Archive for the 'chocolate' Category

Kit Kat Minis

June 12th, 2013 by Rosa

One of the big things at Sweets and Snacks last month was miniaturized versions of larger treats. These mini versions were different from fun-sized candy bars that you see around holidays. Instead, they were unwrapped and packaged loosely in a larger bag.

The Hershey’s booth was passing out free samples of King Sized bags of Kit Kat Minis. In the rest of the world, Nestle makes Kit Kats; in the U.S., they’re made by Hershey’s.

By my guess, it took about 4 Kit Kat Minis to equal one Kit Kat finger. Each little mini was stamped with the Kit Kat logo.

They tasted just like regular Kit Kats, only with a higher chocolate to crispy wafer ratio. The milk chocolate was uber sweet with a sour tinge to the finish – very Hershey’s in flavor.

The crispy wafer centers added a pleasant crunch and helped mitigate the super sweetness of the chocolate. I used to love Kit Kats as a kid, but they’re now too sweet for me (Kit Kat Darks are better in my book).

If you like regular Kit Kats, these should be a buy for you – unless you have portion control problems. The unwrapped format makes them easily poppable! An O.

Category: chocolate, cookie, Hershey's, O, review | No Comments »

Ritter Sport – Coconut

June 7th, 2013 by Rosa

Today is the 4th of 4 new Ritter Sports that I got as free samples from Euro-American Brands at Sweets and Snacks. The Coconut was described on the wrapper as “with tropical coconut flakes in a coconut and milk filling.”

This was a standard 16-squared filled Ritter – a milk chocolate shell with a textured white coconut filling. The milk chocolate was the usual Ritter fare, sweet with dusky caramel notes, softly pliable, and thickly melting.

The coconut flakes were tiny and lightly crunchy. They added a great grit and a sweetly nutty coconut flavor with a floral undertone. The rest of the filling was sweet with the dairy notes of a fresh buttercream.

I found this Ritter to be delicious. It was, however, quite rich, so that a square or two was enough to satisfy. An OM.

I really enjoyed the Ritter Sports that I nabbed at the Expo, and I can’t wait to see them on the shelves here in the U.S. Especially the Cocoa Mousse one!

Category: chocolate, coconut, European, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 2 Comments »

Ritter Sport – Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73%

June 5th, 2013 by Rosa

Here’s the 3rd of 4 new Ritter Sport samples from Euro-American Brands that I got at Sweets and Snacks. Monday’s Cocoa Mousse broke the mold by featuring 9 squares instead of 16. This Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73% does the same…

but in the opposite direction. It features a whopping 36 itty-bitty squares, each stamped with a miniaturized version of the Ritter Sport logo on its teeny top. The square mountains were solid chocolate of the 73% cacao variety.

The cubes were dense and thick to bite into. The dark chocolate tasted dense as well. I found it earthy and even a bit muddy with a deep Dutched cocoa flavor.

I found this to be a fun departure from the usual Ritter Sports, but to be honest, I mostly love Ritter Sports for their delicious fillings. Ritter’s dark chocolate was nice enough, but it wasn’t as special as other brands of dark chocolate that have more flavor complexity. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 1 Comment »

Ritter Sport – Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Mousse

June 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

Last Friday, I reviewed the Limited Edition Ritter Sport Raspberry and Cranberry Yogurt, one of the 4 Ritter Sport samples that I got from Euro-American Brands at Sweets and Snacks. This week, I’ll cover the other three, for a delicious Ritter Sporty week!

First up, the Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Mousse, a new Ritter bar that I’m hoping will work its way into permanent U.S. distribution. It was revolutionary because, unlike the regular 16 square Ritter, it took the same total area and subdivided it into 9 larger squares.

That change was made to leave the cocoa mousse, or “fine whipped cocoa creme”, more room to be fluffy. As you can see, the inside of each of 9 squares was filled with a dark chocolate filling. It made for a lovely visual contrast against the lighter brown of the milk chocolate shell.

The cocoa mousse filling wasn’t noticeably fluffy in the same way that real mousse is, but it was definitely not solid. Instead, it was something in between the two – more airy than solid chocolate but firmer than real mousse.

The milk chocolate shell was thick and creamy with a caramelly sweetness. The cocoa mousse in the center had an incredibly deep cocoa intensity. It tasted fudgey with a bittersweet edge.

I absolutely adored the incredible chocolate intensity of this bar. It’s a shame that it had 9 squares instead of 16, as mine is now nearly half gone. A ZOMG!

 

Category: chocolate, European, review, Ritter Sport, ZOMG! | 2 Comments »

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 | No Comments »

Madécasse Chocolate – Sea Salt & Nibs

May 17th, 2013 by Rosa

On Wednesday, I covered Madécasse Chocolate‘s Pink Pepper & Citrus bar. They make bean-to-bar chocolate in Madagascar, which, in addition to paying their cocoa farmers a fair price, generates 4 times the impact of Fair Trade.

Today, I’m writing up their Sea Salt & Nibs bar, which brags that it was Best in Show in the Paris Salon du Chocolat. As far as I’m concerned, it was a well-deserved award.

The Sea Salt & Nibs was “63% cocoa, crunchy, & a touch of salt”, with 2/4 dots on Madécasse Chocolate’s intensity scale. It was formed in the same mold as the Pink Pepper & Citrus bar, except its back was covered in tiny bits of cacao nib.

The chocolate had a softish bite with a light crunch from the nibs. They added a great cocoa depth without any of the bitter astringency that sometimes comes with cacao nibs.

The chocolate was intensely flavored. It started off mellow with a caramel cocoa depth, then took on powerfully bright citrus and cherry notes.

Every once in a while, I caught a crunchy crystal of sea salt. The salt brought a brief flash of saltiness while highlighting the fruity notes in the chocolate.

This was another tremendous bar from Madécasse. As corny as it sounds, every bite took me on a flavor adventure.

I am 100% sold on this brand and will be buying more bars the next time I’m at Whole Foods. A ZOMG!

 

Category: chocolate, fair trade, review, ZOMG! | No Comments »

Madécasse Chocolate – Pink Pepper & Citrus

May 15th, 2013 by Rosa

Madécasse Chocolate is a new company to me. They’re “bean-to-bar in Madagascar” and, though they’re not Fair Trade certified (probably due to the expense), they claim that their business practices generate 4 times the impact of fair trade cocoa.

Pink Pepper & Citrus was 63% cocoa, pink pepper, & combava fruit. Combava fruit sounds super exotic, but I think it’s just another name for Kaffir Lime (still exotic, but slightly more familiar sounding).

The bar was prettily molded to highlight that it was made in Madagascar. It broke easily along its scores, but its texture was soft, with a matte mouthfeel.

This bar was astoundingly complex. I didn’t have to close my eyes or try too hard to really focus on the flavors; they came out swinging.

It started off with a deep earthiness, then yielded to a bright, citrusy fruitiness with an undertone of pepper’s just-shy-of-acrid essence (but not its heat). All this for only 2/4 dots of intensity on Madécasse Chocolate’s scale?

I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate in my day, and it’s rare to find bars that pack so much flavor complexity and just so much flavor, period. A ZOMG!

Stay tuned til Friday, when I cover Madécasse Chcoolate’s “Best in Show” winning Sea Sat & Nibs bar!

Category: chocolate, fair trade, review, ZOMG! | 1 Comment »

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 »

Guest post: Ritter Sport à la Crema Catalana

May 8th, 2013 by Neil

Here’s another guest post from ex-pat friend Neil! ~Rosa

Late on a Friday night at a German supermarket, I discovered a new Ritter Sport flavor I hadn’t even seen advertised yet: the Ritter Sport à la Crema Catalana.

I spied something like a crème brûlée on the package and my heart skipped a beat. I bought two, knowing I’d devour the first and have to review it properly later.

It is the standard Ritter Sport size and shape. The bar breaks pretty much as expected between the squares.

What an intense flavor experience this is! This is one of the sweetest candies I’ve had. The chocolate tastes almost like an afterthought to the bold filling.

While both are creamy and blend together, the filling at first has a little more heft to it. The sweetness is almost too much to handle, and you can taste the intensity of the filling’s contribution to this if you even just briefly hold a square in your mouth before chewing it.

This filling flavor was not what I expected, not a standard crème brûlée. It’s almost more like the filling of a Cadbury Creme Egg, though certainly more refined.

It turns out that a crema catalana is a different dish than the usual “cb”, as I call it, so the discrepancy between my expectation and experience makes more sense.

I recommend Ritter Sport fans seek this out for its novelty value and any super-sweet-tooth types as well. I wanted to love love love it, but the nearly overwhelming flavors drop it back a bit, so this is an OM for me.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, OM, Ritter Sport | 1 Comment »

Guest post: Hema Caramel & Biscuit Candybar Mini

May 6th, 2013 by Neil

Here’s another guest post from ex-pat friend Neil! ~Rosa

A staple of Dutch towns is the HEMA department store. I dither on its American equivalent. K-Mart? Target? Everything there is their own brand, from clothing to sausage to the carpet cleaner.

Often, when you ask a Dutch person “Where would I buy a…”, the answer is “HEMA”. I discovered recently that they have candies I’m curious about. To that end, I bought a huge bag of mini caramel & biscuit bars.

Each bar is about 3 inches long. The form is your basic, chocolate-covered candy bar. It turns out it is tough to cleanly eat these.

[Note from Rosa: Do these individually wrapped chocolate bars remind anyone else of wrapped tampons?]

The chocolate flakes fall, the biscuit crumbs drop, and the caramel threads stretch. This mess is the least of the bar’s issues.

The chocolate taste simultaneously involves acidity and salt. The caramel falls flat, flavorwise. And the biscuit is there for just texture, it seems.

My officemate may have put it best when saying that this is trying to be a Twix, and failing miserably. They’ve become an office snack for when I’m desperate for sugar but not discriminating on any other level. These rate a .

Category: --, caramel, chocolate, cookie, European, guest post, review | 2 Comments »