I’ve tried many Kit Kats in my candy blogging days, but none of them have been from the “Senses” line. The physical structure of the Kit Kat Senses differs from the many other strangely flavored varieties which have become commonly available all over the world. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, Kit Kats are all about the four, long, wafer filled bars. The Senses line adds more to the equation by creating one large single finger like a Kit Kat Chunky with five creme filled cavities on the top. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
This specific Kit Kat Senses had hazelnut creme filled cavities; an interesting twist on the format that Kinder Bueno uses, really, now that I look at it. In fact, it just seems to be a Nestle took that idea right off of Kinder and just re-named it as Kit Kat. Interesting.
The bar smells extremely hazelnutty, as if I just opened up a jar of Nutella.
The flavor is awesome. It’s a similar to a Manner Biscuit but with more chocolate. It tastes intensely of hazelnut, cream, cocoa and sweetness. In fact, I find that those flavors practically overpower the chocolate and I find myself missing it a little. It’s an amazing flavor overall though and an immensely satisfying.
The texture is great, as it takes the best part of Kit Kat and adds a contrasting element. You get the crispy wafers and then the thick, creamy texture of the hazelnut creme. Mmmmm.
I’m impressed with Kit Kat Senses! I thought perhaps it’d be too much of a good thing or mucking with perfection, but I stand corrected. They’re addicting. I highly recommend trying one if you ever see them.
Links Kit Kat Senses
Out of all the treats from England, the Starbar was the only one I specifically requested. I’d heard tales of how utterly delicious this bar is from other candy blogs on the web, so I’ve been secretly waiting for the day I might stumble across one in a random import New York City deli. Alas, I’ve had little luck with my passive search, so I decided to take the opportunity to ask my boyfriend to please, please search one down for me. Obviously he did not disappoint!
The description of the the Starbar is: “Shot through with peanuts and caramel”. I’m not sure quite what that means but it sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
Out of the wrapper, the bar looks like a giant Twix finger. It’s rounded at the top with flats sides. It smells very malty, milky, sweet, and of mainstream UK chocolate (sweet with a tart, creamy notes).
My first bite is so very thick, soft and chewy. Oh wow. It’s marvelous.
Here’s the breakdown of the construction: the center is a giant log of thick, chewy caramel with bits of peanuts in it. Then the whole this is enrobed in chocolate. Simple and very tasty.
The flavor is similar to peanut brittle. It’s sweet, lots of burnt sugar flavors, peanutty, lightly salt, cocoa and strong dry milk flavors. The milky flavors are very tangy and they’re complimented with notes of malt and vanilla in the aftertaste.
The peanuts are lightly crispy and there aren’t too many in the bar. They’re a good size too, about 1/4 of a full nut. Thankfully they don’t stick to my teeth.
I was so sad once I finished my Starbar, as it was every bit as tasty as I was described. It really lived up to its reputation. I want more, and I hope a return trip to England isn’t the only way to get another.
I’ve heard tales of the infamous Walnut Whip. Many love it and consider it a very overlooked confection, others say it’s really nothing noteworthy. So when I was presented with a pair of Whips, I was excited to try them and see where I stood in the great Walnut Whip controversy. Would it be as good as some claim? Or as blah are many insist?
This Walnut Whip is the vanilla flavor (there’s others?) and comes in this cute, bright blue, upright standing package. The wrapper describes it as “Milk chocolate whirl with a vanilla fondant cream center”. Sounds tasty!
As soon as I open it up it smells of the iconic, sweet, Nestle milk chocolate. I was slightly disappointed to find that my walnut has loosened itself and had fallen to the bottom of the package.
Taking the candy out and placing the walnut on top where it should be. I admit, it’s a pretty funny looking candy. It reminds me of a beehive, a tall swirled mound. I first ate the walnut, alone. It’s buttery and fresh with that slight astringent taste from the skins. Then my first nibble of chocolate: it tasted sweet, buttery and of maple syrup. It’s nice and smooth with good flavors of cocoa and milk. It’s a sweet milk flavor and has no tang to it as British chocolate often does.
The vanilla fondant center is really fluffy, I was surprised by. I was expecting more of a thick, ganache center as fondants usually reads as heavy and thick in my mind. Instead, it’s light and fluffy like a nougat or marshmallow. The fondant is very sweet with the light vanilla flavor that is supplemented with notes of butter and hints of strawberries. It’s a little tangy and it’s very tasty.
I found the most enjoyable way to eat this was pick the walnut off the top and then bite into the chocolate at the peak. From there I lick out the fondant center and then eat the empty shell. Yes, I am aware that I’m weird.
Rating: Will Eat Again
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
Charles Chocolates Website
I’ve seen these nougats around and was finally able to try them at the Fancy Food Show this past June. Since then I’ve been on the hunt to track down a pack for an official review, and now my hard work has finally paid off. Some candy with worth the work, and these Golden Bonbon Nougats are just that in my book.
These nougats hail from Canada where they’re made from an original Italian recipe. You can tell the company takes pride in their work, and once you taste them, you’re easily sold.
The nougats come in a pouch of assorted flavors and textures, so there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Each nougat is individually wrapped, labeled and cut into cute little mini fingers. It’s really a great in terms of packaging, as you can easily root through the bag and pick out your favorites and give the others to friends. I did just that and my roommate happily shared these with me.
Crunchy Almond: Crunchy indeed! It’s hard, but not too bad. It took some working with the back teeth to get it to break, and then it softened up nicely. It has fresh nutty flavors of the almond and strong notes of honey and a little hint of maple flavor to it.
Crunchy Maple: This one is also really hard on the teeth. The flavor is much sweeter than the almond and the maple notes are powerful. Fake maple breakfast cereal comes to mind.
Soft Almond: The texture in this is much nicer. It’s soft, pillowy, has a good chew and the crunchy texture of the almonds compliment it nicely. The flavor in this is much more of an amaretto flavor than just almond with honey accents.
Soft Maple: Again, great with the texture. The maple flavor here is very prominent, and like the crunchy one, the slightly artificiality of the flavor reminds me of breakfast cereal.
Soft Orange: Strong bitter notes of orange as if the rind was used to make it. The honey in the nougat rounds out the sweetness and it’s a nice balance.
Soft Blueberry: The blueberry comes form dried blueberries in that’s mixed into the nougat along with the almonds. You don’t get the fresh, fruity flavor until you hit one and then there’s a great mix of blueberry and honey flavors.
Soft Cranberry: Wow, this is awesome! It tastes really like the whole thing was soaked in cranberry juice. Sweet, with a good sharp cranberry flavor and a tart edge.
Soft Cafe: The texture of this is a little firmer than the other soft ones I’ve had, much more thick and chewy. The coffee flavor is present, not too strong or too light. The coffee flavor itself is bitter and acidic. I’m not sure if I like the actual flavor of the coffee, but it does pair nicely with the nougat.
These disappeared pretty quickly and my roommate, who has such a small sweet tooth, kept asking if I had more of these long after I told her we’d finished them.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Golden Bonbon Website