Hershey’s Kiss – Air Delight

This Hershey’s Kiss Air Delight is the newest addition to the Hershey Kiss line-up. It’s basically aerated chocolate in Hershey Kiss form.

I was a total sucker for the packaging here – I loved the retro polka dotted look of the wrapper. The Kiss itself looked like a normal Kiss until I bit into it.

The inside, as expected, contained a network of bubbles. They weren’t as neatly spherical as those of other aerated chocolates that I’ve reviewed and photographed.

The chocolate of this Kiss had a soft, instant compression. It just squished in my mouth before yielding a thick melt that coated my mouth. I didn’t notice the aeration beyond the squish factor and an overall lightening of the Kiss.

The flavor was classic Hershey’s: mild cocoa with a slight sour tinge. It was a fun take on the classic Kiss but not unique enough for me to want to just buy them for their own sake. An O.

Cybele reviewed these before they even officially hit the market. You can check out her take here.

Nestle Bros

My friend, the newly minted Dr. Neil (congratulations, Neil!), is soon moving from Rochester to the Netherlands for a post-doc position. This makes me very sad because Neil is one of my favorite people, and I will miss him lots when he’s gone.

Neil is one of my favorite people because he’s now gone to the Netherlands twice, and both times, he brought me back Dutch candy. I should note that it’s not the candy-bringing itself that makes Neil endearing (I’d like to think that my affections are not so easily purchased); it’s that the candy-bringing is just one example of how Neil is a kind and thoughtful friend.

On his last trip, he brought me back a Nestle Bros bar. I had never heard of the Bros bar before and was initially confused at Neil’s email with the subject line, “Delivery” and the body, “Bros.” Was Neil going to bring me Dutch frat boys?

Nope. Turns out that the Bros bar is an aerated chocolate bar, pseudo-separated into six segments, each with a cute little bubble imprint on the top.

The wrapper touts the bars relatively low calorie count (131). This was both unsurprising – aerated chocolate is full of air, hence the lower caloric density – and surprising – low cal doesn’t quite fit my mental image of a Bro (FYI, Keystone Light is not actually lite). Though now that I think about it, I think the calorie count marking is just a difference in European nutrition/packaging laws.

The chocolate has a beautifully bubbled interior. I love the look of aerated chocolate so much! And I love the way it feels against the tongue, when the bubbles smoosh away and dissolve in the mouth.

It tasted thick and sweet, brightly fruity, with dusky cocoa notes. I wouldn’t call it dark or milk; instead, it fits the semisweet bill. In fact, it reminded me of semisweet Nestle Tollhouse chips.

I managed to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Fortunately, the aerated factor meant that I felt no guilt for scarfing a whole candy bar in one quick go. An OM, and my repeated wish that aerated chocolate was more bountiful in the U.S.

Fox Echo Mint

I picked this up at Sainsbury’s in Cambridge after I read Terry’s review of it on The Chocolate Review, and I wasn’t sorry. I bought them in a pack of six and brought them home to give out as “I remembered you while I was abroad!” gifts. The big six-pack contained six individually wrapped bars, all in posh matte wrappers with an eye-catching black, green, and silver design.

They are billed as “temptingly smooth mint chocolate with a crunchy biscuit base.” Basically, they’re a chocolate cookie base topped with aerated mint chocolate, all covered with milk chocolate. Each bar is imprinted with Fox’s Echo on the top.

The bar has a super strong mint smell, but it doesn’t taste as piercingly minty as its scent would suggest. Think more muted mint chocolate chip ice cream than Altoids or toothpaste. The chocolate cookie base was super crisp, almost a little too crunchy for my taste. The aerated mint chocolate melted creamily and mingled well with the chocolate coating and cookie base. Overall, I felt the bar was a little too sweet. It’s pretty small, and I only ate it about a third at a time. An OM if I were still in England and could buy more.

More candy quickhits – another gifted edition

In continuing with Wednesday’s spirit of cleaning notes out of my candy tasting notebook, more quick reviews of candies that I didn’t have much to say about. These, like Wednesday’s, were all gifts, but they are not all international.

South African Nestle Chocolates from former suitemate, future roommate Catherine (who doesn’t like chocolate!), who got them from a YDN friend

Tex – milk chocolate coating around two wafers sandwiching an aerated chocolate middle. Meh chocolate quality, but coolness and novelty points. I’ll definitely seek this out if Concert Band tour is in South Africa next summer. OM.

Bar-one – nougat and chocolate. Reminds me of a Tootsie Roll‘s flavor. O.

Quality Street – the name confused me, because Quality Street is a whole line-up of assorted and individually wrapped chocolate miniatures in the UK. In this case, the treat labeled “chocolate nut toffee creme” had caramel and was vaguely hazelnutty. Another O.

Hershey’s Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Kisses from a YPMB scavenger hunt group, submitted as “Candy Rosa’s never tried before”

I think these kisses had melted a bit, then reformed, hence the kind of lumpy look on the wrapped one. I wonder if they have a lower melting point because truffling the filling means adding vegetable fat or something.

Like many of the overabundant Kiss varieties (seriously thorough round-up from Cybele here; awesome photographic round-up here) that Hershey’s rolled out recently, these are molded truffles rather than “kissed” out like traditional kisses. The hot cocoa kiss had a milk chocolate shell surrounding a soft truffle center with a cocoa powder finish. It was soft and sweet and so-so. An O for something that was awfully similar to the plain old truffle kisses.

Long Grove Confectionary Chocolates from Mrs. Cobb that didn’t make it to Chicago Week

Clockwise from the top: Kahlua, raspberry, vanilla buttercream, and dark chocolate.

Kahlua – nice whole coffee bean on top. A thick and creamy ganache with a slightly sweet finish. Not much chocolate or coffee flavor.

Raspberry – nicely sweet raspberry flavored filling without the bitter seeds

Vanilla buttercream – strong maple notes with a super sweet maple finish. Slight grain to the ganache.

Dark chocolate – doesn’t taste very chocolatey or very dark, but the ganache is lovely, as it’s thick and creamy and smooth.

A good assortment that’s better than most grocery-store bought boxed chocolates, but nothing that really sets it apart from other not mass-distributed chocolates. An O.

Russian Candies III

For some reason, this post disappeared after I wrote it the first time. It was originally supposed to publish after Russian Candies I and II but instead published as blank nothingness (much to the disappointment of Leslie, who gave me the candy in the first place). Fortunately, I still have my tasting notes, so I can recreate the review.

Dove Bitter Chocolate with Lemon Peel and Coffee

I think Dove really needs to rethink the packaging on this one, as I noticed neither the lemon nor the coffee on the box. The coffee bean blends right into the chocolate, and the lemon looks like it’s just an extension of the yellow satin. What if some poor little Russian child or Russian tourist who can’t read Russian mistakenly bought this? He or she would be in for a flavor surprise.

All that being said, the flavor combination of chocolate, lemon, and coffee worked better than I thought it would. The bar had a crisp snap to it (and a slight bloom, but hey, it flew from Russia to Ohio to Texas to Connecticut. Stuff happens), probably because it’s quite dark, and little bits of grit from the coffee beans and dried lemon bits.

Upon first bite, the lemon flavor really smacks you in the taste buds. It tastes like super sweet candied lemon zest at first, then gives way to a coffee finish with a slight bitterness to it. It’s an interesting flavor combination that some of my friends loved, but it wasn’t quite for me. An OM.

Spartak Elite Dark Bitter Aerated Chocolate (72% cacao).

Leslie calls this one “exotic dictatorship chocolate” because it was made in Belarus. I really like aerated chocolate because it’s such a unique textural experience, and I was excited to try this one, as I’ve never had a dark aerated bar before.

The bar was quite glossy and dark. At first, it tasted quite dry, and unlike milk aerated chocolate, it doesn’t melt in your mouth very well. The chocolate itself was a bit on the sweet side for dark chocolate and had a slightly musty finish. Also an OM.

Nestle Aero Bubbles Mint

Why is aerated chocolate so popular in Europe but nearly unheard of in the U.S.? Before trying these Nestle Aero Bubbles (BUY!), I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. Big deal; bubbles in chocolate. How exciting could that be?

Honestly, not that exciting. I could feel the bubbles with my tongue, but they didn’t feel like anything special. It actually felt like more of a large grain than bubbles. You can kind of see the bubbles in the photo below.

It wasn’t until I found myself looking into my suddenly empty bag of these Aero Bubbles that I realized how the aeration made these guys ridiculously addictive. I think the bubbles increase the surface area of chocolate that’s exposed to your tongue, so you get this incredibly smooth, creamy melt that’s wonderful and keeps you reaching for the next textural experience.

The chocolate itself didn’t taste spectacularly special, but it was good enough. The Nestle chocolate wasn’t too sweet, and there was just a hint of mintiness in the green half of the ball. As far as I could tell, the green mint chocolate was just a shell, the the innards of the chocolate ball didn’t have any extra flavoring.

I bought these at Economy Candy. The bag was $1.25, I believe. If they were cheaper, I’d give them an OMG. For what I paid, the cost/yumminess ratio brings them down to an OM.