I’ve been a reader of Nina’s blog ofSweet Napa for a long time, as it’s always fun to see what other sweet-tooth driven individuals are up to. I’ve known of her BonBon Bars for some time, but haven’t had the motivation to try them.
During a trip to Los Angeles this past summer I visited Nina, with the sweet company of Cybele, at the Century City farmers market where I was finally able to taste her offerings. Let’s just say they were everything I heard about and then some. I bought a few to take home with me, only to have them mangled on the trip home and therefore unworthy to review. When I saw there was a limited edition Pumpkin Pie flavor released for a few months this fall, I knew I had to put an order in. So I am very excited to review these bars for you, my readers.
Malt Bar: “Creamy Malt Ganache & Crunchy Shortbread” I got one of each the dark and milk chocolate variety. The flavors and textures in the compliment each other beautifully. The shortbread is crunchy and extremely buttery. The ganache is smooth and has an incredible richness to it. The flavor is very sophisticated, as none of the elements are overpowering. The flavor is very chocolatey, lightly malty, buttery…..essentially a little bit of heaven. These were gone in a flash.
As far as the milk/dark chocolate difference, the milk tastes much less chocolately than the dark and isn’t any sweeter. So it really depends on which you prefer.
Orange Bar: “Orange Caramel & Pecan Nougat topped with Candied Orange Peel” The flavor is sweet, but like the Malt bar, it’s not too much. The orange flavor in the thick, chewy caramel dominates and it’s really a bright, fresh, authentic flavor. You don’t really taste the nougat as it just delivers a nice fluffy texture. The pecans I hardly really notice; I get a piece every now and then which are fresh and flavorful. The best part of this bar is biting a section with the candied orange that’s placed on top. It elevated the whole orange flavor and really adds a great extra chewy texture to the whole bar.
Pumpkin Pie Bar: “Warm with spices and rich with chocolate, our limited edition Pumpkin Pie Bar evokes the spirit of the holiday season. We place a Spiced Pumpkin Caramel atop a Graham Cracker Crust, and enrobe it with Dark Chocolate” Oh, this bar is yummy! Too bad it’s a limited edition too, I wish I could get these all year. The star of this bar is the graham cracker crust on the bottom. It adds a wonderful crunch and a flavorful base for the squash and spice flavors to build upon. The jist of the taste is definitely fall with it’s very warm effect of the flavor. I would have liked a stronger presence of the pumpkin, but that’s most likely just me, as I’m obsessed with squashes of all types. I bought three of these bars and they were the first to go. Everyone I shared them with agreed that they were out of this world.
These bars are lovely and I could continue to gush about them, but it’s best to keep things succinct. They run at $5 a bar, which is a fair price in my mind considering how fresh and flavorful they are. They’d be an awesome gift, whether it’s for yourself or for a special someone. BonBon bars are indeed a wonderful gourmet treat, and one I plan to get my hands on again very soon.
BonBon Bar Webpage
Since I began expanding my candy horizons for the past couple of years I’ve been finding some interesting new favorites amongst the zillions of options out there. One of these not-so-recent discoveries has been Hershey’s Take 5 bar. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a blend of five ingredients (milk chocolate ( or rather, it was once upon a time), caramel, peanuts, pretzel and peanut butter) so you get the ultimate sweet and salty candy experience.
So imagine my curiosity when I spotted the Peanut Butter Take 5. The package description the only difference is that the milk chocolate is gone (warning #1) and is replaces with “peanut butter candy”. They don’t specifically say what that exactly is. Granted, this was late year (yes, my notes do run that far back), but that doesn’t mean that Hershey’s won’t ever revive this limited edition.
Here’s what the bars look like one the packaging is removed. Don’t you love the advertising for Kissables on the back card? Anyways, you can now see the “peanut butter candy” is really a peanut butter coating that replaced the chocolate.
The taste is not where it should be. The loss of the chocolate really delivers a big blow. It doesn’t have that nice sweetness to balance the saltiness anymore. The coating doesn’t impart anything new except a strange greasy feeling in your mouth. There really is too much peanut butter in this and destroys the balance that was so perfect in the original. In this case, don’t mess with perfection Hersheys. Mmm, kay?
Rating: Not Worth It
Hershey’s Take 5 Webpage
Cadbury Picnic is a bar hailing from the Land Down Under. I’ve heard about it, but it wasn’t until an Australian friend sent me a candy care package that I finally encountered one. The specific one I got is actually a limited edition Picnic bar of the “Honey Almond Nougat” variety. “New!” and “A unique combination of almonds & crunchy pieces of honey almond nougat caramel & wafer covered in delicious Cadbury milk chocolate” are the descriptions on the wrapper. I’d by lying if I said it didn’t sound appealing and terribly tasty.
The regular Cadbury picnic bars have a wafer center, creamy caramel, and rice crisps all covered in chocolate. So this new variety adds more textural and flavor elements by replacing the rice crisps with the almonds and nougat. I still think that this will give me a pretty good indication of what the original bar is. It’s kinda funny how the Picnic sounds like the offspring of a Kitkat, a Nestle’s Crunch and a Milky Way.
I’m relieved to say that according to the ingredients list, this Picnic bar is using real chocolate! Yay! It’s gotten to the point where that’s always the first things I look for in candy bars. Yes, I’m a stickler for quality.
The bar itself looks like a very large, lumpy 100 Grand or a smaller, chocolate covered PayDay. Take your pick. It smells very strongly of sweet honey and almonds. It’s hard for my to explain but something in it also smells really “carb-y” and it’s hard to lay my finger on it. I don’t know what else it could be other than the nougat.
My first bite was extremely crispy. The center is the wafer and very similar in structure to a Kitkat. Wrapped around the wafer is the caramel, so already we have a crispy/chewy texture working here. The nougat and almonds add a slight crunch and it’s very addicting to chew and munch.
As for the flavor? It took me a moment to concentrate on it to be honest, I was already too busy trying to dislodge the pieces of nougat and caramel on my teeth. It’s got a lot going on: I get nice milky caramel notes, some light blandness from the wafers, then there’s a big salty hit from the almonds and finally a honey sweetness of the nougat. I don’t hardly taste any of the chocolate, as it cowers behind the big three of the caramel, nougat and almonds. I do like how the honey stands out, it proves a nice sweetness, especially blended with the caramel, and the saltiness provides a wonderful contrast. I just wish I wasn’t going to be picking bits of this out of my teeth for the next couple of hours. Ah, sacrifices, right?
Rating: Will Eat Again
Cadbury Picnic Webpage
The the idea of the Cabury Filled Dessert Bar excited me from the beginning. It’s as if a box of assorted chocolate bonbons were smooshed together and made into a conveniently filled chocolate bar. Genius! Why wasn’t something like this made sooner? Really!
Cadbury was clever about labeling the flavors in the bar. On the back of the wrapper there’s a key to all the different flavors, so there’s no surprises to what you’re getting when you break off a section. They were very creative with the shapes too; using pineapples, hearts, triangles, etc. to decorate the bar. I wish I took a picture of it before I ate it. Sometimes I’m too excited to do that though, and this was one of those times. I promise to be better about it in the future.
My first taste was underwhelming because the chocolate doesn’t taste up to the normal Cadbury standard. It’s very sweet, but I am missing the cocoa and the dairy flavors that are usually so consistent with their chocolate. Deciding to not let that taint the rest of my experience, I pressed on…
Orange: was so untociceable, really, I can’t remember tasting much!
Coconut Ice: I didn’t taste coconut per se, but there was a coconut essence to it. It was as if someone whispered “coconut” to me from across the room and I thought I heard something…maybe” kind of a way.
Turkish Delight: This one was awful. It tasted like I was eating a bar of soap.
Pineapple: thebest of the bunch, yet that doesn’t say much, the brightly yellow colored goo on the inside didn’t taste of pineapple. It did have the zestiness after it that you expect with pineapple, but the flavor was more “mystery articicial fruit” than pineapple. It was tasty at least, which is more than what the others can say for themselves.
Strawberry: Extremely bright pink in color. The flavor actually has a fruity essence to it, but it doesn’t really taste of strawberry. It just tastes “pink” which for me is a generic berry flavor that’s hard to lay your finger on.
Caramel: Sadly, there’s not much caramel flavor to be found. Actually, it’s totally missing. Oh, Caramello, you’d be so ashamed!
This was such a disappointment. Granted, I had really hyped it up in my mind, but considering how Cadbury usually is pretty solid in terms of good chocolate delivery. I can’t help but feel this bar leaves a lot to be desired still. I’m see this as a starting point for some good improvement!
Rating: Not Worth It
Cadbury Dair Milk Snack Webpage
Last year Brach’s, my favorite brand for candy corn, surprised us all with new flavor varieties of this iconic fall candy: Milk Maid Caramel Apple and Milk Mail Caramel. I reviewed these last year when I was writing for CandyAddict, and you can see my impressions of them there. I was pleased to find in my local Target that Brach’s is continuing the tradition and released a new flavor: Milk Maid Chocolate Caramel Candy Corn.
The candy corn still smells sweet, but now there’s a really strong buttery smell to them. The kernels are really pretty to Different shades of
The flavor is very interesting. It’s immediately sweet and the flavor is immediately the caramel. It comes across as a very intense, salty, fake, buttery flavor. The cocoa appears in the finish and aftertaste working hard to mellow out the strength of the butter flavor. I know it sounds odd, but this works. The caramel and cocoa flavors match well and neither come across as overpowering. My only criticism is that the caramel has a stronger presence than the cocoa, but I can live with this.
I love candy corn to begin with, so these will be a nice addition to my eating rotation so things won’t get too boring.
Rating: Will Buy Again