon were pretty off-putting, earning them s.

Category: --, gummi/gummy, O, review | 5 Comments »

Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews

September 29th, 2010 by Rosa

These Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews were free samples, courtesy of the folks at Candy Central.

I’m super familiar with their hard candies and lollipops, and I’ve even had their fruit chew-filled lollipops, but this was the first time that I’ve had just the fruit chews.

They came in four flavors: cherry, watermelon, green apple, and blue raspberry. All were individually wrapped in colored paper. Not all of them unwrapped cleanly – sometimes bits of paper clung to the candies.

They were soft and extremely chewy, almost taffy-like. And they were extremely prone to sticking in the nooks and crannies of my teeth as they neared the end of their chew.

Cherry was red. It initially tasted of plasticky and papery overtones before yielding to a bright, fruity sweetness. It didn’t make me think cherry, and the plastic overtones were really off-putting.

Watermelon was pink. It tasted quite true to watermelon flavored Jolly Rancher hard candies. It was bright and sour, with a tinge of almost-citrus.

Green apple was a neon lime-green. It too, tasted just like its hard candy counterpart. There was a faint petrol hint to the flavor, but it mostly tasted of a nice candied green apple favor with a tinge of sourness.

Finally, blue raspberry was a bright, not-found-in-nature blue. For no conceivable reason other than that candymakers decided that candy raspberries should be blue.

It had a strong seedy olfactory bite that I hate in the hard candy version of raspberry Jolly Ranches. There was a solid, nearly bitter bite to the finish that rendered me unable to finish the chew.

I enjoyed the green apple and watermelon but didn’t care for cherry or blue raspberry. I much prefer Starburst, which have a stiffer chew and better flavors. A for the blue raspberry and cherry. O for the other two.

Category: --, chewy, O, review | 2 Comments »

Goldkenn – Swiss Gold Praliné

September 20th, 2010 by Rosa

This gold bar of a praliné was in my free Sweets and Snacks Expo goodie bag, courtesy of the NCA. It’s hard to tell what its proper name is from the external packaging – the embossed Goldkenn logo is rather blurry.

The single bar was actually comprised of two smaller bars. The smaller bars were individually wrapped in shiny gold paper, which was adorned with the Goldkenn name and tiny Swiss flags.

The mini bars were thick and soft milk chocolate rectangles. A few thinly sliced almonds were scattered horizontally throughout the bar, making them a visually interesting addition.

The almond slivers brought a pronounced nuttiness to the chocolate. The chocolate itself had a faint fruitiness to its flavor, but it mostly just tasted of extreme sugar.

Alas, there were no dairy or caramel notes. It just tasted way too sweet and unpleasantly cloying.

While this treat was visually stunning, I didn’t find its flavor to be much to crow about. It gets a for being too overly sweet, putting it solidly in the “meh” and “merits no praise” category.

Category: --, chocolate, European, nuts, review | 3 Comments »

Zitner’s Butter Krak

September 13th, 2010 by Rosa

I got this Butter Krak confection from my friend Laurel. I don’t remember where she bought it. I think she mostly bought it because the name’s hilarious.

Neither the wrapper nor the name gave much indication as to exactly what this was. The ingredients list did list “cocoanut”. Typo or purposeful pun?

It turned out to be a dark chocolate log filled with a coconut and vanilla butter cream.

The dark chocolate that made up the shell had bits of coconut mixed in. It was pretty good on its own: a decent depth of chocolate flavor with a sweetly nutty finish.

Unfortunately for the dark chocolate shell, the center filling was a nuclear sugar bomb. It was so sweet that it burned my throat.

The white filling was basically a butter cream with bits of coconut mixed in. It had a dry, pasty, grainy texture with some chewy coconut flakes mixed in.

There was some nice coconut flavor hidden in there, but the balance was totally wrong. The cloy of the filling totally overwhelmed everything from the coconut to the chocolate shell.

I’m glad Laurel bought this for me. I did eat the whole thing over several sessions and with liberal quantities of water to wash it down, but it’s just too sweet. A .

If you want a second opinion, Candy Addict reviewed this a few years ago.

Category: --, chocolate, coconut, received as gift, review | 5 Comments »