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September 2014
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Dec
19



Ritter Sport Amareno Cherry

I really love Ritter Sport. They continue to really surprise and delight me with the new flavors, and the classic flavors, that their chocolate bars have. I found this bar by accident and immediately recognized the label as something now. I saw the cherries and the ice cream on the label of this one, and it told me all I needed to know for that moment. I scooped it up and bought it for this review. Ritter Sport has gotten better with getting some of the amazing flavors that they have in Germany over here to the US. I for one, am most grateful for this. Especially when the chocolate bars are as good as that waffle bar they had last year.

The package is super pretty and appealing. It has a beautiful white background with the image of a cherry ice cream come and red cherries. It’s really red heavy and catches my eye immediately. I have to admit I did not know what Amarena Cherry was so I had to look it up on Wikipedia. Long explanation short, it’s a special type of Italian cherry, which makes the image of the gelato on the front very fitting.

Opening the package and taking a sniff, the chocolate smells amazing. You immediately get the sweetness of the chocolate, but it’s all overpowered by the intense scent of a ripe, fresh, juicy black cherry. Thankfully this smells like real cherries, or should i say, real cherry syrup. It’s not at all fake or reminiscent of medicine. Breaking off my first piece, the milk chocolate has a beautiful creamy color and the center filling is a very pale pink with bright red spots on it. It’s very inviting.

The flavor is sweet, and you taste the creamy milk chocolate right away. Then, almost immediately, you taste the cherry. I am reminded of a rich cherry ice cream. It really picks up on the darker cherry flavor, as it’s much more intense and juicy. The red flecks in the filling have a slight crispy texture to them which I wasn’t expecting. The milk chocolate and the cherry flavors combined is a beautiful symphony of flavor in your mouth. It’s a great combination and isn’t as overpoweringly sweet as I anticipated. I shared this bar with my new husband, and he just adored it. He’s a big fan of cherry flavors and he told me that this is one of the best he’s ever had. 

I really wish that I could find more of this bar. Sadly these were the last two when I initially found them in the store. My husband gobbled up the first one so quickly and now we’re both trying to save the last. The flavors in this are just so authentic and tasty. If you see it you really must give it a try. We both really fell in love with the flavor and we hope to find it again soon!

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Ritter Sport Website


Dec
03



Hedonist Sea Salt Caramels

The holiday season is now in full swing! This is an exciting time for any candy lover as the sweets that come out for the Holidays are always interesting and delicious. Which is why I was super excited to hear from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates about reviewing some complimentary samples their Salted Caramels. It has been a few years since I tried and reviewed the Hedonist Chocolates’s Holiday Truffle Collection. It was super delicious and awesome so I was most eager to give their Salted Caramels a try.

I first need to comment on the beautiful packaging that these Salted Caramels come in. It’s simple yet so very stylish with the dark brown box and the simple golden rod yellow ribbon. It speaks of elegance with the subtle styling. Once the box is opened, the caramels are beautifully arranged in a tray that keeps them separated and safe. The milk and dark varieties are easy to distinguish, one is noticeable lighter in color. Each has salt sprinkled on top. They smell rich of chocolate, but I detect no notes of caramel in there.

 

Hedonist Sea Salt Caramels

 

Dark Chocolate Caramel: You immediately taste the salt on your first bite, which elevates the caramel into a whole new level of intensity. The sweetness of the chocolate and the butteryness of the caramel are elevated and the flavor is more grand. The richness of the dark chocolate delivers sweetness that isn’t overpowering and mingles nicely with the salt. The buttery caramel it out of this world! It’s smooth and not too sticky in texture. The flavor is complex, with the flavor rooted in butter accented with nice toasted notes. Again, mixed with the salt, just makes the flavor simply “pop”. It’s incredibly deliciousness.

Milk Chocolate Caramel: The salt really makes these chocolate incredible. The milk chocolate is sweet and creamy, and adds a lovely sweetness but not much chocolate flavor. The caramel is so delicious. It’s buttery and sweet, with nice deep toasted notes that contrast beautifully with the salt. Because the milk chocolate isn’t as flavorful as the dark chocolate, you can taste the caramel much better. I found that I got even more flavors out of the caramel when tasting the milk chocolate pieces. Along with the buttery ans toasted notes, I get a tad of smoke which reminds me of how toasted marshmallows smell. It’s so a delightful play of flavor and texture as you eat it. These are meant to be slowly savored as the flavors are so wonderful.


This package also came with a surprise: Candy Cane Bark!

Hedonist Peppermint Bark

Gorgeous isn’t it?

The slabs of bark are thick, as least a 1/4 of an inch. They’re mainly bittersweet chocolate (55%), with white chocolate swirls on top and a generous coating of candy cane crumbles. They are very attractive!

Despite all the candy cane crumbles, this bar still smells of chocolate. It’s a sweet smell too, full of cream, caramel and coffee. The flavor is a wonderful balance of peppermint and chocolate. This is an Andes Mint on super steroids. You first get the flavor from the candy canes, with their sweet and intense peppermint flavor. It’s cool and refreshing and leaves a wonderful fresh flavor in your mouth. The chocolate is just luscious, it’s creamy, sweet and incredibly chocolatey. It compliments the candy cane bits so well. I couldn’t stop reaching for this bark one I opened the package, a sign that it is indeed irresistible. 

I simply loved these samples from Hedonist Chocolates. They were really delicious and you could tell that they really used fresh, quality ingredients in making these chocolates. Both the Salted Caramels and the Candy Cane bark didn’t last very long between my husband and myself eating them once I had my tasting notes for the review. I know several of my family members who are going to love these, and I plan to buy them some for the holiday season (some of them are caramel people). I’ll buy myself another box of course too. Hedonist have really kept up the quality since I last sampled their chocolates, and I greatly look forward to when I can have some again!

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Hedonist Artisan Chocolates Website


Nov
07



Divine Coffee Milk Chocolate

I am going to start this review by saying that I am already a big fan of Divine Chocolate. Since I am buying candy so often for the blog, I don’t get to buy it and enjoy it as often as I’d like since I am busy trying new things. I was in my local Whole Foods the other day and I saw this new Coffee Milk Chocolate bar that just yelled at me from the shelf. I knew I had to try it for the blog. I was especially excited about this bar, much like the Strawberry White Chocolate bar that Divine also makes, since coffee and chocolate is such a natural pair. I’m really surprised that I don’t see it around more often.

The wrapper is really pretty. The background of a rich brown adorned with designs of black on gold decorate the front and edges. “Divine” is written in embossed curly gold letters across the front with the tagline of “Heavenly Chocolate with a Heart”. The “Fair Trade Certified” logo is proudly displayed on the upper left. What’s not to love?

The chocolate has a beautiful medium brown color and a subtle sheen. It smells rich and creamy with an intense coffee scent. You can tell that this flavor will be powerful. I also get some notes of cream in there as well, which makes me look even more toward my first bite. The chocolate is section off nicely into squares that are four across and six deep. It makes for a perfect sized piece of chocolate in my humble opinion. Each comes in about about 1/2 inch long, 1/3 wide and 1/4 deep. I break of fa piece to find that this also has a really nice, clean snap to it. I haven’t tasted this chocolate yet and I’m already in love!

I take my first bite and I’m in heaven. Why? I feel no coffee grounds mixed in here. Some coffee chocolates I’ve had decided that adding coffee grinds to the chocolate was the “best” way to add some flavor. Flavor, perhaps, but having a sandy-textured chocolate as as result it hardly worth it. The flavor is immediately smooth and you get notes of cream, caramel and chocolate. The chocolate flavor escalates as the coffee flavor also starts to show up. The two blend together, neither one overtaking the other, but working together to give the most intense and flavorful mocha combination I’ve ever tasted. It’s so heavenly and delicious. The texture is also silky smooth and thick on our tongue so it feels incredible luxurious.

All I can say is, I love this chocolate. It’s really amazing. It has great texture, it has amazing flavor and it’s fair trade certified. If you’re a coffee chocolate lover, you must try this chocolate bar.

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Divine Chocolate Website


Oct
22



Halloween Candy 2012 028

One of the candies I really look forward to every Halloween is candy corn. I know it’s the type of candy that people either love or hate, and I feel it’s pretty obvious that I belong in the “love” category. I love how it look, how it tastes, and how it symbolizes that Halloween is coming. In the past few years candy corn has been getting some makeovers. There’s been new flavors of candy corn, gummi candy corn, marshmallow candy corn, and even Hershey’s Kisses Candy Corn. So I hope all this means that candy corn is gaining in popularity.

I got this bag of Brach’s “Fall Favorites” Candy Corn mix on a trip to Target. I was lucky to catch their early Halloween displays which is where I found this mix. What immediately called out to me about this mix was that it has chocolate covered candy corn in it. I’ll say that again, chocolate covered candy corn. I cannot express how excited I am.

Brach’s candy corn is my favorite out of all the brands that exist out there. It’s the one I enjoy most, with its grainy texture and sweet flavor kissed with honey. The candy corn are colorful, but more irregular in shape than I’m used to in other mixes. Some pieces are missing color stripes, some are smaller in shape, other have tips that have crumbled off in transit. Still, on the whole they are beautiful and incredible tasty.

Mixed into the candy corn is the chocolate covered candy corn. The front of the package reads 100% Milk Chocolate, and indeed the ingredients list backs it up. The chocolate covered pieces are large, almost double in size as a normal candy corn. Brach’s did not skimp on the chocolate dipping. The flavor first of the sweet chocolate, the texture is soft and smooth. You get lots of notes of butter and cream, accented with the honey of the candy corn. On the whole it’s incredibly sweet, but still tasty and enjoyable.

I really liked these, but unless you’re someone who can handle intense sweetness, these may be too much for you. Personally I think I still prefer normal candy corn, but in a festive candy bowl I’m sure there would go over really well. I think I am going to buy a few back so stockpile so I can get my candy corn and my chocolate fix at the same time.


Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Brach’s Website


Aug
27



Pocky Winter Coffee

I was pleasantly surprised when I found this box of Winter Coffee Pocky during my last rip to Little Tokyo. The “winter” varieties of Pocky are my favorites, with the extra layering of chocolate and the dusting of cocoa powder on top. For the past few years Pocky has been releasing just a normal, everyday chocolate flavor during the winter. It is awesome, let me tell you. So I was quite surprised when I saw that this past winter they decided to change things up a bit and come out wit ha new flavor: Winter Coffee.

The package has less of a “wintry” feel to it than the other Winter Pocky, which used cool blue tones and white on the package. This one is green, a nice forest green. Perhaps they are trying to evoke the jungle where the coffee beans come from.

Opening the packet I get a rich aroma that I can only say is the wonderful mix of chocolate and coffee. I taste my first Pocky stuck, and immediately I get the slight bitter cocoa powder dusting. The the rich chocolate comes forward, sweet and rich, but full of wonderful earthy coffee notes. The biscuit serves as a palette cleanser, not really carrying a flavor of it’s own, but allows the chocolate to shine and to provide a nice crunch. All I can say is, this is beyond delicious and terribly addicting. 

Both my fiance and I really loved this Pocky. It’s so familiar, yet just that hint of a different makes it even yummier. I found I really craved this Pocky with my morning coffee. Considering how importing these candies from Japan takes time and a means a more limited supply, I would really recommend trying this Winter Coffee flavor if you happen to see it.

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Pocky Website (Japanese)

 


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