I seldom see Caffarel chocolate “in the wild” as so to speak, which means it’s very hard for me to find in stores around where I live. I really only ever get to taste their products when I attend trade shows where I can chat with the company and taste a few samples. Everything I’ve had, which have been little gianduja filled nuggets usually, have been luscious and made me want more. On a recent trip to California, I took a trip to a Cost Plus World Market where I saw this Caffarel Milk Chocolate on the shelf. Realizing what a rare find this was, I grabbed one and tasted it as soon as I could take a proper photo of it once I was back home.
The packaging is simple and elegant in design. Using that lovely sky blue accented with gold and the color scheme. The chocolate is a nice milky brown color and well formed. It has no gloss, as milk chocolate usually lacks. It has a nice break and is very clean.
The flavor is very creamy and a little nutty. It’s sweet, mild and reminds me of Nutella. I don’t get much of a chocolate flavor though, which I find disappointing. The mouth feel is very rich and very thick on the tongue.
I feel that without the addition of hazelnut or more cocoa solids here, that it’s rather bland for my tastes. It’s a good chocolate to combine with other elements, but alone it’s nothing special in my book.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Caffarel Website
It’s that time of year again! For the New York City Chocolate Show, I mean. Like each year, it showcases some old favorites and some delicious new finds.
Chocolove: Has three new bars to add to their lineup. A “Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate”, “Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate” and “Peppermint in Dark Chocolate”. Each one has a nice texture and a full flavor true to Chocolove’s other chocolate bars. I tried all three and they were quite nice. I’d certainly search them out once I start seeing them in stores.
William Dean Chocolates: Aren’t these just beautiful? William Dean Chocolates was a new find for me, even though I found their logo very familiar. I talked to Bill, the Chief Chocolate Officer about the chocolates and confections they made. I tried a few of their bonbons and really loved them. I also tried their Pate de Fruit which was extremely flavorful.
Peanut Butter & Co: Instead of coming out with their box of different flavored peanut butter cups this year, they have two delightful tins of Chocolate Covered Peanuts and Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle. The Chocolate Covered Peanuts are addicting, and are hard to stop eating once you open the can. The Brittle is very unique, as the texture is similar to honeycomb candy, as it has that lightly crunchy aerated texture. Both are wonderful and I’ll be reviewing both for the blog soon.
Aroa Fine Chocolate: Aroa is another new find, and they had some beautifully rich and flavorful bonbons made with El Rey couveture which delivered an intense chocolate punch when I tasted them. The texture of these bonbons really wow-ed me, as the shells to them were so delicate and thin, they reminded me of the chocolate coating on dipped soft serve. It was really different and extremely well done.
Guittard: Guittard had a few new things to showcase this time at the show. The first, and te most impressive, is their new dark chocolate called 70% Compexite, which is a blend of 9 single origin beans. It’s a wonderful flavor profile which is full of chocolate flavors mixed with caramel, earth, and coffee. It has beautiful notes of fruit and none of the acidity. Also there were different percentage baking chips (the white chocolate ones are my favorite) and small bottles of their chocolate dessert sauce.
Fika Choklad: A chocolatier native to New York City that I’d not heard of. Imagine that! They have stores on 5th Ave and Park Ave, and I plan to visit them once I head back into the city. I tasted one of their bonbons, a raspberry licorice one, which really blew me away. Licorice and chocolate are hard flavors to marry, but the addition of raspberry really made the two flavors meld together harmoniously. It was awesome to say the least.
I’m very excited with my finds and I can’t wait to see what the show has in store for me next year!
I was recently contacted by Primrose Candy Company asking if I wanted to give their Old Kettle Caramels a try. Knowing my love of new things, I was immediately enticed because I was unfamiliar at the time of Primrose’s confectionery work, as well as being in the middle of a caramel dry spell. The last time I had any was over the summer, so I was long overdue for some caramels in my tummy.
The package design here is interesting, while the boxes are colorful, they have this very angular design that reminds me of something from the 1980s with the black lines and white lettering. Each box holds a nice amount of caramels in them, enough for a small candy bowl, or to share with friends while watching a movie.
The caramels themselves are nicely wrapped in wax paper, and when you take one out to eat, the caramel doesn’t stick to it. The texture is nice
Vanilla: Smells very strongly of vanilla and burnt sugar. It’s a nice creamy brown color with visible pieces of the pecans which are very small. The texture is thick and firm, yet has a smooth chew. The flavor is very strong on the vanilla, almost so much that it takes an almost rummy taste. The butter notes are what I taste under that, with the sweetness of the sugar being very subtle. The pecans give it a nice toasted flavor.
Chocolate: Very dark and cocoa brown in color and they smell very rich, like hot chocolate. The flavor is chocolately, but it’s not as rich as real chocolate. Still, I was impressed with how much flavor they got in here. The butter flavors from the caramel add a wonderful smooth richness to it.
Chocolate Vanilla Mix: Vanilla center with a chocolate caramel exterior, like a little bullseye. The caramels smell quite chocolaty. The flavor is great, as you get that nice strong vanilla flavor mixed with the chocolate (as to be expected), and they really enhance each other rather than compete or cancel each other out. What makes them especially nice is that buttery flavor and chewy texture of the caramel and it’s just lovely.
I was very pleased with these caramels and I certainly will be buying them for myself if I ever see them in stores. It’s hard to do caramels right in my mind, as they’re either too sweet, too hard, to sticky, but these were just right.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Primrose Candy Company Website