Archive for the 'mint' Category

Klondike, the Candy – Mint Chocolate Chip

July 31st, 2013 by Rosa

On Monday, I reviewed the new Klondike Caramel candy. Today, I’ll cover the other flavor that it comes in, Mint Chocolate Chip. Both flavors were free samples that I talked my way into at the Sweets and Snacks Expo back in May.

The Mint Chocolate Chip was described as “mint chocolate chip center covered in a dark chocolate flavored coating.” Like the Caramel, “chocolate flavored” coating means that the coating features palm kernel oil rather than cocoa butter, making it mockolate rather than real chocolate.

Semisweet chocolate, however, was next on the ingredient list after palm kernel oil. My guess is that the chocolate bits inside the mint chocolate chip filling are real. Honestly, why not just go real chocolate all the way?

The Mint Chocolate Chip Klondike candies didn’t travel as well as their caramel brethren. They got a bit squashed because their filling was softer.

That filling was an unnaturally bright shade of green – as you’d expect for Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream! The texture was like a fondant. It was very thick and solid, yet gave instantly when bitten into and melted in my mouth like buttercream frosting.

It was quite pepperminty and tasted so sweet that it burned my throat but also had a slightly bitter aftertaste. The chocolate bits inside the filling were few and far between (note how they’re missing in that cross section), and any true chocolate flavor they could have brought was pretty effectively masked by the intensity of the mint.

I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, but I didn’t particularly care for these. I wasn’t a fan of the texture of the filling, and I found the whole thing far too sweet. An .

 

Category: --, chocolate, mint, mockolate, review | No Comments »

After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins

April 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

My friends Emma and Jason recently took a vacation to London and brought me back a box of After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’d recall that I spent the summer of 2008 in the UK, during which I reviewed the regular After Eights.

The Mint Chocolate Thin version of the After Eights were much classier than the boxy cubes I’d had before. My 300 g box of thins had ~35 thins, each encased in their own delicate sleeves. The sleeves themselves were prettily decorated with the After Eight clock logo in gold.

The Thins were 4cm square and about 1/4 cm thick. Their bottoms were flat and lightly imprinted with “After Eight” in script, while the tops were wavy and rippled.

The thin dark chocolate shell broke easily to reveal the grainy squishy fondant within. The chocolate’s mild cocoa flavor was barely noticeable and was mostly overwhelmed by the strong mintiness of the fondant.

That mint was refreshing but not mentholated/cooling. It was just a hair too sweet – enough that it felt cloying when I ate two thins in a row.

I thought these were a lovely treat. They look elegant enough to put out for guests, which is pretty good for a mass-market chocolate item. You couldn’t say that about York Peppermint Patties, which is the closest thing to these we’ve got on the American market. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, mint, Nestle, OM, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

January 30th, 2013 by Rosa

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I end up spending more money than I mean to. They’re just so good at suckering me into making impulse buys, like this bag of their Dark Chocolate Honey Mints.

The bag was cutely decorated with drawings of bees and beehives. It also boasted that the Honey Mints had just three ingredients: honey, chocolate liquor, and oil of peppermint (and the potential for traces of milk as an allergen warning).

My 7 oz bag had 20 Honey Mints disks inside, each individually wrapped in shiny turquoise foil. They all smelled strongly minty with a sweet undertone.

Each disk was about an inch and a half in diameter. They had a lightly golden peppermint fondant center covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate.

The smooth fondant was effervescent and minty throughout. It started off with a bright burst of initial sweetness and finished with a slightly bitter astringency from the chocolate.

I think this treat could have benefitted from a little tweaking to that chocolate. It was slightly gritty, and the astringency was off-putting when I ate the Honey Mints slowly enough to notice it. A little cocoa butter in addition to the cocoa liquor would have helped with the texture.

Still, Trader Joe’s should be commended for a minimalist, fairly tasty treat that provides a less processed alternative to York Peppermint Patties (in which corn syrup is a big player). An OM.

Category: chocolate, mint, O, review, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment »

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates – Classic Truffle Collection

January 4th, 2013 by Rosa

One of my favorite things about Hedonist Artisan Chocolates is that they shake things up a lot and trot out different truffle flavors every season or so. I’ve been so busy reviewing all of their different truffle collections that I’m only now getting to reviewing their classic truffle collection. I no longer live in Rochester, so these were free samples that they sent me.

The five classic truffles flavors are Milk, Bittersweet, Hazelnut, Espresso, and White Mint. The first four were dipped, while the White Mint was rolled.

Milk is about as classic as it gets. Hedonist’s take was smooth and creamy all over. The soft milk chocolate ganache center had a thin melt, while its milk chocolate shell had a soft break and a thicker melt.

It tasted of sweet and dusky cocoa with a great chocolatey finish. Sometimes I find pure milk chocolate truffles to be too sweet, but this had a really well-balanced sweetness level that was not at all cloying.

Bittersweet was prettily decorated with a few green leaves. Its texture and flavor was drier than the milk version. The cocoa flavor ran deep with earthy tones.

This truly lived up to its name – it teased just a hint of bitterness, but then a light sweetness came and chased that hint away. Really well balanced!

Hazelnut was sprinkled with bits of hazelnuts and salt. It tasted of dry cocoa with a gianduja nuttiness.

Chocolate and hazelnut is a classic combination for a reason – the roasted nuttiness of hazelnuts paired well with chocolate here.

Espresso was topped with a roasted coffee bean. The ganache had a light grit and astringency from the ground coffee that was mixed into it.

Its coffee flavor was really powerful, and the truffle tasted like the scent of fresh roasted coffee beans. I enjoyed the interplay between sweet chocolate and slightly bitter coffee here. Some coffee + chocolate treats go too sweet, into Mocha Frappuccino mode, but this was nicely restrained.

My one complaint was the coffee bean topper. I found it super bitter and astringent to chomp into. I’m not a coffee drinker, so my taste buds were wiped out by eating a solid coffee bean.

Finally, White Mint was a white chocolate rolled truffle dipped in milk chocolate and then dusted with cocoa powder. Its ganache was smooth and creamy with a luxurious-feeling fatty melt.

The center ganache had the creamy vanilla undertones of white chocolate scented with mint. That mintiness was not effervescent (a la York Peppermint Patties). Instead, it reminded me more of mint leaves, with a slight herbal note.

I thought these were a solid set of classic flavors (though the white mint was a bit more out of the ordinary). Personally, I like Hedonists’s adventurous flavors more – part of why I love them so much is that they’re not afraid of unexpected truffle flavors, like goat cheese!

Still, these were quality truffles that were clearly made with care. An OM (and a great gift idea for your more culinarily unadventurous loved ones!).

 

 

Category: chocolate, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, mint, nuts, OM, review | No Comments »

Sanders Favorites

January 2nd, 2013 by Rosa

I’ve reviewed a few Sanders treats on this blog already, including some of their individually wrapped Favorites that Duke’s hospital sells in its gift shop. I snagged what I believe is the rest of the line at Sweets and Snacks back in May and tasted them last November (hence the slight bloom on the dark chocolates).

Maple Pecan Butter Cream was the only milk chocolate of the five. That milk chocolate covered a maple-flavored buttercream that was full of chopped pecans.

I found it to be absurdly overly sweet. The sweetness tasted of maple syrup and brown sugar, and holy cow was it overpowering.

A few notes of caramel and cocoa from the chocolate and nuttiness from the pecan bits valiantly struggled to be noticed. If you like pecan (pronounced pee-can, of course, not puh-kahn) pie, you’d like this.

For me, way too sweet. It made my teeth itch.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Supreme was Sanders’ version of a Mounds. It had a thick dark chocolate shell around a dry coconut center.

I appreciated the greater amount of dark chocolate here (oodles more compared to Mounds), as that chocolate had a nicely mild cocoa finish, but I thought the coconut center could’ve used more oomph. It lacked nuttiness and had only a light coconut flavor.

Caramel Butterscotch was a chewy, sticky caramel inside a snappy dark chocolate shell. The caramel was sweet and buttery, and though I didn’t get the candied flavor of butterscotch, exactly, it was a still a nice mix of chocolate and caramel.

Cookies and Cream Cruncher was a disk of “ivory confectioners coating” full of little beads of chocolate cookie. It was certainly crunchy, thanks to the high density of the Oreo-flavored cookies.

The fake white chocolate was throat-burningly sweet. It tasted super artificial, like canned vanilla frosting, and was made of palm kernel oil. Thumbs down.

Finally, Mint Royale was the most strikingly colored of the bunch: a bright pastel green with a dark chocolate cocoa center. It snapped when I bit into it but also had a smooth and creamy melt.

The whole thing reminded me of mint nonpareils but with more chocolate flavor. The mintiness was mild with cocoa undertones – too mild, I thought. For something called a Mint Royale, it really needed to go for broke on the mintiness.

The Caramel Butterscotch is the only one of these that I’d want to buy and eat again, so it gets an OM. The rest were generally too sweet and/or not flavorful enough, so they get Os.

Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, mint, nuts, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Peppermint

November 5th, 2012 by Rosa

Now that Halloween is over, winter holiday chocolate should be making its way onto store shelves. I believe Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Peppermint is sold year-round in Europe (any European readers want to weigh in?), but here in the U.S. it’s a limited edition for winter. Mine was a free sample from Sweets and Snacks.

The wrapper promised “a refreshing peppermint filling.” It had a strong, pepperminty scent with just an edge of bitterness. Each square was a white peppermint fondant covered in dark chocolate.

The thin dark chocolate coating was crunchy to bite through and smooth in its melt. It had a deep cocoa flavor and finished with a light sweetness.

The peppermint fondant was soft and thickly squishy. It tasted like it smelled: pepperminty with a hint of herbal bitterness.

I found it pleasantly refreshing but not effervescent or super mouth-cooling. It was much more mild than a York Peppermint Pattie and had a higher chocolate to peppermint fondant ratio. I welcomed the change: an OM.

Category: chocolate, European, limited edition, mint, OM, review, Ritter Sport | No Comments »

Mint Chip Malted Milk Balls from Sugarfina

October 10th, 2012 by Rosa

These Mint Chip Malted Milk Balls came from my free sample of Sugarfina‘s Malt Shoppe tasting flight. The flight’s “menu” described these as “refreshing malt balls… coated in dark chocolate, then rolled in mint cookie crumbles.”

The Mint Chip balls were quite visually appealing, a sea-foamy green flecked with dark cookie bits. Mine were certainly fresh, as their malted centers gave a great solid crunch when bitten into.

That malted center had strong, toasty malt flavors. I love real malt, and these malt balls really delivered.

The outer mint layer was creamy with light peppermint flavors, while a thin chocolate layer could be found between the mint and the malt. The flavor balance was great, with the toasty malt center playing counter to the pepperminty coating.

The whole thing tasted like an awesome mint chocolate chip malted milkshake. I loved them. An OMG.

 

Category: chocolate, mint, news, OMG | 1 Comment »

Nestle Crunch Girl Scouts flavors – Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Creme

July 16th, 2012 by Rosa

Nestle Crunch’s Girl Scout inspired candy bars made quite the splash when they were teased. I finally managed to find them at my local Dollar General store (where very few things still cost a dollar, by the way).

The new bars came in Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Creme (based on Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties, depending on which bakery makes your cookies), and Caramel & Coconut (Samoas or Caramel deLites). I’ll cover the first two today and save the last for Wednesday.

Thin Mints was described as “dark chocolate cookie wafers and mint chocolate creme, topped with airy crispies.” Those wafers were crisp and airy with a thin cocoa flavor. The rice crisps that topped it added a nice crunch as well.

The mockolate coating that draped the bar was thin and melty, thanks to the palm oil in the ingredients, yet it somehow felt pasty in my mouth. The mint creme added a creamy and light minty finish that was more mild than I remember real Thin Mints being.

Peanut Butter Creme was “cookie wafers and peanut butter creme, topped with airy crispies.” Its wafer cookies were thicker than those of the Thin Mint version, so they brought a more sizeable crunch.

The peanut butter creme was salty and nutty and tasted just like peanut butter straight out of the jar (not that I’d ever do that…). While the nutty flavor was great, it dominated any chocolate-esque flavors that the melting and peeling off mockolate coating carried.

While these were a fun take on nostalgia tinged cookies, I don’t think either of them were worth a repeat buy. If Nestle had chosen to use higher quality ingredients – namely, real chocolate – maybe we could’ve had a limited edition that would actually be missed. An O for both.

Cybele managed to find these much earlier than I did, and Serious Eats wrote about them as well, if you want other opinions.

Category: cookie, limited edition, mint, mockolate, Nestle, O, peanut butter, review | 2 Comments »

Chocoretas

April 16th, 2012 by Rosa

Here’s one more review of a Ricolino product that I bought at a local Hispanic grocery store: Chocoretas. The bag described them as “chocolate and artificially mint flavored candy”.

I appreciate the honesty of the “artificially mint flavored” designation. I think just about all mass-market mint candies are artificially flavored, but not all are so forthright about it.

The Chocoretas were little pale mint green balls, about a centimeter in diameter. They had a thin and super crunchy sugar shell – much more substantial than that of an M&M – and a pepperminty chocolate center.

The chocolate flavor was light and mostly tasted of peppermint that carried a lightly cooling sensation. There was an overall creamy sensation to the finish.

These were like a candy version of mint chocolate chip ice cream, plus some added textural contrast from the crunchy sugar shells. I found them to be pretty good, and I bet they’d make great ice cream or cupcake toppers. An OM.

Category: chocolate, Hispanic, mint, OM, review | No Comments »

Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway

February 13th, 2012 by Rosa

Someone left a bag of these Creme de Menthe Meltaway Hershey’s Blisses in lab. I’ve never reviewed Hershey’s Bliss before since I’ve never found them interesting enough to buy, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to steal one for reviewing.

The Creme de Menthe Meltaway Bliss was a domed square of chocolate that came in a shiny, cheerful emerald green foil wrapper.

It was quite pretty when bitten into. The center stripe of pale mint green contrasted nicely with the brown of the chocolate.

The chocolate had a soft bite. The melt was extremely thick and had a barely perceptible grain to it.

The mint center was a soft ganache that was thick and creamy, if a little fatty feeling. The peppermintiness was noticeable but fairly mild. Definitely less intense than a York Peppermint Patty.

This Bliss was like mint chocolate chip ice cream condensed into a single bite of chocolate. It reminded me of an Andes but larger and with a more satisfying mouthfeel.

I liked it more than I thought I would, perhaps because mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. Still, I wish the mintiness was stronger, so an O.

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