October 12th, 2011 by Rosa
Sanders Fine Chocolates was not a brand that I was previously familiar with. I was in the Duke Hospital getting a prescription filled and saw several displays of Sanders chocolates in the hospital gift shop. Even better, I saw that they were being sold in single servings, perfect for a candy blogger!
I picked up a Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, a Peanut Butter Crispies, and a Milk Chocolate Pecan Titan. I’ll review the former today, and the latter two on Friday.
The Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel (bottom left corner of below photo) was quite pretty out of the wrapper, with the bright sea salt crystals contrasting against the well-tempered milk chocolate.
The caramel, however, wasn’t quite as photogenic as it was on the wrapper. I didn’t get the enviably gorgeous pull that was depicted.
The caramel tasted great, though. It was creamy and sweet, cool and buttery. It didn’t ooze when I bit into the chocolate, but it got stickier as I chewed it and it warmed in my mouth.
The chocolate was standard but added a nice contrast to the caramel. Its flavor was really punched up by the thick salt crystals.
All in all, this was a great treat in a small, unassuming package and tasted just as good as sea salt caramels that cost twice as much (or more). An OMG.
Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, review |
1 Comment »
September 30th, 2011 by Rosa
You can always count on Vosges to come up with something unique and intriguing. This Blood Orange Caramel Bar boasts hibiscus flowers, blood orange caramel, Campari, and dark chocolate (70% cacao).
This bar was comprised of a thin, chocolate shell filled with a liquid, limpidly oozing caramel. All of the flavorings resided in the caramel rather than in the chocolate.
The chococolate itself was quite fabulous. It had lovely, dusky cocoa notes, like chocolate distilled to its essence. The texture of the chocolate was exquisite as well – the melt was velvety smooth.
I’ve never been big on flower-flavored things, so I was feeling iffy about the hibiscus flowers. Fortunately for my taste, I couldn’t really detect their presence in the caramel.
Instead, the caramel tasted strongly of orange zest. It tasted like orange oil smells. There was a strong bitterness as well, which I attributed to the addition of the Campari.
The caramel had a brightly sweet finish, so sweet that it made my throat burn. For me, that was the only downside to the bar.
Otherwise, it was a nicely complex take on the usual orange and chocolate combination. An OM.
Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, review, Vosges |
2 Comments »
September 26th, 2011 by Rosa
These Cranberry Bog Frogs have been lurking in my candy stash for a while now. I know I received them as a gift from someone, but alas, I can’t remember who gave them to me. If it was you, thanks!
The box calls them “sweetened dried cranberries and roasted cashews smothered with rich caramel and premium milk chocolate.” They sounded like a New England-y twist on caramel turtles. Perhaps hence the aquatic animal name?
There were three Frogs in my pack. Each was pleasantly starfish-lumpy shaped and decorated with a single dried cranberry. It had a few too many appendages to resemble a frog though – unless it’s the “WARNING! Pollution here!” kind of frog.
The milk chocolate coating was quite nice, with light hints of cocoa and malt. The caramel inside was sweet and creamy with a bit of butteriness. It was just sticky enough to prolong its chew and stuck to my teeth a bit.
The cashews added a bit of crunch, but, as they’re a fairly mild nut, their flavor contribution was minimal. The cranberries were great and added a vibrancy that brightened and highlighted the treat.
I thought these were a great mix of textures and flavors, and the addition of the cranberry was a nice, out of the ordinary twist.
I give them an OM, but with one caveat: there was a $3 price sticker on the box. I don’t think they were $1/Frog good, but as an “I was traveling to cranberry country and thought of you” gift, you could easily do worse!
Category: caramel, chocolate, nuts, OM, received as gift, review |
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September 9th, 2011 by Rosa
I believe I received this Torku Nugamel as a free sample from the NCA (my post-move pared down candy stash is still ridiculously large. I have not done my best in tracking its origins). I have a few other random Torku bars in my stash, one of which I’ve already reviewed.
It looked absolutely luscious on the wrapper, with its ooze of caramel seeping out. I don’t read Turkish, but I assume the wrapper promised chocolate, caramel, and nougat.
Alas, the caramel was too much like that of the wrapper – mine had completely seeped (or been squished) out in transit and somehow nearly disappeared from the actual candy bar, though some remained stuck to the wrapper. Perhaps the caramel had become absorbed by the nougat?
That nougat was dense, much more so than that of a 3 Musketeers or even a Milky Way. It was soft but had a large grain to it as it melted.
The nougat had a nice maltiness to it, but it was overwhelmingly sweet. I wonder if the disappearing caramel played a part in the sugar bomb-ness.
The chocolate coating was mild and added a slight chocolate finish. I could detect a hint of sweet caramel scorchiness, but it was overwhelmed by the overall sweetness of the bar. On its own (licked off the wrapper), the caramel had a nicely light burnt taste, though it was a little grainy.
While I enjoyed the malt flavor of the nougat and the edge on the caramel, it was just too sweet for me. An O.
Category: caramel, chocolate, European, nougat, O, review |
2 Comments »
June 22nd, 2011 by Rosa
I found these Cadbury Choclairs in the Chinese equivalent of a mini-mart. I didn’t know exactly what to expect – based on the packaging, I thought that they would be blueberry-flavored chocolate.
Instead, they turned out to be little caramels with a blueberry flavored center. It looks like I wound up with the blueberry version of Neil’s Cadbury hazelnut treat.
The caramels were soft and chewy, with a texture similar to that of Starbursts, only grainier and not quite as sticky. The caramel flavor was rather boring, just generically sweet with a one-dimensional caramel flavor.
The center filling was where it went all wrong for me. It tasted weirdly artificial with dark plummy undertones that really didn’t mesh with the caramel at all.
In fact, the combination was downright off-putting. A –.
Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), Cadbury, caramel, review |
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June 13th, 2011 by Rosa
Last week, I reviewed 2 of 3 Chuao ChocoPods that I’d picked out at Beacon Hill Chocolates. Today, I’ll review the third, the Picante.
The Picante was described as “spicy cabernet caramel”. The other two ChocoPods that I had tried were solid chocolate, so I was surprised when this one oozed liquid caramel when I tried to snap it.
Alas, I did not get a photo of that glorious ooze. I ate it instead. Sometimes candy deliciousness overwhelms my blogging instincts, I guess.
The caramel was lightly sweet and fruity with plummy flavors. A slight, tingly burn was left in its wake. That caramel was intoxicating with its complexity. If only cabernet tasted that good!
The dark chocolate shell was relatively soft and had a velvety matte melt with a deep cocoa flavor. It was a great match for the flowing caramel and pretty delicious on its own. But really, the caramel was the star here.
All in all, a unique and delicious treat. A ZOMG!
Category: caramel, chocolate, received as gift, review, ZOMG! |
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June 8th, 2011 by Rosa
My boyfriend recently treated me to a lovely box of truffles from Beacon Hill Chocolates (hereafter referred to as BHC). I will review 2 of them today and 3 more on Friday.
BHC doesn’t make their own truffles. Instead, they sell truffles made by other chocolatiers.
Alas, they don’t credit the chocolatiers in their shop or online store. I recognized some by Moonstruck and Michel Cluizel. If y’all know the original makers of the truffles that I’m about to review, please do leave a comment!
First up is the big rectangular dark chocolate truffle with its sprinkle of coarse salt. It was an Olive Oil and Sea Salt truffle, described by BHC as, “Dark chocolate ganache infused with a touch of olive oil and topped with sea salt. A sweet and savory favorite.”
Its ganache was smooth and creamy, with an incredibly satisfying velvety texture. It was deep and dark and dusky, while the salt added flashes of bright sour/salty flavor.
This truffle was simultaneously simple and complex. I could disappear into its depth for days. An OMG.
Gingerbread Caramel was a cute little milk chocolate windmill. BHC describes it as, “Soft caramel flavored with a blend of spices and roasted almonds, inside a milk chocolate windmill shell.”
The milk chocolate shell looked rather grainy but had a surprisingly smooth melt. The caramel filling was thickly runny.
It first tasted of gingerbread spices, mostly clove with a hint of ginger. The initial spice notes then gave way to the lovely complexity of burnt sugar.
There was a slight grit to the caramel, which I thought was tiny bits of spices. Now that I’ve read the BHC description, I bet those were actually tiny bits of almond.
This was a fine and tasty treat but just a skotch on the overly sweet side. An OM.
Come back on Friday for the rest!
Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, received as gift, review |
4 Comments »
May 11th, 2011 by Rosa
The Oh Henry bar is an old school classic that’s been around since the 1920′s. In my experience, they’re pretty low profile – I see them in the candy aisle and in occasional fun size mixes, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen advertisements for them.
They were labelled as “peanutty, caramel, fudge bars in milk chocolate.” There were two bars in the package.
The bars were solid, dense little logs. The fudge and caramel insides were chewy but not sticky and quite grainy. That combination of caramel-flavored fudge packed a powerful sugar rush wallop.
Half peanuts dispersed throughout the bar added a light crunch to the texture and a strong nuttiness that did little to dispel the sweetness. The chocolate had a mild cocoa flavor that was totally overwhelmed by the fudge center.
While the make-up of the bar sounded promising, it was entirely too sweet for my taste. A glass of milk helped with the cloying sweetness, so an O – but it just barely escaped getting a — rating.
Category: caramel, chocolate, Nestle, nuts, O, review |
1 Comment »
April 18th, 2011 by Rosa
Twix Coconut is the newest limited edition offering from the folks at Mars. It’s comprised of “creamy milk chocolate, crunchy cookie, [and] coconut flavored caramel.”
Mine came as a free sample in a press pack inside a plastic coconut and with a tiny USB that I first thought was a fun-sized regular Twix bar. Hooray for fun candy swag!
The Twix Coconut didn’t look or smell any different from a regular Twix bar. The chocolate and cookie were the usual Twix fare, mildly sweet for the former and pleasantly dry, crunchy, and buttery for the latter.
The caramel was where the difference lay. It had overtones of artificial coconuttiness. The flavor was nicely floral and nutty, but it tasted rather fake – more sunscreen than actual coconut.
I enjoyed the combination of the biscuit and the chewy, sweet, nutty caramel, but it wasn’t quite genuinely nutty enough to push it to the next level. I’m glad that I got to try this, but Twix Java is still my favorite twist on Twix. An O.
Update: Twix has offered to give one lucky reader a Twix Coconut to try for him or herself. Leave a comment about which Limited Edition Twix is your favorite or about what flavor of Twix you’d like to see by 11:59 PM EST, Sunday, April 24th. U.S. readers only please. One commenter will be randomly selected to win.
Please leave a valid email address in the Mail field, NOT in the body of your comment (unless you’re not afraid of spammers) so that I can contact you if you win.
Edit: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Barbara!
Category: caramel, chocolate, coconut, cookie, giveaway, Mars, O, review |
19 Comments »
April 11th, 2011 by Rosa
This Cadbury Curly Wurly came to me via my friend Neil, who’s currently living and working in the Netherlands. I’d had one before during my summer in England, but it somehow never made it onto the blog.
I do believe that the Curly Wurly is named after its crazy loopy shape. It’s comprised of strands of intertwining caramel all covered in milk chocolate.
Alas, mine was a bit broken by the time it made it to me, but that didn’t affect the taste at all – just the Curly Wurly-ness.
The caramel was quite chewy and sticky – as I chomped through the bar, it managed to wind its way into all the nooks and crannies of my teeth. It tasted sweet and butterscotchy.
The chocolate layer was quite thin. It tasted sweet and slightly sour with a light malt flavor and a mild cocoa-ness.
Despite the extra-stickiness of the caramel, I enjoyed the pure caramel + chocolate combination. For a mass produced, check-out aisle-type bar, it was quite good! Taking price point into account, I’d say this deserves an OM.
Category: Cadbury, caramel, chocolate, European, OM, received as gift, review |
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