I was super excited about finding this bar, since it’s been ages since I’ve had a Dolfin bar of any kind. That’s one thing that stinks about making a big move, you lose all the local places that you know where you can find your favorite stuff. Dolfin is certainly a favorite of mine. Interestingly enough, this is a bar of theirs I haven’t seen before. Regardless, I was excited to have anything by Dolfin, so having it be a new item wasn’t a big deal. I trust them to do a good job with all their flavors, which has been my experience in the past.
So what it SpeculOOs? That’s exactly what I wanted to know when I first saw the bar. It was my sister who informed me that it was a Dutch spice cookie, so then I had an idea of what the flavor profile was. Once I got to a computer I found out it is the Speculaas cookie, and I have to admit, they look pretty good. Next time I’ll find some without the chocolate bar around it.
It’s a small 30g bar, just the right size. The chocolate looks “normal” with a nice medium brown color. It smells sweet and slightly spicy with notes of smooth cinnamon.
The texture is a nice contrast. It’s both silky from the chocolate and slightly grainy from the added ingredients of crushed cookies and spices. The flavor is lovely as the milk chocolate is extremely buttery and rich with nice notes of chocolate and caramel. The cookies bits have a slight shortbread flavor to it, and the spices are just enough to be there but don’t overpower anything. They’re a kiss of cinnamon and pepper. It’s a great combinations and really delicious.
So this bar, it’s amazing. I want more! Maybe it’s the lack of Dolfin in my life recently that’s talking, but it was a nicely made and flavor chocolate bar. Just another reason why Dolfin is such a great chocolatier in my mind.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Dolfin Website
New Tree has done a lot of evolving over the years as a chocolate company. I recall back a few years ago when their chocolate bars had emotions and specific flavors paired together. You can see an early candy review of mine from CandyAddict.com where I reviewed all the current New Tree flavors at the time. Since then they’ve really changed their flavors and chocolate philosophy now. They’ve gone “healthier”, which is the best way I can put it now. Let’s look at this Belgian Biscuit bar as an example.
To start, this bar is a 65% chocolate and is labeled as “dark chocolate with golden flax seeds” along “3x more fiber, omega 3 and -30% sugar”. Healthier that most chocolates on the market now, wouldn’t you say?
Taking a bite the chocolate immediately has a lot of crunch to it. You taste sweetness and the butteryness of the biscuits, the chocolate really takes a back seat here. The biscuit’s flavor is the main star here. You don’t really taste the flax at all, it’s more of a texture at the very end when you get the seeds separating from the chocolate on your tongue and then stuck in your teeth.
Tasty, but not the best bar if you’re looking for a chocolatey hit. I found the texture to be the dominant factor in this chocolate bar, and it makes the bar difficult to be eaten in any other manner other than chewing it.
To be fair, New Tress does carry a collection like the originals I expressed above in the 2007 review. Yes, there’s been some changes. but the idea remains on the whole. Their branching out into more unique, healthful and innovative chocolate bars are interesting. I can’t say that these are something I’d immediately go for, but I’m sure they do appeal to certain consumers. It’s a quality bar at the end of the day, so it’s a good thing to go for if it sounds interesting to you.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links New Tree Webpage
Cafe Tasse is a Belgium chocolate company whose work I see around a lot. You see it mingling around the higher end chocolate like Valrhona, El Rey, Dolfin, Michel Cluizel, etc. Hanging around a crowd like that gives me high expectations. I finally caved one day and picked up this Noir Cafe bar since I was craving something with a good coffee flavor.
I’ve seen Cafe Tasse chocolate sold in many different formats. I’ve seen small 5g tasting squares, larger “mini” bars, 45g finger bars, then the large sized bar pictures above. I like how they offer lots of different sizes to cater to how gluttonous you feel.
The design is lovely. A brown paper wrapper with vintage styled black lettering adorns the outside. The different flavors of the chocolates are color coded, so it’s easy to pick out your favorite amongst a vast selection on a high shelf.
The bar is beautiful to look at with a gorgeous, deep coloring that’s very inviting. The snap was promising too: crisp and robust.
It’s sadly in the flavor where this chocolate goes south. The chocolate is indeed dark, with a flat flavor that’s extremely dry. The coffee is overpowering, adding more unnecessary tannic flavor to an already sour chocolate. Also, the coffee flavor is not just a flavor really. There’s coffee grounds in here. Lots of them. So yes, I do taste coffee, but I feel like I’m eating sand there’s so much grit in here. Isn’t the point of chocolate is to taste it and feel it’s wonderful smooth texture? It is for me at least.
This bar is a great example of how a chocolate bar can be misleading. Everything about it suggests it’s an excellent treat except for the flavor. Where, sadly, where the mark of a good chocolate bar really lies.
Rating: Not Worth It
Links Cafe Tasse Website
Another winter limited edition made by Dolfin. This one is “Cranberry and Maple Syrup in Dark Chocolate”. Out of all the flavors that were released, I looked forward to this one the most. I’ve always wondered how maple would work in chocolate, and I was hoping this bar would appease my curiosity.
The chocolate’s color is deep with purple undertones. It smells very sweet with notes of caramel, coconut, coffee, and cranberries. It’s extremely pleasing. The snap is firm and crisp with a clean break, save a few air bubbles.
The flavor is dry and earthy at first. It tastes of cocoa and caramel at first. Then the chocolate melts a little more on the tongue giving a thick, slippery mouth feel and a more intense flavors. I get pine and cream as the next big flavors. The cranberries and maple are chunks in the chocolate. The bits of cranberry are chewy and fresh with a nice tart kick. The maple flakes are crunchy and deliver a sweet hit, and sadly the chocolate washes out the delicate flavor so it becomes more of a crunch and texture.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Dolfin’s Website
Dolfin came out with a bunch of limited edition flavors this past winter, following the footsteps of their limited edition flavor released from that post summer. Considering they’re such foreign manufacturer, it means we get the chocolate here in the states a little on the late side (I didn’t find these until spring!) but as long as I eventually get to taste them, I’m not complaining.
This “Winter Emotion” bar is “milk chocolate with rooibus”. I’m confused by this a little, since rooibus is an African plant and has nothing to do with winter in my mind.
The chocolate is a nice medium brown color. I see dark flecks in it that I’m assuming are bits of the rooibus tea. I sense cream, caramel and earth in the aroma. It’s unusual. I’m reminded of a cup of earl gray tea with lots of milk in it.
The flavor is very earthy. I get notes of wood, pine needles and moss in this. There’s also flavors of cream, caramel and sweet chocolate. The texture is odd, as the chocolate texture is great because it’s so smooth and rich. The strangeness comes from the rooibus pieces, as they make it feel like I’m eating pine needles mixed into the chocolate. It’s extremely gritty and scratchy, and I don’t enjoy it at all.
This chocolate bar needs more flavor intensity and less texture. It does live up to it’s name of “winter emotion” as I do feel cold towards it.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Dolfin’s Website
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