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September 2014
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Toffee

Jan
05



Vosges Gingerbread Toffee Bar

This I believe is another holiday limited edition flavor put out by Vosges this year. I have seen more popularity surrounding the gingerbread flavoring in recent years, so it seems only natural that Vosges would find a unique way to incorporate it into their chocolate. I admit, I haven’t encountered anyone yet who has infused gingerbread flavoring into toffee so they can put it into chocolate. Very creative!

The gingerbread spiced toffee is paired with a 65% dark chocolate. Milder that most dark chocolates but still it’s not going to be too sweet for the infused toffee bits. The color is a pretty rich brown with a high gloss and red undertones to it. It smells sweet and slightly spiced.

The flavor is wonderfully complex. It stars off very sweet with buttery tones of the chocolate, which is very mild and rich for a 65%. Then you taste the toffee bits, which start off salty the and blossoms into a rich, buttery, spicy flavor of gingerbread. The gingerbread toffee is soft and slightly crispy so it adds a level of texture to the smooth creaminess of the chocolate. This bar had a wonderful play of sweet/salty, smooth/crispy and buttery/spicy. Really yummy!

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Vosges Website


Dec
20



Terry Toffee Crunch

In my family, a Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a traditional Christmas treat. They’re a perfect stocking stuffer and me and my sisters and I always enjoyed opening on by whacking it hard on the coffee table and enjoying it with coffee as we spent Christmas morning with our family. Over the years it seems that Terry’s Chocolate Orange was hard to find at points, as I recall a few years where we went without them. I’ve seeing them resurface in recent times and I always feel the impulse to purchase them when I see them now. That is why this new variety of Terry’s Chocolate Orange, the Toffee Crunch, caught my eye when I saw it at my local Target.

One of the things that makes a Terry’s Orange so much fun is the fact that they’re interactive. You have to “whack and unwrap” them, because the segments are fused together by a chocolate center. You need to whack them loose in order to eat them. It’s pretty fun! So I whack the Toffee Crunch orange and start to work on the wrapper.

Once unwrapped, the orange smells surprisingly…like orange. I was expecting more toffee here, hence the name, but I guess I’m mistaken. Then popping a slice into my mouth, the orange flavor soon transformed into a creamy toffee flavor. The toffee flavor is very buttery with a nice toasted caramel flavor and blends beautifully with the creamy chocolate. There’s also a texture element at play here, as there’s bits of toffee mixed into the chocolate that provide a crunchy stickiness. It’s really delightful, as it’s not as cumbersome as a Heath or Skor bars where the toffee is ample enough to cement your teeth together.

This is a tasty remix of a classic. I really enjoyed it, and this is a good addition to any holiday tradition.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


May
12



Mocha Roca Package

I first heard of the Roca’s when I was sent a gift package from a friend in Seattle. They’re made by Brown & Haley, a company that’s local to the area and also manufacture the lesser-known Mountain Bars. Once I saw the packaging, I realized that I see these all the time in grocery and drug stores. I just haven’t paid them any attention until now. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge from a good friend to find something new.

There’s many different flavors of Roca: Peanut Roca, Cashew Roca, Mocha Roca, and the most popular is the Almond Roca. I’m sure I’m missing some.

The packet holds two little Rocas, and once the main packaging is off, you get the two pieces in separate wrapper, then again inside that they’re all rolled up in a nice coffee-colored foil wrapper. Each Roca looks like a little log, about the size of a chubby pinky finger. Taking toe foil off, it’s rolled in bits of nuts and chocolate and reminds me of the topping on toffee. The feel fairly solid in the palm of my hand too. They’re cute in a way, like little Wooly Bears caterpillars.

The pieces cleave easily when you bite down on them. The toffee has a smooth break and is very smooth. The flavor I found very odd as I haven’t tasted anything like it before. I first notice the nuts with the chocolate, then a strong buttery hit of the toffee. Yes, I realize I described most toffees right there, but that’s not the part that makes this a new taste experience for me. That’s when coffee comes in, and this is no mild coffee flavor. This is intense. So much so in fact that I really feel like I’m eating a cup of coffee with chocolate, whipped cream and nuts on top of the small dollop of whipped cream. It’s surreal, and very tasty. I like how this little thing has such a powerful, flavor packed punch.

I enjoyed these, and I like how they come in a variety of package sizes so you can get a whole tin of them, or just a small packed of two like I bought here. They go wonderfully with a hot drink and make a good sweet snack. The only thing is that so much of it gets stuck in my teeth, it may be too annoying for me to get again. We’ll see.

Rating: Might Eat Again

 

Might Eat Again

Links Roca Website

 


Apr
28



See's Awesome Peanut Brittle Bar Package

Another popular item in See’s line of Awesome candy bars is the Awesome Peanut Brittle Bar. I know See’s really pride themselves on their peanut brittle, among many of their other items like the Scotchmallow and the Bordeaux, so I was interested to see how it tasted when covered in chocolate. Better, of course! Wouldn’t everything taste better coated in chocolate? I digress…

Firstly, I like the size and price of these. They weigh in at about an ounce and cost as much as a Snickers bar or a packet of M&Ms. The premise of the bar is simple, you get a small bit of the brittle covered in chocolate to enjoy by yourself. Granted, it’s so good I’d understand if you’d want to buy their large box of the brittle, but large boxes mean sharing or immediate death in my book, so I like my modest portions to be handed to me ready to consume.

It took some work, but I was able to break it in half with a hard snap. You know, for the photo! You can already see the huge peanuts that are in the brittle. It smells sweet, nutty and a touch salty.

See's Awesome Peanut Brittle Bar

The texture is extremely crunchy, and it’s, well…..awesome. The brittle is perfect in that regard. Not too soft, and it’s not too hard either, so it’s safe for your teeth! I appreciate that.

The flavor is a great mix: immediately buttery and sweet. A burst of salt then smacks you which is then alleviated buy the peanuts and eased out with the sweet milk chocolate. So good.

This won’t take first place as my favorite bar in the Awesome line, which is reserved for the Nut & Chew bar, but it’s still a strong contender. Anyone who’s crazy for brittle needs to be sent a case for their next birthday.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Sees Website


Jan
22



Charles Chocolates: Bi-Rite Creamery Bar

One thing that I really love about Charles Chocolates is their willingness to experiment with a multitude of different flavors. Their standard line of chocolates use all sort of additions to their tasty chocolate; from the traditional to the exotic. Regardless of what ingredients are used, the result is always pleasurable and delicious.

One of their most recent creations are a series of bars made especially for Bi-Rite Creamery, which are inspired by their infamous ice cream flavors. It’s a match made in heaven, as both companies share similar philosophies: making delicious treats in small batches while using the freshest ingredients. Besides, ice cream and chocolate are a natural pairing, and I’m interested to finally see ice cream in chocolate as opposed to the other way around.

Before I get into describing the flavors, I want to mention first that the base of these bars is a mix of dark and milk chocolates. This makes the chocolate exceptionally sweet and creamy, very reminiscent to how an ice cream base tastes. I thought this was a clever method of getting the “essence” of an ice cream’s flavor while still missing the texture.

Peanut Praline (a crunchy peanut candy in a rich blend of dark and milk chocolate): It has a terribly enticing aroma that’s hints of caramel, nutty, and very chocolatey. There’s large chunks of the candy in the bar and they are quite visible. The taste is of the chocolate: sweet, creamy, and of rich cocoa. The praline is crunchy and gives a great texture. The flavor is very buttery and nutty with a good dose of salt.

It’s exactly how I imagines a peanut praline would taste in chocolate. I love how the chunks of the praline aren’t too small so that I’d lose the texture in the chocolate, as I love to chomp on the chunks. Neither element of this bar is compromised for the other and it’s really nice.

Rocky Road (housemade marshmallows and salted almonds in a rich bled of dark and milk chocolate): Wow. Rocky road is right! This bar is just loaded with chunky bits of marshmallows and nuts and really looks like it needs a good pave job. Just breaking off a row I immediately hit the marshmallows and they softly pulled and stretched. You can tell they’re fresh and it’s awesome.

This bar is all about the texture. You get the intense crunchiness of the nuts and they’re very hefty. The marshmallows are soft, spongy and have a good “give” to them which is a great contrast to the nuts.

Flavor-wise it’s of the nice chocolate blend but supplemented with some saltiness from the nuts. It’s sweet and slightly stronger on the vanilla from the marshmallows.

Coffee Toffee (housemade almond toffee and coffee beans in a rich blend of dark and milk chocolate): This bar is extremely textured, and you can really tell just by looking at it. You can easily see the bits of toffee and espresso beans and it makes the bar look very mottled and spotted. Breaking off a row the texture is a little more crumbly and the snap is softer from all the additions.

The aroma is very roasted and sweet with a distinguishable coffee scent. It reminds me of mocha.

The flavor is immediately creamy with notes of the toffee with caramel and burnt sugar. The coffee flavor comes through after that initial burst of sweetness, with a smooth flavor that’s light and compliments the toffee and chocolate. Once you have all three flavors working together, it’s really wonderful, as all they’re all expertly balanced.

I’m happy to say that there’s no coffee grounds in this bar to deliver the flavor. Instead it’s bits of espresso beans and combined with the chunks of toffee it’s a very satisfying crispy texture.

This is my favorite of the bunch.

I love these bars and it’s a shame that unless I made the trek to the San Francisco to buy more, I probably won’t have them again. They’re certainly worth picking up if you’re in the area and I highly recommend you do so.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links
Charles Chocolates Website


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