Make ALLLLL the Candies

January 7th, 2014 by Rosa

Via Neil, Metafilter has compiled an impressive list of recipes for homemade candies. Winter is a great time to fire up the stove/oven!

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Lotte Koala’s March Cookies

January 6th, 2014 by Rosa

Lotte’s Koala March are “chocolate crème filled cookies” that can be found in Asian grocery stores in America. I recently got a free box from the folks at MunchPak, along with Koala March competitors Hello Panda (which I will review later).

The pillow-shaped cookies are imprinted with adorable pictures of koalas in various garbs and doing different activities. The biscuit portion was dry, crunchy, and airy, with just the barest hint of sweetness.

Each hollow cookie had chocolate in its center. Though it was depicted as limpid on the package, the chocolate filling wasn’t quite so fluid in reality. Instead, it was softer than solid chocolate but not quite a ganache, and it tasted of lightly semisweet chocolate.

The mix of crunchy plain biscuit and semisweet soft chocolate was quite tasty, and it was fun to look at the different koalas and try to guess what they were doing. Where is the be-suited koala off to, I wonder? An OM.

Though I could do without the silly “trading cards” that were built into the packaging:

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Lotte, OM, review | No Comments »

Holiday Hiatus

December 24th, 2013 by Rosa

Hi everyone,

I’m taking my usual holiday hiatus between Christmas and New Year’s. See you in 2014!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Sour Smog Balls

December 23rd, 2013 by Rosa

I got this bag of Sour Smog Balls in my free MunchPak box of assorted snacks. The bag promised ”crunchy candy with a sour chewy center” in six different flavors.

Each Sour Smog Ball was a marbled sphere with a bracingly sour hard, crunchy sugar shell around a chewy center. It took a little jaw strength to crunch through that shell, but when the stars aligned, a clean cleave through the Sour Smog Ball revealed a pretty cross section.

Yellow was lemon and extremely sour. Its flavor was super bright and tart with zesty lemon overtones.

Blue was blue raspberry and tasted as artificial as a blue raspberry is. It was sugary sweet and mellow with a sour undertone.

Dark pink was cherry. It had medicinal undertones and a cotton candy-esque flavor before finishing with sweetly tart and fruity notes.

Light pink was strawberry. It had a candied floral flavor that struck me as quite artificial. Purple was grape, and it, too, tasted artificial.

Finally, green was lime. It started off mild, then became quite tart and citrusy with an almost fizzy note.

I appreciated that the Sour Smog Balls lived up to their sour moniker and actually were quite tart. I did not appreciate, however, how artificial the majority of their flavors were.

The only ones that really worked for me was the citrus lemon and lime ones. An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, sour | No Comments »

Jer’s Gourmet Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – Pretzo Change-o

December 20th, 2013 by Rosa

I first tried Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars over a year ago when I bought and reviewed the Cara Mella version. I loved it so much that I kept my eyes peeled for additional flavors every time I visited Cost Plus World Market, but I wasn’t able to find them again until just a few weeks ago.

This time, I bought the Pretzo Change-o, which was described as “all natural premium peanut butter center mixed with sweet and salty pretzel bits covered in milk chocolate.” Each box contained two individually wrapped long, skinny, flat chocolate bars.

The peanut butter filling was dry and crumbling. It tasted quite salty and strongly nutty, like the center of a Reese’s peanut butter cup, only extra amped up and with higher quality ingredients.

Little pretzel bits were mixed into that filling that added some crunch and starch – and maybe even more saltiness? The milk chocolate coating added sweetness and some cocoa flavors that tried to balance out the peanut butter center.

I liked that it was like a flavorful, crunchy peanut butter cup in a different shape, but I found it too salty. I think a little more sweet chocolate to balance out the salty peanut butter would have helped. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, peanut butter, review | No Comments »

Serious Eats mixes booze and Christmas candy

December 19th, 2013 by Rosa

Serious Eats likes to mix candy and booze and see what happens. For the winter holidays, they’ve come up with a number of candy-infused booze recipes making use of seasonal treats. Gingerbread Peeps and vodka, anyone?

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History of candy canes

December 17th, 2013 by Rosa

Candy canes are a classic Christmas treat. Just how classic? According to Serious Eats’s candy cane history lesson, they were invented in 1670 but didn’t get stripey until 1844.

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Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows

December 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought this box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows last week. I was super excited to think that I’d caught a new product that resembled my beloved See’s Scotchmallows, but it turns out that they were around last year as well.

The long, skinny box described them as “pillowy marshmallow bites with a layer of rich, silky caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate.” There were 10 Caramallows in the box all lined up in a row.

While most were rectangular with a vertical line across them, some were more irregularly shaped. Each had a bottom layer of caramel topped with a square of marshmallow and all covered in a dark chocolate shell.

The Caramallows were far softer than Scotchmallows and squishily yielded to my bite. The dark chocolate shell was quite nice, a high quality chocolate that was lightly sweet with a fruity finish.

The bottom layer of caramel was softy chewy and sticky. It tasted sweetly buttery rather than scorchy or burnt, and it had a mild butterscotchy flavor.

The marshmallow was squishy and foamy in texture. It had a sweetly mild flavor with a light vanilla airiness.

These were tasty enough, but they aren’t a suitable Scotchmallow replacement. The fact that they were so soft throughout made them seem insubstantial compared to Scotchmallows, and Scotchmallows have much more complexity of flavor. An OM.

 

 

Category: caramel, chocolate, marshmallow, OM, review, Trader Joe's | 5 Comments »

Survey on perceived chocolate quality

December 13th, 2013 by Rosa

If you’re looking to procrastinate for a few minutes, please take this survey about US chocolate quality for a friend of mine. He’s a business school student, and your responses will help him make his presentation better!

Category: news | No Comments »

Serious Eats on how chocolate makers consider chocolate flavors

December 12th, 2013 by Rosa

It’s fun to write about how fine chocolate can have hints of this and aromas of that. Serious Eats recently interviewed Valhrona Chocolate’s sourcing manager about how they consider and put together those flavor profiles.

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