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October 2014
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Chocolate

Dec
05



3 Musketeers Hot Coca Marshmallow

I was super excited to see that 3 Musketeers came out with a new limited edition flavor for the holidays. I spotted it on one of my trips to Target, which of course always leads me to cruise the candy aisles. I was lucky and spotted this one, since, in a way it looks very similar to the normal “festive” bag of regular 3 Musketeer minis. Over the years I’ve learned to be careful and to read the packages to make sure I’m not missing anything new. And this time it has certainly paid off!

This is quite a big bag of minis, ready for the holiday candy bowl. Each wrapper either is either silver or a nice light cocoa color. The aroma is very sweet and smells very much like a normal 3 Musketeer candy bar. There’s nothing in the appearance that looks different to me. I do very much love the festive artwork on the bag and it makes my brain scream “Yay! Christmas!” over and over.

The flavor is different in the ways I was expecting. The chocolate flavor has a very different essence to it. The chocolate has a very strong edge of dry milk power. It comes across like the aroma when you stick your nose into a bin of Nesquick. Even though cocoa as a drink is very watery in flavor, these candies don’t come across that way at all. Even though the nougat in the center is flavored like cocoa, the chocolate coating elevates the flavor and really makes it into a candy that stands on its own. As for the texture, it’s that texture we all know and love from 3 Musketeers. It’s light and fluffy, but very rich at the same time. Super delicious!

I found myself reaching for these 3 Musketeers the most while having my morning coffee. The fluffy texture (which I do love) and the smooth, rich chocolate flavor paired itself really well with a hot cup of coffee. I wonder since these are hot cocoa flavored, does that mean I had a mocha? I can’t rightfully say since I know little about making coffee drinks. Regardless, I really enjoyed them and the people I shared them with also seemed to enjoy them. They did say that these tasted “different” from regular 3 Musketeers, but they all couldn’t quite lay their finger on it. All I know is they’re yummy and they’re something you should try out.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


Links 3 Musketeers 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

 

Hoard


Links Hedonist Artisan Chocolates Website


Nov
21



Chuao Chocolatier Potato Chip Bar

When I was very early in my candy writing career, Chuao Chocolatier was one of the very first “gourmet” chocolate companies that I became very well acquainted with. Back then I wrote for Candyaddict.com, and easily wrote several articles regarding Chuao’s extensive chocolate line. Since then, I’ve done my best to keep up with the new chocolate bars and flavors they’ve introduced. Now that I live in Los Angeles, visiting one of their cafes is also on my to-do list. The point I am trying to make is I’m a big fan, and I was very pleased to find one of their newest bars in Cost Plus World Market recently. May I present, the Potato Chip Bar. 

Yes, you read that right. Potato Chip. I really admire how Chuao Chocolatier, much like Vosges, just goes there with their more offbeat flavors. They branch out from the stranger chocolate flavors (like sea salt and chili) that are slowly becoming more mainstream. Flavors like honeycomb (the candy variety), panko, and even pop rocks are fair game to Chuao Chocolatier. The bar comes in an eye catching wrapper that is in the style from their “classic” range of chocolate bars. It goes from golden to bronze. The shapes of cacao pods decorate the edges, and the wording on the front is centered and clear. 

The chocolate is a pretty medium brown color. On the back, you can see the light yellow flecks of the potato chips blended into the chocolate. The chocolate has a nice snap, but the break is not clean. The potato chips cause some rough edges and crumbling.

The the flavor starts out very creamy and sweet. The milk chocolate has intense flavor of milk, cream and caramel. It’s a very milky milk chocolate. You get some really nice chocolate flavor once the milky notes dissolve away. It’s a little sad, because as soon as the chocolate flavors arrive they’re immediately drowned out by the saltiness and flavor of the potato chips. The chips are pleasantly salty and have that nice crisp, starchy flavor. It stands out alone to me, as it doesn’t really mingle with the flavors of the chocolate since it appears right at the end. It’s a little disappointing since I wanted a chocolate and potato chip experience, but the flavors read separately so it’s hard to really get the together. The only way I found to resolve this is to later bites at once, but I don’t like feeling I have to gobble a chocolate bar to get the intended flavor fusion.

This bar is unique and that’s something I really appreciate. I liked the saltiness the bar had, but after eating this bar for a bit made me wonder if potato chips are the best way to get that salty kick in a chocolate bar. They do add a subtle starchy flavor to the chocolate, and also a slightly crunchy texture. Like all candy, such a preference depends on the person. You have to try it to find out if you like it, which I encourage to do with this bar. Plus, there’s the bagging rights of having eaten a chocolate bar with potato chips in it.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


Links Chuao Chocolatier 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

 

Hoard

 

Links Divine Chocolate Website


Oct
29



Halloween Candy 2012 020

These are one of those Halloween candies that I see around every year, yet I have no idea who makes them or what they’re called. When I’ve tried looking it up I just get online I get “bulk foil pumpkin balls”, which isn’t the best of names. I found these Madelaine Halloween Crisp Balls on the same trip to Michael’s where I encountered the Skybar Zombie Food. I immediately knew I wanted to review these for the blog, but I was also excited to finally have a name for these! Halloween Crisp Balls.

The appearance of these Halloween Crisp Balls is what immediately catches your eye. They are beautiful! The bright orange color immediately catches your eye, and the face of the Jack ‘O Lantern is so classic and appealing. It feels a tad vintage, and I really like that. I even love the little green leaves they put at the pumpkin’s top. So cute! They’re about the size of large marbles, so the pieces are neither to big nor too small.

The foil comes off easily in one piece if you take your time with it. The chocolate is a middle brown color, the color is not especially rich and it’s a bit waxy looking. You can see hints of the crisps in there. Its smells sweet and chocolatey, with a note of caramel. The texture is the first thing I notice, it’s smooth and the crisps are especially crunchy. The chocolate is very sweet and has lots of notes of cream and butter. It’s not the most chocolatey chocolate, but it’s still really yummy and certainly a great snacking chocolate. The combination of the size, texture and flavor makes these very irresistible.

I can see these looking absolutely adorable in a candy dish, or even at a candy bar for an event. They’re so colorful, festive and pretty! Even having some with my coffee, I felt as if that wasn’t enough of a way to showcase them. Yes, it tastes great, but I felt a way to capture it’s eye appeal. Beautiful and delicious, these candies are a great find. I hope to see them around more places soon. 

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Links Madelaine Chocolate Company Website


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