Archive for the 'OMG' Category

Zoë’s Chocolate Co – The Chocolate Collection

September 6th, 2013 by Rosa

I recently received free samples of some chocolates from Zoë”s Chocolate Co., a small artisan chocolate shop that’s only 6 years old. I got a pretty brown box, all tied up with a pink ribbon, that featured four truffles from their Chocolate Collection: Black Raspberry, Mediterranean Citrus, Apple Pie, and Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate Caramel.

Black Raspberry was “white chocolate ganache blended with locally grown preserved black raspberries and topped in a rich dark chocolate.” The square truffle was visually striking, with its magenta dried fruit topper and violet ganache.

That ganache was incredibly smooth. It tasted sweet and lightly fruity with mild berry notes, and it finished with cocoa flavors from the nice dark chocolate. The dried fruit chip was crystallized and added a flash of sweet and intense fruitiness to this understated truffle.

Mediterranean Citrus was described as “white chocolate ganache infused with a sweet Mediterranean citrus topped in dark chocolate.” Its ganache was also perfectly smooth and was a creamy white in color.

It tasted of orange oil rather than orange juice or zest. It was a great citrus pairing with the dark chocolate that coated it, even though it lacked any juiciness or zestiness.

Apple Pie was a caramel: “Fresh, local apples cooked to perfection with apple pie spices and combined with caramel and roasted pecans.” The beautiful dome held a jammy filling with tiny bits of apple suspended within it.

It tasted like cinnamon and, well, apple pie! I didn’t notice any specific pecan bits or flavor, though there was a bit of tannic bitterness to the finish that may have been due to the added nuts.

Finally, the one with a mouthful of a name, Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate Caramel, was “a bit of creamy milk chocolate … mixed with our liquid caramel and amplified to a delicious intensity.” The liquid caramel was smooth and limpid with an intense buttery sweetness.

The generous sprinkle of jagged sea salt was just right to set off the sweetness of the caramel and milk chocolate. I didn’t notice the addition of the pinot noir, but I still loved this caramel.

Zoë’s chocolates were gorgeous to behold and delicious to indulge in. I give the Pinot Noir Caramel an OMG, while the rest get OMs.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review, white chocolate | Comments Off

Escazú Goat’s Milk Single Origin Carenero Venezeula

August 19th, 2013 by Rosa

After my last experience with Escazú, I had to have more. Fortunately, there’s a great coffeeshop right by my gym that sells some of their line, so I nabbed this Escazuú bar with a mouthful of a moniker: Goat’s Milk Single Origin Carenero Venezuela.

Like the last bar, this was divided into 24 rectangles. This one easily and sharply snapped along its scores and melted with a matte mouthfeel.

The chocolate started off lightly sweet, then developed edgy caramel notes while also intensifying with a fruity, cherry sweetness.

The finish was absolutely incredible. It was slightly tangy and almost savory, I think because of the goat’s milk, but it didn’t have any of the unctuous funkiness that can sometimes accompany goat cheese.

That finish lingered for quite some time after the chocolate had melted away. I couldn’t get enough of this bar, as evidenced by the fact that it’s half gone. An OMG.

 

Category: chocolate, OMG, review, single origin | Comments Off

Chuao Popcorn Pop

August 5th, 2013 by Rosa

I got this Chuao Popcorn Pop mini chocolate bar as a free sample at their booth at Sweets and Snacks. I mentioned to the chef that I really liked their Firecracker Pod, and he handed me this, saying that I would love it.

He was right! It was described as being “inspired by that familiar flavor you love, with a surprising POP in milk chocolate.”

It started off with a salty hit of toasted popcorn flavor and crunch, then gave way to a popping sensation as the embedding popping candy exploded in my mouth, all while being set off by a smooth milk chocolate.

According to the ingredients list, the popcorn flavor came from corn chips and puffed amaranth. The corn chips gave the proper corny flavor, while the amaranth gave the textural feel of the fluffy white portions of popcorn.

It was fun how the crunchy grit of the “popcorn” seemed to turn into the popping sensations. It was a whimsical, well conceived, and well executed treat. An OMG.

 

Category: chocolate, OMG, review | Comments Off

Ritter Sport – Raspberry and Cranberry Yogurt (Limited Edition)

May 31st, 2013 by Rosa

Today is my first review of a product that I picked up at Sweets and Snacks. I’ve decided to start with the product I was most excited about trying: Ritter Sport‘s Raspberry and Cranberry Yogurt.

Why was I so excited about this particular bar? Let me refer you to my ode to the Ritter Sport Yogurt, which is my favorite Ritter and one of my favorite chocolate bars.

Raspberry and Cranberry in addition to yogurt sounded fun! Plus it was a Limited Edition bar, which dials up the specialness feeling, and it was a bar that I’ve never seen in the wild.

This was yet another visually pleasing bar from Ritter, with a speckled pink filling standing in bright contrast to the milk chocolate shell. My bar was quite pliable and bent quite a ways before it broke along its segments – probably due to a combination of the warm weather and softish-to-start milk chocolate.

The fruity filling was intensely flavored. Those speckles were actually crunchy little bits of freeze-dried berry, and biting into them yielded a flash of bright and tart berry flavor.

The fruit was real! After one square of the bar disappeared down my throat, a couple of raspberry seeds were left behind.

The chocolate here served as a sweet and dusky foil to the filling. It also provided a luxuriously thick melt that surrounded the creamy filling.

This bar was good. Not quite good enough to unseat the plain yogurt Ritter as my favorite, but still pretty darn good with its intense fruity tartness. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, European, limited edition, OMG, review, Ritter Sport, yogurt | Comments Off

Indi Chocolate

May 10th, 2013 by Rosa

When I was in Seattle for a conference a few weeks ago, I managed to slip away to Pike Place market one day for an extended lunch break. On my way out, I found this little hidden, family-owned chocolate shop called Indi Chocolate.

Indi Chocolate does bean to bar, but they also do bean to beauty product. I only review things that I can eat, so I picked up a couple of their prettily molded plain dark chocolate bars.

The ingredients couldn’t be simpler: Cocoa Beans, Cocoa Butter, Sugar. The chocolate snapped, but softly. It had no grit, but neither was it perfectly smooth – instead, it felt luxuriously velvety on my tongue.

The chocolate’s flavor was spectacular: lightly sweet with fruity berry notes and enough of an earthy, bittersweet undertone to keep things interesting. The finish was slightly astringent, but not overpoweringly so.

Indi Chocolate turned out to be a high quality treat with enough flavor complexity to keep me breaking off additional nibbles. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

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 | Comments Off

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 »

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 | Comments Off

Askinosie Single Origin Dark Chocolates

April 12th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought this selection of Askinosie Itty Bars at Antonelli’s, this great cheese shop in Austin. They were sort of ridiculously expensive, I think at least $1 per 7 gram bar, but they were a perfect size for a candy blogger!

Based on the full-sized chocolate bars on the Askinosie website, I think my Itty Bars were tiny versions of the single origin bars. I took my own tasting notes before I read anything about the bars.

70% Cortes, Honduras had a sharp, crisp snap. It started off lightly sweet, then took on a plummy fruitiness with a great intensity of flavor. The finish was slightly astringent.

70% San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador had a slightly dryer snap. It started off earthy, then mellowed out into a round sweetness that made me think of honey. Here, too, the finish was slightly astringent.

72% Tenende, Tanzania snapped easily but unevenly. Its flavor was not as clean or sweet as the others. Instead, it started off a little muddy, then took on a fruity brightness that just peeped out in near the end of the flavor profile.

Finally, 77% Davao, Philippines had a dry, clean break. It started off earthy with these woodsy undertones that played below a mildly sweet and bright top note that had an almost tart finish.

This was some goooood chocolate. I know it sounds pretentious to write about chocolate in such detail, but with these high quality bars, you really can taste all the different flavors.

The 77% Davao and the 70% San Jose Del Tambos were my favorite of the four, but I wouldn’t turn down any of these. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, OMG, review, single origin | Comments Off

Dark Roca (and other Rocas quick-hit)

April 10th, 2013 by Rosa

Last year at Sweets and Snacks, the Dark Roca won a Most Innovative New Product award. I picked up some samples of the Dark Roca and other Rocas, and like the Albanese Rainforest Gummi Frogs, I just found my tasting notes in an old notepad.

The Dark Roca (second from the left) was a dark version of the classic Almond Roca: a piece of chocolate almond toffee coated in dark chocolate and decorated with a few chocolate squiggles.

The chocolate toffee center was lightly sweet with a buttery finish. It cleaved cleanly but then got a bit chewy and stuck in my molars.

The whole thing had a great cocoa flavor, while whole almonds hidden inside added a lovely nuttiness. The dark chocolate that covered the toffee had a great deep dark chocolate duskiness.

I loved the cocoa depth of this treat – from the dark chocolate coating to the chocolate in the toffee, the whole thing was infused with a great cocoa depth. An OMG.

I also picked up Peppermint Roca (dark chocolate decorated with white stripes; lightly minty against the buttery toffee; an O), a Mocha Rocha (toffee studded with bits of coffee beans that gave it a strong, roasted coffee flavor, also an O), and Roca with different types of nuts (I think cashew and macadamia? Each tasty in their own right). The Dark Roca was easily my favorite of the bunch.

Category: chocolate, nuts, O, OMG, review, toffee | 1 Comment »