Shangri La Tea Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Earl Grey and Masala Chai

September 30th, 2014 by Rosa

Shangri La is a tea company that’s now making inroads into tea-flavored chocolate. They sent me free samples of their line-up to review. I’ll cover the Earl Grey and Masala Chai today, and the Black Currant and Chamomile Mint on Thursday.

Both the Early Grey and Masala Chai were made with a 38% cacao milk chocolate base. The 0.85 oz squares were imprinted with the word Organic, even though the packaging doesn’t note organic certification or organic ingredients anywhere. Not sure what’s up with that…

The back of the Earl Grey bar was flecked with black tea leaves. It smelled earthy and woodsy.

The milk chocolate broke easily with a soft snap. It melted in my mouth with a velvety, matte texture. The tea leaves had a dry crunch before they, too, melted away.

The milk chocolate base had lightly sweet caramel cocoa flavors, while the black tea and bergamot added a subtle woodsiness with a lightly floral finish that paired wonderfully with the chocolate. An OM.

The Masala Chai had a warm, spicy scent, thanks to its infusion of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom in addition to the black tea it contained. Cinnamon came through the strongest and paired well with the chocolate, though it also made it taste sweeter.

While I enjoyed the flavors of the Masala Chai, I had some problems with the texture. The black tea crunched and melted away, but there were also tooth-breaking bits of cinnamon bark that I had to spit out. An O because I don’t like having to pick chocolate bar leftovers out of my mouth.

More Shangri La reviews to come on Thursday, and something fun for you readers on Friday!

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

Churchill’s Carousel Giveaway

September 29th, 2014 by Rosa

Last Wednesday, I reviewed a charming tin carousel full of toffees and fudge from Churchill’s Confectionery. They’re letting me give away a free carousel to one of you! Enter via the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Category: giveaway | 8 Comments »

What’s in a chocolate’s name?

September 25th, 2014 by Rosa

As a psychologist, I’d long known that people can easily determine which of the below two shapes is named Bouba and which is named Kiki.

Kiki sounds hard, so people associate it with the sharp shape, while Bouba sounds round and goes with the round shape.

I learned more recently from reading Slate’s excerpt from a book about the language of food that Kiki and Bouba are also attributable to different types of chocolate. Specifically, milk chocolate, with its smooth mouthfeel, is associated with Bouba. Dark chocolate, with its sharper flavors, is associated with Kiki.

Pretty cool, huh? Also this means you should think twice about what you name your chocolate company, as people may form expectations about what your product will taste like based on how sharp or round its name is.

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Churchill’s Confectionery Carousel – Toffee and Vanilla Fudge

September 24th, 2014 by Rosa

Churchill’s Confectionery is family-run, London-based company that is now making inroads in the U.S. via shops like Williams Sonoma and Bloomingdale’s. They recently sent me a free sample of their Carousel tin filled with toffee and vanilla fudge.

The tin itself was beautiful: a round cylinder with a tented top and embossed with colourful (see what I did there) carousel horses. The tin held two bags of individually wrapped candies, one of round dairy toffees and another of rectangles of vanilla fudge.

The vanilla fudge squares were softy grainy and easy to bite through. They chewed up into a pleasant, pliable mush that melted in my mouth.

The fudge had a mellow, round, floral sweetness that finished with a hint of fruitiness. I usually dislike fudge because I find it too sweet, but I enjoyed these. An O.

The dairy toffee was firm, but I was able to bite through it cleanly. It had a sticky chew that left bits of toffee wedged in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

The flavor was sweet and buttery, with just an edge of burnt sugar deliciousness. I’m a sucker for British toffees, and while I prefer the deeper scorchy notes of Walker’s Treacle Toffee, this lighter toffee was good enough for an OM.

Category: caramel, European, O, OM, review, toffee | Comments Off

Olive & Sinclair Whisky

September 19th, 2014 by Rosa

I mentioned yesterday that I visited Olive & Sinclair, a Nashville bean-to-bar chocolate maker, while I was in town for a wedding. There were some chocolate truffles filled with a boozy caramel for sale – if I remember correctly, they were called Whisky Musket Balls?

At any rate, I bought one to try. It was pricey but noms!

By the way, that round stone in the top right corner is for grinding cocoa beans to make chocolate. And those pebbly-looking things at the bottom are cocoa beans. The backwards EAT is a reflection of a sign that they had on the opposite wall.

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Olive & Sinclair

September 18th, 2014 by Rosa

Part of my recent travels included a weekend in Nashville for a wedding. My awesome friend Kevin took me to Olive & Sinclair, a local bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Nashville.

It was a fun visit. They’ve got free samples of everything lying around, so of course I tried it all. I also bought a box of their Bourbon Nib Brittle to review, so stay tuned!

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Pee candy from Hollywood

September 17th, 2014 by Rosa

I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently, so I’ve been too busy to write new reviews. Hopefully I’ll be able to play some catch-up this weekend, as I’ve got some new free samples that just rolled in. In the meantime, I’ve got some photos from my travels to share.

I found this pee candy (“Urine for a Treat”, harhar) at a candy store near Universal Studios in Hollywood. It’s a yellow liquid candy stashed in a specimen cup. Lovely, no?

photo (1)

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Bon Appétit foreign candy slideshow

September 4th, 2014 by Rosa

Bon Appétit has a slideshow of “19 foreign candies to buy while traveling“. For some reason, they’ve got Japanese Kit Kats in the slideshow header but not in the actual slideshow, which is a shame because Japanese Kit Kats are awesome.

Which reminds me, I’ve got some cheesecake flavored ones stashed away from this past March. I should find those…

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Who hasn’t wished for a bathroom made of chocolate?

September 2nd, 2014 by Rosa

Via Eater, here’s good news for anyone with an extra $133,000 lying around and a wish to take care of potty business in a bathroom made entirely of chocolate: you can buy a sink, toilet, tub, and bidet made entirely of chocolate! For that aforementioned $133k.

Apparently the company that made the chocolate plumbing fixtures is called “Choccywoccydoodah“. That they are not called “Choccywoccydoodoo” is just a missed opportunity.

More detailed photos, price breakdown, and ordering information can be found here.

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Peanut Hottie

August 29th, 2014 by Patty

Howdy! I’m Patty, a professor of Psychological Sciences at a small college in the midwest. Some important background information: I’m absolutely obsessed with peanut butter. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t keep any sort of nut butter in the house, or I’ll enter into a nut-butter-induced-fugue-state…within a few hours, the nut butter will have miraculously disappeared.

So I was particularly excited that Rosa gave me this opportunity to review a free sample of Peanut Hottie, a new hot peanut butter drink. The product is already available in the UK, and it will be hitting the US on September 7th.

Peanut Hottie is a powder that you dissolve into hot water…it’s that simple. When it launches in the US this fall, it will come in two flavors: peanut butter (what I sampled for this review), and peanut butter & chocolate. It’s made with real peanuts and is caffeine free.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

As soon as I opened the jar, I was hit with a sweet peanut-ish scent, really reminiscent of Nutter Butter cookies. The powder is fine-grained and off-white, and each jar of Peanut Hottie contains about 13 servings. The instructions recommended 4-5 heaping teaspoons of powder per mug of hot water, so I put 4 really heaping teaspoons in about 10 oz of hot water.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

The powder completely dissolved in a matter of seconds. There was no grittiness, and the texture of the drink was very smooth. It wasn’t heavy or creamy, and ended up having the consistency and color of tea with a little bit of milk in it.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

The drink definitely smelled and tasted like Nutter Butter cookies: nutty and sweet (no surprise there: sugar is the first ingredient). I imagine that the smell/taste might be a bit too sweet (and not salty enough) for some people, but I found it to be an enjoyable treat as a dessert drink or sweet snack.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

I saw some bloggers use Peanut Hottie powder in their baking, which made me want to explore some “off-label” uses for it. So I decided to try it in a vanilla-chocolate-peanut butter milkshake. It obviously has a completely different texture from peanut butter, but I thought it made a great flavoring for milkshakes or smoothies. It also worked well sprinkled over plain ice cream to give it a little bit of a nutty punch.

Peanut Hottie is almost definitely a “love it” or “hate it” product. It certainly does not have a natural peanut butter flavor or roasted nutty profile, but do most instant hot cocoa mixes taste exactly like chocolate bars? Heck no, and I’m okay with that.

Overall, I liked that my cup of Peanut Hottie was light and nutty, yet still gave me a satisfying dose of sweetness. It isn’t a liquid version of peanut butter, but it’s super convenient and seems to be pretty flexible as a sweet nut flavoring for other treats. I’d give it an OM for normal folks…but an OMG for my own nut-obsessed needs!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Peanut Hottie from the company to review, but all opinions are my own.

Category: guest post, not candy, OM, peanut butter, review | Comments Off