My boyfriend loves brownies – he can easily pack away half a pan in one sitting – so he was super excited to try the Brownie bar. Alcove Chocolates describes it as, “dark milk chocolate blended with traditional fudge brownie,” which I took to mean that it would chocolate blended with chewy brownie bits.
Instead, the bits of brownie in the bar were dry and crunchy, so more like cookies or brownie brittle. You can see them in the pebbled back of the bar above.
The texture of the brownie bits made me think of that airy crunch you get from freeze dried fruit, or the little chocolate cookie balls you can get at some Fro-Yo places. They added a soft crunch to the texture of the bar, which snapped sharply but crunched softly.
I’m not sure how something can be both dark and milk chocolate. This guy definitely looked dark – and glossy and well-tempered.
At any rate, the chocolate had amazing depth of flavor. The dark chocolate tasted deep, with rich, fudgey notes, like the best hot fudge I’ve ever had (from The Parlour, of course).
The crunchy brownie bits only served to amplify the intensely rich chocolate wallop of this bar. I loved it, and my brownie connoisseur boyfriend did too. An OMG.
On Monday, I covered 3 flavors of Alcove Chocolates that I had received as free samples. Today, it’s time to write about another Alcove treat, their Fleur de Pretzel bar.
They described it as “rich milk chocolate paired with crunchy new york [sic. They seem to be allergic to the shift key on their website.] pretzels and enrobed in swirls of fleur de sel sea salt.” I didn’t know that crunchy New York pretzels were a thing – I always thought they were soft – but whatever. This bar was awesome.
Unlike the tiles from Monday, I am reviewing the full-sized, 3 oz. version of this beauty. It was segmented into 4 x 5 rectangles and broke easily along the divisions.
The milk chocolate base of this bar was sweet and dusky, with a nice complexity to it. Its matte melty texture was frequently interrupted by crunchy bits of pretzel and sea salt.
The pretzel nicely balanced out the sweet milk chocolate by adding a darker toastiness that kept it from being cloying. The occasional flashes of salt also helped offset that sweetness while adding flavor and texture interest.
I thought this bar was an excellent bar for snacking. After all, it included a snack food right in the bar. I found it it interesting, well-balanced, and tasty. An OMG.
Aureole is a restaurant that I will likely never be able to afford to eat at. Thanks to Serious Eats, however, I can vicariously visit through this behind the scenes photo slideshow. It documents how Aureole uses glass-blowing techniques to make little sugar globes to decorate their desserts.
It’s amazing. And why Aureole is so expensive. Think of the labor costs!
Alcove Chocolate, a So-Cal chocolate brand that has now expanded beyond California, recently released 12 (12!) new chocolate bars. I got sent free samples of the full-sized bars, plus 3 of the flavors in miniature square version (they call them mini tiles), for review. I’ll start with the mini tiles, Fleur de Sel, Red Velvet, and Mimosa.
Fleur de sel dark chocolate was a “64% cacao complimented with natural sea salt.” The thin 1.5 x 1.5-inch square had a sharp snap. It started off slightly sweet, then took on a salty smokiness from the added sea salt. The melt was smooth and only broken up by the crunch of the salt crystals.
Red Velvet milk chocolate was described as “velvety, smooth red milk chocolate layered with flavors of cheesecake frosting and chocolate cake.” It had the same red-brown tinge of a red-velvet cupcake (which, at least in cupcakes, probably comes from food coloring).
The Red Velvet square had a soft break and a thick and creamy melt, as milk chocolates should. It was quite sweet, with cocoa powder notes to start, then took on a slight sour tang. I thought it did an excellent job of capturing the flavor of red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting.
Finally, Mimosa dark chocolate was loquaciously billed as, “the ultimate ‘choctail’… 64% dark chocolate with essences of fresh orange juice and sparkling champagne.” Its melt was creamy but slower to start.
Mimosa tasted sweet for a dark chocolate, with strong citrus flavors from the start. The citrus notes were those of orange oil rather than orange zest – mellow and rotund rather than sharp and zesty.
So far, a tasty assortment of chocolate bars that do a great job capturing exactly what they promise. I can’t wait to try the rest! An OM.