Happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh Valentine’s Day. Whether you love it or think it’s the product of greeting card company marketing, you can’t deny that it’s a great holiday for candy – and post-holiday candy sales!

I’ve lately been traveling quite a bit for grad school interviews, so no review today while I rest up and catch up. Have a nice day!

DGZ Chocolates – Toffarazzi

On Wednesday, I reviewed 2 of the 3 confections that I got to try as free samples from DGZ Chocolates. Today, I’ll review the third, the Toffarazzi, which is their best seller. And for good reason!

My half-pound box contained 9 Toffarazzi, described on the website as, “a scrumptious almond butter crisp covered with fine Swiss recipe chocolate and fresh roasted almond bits.”

Each nearly 2-inch square was a solid chunk of hard toffee with bits of almond mixed in. That toffee was then enrobed in chocolate and covered with bits of almond.

The toffee was absolutely gorgeous – it was nicely crisp and cleaved cleanly and then crumbled upon being chewed. Unlike other toffees, this never built up in the molars; it just crumbled and melted on the tongue.

It tasted of the deep complexity of burnt sugar. There was just the perfect hint of an edge of bitter toastiness that I absolutely love in my toffee.

The almond and chocolate were supporting players here. The almonds added just a hint of light nuttiness, while the chocolate brought a touch of sweetness.

But to me, this was all about the toffee. And boy was it good toffee! An OMG for a fine treat that I would heartily recommend.

DGZ Chocolates – Poparazzi and Turtlerazzi

I received several free samples from DGZ Chocolates, a husband-and-wife owned chocolate company located in Houston, Texas. Today I’ll review their Poparazzi and Turtlerazzi, and on Friday, I’ll review their best-selling Toffarazzi.

All of the DGZ Chocolates came in white boxes with a pretty metallic gold design and a neatly tied gold ribbon. The Poparazzi was described as “an explosive combination of popcorn, chewy caramel, and rich Swiss recipe chocolate.”

My box had four decently sized squares, just under 2 inches per side. They were made of whole pieces of popcorn embedded in caramel, all sandwiched by top and bottom layers of milk chocolate. It was an interesting idea – I’ve never heard of popcorn being used in a confection like this.

The milk chocolate was dusky with a finish of sweet caramel. The actual caramel was chewy and sticky and mostly just tasted of sugar.

The popcorn added a nice visual contrast and toasty flavor, but I didn’t appreciate its contribution to the texture of the confection. The white fluffy part was great, but little hard bits of kernel were mixed in the caramel.

Upon getting chewed, those hard bits of kernel became firmly embedded in my molars, which was rather off-putting and required some unladylike teeth picking. Maybe that’s why popcorn isn’t more widely used in treats like this. An O.

The Turtlerazzi were billed as “a delicious sensation of the finest fresh pecans and buttery caramel topped with rich Swiss recipe chocolate.” They came four to a box as little round pats of caramel with nuts mixed in, all enrobed in milk chocolate.

The pecans added a light textural crunch and a mild nuttiness – so nutty that I wasn’t sure if they were walnuts and pecans when I first tasted them, before I looked them up online.

The Turtlerazzi’s mostly tasted of the caramel, which was smooth and extremely chewy. Alas, it just tasted of brown sugar sweetness. I wished that it had more complexity, more burnt sugar or toffee notes or something.

I wanted more from the Turtlerazzi – more depth to the chocolate, more complexity to the caramel, and more nuttiness to the pecans – so they get an O as well.

I should note that these two really pale in comparison to the Toffarazzi, the third confection that I got from DGZ Chocolates, so that may have colored my opinions. Come back on Friday for the Toffarazzi review!

Lindt White Coconut

I’m usually not a fan of white chocolate. But Walgreen’s had Lindt on sale, and I couldn’t resist picking up this bar of White Coconut, as I’d never tried it before.

It was a white chocolate bar “with delicate coconut flakes”. I don’t universally hate white chocolate – Trader Joe’s white chocolate chips are great – but I found Lindt’s white chocolate, with its bland dairy sweetness, to be totally uninspiring.

The shredded flakes of coconut were dry and crackly and added a light nuttiness. They tasted artificial but in a muted way. Nothing like coconut-scented sunscreen but still rather fake tasting.

All in all, I found this inoffensive but unexciting. It could have used more vanilla flavors, more toastiness to the coconut – more something! An O.

Japanese Kit Kat – Wasabi

As promised, here’s my review of the Wasabi flavored Japanese Kit Kat from my globetrotting friends Nana and Justin. My review of the Sweet Potato version that they also sent along posted on Wednesday.

These also came individually wrapped, two to a package, and were a pale green. The famous Kit Kat wafers were dry and crispy and covered in wasabi tinted white chocolate. They smelled neutrally sweet.

The chocolate tasted first of sweet, milky cream. Then a light horseradish kick came through. All of that kick was totally through the olfactory system – when I pinched my nose, it wasn’t noticeable.

There wasn’t any noticeable chocolate flavor, just creaminess with a slight spiciness. It had just the right amount of kick to make it weirdly addictive and intriguing. Any more would have been overwhelming, while any less couldn’t have been noticed.

I give this an OM. It earned the extra M through sheer novelty, but I truly enjoyed the confection. Nana was less of a fan.

I have about a half dozen of each weird flavor to give away. My way of passing on Nana and Justin’s generosity! For a chance to win some Wasabi and Sweet Potato Kit Kats of your own, leave a comment on the ZOMG, Candy!’s Facebook discussion page for a chance to win at least one of each. I’ll randomly select three winners on February 11th, midnight EST, so get your comments in before then!

H&S Candies Giveaway

H&S Candies is helping me run a mini-giveaway – one lucky reader can win a box of their chocolates.

There are some cute Valentine’s Day recipes in the above widget. Leave a comment about your favorite Valentine’s Day-related treat by February 8th 11:59 PM EST. I’ll randomly select one winner from the comments and hope that H&S can get you your prize by Valentine’s Day.

Not so fine print: U.S. readers only due to shipping costs. Please leave a valid email address in the designated line on the comment form, NOT in the comment itself. That way only I can see it. Email addresses will only be used to contact the winner; they will not be kept or sold for any purpose, and I will not give your email addresses to H&S candies.

Good luck!

Japanese Kit Kat – Sweet Potato

My friends Nana and Justin have been living and blogging abroad for the last few years. They’ve been a generous source of awesome foreign candy.

Their latest gift was several Japanese Kit Kats in Wasabi and Sweet Potato flavor. I’ll cover Sweet Potato today; Wasabi will be reviewed on Friday. And stay tuned for giveaway news, as Nana and Justin sent me more than I could ever eat!

I love how the tear-away notch on the right of the wrapper is mirrored by an extra triangle on the left. Each individually wrapped package had two prettily pale yellow fingers that had to be characteristically snapped apart.

I was both excited and nervous about trying these. Excited because I love sweet potatoes in just about any form (steamed, roasted, french fried, etc). Nervous because the sweet potato and sesame version that I tried a couple of years ago wasn’t great, though that also didn’t taste much like sweet potato.

Lack of sweet potato flavor was definitely not an issue with this Kit Kat. The flavor was totally spot on – starchy and sweet, with some root vegetable earthiness. It tasted just like a real sweet potato.

Unfortunately, though the flavor was exact, it was really off-putting when combined with the dairy, buttery creaminess of the Kit Kat chocolate. I got totally weirded out and couldn’t handle it. A .

Come back Friday for the wasabi-flavored Kit Kat review and details on how you can try to win some Japanese Kit Kats for yourself! And you can find Nana and Justin’s take on their website.

Easiest Recipe Ever?

Via The Hairpin, an absurd chocolate non-recipe recipe from The Food Network.

Check out the comments; they’re pretty hilarious. A few examples:

“This was delightful! I’m also looking for recipes for “Milk Chocolate” and “White Chocolate.” Does anybody have any?”

“Ellie, I would like to double this recipe, as I’m married. Do I need to make any adjustments?”

“Not to be presumptuous, but I improved on this recipe by adding two sticks of butter and some microwaved bacon.”