Archive for the 'review' Category

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

October 16th, 2014 by Rosa

It’s fall, and here in the U.S., that means pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING. Seriously, Trader Joe’s October Fearless Flyer is about 90% pumpkin stuff. One of their seasonal pumpkin products includes these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels.

The box described the caramels as “dark chocolate with a smooth pumpkin spiced caramel filling sprinkled with real Hawaiian sea salt.” Each shiny dark chocolate square was covered with a little squiggle of milk chocolate, then topped with a generous sprinkle of rust-colored sea salt.

That dark chocolate shell shattered as soon as I bit into the caramel, revealing a limpid viscous caramel center. The chocolate had a thick melt and lots of caramel notes.

The smooth caramel looked liquid but didn’t quite flow. It had a slight grain to the texture and a strong pumpkin spice flavor that was nutmeg dominant. Though the caramel was sweet, it was nicely countered by the saltiness of the crystals it was topped with.

These were tasty, but I don’t think they needed the extra pumpkin spice hit. If you’re a pumpkin spice fiend, however, you’ll love these. An OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, review, Trader Joe's | Comments Off

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups

October 13th, 2014 by Rosa

When I saw The Impulsive Buy‘s “Spotted On Shelves” feature on these Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups, I had to zip out to Trader Joe’s and get some to try for myself. I had previously loved the chocolate bar version of these, so I was excited to try them in cup form.

The cookie butter cups came in a plastic tub of about 27 cups (I only have an approximate count because I’m not sure how many cups my boyfriend snuck after I opened the tub). Each was individually wrapped in gold foil, which was good. I needed something to slow me down so I wouldn’t plow through them all at once.

The dark chocolate shell was stiff and of an uneven thickness around the edges. It melted smoothly and fattily in my mouth, with a barely sweet dark chocolate duskiness to the flavor.

The speculoos cookie butter paste in the center was dry and lightly cinnamony. It took, had just a hint of sweetness with a strong oat-y cookie flavor. It tasted more like the imported speculoos cookies I bought once, rather than like Biscoff’s or Trader Joe’s sweeter, more crumbly version.

I loved these. They weren’t too sweet and had lots of flavor complexity, with the cinnamon oatiness playing off the dark chocolate. I’d take them over a traditional peanut butter cup any day. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, cookie, OMG, review, Trader Joe's | Comments Off

Shangri La Tea Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Chamomile Mint and Dark Chocolate Black Currant

October 2nd, 2014 by Rosa

Shangri La is a tea company that makes tea-flavored chocolate, of which I got free samples to review. I covered the Earl Grey and Masala Chai on Tuesday, and today, I’m reviewing the remaining two bars: Chamomile Mint and Black Currant.

Chamomile Mint had the same 38% milk chocolate base as the Earl Grey and Masala Chai. Its back was a riot of different tea leaves and flower bits: chamomile, licorice, spearmint, orange peel, and peppermint.

The milk chocolate took on an entirely different flavor profile with this different tea blend, and the base milk chocolate’s caramel notes were lost. Instead, it tasted minty, with some of the sharp bitterness of anise and some floral notes from the chamomile and orange peel.

While I appreciated the flavor complexity, the texture was a bit off for me, as the larger flower bits and other crunchy parts didn’t melt away, and I had to spit them out. Like the Masala Chai, this gets a demotion to an O because of the texture.

Black Currant was the only one of the set that had a dark chocolate base, a 66% cacao. It was flavored with black tea and “natural flavor”, which gave it a brightly fruity scent.

The dark chocolate snapped easily and sharply. It didn’t melt with any noticeable texture so much as just disappeared, leaving behind the crunchy tea leaves.

The “natural flavor’ added a noticeable dark red berry fruitiness, while the tea leaves made the chocolate finish with a noticeable astringency. I liked the flavor but didn’t like the lingering dryness. An O as well.

I imagine these would be great gifts for tea-drinkers. If only tea tasted as good as these chocolate bars!

Stay tuned tomorrow for something fun about these Shangri La bars!

Category: chocolate, O, review | Comments Off

Shangri La Tea Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Earl Grey and Masala Chai

September 30th, 2014 by Rosa

Shangri La is a tea company that’s now making inroads into tea-flavored chocolate. They sent me free samples of their line-up to review. I’ll cover the Earl Grey and Masala Chai today, and the Black Currant and Chamomile Mint on Thursday.

Both the Early Grey and Masala Chai were made with a 38% cacao milk chocolate base. The 0.85 oz squares were imprinted with the word Organic, even though the packaging doesn’t note organic certification or organic ingredients anywhere. Not sure what’s up with that…

The back of the Earl Grey bar was flecked with black tea leaves. It smelled earthy and woodsy.

The milk chocolate broke easily with a soft snap. It melted in my mouth with a velvety, matte texture. The tea leaves had a dry crunch before they, too, melted away.

The milk chocolate base had lightly sweet caramel cocoa flavors, while the black tea and bergamot added a subtle woodsiness with a lightly floral finish that paired wonderfully with the chocolate. An OM.

The Masala Chai had a warm, spicy scent, thanks to its infusion of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom in addition to the black tea it contained. Cinnamon came through the strongest and paired well with the chocolate, though it also made it taste sweeter.

While I enjoyed the flavors of the Masala Chai, I had some problems with the texture. The black tea crunched and melted away, but there were also tooth-breaking bits of cinnamon bark that I had to spit out. An O because I don’t like having to pick chocolate bar leftovers out of my mouth.

More Shangri La reviews to come on Thursday, and something fun for you readers on Friday!

Category: chocolate, O, OM, review | Comments Off

Churchill’s Confectionery Carousel – Toffee and Vanilla Fudge

September 24th, 2014 by Rosa

Churchill’s Confectionery is family-run, London-based company that is now making inroads in the U.S. via shops like Williams Sonoma and Bloomingdale’s. They recently sent me a free sample of their Carousel tin filled with toffee and vanilla fudge.

The tin itself was beautiful: a round cylinder with a tented top and embossed with colourful (see what I did there) carousel horses. The tin held two bags of individually wrapped candies, one of round dairy toffees and another of rectangles of vanilla fudge.

The vanilla fudge squares were softy grainy and easy to bite through. They chewed up into a pleasant, pliable mush that melted in my mouth.

The fudge had a mellow, round, floral sweetness that finished with a hint of fruitiness. I usually dislike fudge because I find it too sweet, but I enjoyed these. An O.

The dairy toffee was firm, but I was able to bite through it cleanly. It had a sticky chew that left bits of toffee wedged in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

The flavor was sweet and buttery, with just an edge of burnt sugar deliciousness. I’m a sucker for British toffees, and while I prefer the deeper scorchy notes of Walker’s Treacle Toffee, this lighter toffee was good enough for an OM.

Category: caramel, European, O, OM, review, toffee | Comments Off

Peanut Hottie

August 29th, 2014 by Patty

Howdy! I’m Patty, a professor of Psychological Sciences at a small college in the midwest. Some important background information: I’m absolutely obsessed with peanut butter. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t keep any sort of nut butter in the house, or I’ll enter into a nut-butter-induced-fugue-state…within a few hours, the nut butter will have miraculously disappeared.

So I was particularly excited that Rosa gave me this opportunity to review a free sample of Peanut Hottie, a new hot peanut butter drink. The product is already available in the UK, and it will be hitting the US on September 7th.

Peanut Hottie is a powder that you dissolve into hot water…it’s that simple. When it launches in the US this fall, it will come in two flavors: peanut butter (what I sampled for this review), and peanut butter & chocolate. It’s made with real peanuts and is caffeine free.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

As soon as I opened the jar, I was hit with a sweet peanut-ish scent, really reminiscent of Nutter Butter cookies. The powder is fine-grained and off-white, and each jar of Peanut Hottie contains about 13 servings. The instructions recommended 4-5 heaping teaspoons of powder per mug of hot water, so I put 4 really heaping teaspoons in about 10 oz of hot water.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

The powder completely dissolved in a matter of seconds. There was no grittiness, and the texture of the drink was very smooth. It wasn’t heavy or creamy, and ended up having the consistency and color of tea with a little bit of milk in it.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

The drink definitely smelled and tasted like Nutter Butter cookies: nutty and sweet (no surprise there: sugar is the first ingredient). I imagine that the smell/taste might be a bit too sweet (and not salty enough) for some people, but I found it to be an enjoyable treat as a dessert drink or sweet snack.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

I saw some bloggers use Peanut Hottie powder in their baking, which made me want to explore some “off-label” uses for it. So I decided to try it in a vanilla-chocolate-peanut butter milkshake. It obviously has a completely different texture from peanut butter, but I thought it made a great flavoring for milkshakes or smoothies. It also worked well sprinkled over plain ice cream to give it a little bit of a nutty punch.

Peanut Hottie is almost definitely a “love it” or “hate it” product. It certainly does not have a natural peanut butter flavor or roasted nutty profile, but do most instant hot cocoa mixes taste exactly like chocolate bars? Heck no, and I’m okay with that.

Overall, I liked that my cup of Peanut Hottie was light and nutty, yet still gave me a satisfying dose of sweetness. It isn’t a liquid version of peanut butter, but it’s super convenient and seems to be pretty flexible as a sweet nut flavoring for other treats. I’d give it an OM for normal folks…but an OMG for my own nut-obsessed needs!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Peanut Hottie from the company to review, but all opinions are my own.

Category: guest post, not candy, OM, peanut butter, review | Comments Off

Haribo Bärchen-Pärchen

August 22nd, 2014 by Rosa

This is the second bag of Haribo gummies that I bought while in Switzerland. They caught my eye because I’ve never seen them in the U.S., and they had a giant Neu sticker on it, which made me think that they were, well, New.

Google translate tells me that Bärchen-Pärchen means Bear Couple. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it in English. The male-looking bear says he’s Sauer, and the female-looking bear says she’s Süss, which I took to mean that these bear couples are Sour and Sweet.

There were there different sets of bear couples: red/blue, orange/green, and yellow/purple. The firmly bouncy gummies were quite cute if you think that they look like bears that are holding hands.

They also looked like conjoined twins. In the case of the yellow/purple pair, the purple visibly leeched into the yellow, which made it look like the yellow bear was stealing the purple bear’s life-force.

Yellow was the Sour of its pair, a piquant lemon that was sweet, yet puckeringly tart. It made me salivate. Purple was Sweetly mellow and artificially grapey (thankfully without any unfortunate fake cough medicine allusions).

Orange was the Sour of orange/green, and it too, was puckeringly tart but with orangey undertones to the citrus. Green was candied green apple, with the flavor of apple juice.

Red (or pink if you held it up to the light) was the Sour of the red/blue pair. I think it was supposed to raspberry, as it had a bitey undertone to it, and it wasn’t as tart as the yellow and orange bears.

The blue half was sweetly fruity with an undertone of fresh blueberry to the flavor that developed as the chew progressed. I was surprised at how well this captured the flavor of real blueberries, as most blueberry-flavored candies just taste like sugar.

These were a fun twist on a classic treat. An OM.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, OM, review, sour | 1 Comment »

Haribo Orangina P!k

August 18th, 2014 by Rosa

Today and Friday, I’ll review some Haribo gummies that I bought while in Switzerland. First up is Orangina P!k. I know Orangina is a fizzy orange drink that’s available in Europe. No idea what the P!k means (and why it’s not a Pik).

At any rate, it’s pretty clear that these are supposed to be gummified soda bottles, though I think they also look like chicken drumsticks when turned to the side. They came in yellow, pink, and red (no orange, despite the name!).

The gummies were covered in sour sugar and had a wonderfully firm, sproingy chew. Red was tart to start from the sour sugar, then sweetly fruity. If I had to guess, I’d say it was a mild cherry or fruit punch flavor.

Pink was strawberry, maybe? Again, sweetly fruity, but with more floral notes that played off the tartness.

Yellow was citrusy. The color suggested yellow, but the flavor was mellow with no acidity or pithiness, so I think it was the classic orange flavor of Orangina.

I loved the strong fruity flavors and bouncy texture of these guys. They were just the right amount of tart. I wish I’d bought an additional bag, or three. OMG.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, OMG, review, sour | Comments Off

Lindt Passion Chocolat – Caramel & Fleur de Sel

August 11th, 2014 by Rosa

I’m lucky enough to have recently returned from a trip to Switzerland. We were mostly hiking the Alps, but I made sure to make some time to buy Swiss candies, including lots of chocolate.

First up, this fancy Lindt Passion Chocolat – Caramel & Fleur de Sel. It was described as “accord parfait du chocolat noir et du pur caramel,” which my rusty high school French translates as, “a perfect agreement between dark chocolate and pure caramel.”

The chocolate had a prettily artisanal look about it, with a little cellophane windowpane through which to view the bar. The top side was generously sprinkled with caramel and fat grains of sea salt, while the bottom was imprinted with the scripted Lindt logo.

The dark chocolate was creamy with a smooth and thick melt. It had a nice cocoa depth with a slight fruitiness that was highlighted by the occasional flash of salt.

The caramel bits were plentiful and brought a nice, clean crunchiness to the texture of the bar. They tasted sweet, with buttery toffee flavors that took on a slight toasted scorchiness as they melted away.

I found this to be a well-balanced treat that was surprisingly well-made for a mass-produced bar. An OMG.

Category: caramel, chocolate, European, Lindt, OMG, review | Comments Off

Alcove Chocolates – Brownie

July 28th, 2014 by Rosa

Last week, I covered Alcove Chocolatesmimosa, red velvet, fleur de sel, and fleur de pretzel chocolate bars. Today, I’ve got a rundown of their Brownie bar, another free sample from Alcove Chocolates.

My boyfriend loves brownies – he can easily pack away half a pan in one sitting – so he was super excited to try the Brownie bar. Alcove Chocolates describes it as, “dark milk chocolate blended with traditional fudge brownie,” which I took to mean that it would chocolate blended with chewy brownie bits.

Instead, the bits of brownie in the bar were dry and crunchy, so more like cookies or brownie brittle. You can see them in the pebbled back of the bar above.

The texture of the brownie bits made me think of that airy crunch you get from freeze dried fruit, or the little chocolate cookie balls you can get at some Fro-Yo places. They added a soft crunch to the texture of the bar, which snapped sharply but crunched softly.

I’m not sure how something can be both dark and milk chocolate. This guy definitely looked dark – and glossy and well-tempered.

At any rate, the chocolate had amazing depth of flavor. The dark chocolate tasted deep, with rich, fudgey notes, like the best hot fudge I’ve ever had (from The Parlour, of course).

The crunchy brownie bits only served to amplify the intensely rich chocolate wallop of this bar. I loved it, and my brownie connoisseur boyfriend did too. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, cookie, OMG, review | Comments Off