Archive for the 'white chocolate' Category

Astor Belgian Chocolate – Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake

September 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I picked up these Astor Belgian Chocolate bars as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. It looks like they sell a variety of their signature bars on their website; I was also told that they repackage these under other brands as well.

Both bars – Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake – were lightly scored into 6 rectangular blocks that broke easily into different segments. All were striated as well.

Angel Food Cake was a white chocolate shell with a white chocolate ganache inside. The white chocolate was sweet and creamy and thick, with strong dairy notes.

The ganache had a bit of a grit to it, like it was full of dried cake crumbs or cookie crumbs. They added some crunch, along with a birthday cake/vanilla flavor.

This bar was fun but too sweet for my taste. An O for this.

Devil’s Food Cake was a dark chocolate with a bit of chocolate ganache in the center. The dark chocolate had a bit of a snap, while the ganache was softer and creamier.

This was an intensely chocolatey bar. It make me think of fudgey cake batter or rich chocolate pudding. I loved the richness and depth of pure chocolate flavor that it provided, so an OM.

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

Zoë’s Chocolate Co – The Chocolate Collection

September 6th, 2013 by Rosa

I recently received free samples of some chocolates from Zoë”s Chocolate Co., a small artisan chocolate shop that’s only 6 years old. I got a pretty brown box, all tied up with a pink ribbon, that featured four truffles from their Chocolate Collection: Black Raspberry, Mediterranean Citrus, Apple Pie, and Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate Caramel.

Black Raspberry was “white chocolate ganache blended with locally grown preserved black raspberries and topped in a rich dark chocolate.” The square truffle was visually striking, with its magenta dried fruit topper and violet ganache.

That ganache was incredibly smooth. It tasted sweet and lightly fruity with mild berry notes, and it finished with cocoa flavors from the nice dark chocolate. The dried fruit chip was crystallized and added a flash of sweet and intense fruitiness to this understated truffle.

Mediterranean Citrus was described as “white chocolate ganache infused with a sweet Mediterranean citrus topped in dark chocolate.” Its ganache was also perfectly smooth and was a creamy white in color.

It tasted of orange oil rather than orange juice or zest. It was a great citrus pairing with the dark chocolate that coated it, even though it lacked any juiciness or zestiness.

Apple Pie was a caramel: “Fresh, local apples cooked to perfection with apple pie spices and combined with caramel and roasted pecans.” The beautiful dome held a jammy filling with tiny bits of apple suspended within it.

It tasted like cinnamon and, well, apple pie! I didn’t notice any specific pecan bits or flavor, though there was a bit of tannic bitterness to the finish that may have been due to the added nuts.

Finally, the one with a mouthful of a name, Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate Caramel, was “a bit of creamy milk chocolate … mixed with our liquid caramel and amplified to a delicious intensity.” The liquid caramel was smooth and limpid with an intense buttery sweetness.

The generous sprinkle of jagged sea salt was just right to set off the sweetness of the caramel and milk chocolate. I didn’t notice the addition of the pinot noir, but I still loved this caramel.

Zoë’s chocolates were gorgeous to behold and delicious to indulge in. I give the Pinot Noir Caramel an OMG, while the rest get OMs.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review, white chocolate | Comments Off

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 1

April 29th, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

Today, I’ll go through the four Truffles that I bought. First up, the trademarked See’s Apple Pie Truffle, which they describe as rich buttercream with Granny Smith apples and cinnamon. This was a vaguely heart-shaped white chocolate truffle with a light brown center filling.

The white chocolate coating was sweet and took a backseat to the filling, which was quite the standout. It was extremely bright and fruity with a spot-on apple pie-filling flavor.

It tasted intensely of sweet cooked apples with just a smidge of cinnamon. I swear there was also some notes of toasted crust as well, or at least the crust of McDonald’s apple pie. It was basically a slice of apple pie distilled into a truffle. OM.

Almond Truffle was “rich dark chocolate buttercream with ground almonds”. It was a soft square of chocolate ganache covered in little bits of almond that were bound together with some white chocolate-looking butter thing.

The ganache center was sweet with a mild cocoa flavor, while the almonds in the coating were roasted and nutty. While the almonds were nice, I found them to be too tannic. They sapped all the moisture out of my mouth, so just an O.

Cafe au Lait Truffle was simply described as “rich coffee buttercream”. It had a milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate stripes for contrast.

The texture of the golden brown buttercream center was lovely – solid yet lightly fluffy. Its flavor started off strong with mocha coffee notes, lightly bitter but overall sweet, and the milk chocolate added a great caramel finish. OM.

And last for today, the Dark Chocolate Chip Truffle, “rich chocolate buttercream with chocolate chips”. This buttercream held its shape as I bit into the treat but then melted away on the tongue.

I didn’t notice any extra chocolate chips in that ganache; the texture was perfectly smooth.

It had an incredibly intense semisweet chocolate flavor which was redoubled by the dark chocolate shell. The chocolate didn’t have a terribly nuanced flavor profile, but it was deep and it was good. An OM.

Back on Wednesday and Friday with more See’s!

Category: chocolate, coffee, nuts, O, OM, review, See's, white chocolate | Comments Off

JinJu Chocolates – Akoya Collection

February 15th, 2013 by Rosa

Today’s JinJu Chocolates’ Akoya Collection came in the same dual-layer swivel box as the Fleur de Sel caramels that I reviewed on Wednesday. The collection consisted of 5 gorgeously painted/airbrushed molded dome truffles in mostly fruity flavors.

Berry Mascarpone was a magenta truffle decorated with red speckles and a brown X. It was a “summer berry jelly layered with mascarpone crème ganache in Swiss milk chocolate.” The prettily layered truffle had a bottom half of white mascarpone crème that made the berry pink of the jam really stand out.

The milk chocolate shell was sweet with caramel notes. The mascarpone crème was rich and slightly tangy, like a cream cheese, while the berry jelly added a brightly sweet top note of jammy fruitiness that was just lovely.

Tropical Fruit was airbrushed with a reddish-orange sparkle and was comprised of “passion fruit and mango with a hint of vanilla, in milk chocolate.” Its ganache was smooth and with a thinly fatty melt.

It started off with the milk chocolate shell’s dusky caramel sweetness, then took on the bright lemony citrus notes and an intense flavor of passionfruit.

Key Lime was an emerald green, a truffle of “fresh key lime juice and zest blended with white chocolate, in dark chocolate.” Its ganache was thicker than that of the Tropical Fruit and had a snappy dark chocolate shell.

It had a great intensity of key lime flavor – really bright soaring high notes of tart, fresh key limes with an undertone of slightly bitter lime zest – and a great finish of bittersweet dark chocolate. My favorite of the bunch for its complexity and balance.

Lemon White Chocolate was a white chocolate shell, airbrushed with yellow, and was described as “lemon infused white chocolate ganache in creamy white chocolate.”

Its ganache had the sweet flavor of a really nice vanilla frosting, then took on a flare of lemon sweet and sourness, before finishing with a creamy vanilla white chocolate finish.

Finally, Vanilla Dream was the only non-fruity one: “Tahitian vanilla bean infused caramel blended with Swiss milk chocolate, in dark chocolate.” It was speckled with white and gold, which looked great against the chocolate brown shell.

That shell hid a smooth and thinly limpid sweet caramel. The flavor was great, slightly sweet with a nutty caramel flavor that reminded me of cooked condensed milk. My second favorite of the mix.

This collection was top notch. Its flavor assortment was both delicious and creative, and the chocolates and packaging had a luxe, classy feel. An OMG for the mix, and a hearty ZOMG! for the Key Lime and Vanilla Dream.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, review, white chocolate, ZOMG! | Comments Off

Perugina’s Baci White

January 28th, 2013 by Rosa

Baci’s big push at Sweets and Snacks 2012 was to promote their new Bacis Whites, which is how I got these free samples. They were basically a white chocolate-covered version of their regular Bacis, which I’ve previously reviewed.

Regular Baci come wrapped in thick white foil with blue stars, while the Baci White were wrapped in thick blue foil with white stars. A bit counterintuitive that the Baci White came in blue, but oh well.

The Baci White was a dome of gianduja paste, which was made of a dry chocolate ganache and chopped hazelnuts. The whole thing was topped with a whole roasted hazelnut and then covered in a creamy white chocolate.

That white chocolate made for a sweeter Baci experience, as it tasted of frosting with vanilla undertones. It was definitely a high quality white chocolate, with a nicely round flavor, but I found it to be too sweet.

The treat was sweet and crunchy and nutty. I loved the roasted nutty experience, but I found that I preferred the regular Baci, which were less sweet and more chocolatey than the White version. An O.

Category: chocolate, European, nuts, O, Perugina, review, white chocolate | Comments Off

Ferrero Raffaello

December 10th, 2012 by Rosa

I’ve written before how, when I was a kid, Ferrero Rochers were the pinnacle of fine chocolate. These Ferrero Raffaellos are in the same vein as the Rochers, but without those golden wrappers and tiny stickers, it just isn’t the same!

Like Rochers, Raffaellos are spherical wafers filled with ganache and coated with chocolate. The wafer shell was lightly crispy and served as a great foil for the creamy white chocolate center.

The center ganache was sweet and rich with vanilla notes – very frosting-like. There was a blanched whole almond hidden in the center that added a great crunch and nuttiness.

The whole treat was covered with a thin layer of white chocolate and rolled in dried shredded coconut that made a mess. I found the coconut to be disappointing – it was too dry and didn’t add any flavor.

I don’t recommend deconstructing the Raffaellos during the eating process, as the inferior dried coconut really needed the creaminess of the ganache center to balance out its dried out flavorless-ness.

Popping one whole, however, yielded a reasonably tasty mix of flavors and textures, so an O.

Category: coconut, Ferrero, nuts, O, review, white chocolate | Comments Off

Perugina Chocolates – Cappuccino and White Chocolate

November 14th, 2012 by Rosa

Finally! I’ve made it to the last 2 (of 8) Perugina bars that were generously given to me as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. Last Friday, I covered the “plain” chocolate bars, Monday was chocolate with nuts, and today are the last two, Cappuccino and White Chocolate.

Cappuccino was “crunchy grains of coffee enveloped in milk chocolate.” The subtitle called it “milk chocolate with cappuccino crispy,” so I thought maybe it would be full of cappuccino rice crisps.

Visually, it was obvious to tell that the bar was full of stuff, as its bottom was all bumpy. Somehow, though, that didn’t translate to its texture.

I didn’t feel any crunch; just a tiny amount of subtle starchy grit remained on my tongue after the thick and creamy chocolate melted away, and I was really working to try to find it. I guess the crispies just got dissolved in the chocolate?

The cappuccino bar smelled and tasted strongly of coffee. I had high expectations for a coffee-flavored chocolate bar from Italy, but alas, I found it to be too sweet. More Mocha Frappuccino than fine Italian espresso.

The White Chocolate bar boasted that it was “enhanced by the delicacy of natural vanilla flavor.” The ingredients list was just sugar, milk, cocoa butter, whey, and less than 1% soy lecithin and natural vanilla flavor.

That’s impressively sparse – note the lack of palm oil or any other non cocoa-butter fat.

It had a light snap with a thickly creamy melt. It started off sweet, sweet enough to bring a tiny tinge to my throat, then took on a rotund fruitiness before finishing with a vanilla scent.

Both of these bars were enjoyable enough in small doses (half a square or less) but quickly become too sweet for me. I wouldn’t turn to them for regular snacking, but the remainder of these bars are going to make my next batch of cookies taste awesome. An O.

Category: chocolate, coffee, European, O, Perugina, review, white chocolate | Comments Off

Megaload – Sweet and Salty

August 3rd, 2012 by Rosa

I got these Megaload Sweet and Salty cups as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. At the time, they were transitioning from the Overload name to the Megaload brand, so my samples were in unbranded packaging. You can see what the packaging looks like on their website.

They come nestled in a row in a plastic tray that does a nice job of protecting them. Mine survived the trip from Expo to Chicago apartment to Durham just fine.

The Sweet and Salty cups were peanut butter cups topped with different types of covered pretzels. One was milk chocolate, one was white fudge, and the third was peanut butter fudge.

The chocolate peanut butter cups were perfectly smooth and creamy, with a thick and pasty peanut butter center. There was a mild nuttiness from that peanut butter – I wish it were stronger.

The pretzel toppings added a great contrast with their crunchiness. Quite honestly, I couldn’t really taste the differences in the different pretzels. They were all salty with the nice bready yeastiness that you expect from pretzels, but any flavor subtleties were dominated by the sweetness of the chocolate.

I was super impressed that the pretzels maintained their crunch factor while sitting in the packaging – those fudge coatings probably helped seal out any moisture/stale-making invaders, and I loved the mix of creamy and crunchy textures.

The ratio of the flavors, however, were a bit off for me. I wanted more pretzel toastiness or peanut butter nuttiness to balance out the sweet chocolate. Or just less sweet chocolate, I guess.

Still, I thought it was a great idea to put peanut butter cups and pretzels together. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, peanut butter, review, white chocolate | Comments Off

Nutffles – Hazelnut, Almond, Red Velvet

July 25th, 2012 by Rosa

Nutffles was a company that was new to me until I visited their booth at Sweets and Snacks. Nutffles is supposed to be a portmanteau for nut truffle (and also happens to cause some middle-school-boy giggles when said out loud).

I picked up free samples of their Hazelnut, Almond, and Red Velvet truffles. The samples that I got came individually wrapped and labeled, though from their website it also looks like they come in a four-pack.

The Hazelnut and Almond nutffles both had a lone nut in their center that was suspended in a thick, creamy, and smooth chocolate ganache. It was all surrounded by a crunchy wafer cookie, topped with a few rice crispies, and covered in milk chocolate. In the case of the Hazelnut nutffle, it reminded me of a naked Ferrero Rocher.

The texture on these from the mix of crispy wafer cookie, rice crisps, and smooth ganache was pretty great, and the whole nut in the center brought extra roasted nuttiness. I found them to be a tad too sweet for my taste, but they were otherwise enjoyable.

Red Velvet was covered in a cream cheese flavored white chocolate and had an almond in the center. The coating had a sour cream cheesey tinge that I really enjoyed (I’m a sucker for cream cheese frosting), and the red-tinged center had a nice cocoa finish.

I think these are all OM-worthy, though Red Velvet was my favorite. Can there be more cream cheese/cheesecake flavored candies in the world, please?

Category: chocolate, cookie, nuts, OM, review, white chocolate | 1 Comment »

Nestle Galak Pop Ri

March 11th, 2011 by Rosa

I thought it would be nice to close off nearly two weeks’ worth of Neil’s guest reviews with a review of some Dutch candy that he gave me. Presenting Nestle’s Galak Pop Ri.

As best as I can tell, Nestle Galak is the white chocolate umbrella brand, while Pop Ri indicates the presence of puffed rice bits. Galak comes in other forms, including a delectable sounding Speculoos.

The bar came segmented, with a little Nestle logo imprinted on each. When I snapped off a chunk, the break was dry.

The white chocolate lacked creaminess. It tasted sweet and fruity and was surprisingly bright for white chocolate. Unlike other white chocolates, this lacked any vanilla flavor.

The puffed rice bits were great: crunchy and crisp. It was basically like a Nestle Crunch White but with a much higher chocolate to crisp ratio.

As you can see in the above photo, there was a pretty hefty layer of chocolate floating above a single layer of rice crisps. If I remember correctly, the American Crunch White features rice crisps evenly distributed throughout the entirety of a thin bar.

I enjoyed the bar, but I’m not a big white chocolate person. When I do eat it, I prefer it to be creamy, which this lacked. An O.

Category: European, Nestle, O, received as gift, review, white chocolate | Comments Off