It’ll probably come as no surprise, but I found these Dove Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels along side the Cookies and Creme flavor on the shelf at Target. I admit that the unusual colors of these packages alerted me that they were new. It’s amazing how just a splash of color can carry so much meaning! Since I was already there looking for new candy, I figured one more for the blog wouldn’t hurt. Plus, dark chocolate and sea salt caramel? Too tasty sounding to resist.
The chocolate’s wrappers are a shiny light blue foil with the Dove logo and black writing on it. The chocolate has a lovely aroma, it smells rich and sweet, with notes of coffee and cream and burnt sugar. Again, these Promises (which I believe these pieces are actually branded) have inspiration messages on the inside. I ate these too fast that I forgot what they said. Oops.
The chocolate is extremely creamy. It has an intense chocolate flavor with a slight note of coffee. The chocolate forms a nice hard shell around the creamy caramel interior. It’s not too sturdy and not too frail, a perfect thickness to keep the caramel protected but easy to bite into. The caramel is buttery and sweet, and you can certainly taste the hint of sea salt. The sea salt is only enough to notice, so it’s not overly salty. The caramel is flowing and smooth, and thankfully not too liquid so that it would be easy to spill. Overall the mix of flavors is really nice; mix of chocolate and buttery caramel that’s kissed with salt. It’s a really lovely combination.
I enjoyed these far more than I expected. These are super tasty and I shared my bag with my coworkers, who also all loved them. I really enjoyed them with morning coffee, as the chocolate and caramel are perfect compliments. Regardless of how you prefer to eat them, if you’re looking for something new to try, if you’d like to give a salted chocolate a go, or if you enjoy chocolate with caramel, do check these out. They just might be your new favorite.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Dove Chocolate Website
~~Today I’m trying something new. My fiance, who is a big chili head, ordered some chili candies that are made with extremely hot peppers. Now, I can take a pretty good dose of hotness in my foods, but even these were a little out of my league. I asked he he wouldn’t mind doing a guest review of these candies for me, as I didn’t think I could do a full review myself with the small nibbles I took (it was a hotness that I could handle). So please, enjoy!~~~
I first heard about these Scorpion Sting Caramels from aTed Barrus review. I’m a fan of spicy things, specifically the natural heat of peppers, so I decided to try these as they use powder from the Moruga Scorpion which currently one of the hottest peppers in the world. They’re made as a collaboration between Volcanic Peppers and The Madison Chocolatiers and can be purchased from either site. They came in a clear package with six caramels: two white chocolate, two milk chocolate, and two dark chocolate. They were wrapped in orange, maroon, and gold foil (with no indication of which was which) and were about an inch square and 1/3 of an inch thick. The important thing to note about these chocolates is that they are getting their heat from a very hot chilli pepper. This makes it different than most hot candies in that the heat here is coming from the capcasin in the peppers, not from anything artificially added.
I’ll start with the orange wrapper:
Turns out this one is the dark chocolate. It definitely smells rich, like chips used for cookies. You can smell the butteryness of the caramel immediately and as it was fairly solid, it allowed me to break it in half cleanly exposing a rich molasses color. The initial bite is sweet and creamy, though with a fudge like consistency. The chocolate melts nicely and in about 15 seconds you begin to feel the heat from the peppers. Honestly, to me it isnt very hot, however I enjoy fiery foods. In terms of the burn, I can feel it mostly on my tongue and down the back of my throat, almost like drinking some good brandy. Actually it feels really good in my humble opinion. It is a nice, warm, tingly burn that never peaks to a huge degree. It just settles into a nice warm burn and lasts for a few minutes.
Moving to the gold wrapper:
This one was the milk chocolate. It had the same sweet smell as the first, however not as powerful. It melted fairly quickly on my fingers. The chocolate and caramel seem sweeter than the first and actually seem to hold off the burn of the peppers a bit longer than the dark variety. Again, the chocolate melts very well and the caramel is rich and has that fudge-like quality. One of my biggest gripes about caramel is that it often sticks to my teeth and this fortunately avoids that entirely. Again I get the same burn sensation as the dark due to the dusting of Scorpion powder with similar localization of the burn.
Finally, the dark maroon wrapper:
This one was the white chocolate and as soon as its wrapper is removed you get this great white chocolate aroma which reminds me of a Zero bar. You don’t smell as much of the caramel because the lovely aroma of white chocolate is so strong. The flavor of white chocolate seems an even better coating for these caramels in my opinion. The white doesn’t seem to melt as fast and provides a bit of a chew to it, not much, but enough to give you a choice: either let it melt slowly and definitely get more heat, or chew and swallow and not feel it as much. Thats a recurring theme here, the longer you hold them in your mouth the more heat you’ll get. The pepper flavor and heat are quite strong here and build to a nice burn like the previous. At this point I’ve eaten three of them and their heat definitely starts to stack. I can feel the burn on my tongue, down the back of my throat and now I’m feeling a nice warm sensation in my belly. I’m the kind of guy that enjoys a nice after dinner cordial and honestly, it feels a bit like that right now. My stomach feels a nice warm tingle. The difference is that my mouth and throat get a bit of that capsacin burn.
These are lovely caramels and I applaud the use of such a rare and distinct chilli in their creation. It tames the scorpion heat VERY well. I’ve had some other things that were made with the pepper and let me tell you, they’re mind BENDINGLY hot. Just check out some internet videos of people eating the pepper whole and you’ll see what I mean. But these caramels used just right amount of the powder and blended it with the right ingredients to make it a quite enjoyable flavor. I wont say its for the chili novice and you’d certainly have to have a palate for, and enjoy spicy foods, but if you like your curries or chicken wings pretty spicy, these would be a great candy to try out.
As for the long term, Its been about 15-20 minutes since I’ve started the review and the ‘pain’ or ‘burning’ of the peppers has gone away, but I’m left with a really nice warm feeling in my throat and belly. Great job!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links The Madison Chocloatiers
I’ve been noticing new Godiva bars on my trips to the grocery stores and pharmacies. They have an attractive rich brown color tho them and enticing macro photography on the front. On my last trip I managed to catch some of the bars on sale, so I figured new blog fodder. Plus these new bars looked so delicious! The first I’ll review is the Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel bar.
The packaging on this is really pretty, as I mentioned. The maco photography shows stacks of this bar with pieces of hard caramel crumbs. It’s very pretty and gives you a really good idea of what you’re buying and about to enjoy. The package opens easily to reveal a gold foil protecting the chocolate. I like how they keep the gold color scheme throughout the packaging.
The chocolate is a nice matte brown color, and you can see the pieces of the salted caramel flecks in it. It smells very rich and sweet and oddly enough a little salty. It feels off to describe something as smelling salty, but these does.
The milk chocolate is smooth and creamy. It’s sweet with nice flavors of cream and vanilla. The salted caramel are hard little crispy pieces in the chocolate, and they just are bursting with flavor when you encounter them. The are light and crispy, so it’s a really great textural contrast with the smooth chocolate. The flavor is just bursting with butter and cream and a saltiness that is perfect. It’s not too salty, not does it disappear around all the sweet flavors. it stands out just beautifully and compliments the chocolate so wonderfully.
This bar was really tasty. I am personally a big fan of the salt and chocolate combination. I realize it’s not for everyone, but if you’re interesting in giving it a try, I think this bar is a good place to start. It has the right balance of chocolate to caramel to salt ratio that I feel compliments all the ingredients. I really enjoyed this, and I hope to find it on sale again soon.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Godiva Website
Comptoir du Cacao is a French chocolate company that I discovered way back in 2006 and the New York City chocolate show. They had too many different chocolates to remember, but I did buy a box of their crispy pralines. I brought my swag home to share with my family, and to this day my Mom has never raved about anything more than the Comptoir du Cacao chocolate I brought home. I wish I knew more about the company itself, other than it is in France. Sadly their website is mostly in French, which I can’t read, so their background will have to remain a mystery to me.
Fast forward to 2011’s holiday season. My sister discovered a store in Manhattan who recently began selling Comptoir du Cacao’s chocolates. As a Christmas gift ,she gave me these two chocolate bars of theirs. Having been so long since I have had them I was super excited for this opportunity again. Will they live up to my memory though?
Praline Feuillete: Noix de Coco
This bar is described as white chocolate with a coconut hazelnut filling. The package keeps the chocolate nice and safe, with a thick clear plastic around the chocolate and a sturdy cardboard case. The bar is sectioned off with two chocolate squares per row, and it’s easily to break a piece off. You can easily see the filling through the beautiful white chooclate. Its smells creamy and extremely coconutty.
The flavor is very creamy and rich at first. You taste the sweet, buttery notes of the white chocolate and the richness of the hazelnuts right away. Then to coconut appears, it’s delicate, and completely authentic. You can even taste the texture of the flakes of dried coconut in there. The mixture of the flavors is very harmoniuos and amazingly delicious. I really wish I had a more of this bar as I practically inhaled it.
Praline feuillete “caramel beurre sale”:
This is the second bar I received as a gift. It’s a salted caramel with milk chocolate, if I’m reading that French correctly. The chocolate is a pretty color with a nice medium tone and a very high gloss to it. Very gorgeous to look and an unusually beautiful for a milk chocolate (which is usually more matte in color).
This has a layer of praline in it, and when you snap off a piece you can see the center that is sandwiched between the chocolate.
The flavor is first of the rich, smooth and flavorful milk chocolate. Then you feel the crispiness of the salted caramel, as they’re little pieces inside the praline. They’re flavorful, very buttery with a nice kick of salt. Then you taste the extremely flavorful richness of the gianduja filling. It’s very chocolaty and has wonderful notes of toasted hazelnuts. Just amazing.
I can’t express properly how amazing delicious and incredible this chocolate it. It is beyond words delicious. I wish it was more readily available so I could have more of it (well, maybe not a good idea, I don’t want to put 300lbs on in a week) and so that other have the opportunity to taste something so good. If you ever stumble across their stuff, I recommend buying it, it’s something you won’t regret.
Links Comptoir du Cacao Website
This was a find from my local Cost Plus World Market. I was thankful that they carried Lion Bar. I’ve actually had it many times over the year. I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. I then decided it’s been too long, so I went and searched it out. What I like most about is it the lion roaring on th package. There’s no description or anything that this bar is exactly. Only the words “New and Improved”. Ok I’ll take your word for it Mr. Lion.
Upon further inspection I notice a neat little detail on the package. On the wrapper where it says to recycle. They have a lion putting the paper in the bin, which is very cute.
The bar is long and knobby, like a piece of wood. I bite into it and it immediately it has an interesting texture. It’s thick and chewy with bits that are very light and crispy. Looking at the cross section, it has a wafer center, like a Kit Kat, but more delicate. Surrounding that there’s bits of peanuts, rice crispies, and caramel. It’s a very fun, tasty and complex flavor. The chocolate is smooth and sweet, but not very chocolatey. The wafers are crispy and light. The caramel is thick and sweet and the peanuts add a hint of nuttiness. It’s like a child of a Snickers and a Kit Kat.
It’s a very tasty bar. Hopefully you can understand how I keep going back to it all the time. It’s just so much fun to eat. I recommend trying it if you ever encounter it.
Rating: Will Buy Again