I came across this Michel & Augustin Petits Carres: Dark Chocolate at the same trip to the Grove Farmer’s Market down in Los Angeles on 3rd and Fairfax. The stores there carry and amazing array of items, and these bars from France are one of many. It was actually my sister who noticed them at first and kept picking them up to look at the packaging. The purist that I am, I was more interested in the huge bars of Felchin and Dolfin chocolates. It wasn’t until I she came over and tugged on my sleeves suggesting that these would be great to review on my blog. “Look at how unique these are!” she exclaimed. That line of reasoning was exactly why I bought them.
This is a candy bar that I have never seen before. This isn’t because it’s French and I just haven’t seen it on shelves here in the USA. No, I mean by the fact that this style of candy bar is completely new to me. Usually you see instead is a bar that is similar; where cookie bits are crumbled into the chocolate, or the chocolate is put into the cookie and it sold as a…well, a cookie. So this idea of a molded cookie base and chocolate interior which is a candy bar is very new to me.
I shall start with the first flavor: Dark Chocolate.
So these bare have butter biscuit as the bottom with a chocolate filling pressed into “wells” in the top. The bar is broke into six biscuit sections, two wide and three tall. Out of the wrapper it’s pretty to look at. Kind of like a stained glass cookie. Also though, due to the denseness of the cookie bottom, the sections are kinda hard to break. Everyone single one of them gave me a difficult time.
The bar is 73g in size/weight. I admit I wasn’t quite sure if this was a candy or a cookie. But, one seldom sees a 73g cookies wrapped like a candy bar. Much less from France.
The butter biscuit bottom is soft and crumbly. It doesn’t require a lot of chewing to make it break apart. The flavor is very sweet and buttery, with nice notes that aren’t too sweet. It’s a nice butter shortbread. I was surprised by it’s intense salty aftertaste, which was strange at first then ended up being the part I looked forward to most. The chocolate filling is soft and gooey, but solid. When I opened the wrapper it stuck to it and came out as a solid whole. Which is…odd. The flavor is sweet but very…flat. It reminds me of creamy cocoa powder. The flavor gets stronger, but it’s not very sweet and it has a very flat chocolate flavor.
So this is ...meh. I’ve had chocolate bars that are better and cookies that are better. I just can’t help but feeling that this is better off as a cookies, as opposed to packaged like a candy bar.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Michel & Augustin Webpage (French)
I am always super excited when limited edition flavors come out for the holiday season. It’s like a treasure hunt for me, to go around to all the different stores trying to find what is new and unique. The idea of items having a “season” is fun to me, especially since we humans used to eat foods in that way. We’d consume what fruit and vegetables were in season, so in a way these candies that come around only once a year reflect those times. Once I am lucky enough to locate them I then take my bounty home to photograph and taste it for the blog. For this year, See’s was kind enough to offer me samples of their special Thanksgiving flavors and saved me a trip to the store. The cranberry orange truffle is one of the two I have ready to review for you.
This truffle is included in a “Seasonal Pie Truffles” collection they offer each year at Thanksgiving. There’s a set of four flavors including Cranberry Orange, Pecan Pie, Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie. The chocolates all sound really appealing, it must be hard to decided which to taste first. The cranberry orange is easy to pick out, it’s round and tall, decorated with lines of drizzled chocolate. It’s made with dark chocolate, so the color is very deep and inviting.
The truffle smells bright and zesty of oranges. You get a little sweetness form the chocolate, but it’s really the orange that steals the show here. The first bite is filled with orange, complimented by cranberry followed by the rich dark chocolate tones with an edge of cherry and cream. Taking a peek at the truffle’s interior, you can see the pale pink filling with actual bits of cranberry in it. No wonder if it’s so flavorful! The chocolate is fruity too, so it’s bright red notes of cherries and currants compliments the filling beautifully. The orange notes are bright and zesty, as they’re extremely fresh. The cranberries and a fresh tartness to it, and in a way I’m reminded of a creamy cranberry sauce. It’s very flavorful and delicious.
I really liked this truffle, as the flavors were beautifully balanced with the chocolate, not to mention being yummy! It really makes me eager to buy the “Seasonal Pie Collection” and try the Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie flavors it includes. The flavors are just so tempting! Especially since fall flavors are a big favorite of mine. If this truffle is any hint of what the overall collection is like, and knowing See’s I feel safe in assuming that it is, I’m sure it’s a extremely delicious treat which is worthy of replacing the pies it mimics.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links See’s Candies Website
Lindt is a favorite chocolate of mine and has been for some time. I recall my parents buying it on occasion when I was a little kid. They’d had spent some time in Europe and “American” chocolate never satisfied them afterwards. So Lindt was the indulgence of good chocolate back then. It was ingrained into me early on that Lindt was a good chocolate and was something to have from time to time.
Like Godiva, Lindt was been experimenting with new flavors and such in the past few years. This is why the new Black Currant flavor caught my eye. It’s the classic chocolate I love with a new twist. How could I resist! I found this bar only moments before the Godiva Ice Cream Parlor truffles. So yes, I was in new candy overload that day.
The chocolate is a nice middle brown color with a subtle red tones to it. There isn’t much of a sheen to this chocolate, it’s very matte, but it’s still beautiful. The smell is extremely fruity. It’s spot on the aroma of black currants, with their rich, blackberry base and juicy notes of grapes and raspberries. The break for the chocolate is fairly smooth, and surprisingly I noticed these white slivers in the chocolate. Looking at the ingredients list showed there’s small almond slivers in here.
The aroma made me nervous that the chocolate was going to drown out the chocolate flavor. Thankfully my worries were just that. The flavor is very complex. The currant flavor comes forward first, and it’s not where near as strong as the smell would suggest. The chocolate mixed with the currant flavors and it’s very rich and fruity. The flavor is sweet and smooth, with no tart or sour notes. It’s almost like a sweet wine, all fruity and rich. The currants release their nice blackberry and raspberry flavors. The chocolate gives it some sweetness and rounds out the flavor. The almonds give it a subtle crunch but not flavor. Once is awhile you’d get a currant piece, which also just added a chewy texture.
Very good, yummy!
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Lindt USA 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
Godiva seems to be a busy place recently. It feels like every time I’m in a store or pass by their boutique in the mall that they have some new chocolate to announce. So imagine my delight when I saw these Godiva Ice Cream Parlor Truffles in Target. They were beautifully set up at an end aisle display. These were many flavors and different packaging options for the flavors (hmm, so I want a bar, a bag, or a big bag?). Being frugal, I got a bag mix of the Ice Cream Parlor flavors I’m reviewing here, and the smaller bags of the non mixed flavors.
So in this specific mix of flavors we have Milk Chocolate, Dark Vanilla, and Milk Strawberry. They’re trying to cover the basic “ice cream” flavors, although I realize they’re mixing the chocolate candy with the ice cream. For instance, I’m guessing Dark Vanilla has a dark chocolate shell and vanilla ice cream interior. It took me a bit to figure this out, because at first I thought they were just trying to come up with unique ice cream names. D’oh!
Inside the bad there’s a pretty even mix of flavors. The flavors are easily told apart by their brightly colored wrappers: pink for strawberry, cream for vanilla and a rich brown for chocolate. I was a little disappointed about the amount of flavors in the bag, as it seemed like there was a lot of air in it before the candy actually started to take up space.
Each truffle is about the size of a golf ball.
Milk Chocolate: The aroma is sweet and not very chocolatey. The flavor is that of chocolate fudge, like the kind you get pumped onto your chocolate sundae. It is very sweet and has a nutty flavor to it, and the chocolate flavor is superficial. It is a good flavor never the less, and it’s a very nostalgic one.
Dark Vanilla: Smells sweet and rich of vanilla and cocoa. It has very deep notes to the aroma, and it has this extra creaminess to it. The vanilla interior is smooth and creamy, and tastes like cookie batter. It’s very rich and sweet. it looks like it has flecks of vanilla in it, which is impressive.
Milk Strawberry: Doesn’t smell much of anything. The strawberry interior is very rich and creamy. The berry flavor is intense and has a slight tang to it. Not sure if it’s supposed to be the strawberry or a dairy tang. It does remind me of ice cream, as the chocolate exterior evens out the more tart notes.
This is a nice mix. Granted I did prefer some of the flavors over the others, but as a whole it’s pretty solid. Worth trying if you want to try something different but is still familiar.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Godiva Website