Klondike, the Candy – Mint Chocolate Chip

On Monday, I reviewed the new Klondike Caramel candy. Today, I’ll cover the other flavor that it comes in, Mint Chocolate Chip. Both flavors were free samples that I talked my way into at the Sweets and Snacks Expo back in May.

The Mint Chocolate Chip was described as “mint chocolate chip center covered in a dark chocolate flavored coating.” Like the Caramel, “chocolate flavored” coating means that the coating features palm kernel oil rather than cocoa butter, making it mockolate rather than real chocolate.

Semisweet chocolate, however, was next on the ingredient list after palm kernel oil. My guess is that the chocolate bits inside the mint chocolate chip filling are real. Honestly, why not just go real chocolate all the way?

The Mint Chocolate Chip Klondike candies didn’t travel as well as their caramel brethren. They got a bit squashed because their filling was softer.

That filling was an unnaturally bright shade of green – as you’d expect for Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream! The texture was like a fondant. It was very thick and solid, yet gave instantly when bitten into and melted in my mouth like buttercream frosting.

It was quite pepperminty and tasted so sweet that it burned my throat but also had a slightly bitter aftertaste. The chocolate bits inside the filling were few and far between (note how they’re missing in that cross section), and any true chocolate flavor they could have brought was pretty effectively masked by the intensity of the mint.

I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, but I didn’t particularly care for these. I wasn’t a fan of the texture of the filling, and I found the whole thing far too sweet. An .

 

Nobel Prize + Chocolate Consumption Case Studies

Remember last year when someone discovered that a nation’s chocolate consumption correlated with Nobel Prize winning? Nature, the scientific journal, has followed up with some tongue-in-cheek interviews of Nobel Prize winners about their chocolate consumption:

“We surveyed 23 male winners of the Nobel prize in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and economics. Ten (43%) reported eating chocolate more than twice a week, compared with only 25%of 237 well-educated age- and sex-matched controls (P = 0.05; see B. A. Golomb et al. Arch. Intern. Med. 172, 519–521; 2012). Three proffered that their chocolate consumption had indeed contributed to their Nobel prize, but most disavowed any link. Two attested that they had won the prize in spite of their chocolate habits (see also ‘Nobel laureates on chocolate’ andgo.nature.com/copuha).”

Klondike, The Candy – Caramel

When I was a kid, I remember those “What would you do-oo-oo? For a Klondike Bar?” commercials being ubiquitous. Just typing that in has the jingle playing in a loop in my brain…

At the Sweets and Snacks Expo in May, Flix Candy was showing off their new Klondike candies. I got a free sample of each flavor, Caramel and Mint Chocolate Chip, for review. I’ll cover the Caramel today and save the Mint Chocolate Chip for Wednesday.

Caramel was described as “caramel center covered in a milk chocolate flavored coating.” Regular readers of the blog should hear alarm bells right now: “chocolate flavored” is a euphemism for “not actually chocolate”. In this case, it’s palm kernel oil instead of cocoa butter.

Because of that swap, the mockolate had some greasy looking spots. It didn’t make much of a flavor impression, as the caramel really dominated the flavor profile.

The caramel was soft and sweetly chewy with a light butterscotch finish. It got stuck in my teeth a bit but easily dissolved away with a little time.

I found this inoffensive. The caramel was okay, if not the best, and the mockolate wasn’t noticeably fake, beyond the greasy sheen that it imparted. Still, there are better mass market chocolate covered caramels out there, like Riesens. An O.

Marzipan art in Berlin

Here’s a cute little slideshow from Serious Eats showing how marzipan is shaped by hand in a little shop in Berlin. From the headline, I was expecting marzipan fruits (I remember being a kid and watching this Martha Stewart segment on marzipan fruit in absolute awe), but the little curlicues were pretty too.

I took this above photo of marzipan bananas in a French confection shop. Between the slideshow and Martha and looking at old marzipan photos in my flickr, I now have some serious marzipan cravings.

David Lebovitz visits Swedish caramel shop

I love a good caramel, but I’ve always been too scared to try making them myself. David Lebovitz recently visited Pärlans Konfektyr, an artisanal caramel shop in Stockholm, and watched them make some pretty drool-worthy caramels.

The finished products look incredibly delicious, but all those bubbling pots underscore my resistance to making caramels in my kitchen, lest I turn it into a bubbled-over, sticky sweet mess.

Moonstruck Animal Truffles a la Serious Eats

Moonstruck Chocolates makes pretty good chocolates (see past reviews here) that are, unfortunately, also pretty pricey. I’ve long coveted their adorable little animal-shaped truffles, but I always found them too expensive and felt like the extra cost was more for the cute factor than the taste factor.

Fortunately, Serious Eats gave them all four of their animal-shaped truffles a try and were eh on them, so I no longer feel like I’m missing out. I love that accidental upside-down screaming bee photo.

Serious Eats and Ferrara Pan

When I think of big candy companies, I usually don’t think of Ferrara Pan. I think it’s because they don’t spend much on advertising in the same way that Hershey’s or Mars does.

In fact, they make a ton of different products, as evidenced in this Serious Eats round-up of (almost) everything that they make. Their Sweets and Snacks booth is always ginormous, with unattended, overflowing bins of free samples. That’s how you know a candy company is big; they are generous with the freebies.