Archive for the 'toffee' Category

Cadbury Soft English Toffee

June 2nd, 2010 by Rosa

This Cadbury Soft English Toffee bar caught my eye in the candy aisle at Wegman’s because of the soft English toffee part. In England, toffee is what we’d call caramel.

In the case of this bar, the soft English toffee refers to a smooth, flowing caramel. It’s sweet and sticky, with a gorgeous golden hue.

The bar is segmented into square pillows, each stamped with the Cadbury logo. I think each pillow is supposed to completely contain the English toffee filling, but some of my breaks oozed.

The milk chocolate is thick and cloying, with a slight grain as it melts. It tastes dusky, with buttery notes and a throat-burning sweetness.

The caramel filling tasted strongly of butterscotch. Together with the sweet milk chocolate, this bar was a total sugar bomb.

Cadbury’s Soft English Toffee bar was crazy sweet and intensely decadent. It was too sweet for my taste, but some friends of mine enjoyed it and quickly gobbled it up. An O.

Category: Cadbury, caramel, chocolate, O, review, toffee | 2 Comments »

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar

May 26th, 2010 by Rosa

I have to admit, I had a beef with this bar even before I tasted it. Its name is too darn long – it’s annoying to type out “scrumdiddlyumptious!” So I’m shortening it to WESCB, for Wonka Exceptionals Scrumbdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar.

Wonka Exceptionals is Nestle/Wonka’s new line of higher quality – and higher priced – candy bars. I got mine in my free 16 lb bag of Sweets and Snack Expo preview goodies, courtesy of the NCA.

The WESCB has “bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate.” It sounds pretty amazing but busy, which is also how I’d describe the crazy shiny purple packaging.

Inside, the bar was strangely segmented into different-sized pieces (mine came broken along one of the lines), each imprinted with the Wonka W. I actually like the lack of uniformity. Theoretically, you could break off an appetite-appropriate chunk.

The WESCB was packed full of bits and pieces. Peanuts were the most predominant flavor and scent contributor, almost tricking me into thinking that the bar had peanut butter in it. They brought a deep, roasty nuttiness and a lot of crunch.

The crunchy toffee bits cleaved cleanly and added some nice dark caramel notes, while the cookie bits added further crunch.

The milk chocolate bar had a thick melt, but it was so full of stuff that the melt was barely noticeable. On its own, the chocolate was a tad too sweet for my taste, though it was definitely a cut above plain Nestle chocolate.

While I liked the idea of the WESCB, I think it failed me in execution. There was way too much peanut flavor that totally overwhelmed everything else, losing the potential of the other flavor components. An O.

Category: chocolate, cookie, Nestle, nuts, O, review, toffee, Wonka | Comments Off

Dark Chocolate Toblerone

April 2nd, 2010 by Rosa

When I was a kid, I always associated Tolberone with glamor. I think it’s because they used to be mainly available in Duty Free stores, and I therefore associated them with glamorous international travel.

They’re quite widely available these days – I picked up this dark chocolate Tolberone at Wegmans, when I was grocery shopping – probably because they’re now distributed by Kraft.

The box describes it as “Swiss dark chocolate with honey and almond nougat” (regular Toblerones are Swiss milk chocolate). It’s got a unique triangular shape broken into little mountain segments.

The segments are stamped with the Toblerone name and wrapped in a flimsy silver foil. I had a really hard time breaking them up.

When I used my hands, I got chocolate smeared all over them because I had to grip the chocolate so hard. When I tried to bite off a segment, the peaks just hurt the roof of my mouth.

Taste-wise, though, I have no complaints. The dark chocolate was deep, with strong cocoa notes and a dark fruitiness. The finish was just shy of bitter – and that’s a good thing! It pushes the deepness of the cocoa but stops just shy of becoming unpleasant.

The bar was chock full of chunks of almond and bits of sweet, honey-flavored toffee. The almonds were crunchy and the toffee was crisp, and their texture contrasted nicely with the smooth, thick melt of the chocolate.

There’s a reason why Toblerone is a classic – they know what they’re doing, and they do it well! If only the mountains were a tad easier to cleave… An OM.

P.S. Did you know that there’s a bear hiding in the Toblerone mountain? Give it another look!

Category: chocolate, European, nuts, OM, review, toffee | 2 Comments »

Trader Joe’s Espresso Pillows

January 8th, 2010 by Rosa

These Espresso Pillows are yet another purchase from Trader Joe’s arsenal of candy, this time from the candy display near the checkout counter. I nearly missed them, despite their classy looking tins, and I’m glad I didn’t.

They’re billed as “crunchy toffeed espresso bits covered in dark chocolate”. I’m not sure where the pillow part fits in, exactly, as they’re neither pillow soft nor pillow shaped. Each “pillow” is somewhere between the size of a Tic Tac and a jelly bean.

The dark chocolate is sweet, though unremarkable. It does its job just fine, though, paring well with the toffee centers.

The espresso toffee has a great texture. It cleaves with a clean crunch, which gives way to a bitter coffee edge on buttery toffee sweetness.

These things are AWESOME to crunch on. They have the flavor profile of chocolate-covered espresso beans, but they lack the grit of actual beans. They’re addictively tasty, warranting a ZOMG! and a stop to pick up more next time I’m near a Trader Joe’s.

If you want a second opinion, check out Cybele’s Candy Blog take.

Category: chocolate, coffee, review, toffee, Trader Joe's, ZOMG! | 7 Comments »

Derry Church Artisan Chocolates – Part I

November 16th, 2009 by Rosa

Chef Eric Clayton, the executive pastry chef and chocolatier for Derry Church Artisan Chocolates, emailed me about sending me some free samples of his chocolates. After checking out the gorgeous photos and sumptuous descriptions on their website, how could I resist? [Note: All text in quotes is taken from the website descriptions]

Their chocolates are named after different cities. I got an all dark assortment: the Cairo, London, New Orleans, Paris, Plymouth, Savannah, Tangier, and Veracruz. I’ll do the first four today, and the next four will be reviewed tomorrow.

The Cairo contained “a sweet date paste made from plump, succulent Medjool dates and a touch of expensive, thick, syruppy, aged balsamic vinegar.” That circle on top was “a small disk of jaggery cake (brown sugar & molasses) [that] adorns the triangle.”

I found the jaggery cake to bring a brown sugar overload. The chocolate ganache itself has a sour tinge to it from the balsamic vinegar. The date paste was throat-burningly sweet. I respected the creative and interesting flavor combo, but it was too sweet for me.

The London was a butter toffee sandwiched between “a deep, dark, brooding 70% European bittersweet chocolate” and then coated in “roasted crushed almond.” I had saved a piece of this to photograph for a cross section, but someone at work ate it before I could. I still haven’t tracked down the candy thief…

The toffee layer cleaved cleanly. It was lovely and smooth, but sadly, there was not much toffee/burnt sugar/butter flavor to it. Instead, the piece mostly tasted of the roasted almonds that it was coated in.

The New Orleans was a bananas foster flavored truffle. Bananas foster is traditionally “made with sliced ripe bananas and a brown sugar/rum sauce.” In the truffle, “this entire delicious concoction is pureed smooth and blended into a smooth, creamy fine European milk chocolate ganache and then enrobed in a 70% bittersweet couverture.”

It seemed sweet and tasted strongly of toffee and rum notes. The flavor of bitter cocoa ran throughout, but it also carried a sweet finish. I didn’t get any banana notes, but that’s probably for the better, as I’m not a huge fan of banana-flavored candy.

Paris was a lovely, large, round, and bumpy dark chocolate rose-looking truffle. It was comprised of homemade strawberry jam and a French white buttercream.

The center was a sticky soft cream that was super fruity. The strawberry jam was extremely sweet, but it was tasty and genuine! It was a great flavor that went well with the caramel note to the chocolate’s finish.

Derry Church’s chocolates were well made and lovely, with interesting flavor combinations. So far, the Cairo, London, and New Orleans get Os, while the Paris gets an OM. Stay tuned for Wednesday – I liked the latter half of the alphabet even more!

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

Mama’s Goodies – Part II

November 11th, 2009 by Rosa

The continuation of Monday‘s Mama’s Goodies nut brittle reviews:

Cashew Nut Crunch

This has the same thick brittle base as the pecan nut crunch. Cashews, however, are a much lighter flavored nut than pecans, and the cashews here are chopped up into tiny bits, so their flavor winds up totally overwhelmed by the brittle base. Still, the base is goooood. An O, mostly because the pecan incarnation is better.

Macadamia and Coconut Crunch

The brittle base here is sweeter and more toffee-like in texture. That is, it still cleaves but doesn’t quite dissolve into the same pseudo-caramel chew. As you can see, it’s got shredded coconut and whole macadamia nuts.

The flavors here are amazing. It’s just a hint of genuine, not at all artificial coconut flavor that pairs wonderfully with the rich and buttery essence of the macadamia nuts. And the brittle-ness negates the usually stringy texture of shredded coconut that is sometimes off-putting. An OMG.

Almond Nut Crunch

Almonds are a strong nut, and I think this is the nuttiest of the brittles. Again, the lovely brittle is fairly thick and cleaves like toffee, but this somehow avoids the turns-to-caramel-in-your-mouth thing. The almonds make the brittle duskier and darker, which is nice, but they also add a lightly bitter aftertaste. An OM.

Category: coconut, nuts, O, OM, OMG, review, toffee | Comments Off

Mama’s Goodies – Part I

November 9th, 2009 by Rosa

Mama’s Goodies makes all-natural nut butter brittles inspired by Iranian recipes. I was fortunate enough to receive free samples of each of their five brittle flavors.

Today, we’ll cover sesame seed and pecan, and we’ll hit up the other three on Wednesday.

All of the brittles came sealed inside a shiny silver pouch, which was then inside paperboard pouch-boxes. I appreciated the inner pouches for keeping out excess moisture, but they were super hard to open and could’ve used little notches to help with tearing the bags open.

Sesame Seed Nut Crunch:

From the website: “Sesame seeds, revered in the Middle East for their flavor and health benefits, blended with pure honey, 100% maple syrup and real butter into a crunch [sic], culinary creation.

This was a sweet, crunchy, and uber-buttery brittle that’s jam-packed with sesame seeds. The brittle is quite thin, just enough to encapsulate all the sesame seeds, so it snaps easily. It’s so buttery/greasy that it leaves a glossy sheen on everything that it touches. The seeds add a bitter finish that’s just a little bit too much bite for me. An O.

Pecan Nut Crunch

According to their website, this one’s rich buttery pecan nuts, plus the same spiel with the honey, syrup, butter, and typo.

The pecan brittle was significantly thicker than the sesame seed, giving it a more satisfying crunch. It crunches and cleaves like toffee on the first bite. Then, as you continue eating it, it turns into an almost caramel-like chew in the mouth. A scrumptious, super-buttery decadent caramel!

The pecans are good quality. They’re chopped into little bits, so they provide an initial burst of pecan flavor before the brittle/caramel takes over.

It’s delicious, though I would’ve preferred whole pecans. And it’s even greasier to the touch than its sesame seed counterpart. Still, that’s some super tasty-amazing-delicious caramel. An OM.

Category: nuts, O, OM, review, toffee | Comments Off

Lindt Croquant de Caramel

September 30th, 2009 by Rosa

I bought this Lindt Croquant de Caramel bar in France. It’s “lait aux éclats de fin caramel”, or milk chocolate with caramel (toffee) bits/chips. I swear, French makes everything sound better.

Check out the description from the back of the box: “D’abord un plaisir pour les yeux avec sa belle teinte blonde ou l’on devine le caramel. Ensuite, vinet le plaisir de tous les sens: le fondant d’un chocolat au laut velouté marié au délicat croustillant des éclats de caramel blond.”

The bar smells lovely – sweet, dusky, thick, and caramel-y. The bar has a pleasant snap to it, surprising for a milk bar. It’s generously studded with crunchy toffee bits.

The milk chocolate (30% according to the back of the box) didn’t melt and coat the tongue like Lindt milk chocolate usually does. I wonder if it was a different formulation for this bar?

The toffee bits cleave cleanly under my teeth. They taste sweet and buttery, with honey highlights.

The milk chocolate and toffee is a bit sweeter than I tend to like my chocolate, but the combination does work well together. An OM.

Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed the U.S. version of this bar, called Lindt Toffee Crunch.

Category: chocolate, European, Lindt, OM, review, toffee | 1 Comment »

Nestle Quality Street – Part II

June 8th, 2009 by Rosa

The remaining 6 of my Nestle Quality Street reviews, continued from Friday. In case you don’t want to click back, “Nestle’s Quality Street is a variety pack of cheapo chocolates that’s pretty ubiquitous in the UK.” Onward!

Orange Chocolate Crunch (bottom left) is a flat disk of orange flavored chocolate with little crunchy bits throughout. A poor knockoff of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange Segsation, if you will. Orange chocolate can go well when it’s made with care and decent ingredients. This has neither.

The Purple One (first row, 3rd from left) is unlabeled to create a sense of mystery, though an asterisk does warn that it may contain nuts. It turned out to be a milk chocolate shell containing a flowing, nearly liquid caramel and a hazelnutty paste. Creative in composition, at least comparatively, but meh with Quality Street’s cost-cutting execution.

At first thought, Vanilla Fudge (top right corner) sounds oxymoronic, but a quick googling reminds me that fudge need not be chocolate flavored. This piece tasted neither of vanilla nor of chocolate fudge. No good.

The Toffee Finger (second row, far left) is the same sticky, jaw-achingly chewy toffee of the toffee penny, just in stick form and covered in a thin layer of milk chocolate. The finger shape does make eating it a bit more manageable, so points for that, but it loses all of those points because of the terrible, barely-even-qualifies-as-chocolate-ness of the coating.

Toffee Deluxe was highlighted on the box as being new. It’s slightly darker than the other toffees and a bit more buttery, more like the Brach’s Milk Maid style of caramels we’re used to in the states.

And finally, the Orange Creme. Oh the orange cream – a bitter dark chocoalte coating over a white, grainy paste that’s “orange” flavored – never again, the orange cream.

It’s laughable how this assortment has the word “quality” in its name, as it’s anything but. It’s not horrible, spit-it-out chocolate, but it is bad, take-one-bite-and-you’re-done chocolate. The chocolate base of everything is just blah and blech. Save your money and go elsewhere. Nestle’s Quality Street has the dubious distinction of earning my very first rating. Congratulations!

Jim from The Chocolate Mission, on the other hand, rather enjoyed these. Maybe it’s a British thing, as there must be a reason why they’re practically in institution there?

Category: --, caramel, chocolate, Nestle, nuts, review, toffee | 4 Comments »

Nestle Quality Street – Part I

June 5th, 2009 by Rosa

Nestle’s Quality Street is a variety pack of cheapo chocolates that’s pretty ubiquitous in the UK. There are 12 different kinds. The back of the box lists them all and asks, “What’s your favourite?” I only have notes on 9 of them (shrug), so we’ll do 3 today and 6 on Monday.

The Toffee Penny (2nd row, furthest right) is a flat, round piece of toffee in a copper wrapper (hence the penny moniker). It’s super sticky, jaw-achingly chewy, and not that exciting, flavorwise. Good toffee, like Walkers, has flavor nuance and complexity. This guy, not so much.

The Caramel Swirl (bottom row, 3rd from left) is a gooey, flowy caramel covered in blah chocolate. I wonder if its nubby shape is meant to evoke a Rollo. I don’t like Rollos much, and I didn’t care for this guy either.

Strawberry Delight (bottom right corner) is a dark chocolate with a terribly artificial cherry flavor. Even though I’m pretty bad at distinguishing between artificial red fruit flavors, I get more cherry medicine bite from this.

So there’s a start. We’ll do the other 6 that I have notes on tomorrow: toffee finger, the purple one (that’s actually what it’s called), orange chocolate crunch, orange creme, toffee deluxe, and vanilla fudge. No rating yet, as I want to keep you in suspense until Monday, but I think you can guess where this is going.

Category: caramel, chocolate, Nestle, review, toffee | 1 Comment »