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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seattle Chocolates Truffles

Seattle Chocolates TrufflesSeattle Chocolates makes a wide array of little “truffles” wrapped in mylar in a rainbow of colors.

The company sent me a sample of 14 flavors of their current flavors to try. They came in a simple clear bag with the truffles actually stacked in color order. (But I chose to show you a photo of their Christmas mint assortment, because I don’t actually like photographing clear plastic packaging.)

Earlier I called them “truffles” because they’re really meltaways. The chocolates are little rectangular blocks of chocolate coated meltaway centers. The centers are a combination of chocolate, flavoring and coconut oil mixed with palm oil. This means that they melt at a different temperature than the chocolate itself. The centers are solid, unlike Lindt Lindor Truffles, which have similar ingredients, but more tropical oils.

If this sounds like a Frango, that’s because Seattle Chocolates also makes Frangos for Macy’s, but also sells them under their own name but with more colorful packaging.

Seattle Chocolates

The box I got at the top of the review contained three mint flavors: Mint, San Juan Sea Salt and the seasonal Candy Cane. Pictured above I have Dark Chocolate, Mint, San Juan Sea Salt, Cool Mint.

Mint Seattle Chocolates

I think the first one I should address is the Mint. It comes in a medium green mylar wrapper and is a milk chocolate confection. It smells deliciously pepperminty and takes me back to my childhood and the seasonal boxes of Mint Frangos I consumed (often surreptitiously). The milk chocolate has a strong dairy note and the minty center has a satisfying cool melt along with the peppermint. There are also teensy little pops of salt every once in a while. Often candies like this can be ridiculously sweet, but I didn’t find it that way at all.

Dark Chocolate Seattle Chocolates

The next to profile is a standard, a basic truffle on which so many other flavors are based, the Dark Chocolate. This one is in a medium blue wrapper.

The bite has a satisfying snap, and though the center doesn’t look creamy, it melts well. The dark chocolate has a mild flavor, like the common chocolate chips you’d use for cookies. It’s a toasty flavor, a little the bitter side but with a smoother melt than baking chips.

San Juan Sea Salt is a newer piece, and features a seafoam green wrapper. It’s a milk chocolate piece with little toffee bits and a little extra sea salt mixed into the chocolate center. The salt is a wonderful combination with the very milky chocolate and the little toffee bits are a great textural crunch. I did get some of these in the mint set, and they were actually infused with the mint flavors from the other truffles. Either way, it’s good.

Cool Mint Seattle Chocolates

Cool Mint was the last one in this set, a bit of a change from the previous since it features a light blue wrappers and a white center in dark chocolate. It’s quite minty and could use a little bit of that salt that the others seem to have. I enjoyed it, but prefer the other mint varieties.

Seattle Chocolates

Ah, things are getting a little nuttier in the next batch which features Salted Almond, Milk, Peanut Butter, Espresso.

Espresso Seattle Chocolates

I’ll start with Espresso because, we’ll, I’m in charge. The wrapper is brown, the chocolate is dark. The interior is smooth and has good roasted flavor note. The meltaway itself has little crispy bits ... coffee grounds. The flavor profile is good, I liked the coffee and the grounds or whatever they are aren’t too gritty. Out of the mix, this was the first flavor that disappeared. Not too sweet.

Milk looks just like the mint, so must give that a glance again except imagine the wrapper is gold. Since there are no other flavor elements in this one, it’s a little easier to pick out the profile of the milk chocolate itself. It has a strong dairy flavor, almost like the flavor of cream cheese. It’s sweet gets a little oily towards the end. I skipped these after getting the profile.

Peanut Butter Seattle Chocolates

Peanut Butter sounded fantastic. The bronzy wrapper holds a milk chocolate piece with a peanut butter meltaway center. The interesting aspect is that there are also crushed peanuts in there too. Again, this one is oily like the milk chocolate, though it didn’t bother me as much.

Salted Almond is a bit more trendy and comes in a goldenrod wrapper with a dark chocolate coat. The center is dark chocolate and features a bit of salt and a few almond chips here and there. The toasty flavors of the almonds and dark chocolate were excellent. I’d buy this as a bar, as well.

Seattle Chocolates

The last set is a little fruity and contains some different concepts in the meltaway concept: Peanut Brittle, Strawberry Creme, Raspberry Creme, Blackberry Creme.

Peanut Brittle is similar to the Salted Almond, a little crunchy peanut, maybe with some crispy caramelized sugar in there. Since this is a dark piece, it’s far and away different from the Peanut Butter, though far less peanutty.

Seattle Chocolates Strawberry

The Strawberry is a white center with what I think is bits of freeze dried strawberries in there. It has some authentic strawberry flavors but suffers from the same oily feeling towards the end.

The Raspberry and Blackberry Creme were similar, with some nice berry flavors with a tangy pop here and there.

Not Pictured:

Coconut Macaroon is in a lighter blue mylar and features a dark chocolate coating and center. This is a pure tropical piece, the coconut oils in the meltaway work their magic here along with a few little bites of toasted coconut. There’s a definite coconut smell to it, so much it overpowers the chocolate flavors.

Extreme Chocolate comes in a magenta wrapper (I mistook it for one of the berries when I was photographing). This is excellent. It tastes darker than its reputed 65% cacao, with good bitter notes but still enough sweetness. The meltway qualities are still there, but none of the oily textures I didn’t like. Also as a bonus, there are crunchy cacao nibs in there. All of the nibs I came across were crisp, not fibery like some origins.

Seattle Chocolates also makes a wide variety of Truffle Bars, many in the same flavor profile as the Truffles ... though the ratios differ quite a bit, with more solid chocolate and less meltaway filling in most cases.

Seattle Chocolates Truffles are made with non GMO ingredients and are gluten free. They do contain soy and dairy ingredients and obviously the ones that don’t have peanuts or tree nuts in them were still processed on shared equipment. They sell most of the flavors singly as well as different flavor assortments, like the Mint, just dark and coffee flavors.

As a product line, I give it all a 7 out of 10. For the pieces I liked, such as Salted Almond, Extreme Chocolate and San Juan Sea Salt, I go to 8 out of 10.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-12-21/news/ct-met-schmich-1221-20121221_1_frangos-candy-kitchen-macy

Related Candies

  1. Seattle Chocolates Devil’s Delight Bar
  2. Trader Joe’s Minty Melts
  3. Seattle Chocolates Perfect Peanut Butter
  4. Fannie May Mint Meltaway
  5. Malley’s Chocolates
  6. Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway Center
  7. Frangos Dark (62%)
  8. Espresso Truffle Bar


Name: Truffles Assortment
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Seattle Chocolates
Place Purchased: samples from Seattle Chocolates
Price: $21.95
Size: 16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Seattle Chocolates, Brittle, Chocolate, Coffee, Kosher, Nibs, Nuts, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:14 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewSeattle ChocolatesChocolateCoconutCoffeeKosherMintsNibsNutsPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (1)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tcho Mokaccino

Tcho MokaccinoTcho is a bean to bar chocolate maker based in San Francisco. Their early chocolate programs simplified the ideas of single origin distinctions and simply labeled their chocolate bars with the flavor characteristic based on a flavor wheel.

Though their early products were simple dark and milk chocolate bars, they’ve not created some interesting new flavored bars. I picked up two little tasting squares of their Tcho Mokaccino. They’re only .28 ounces, so it really is just a bite or two of chocolate. It’s described as: Serious Milk Chocolate + Blue Bottle Coffee.

Tcho is made with fair trade cocoa beans, organic ingredients and is certified kosher. (They do use soy lecithin in their chocolate and also handle nuts in their facility.)

Tcho Mocha

I happen to enjoy the coffee renaissance that’s been going on for ...oh, the past 30 years. The pre-ground cans of coffee of my childhood are long gone: a time when single origin meant you looked for the Colombian mountain on the can as an indication of flavor.

The little piece has a wonderful Spirograph-style pattern on it. It tastes a little smoky, very milky, with an almost cheesy note. The coffee is intense, but on the sweet side (I don’t take sugar in my coffee, so having it combined with chocolate tends to sweeten it too much for me). The coffee notes blend very well with the chocolate but the most important thing here is the texture. It’s smooth ... there’s now coffee bean grit like so many coffee chocolates end up with (or whole beans) that I don’t care for.

Tcho - Out of Beta

I’ve been watching Tcho since they started up and were in beta. Though I appreciate many of their attributes, I’ve not been impressed with the products themselves, the dark chocolate is gritty and has an odd fat balance to it for me, and often the beans taste burnt. They do some interesting chocolate covered items, like nuts, which are good but not remarkable enough for me to fork over the premium price.

That said, I’m glad I had an open mind and picked up the Mokaccino. The little squares are a bit expensive, but if I bought two of them instead of an actual cappuccino, it’s about the same price.

Related Candies

  1. Hotel Chocolat Rabot 1745 Venezuela Chuao
  2. Original Beans Piura Porcelana and Esmeraldas Milk
  3. Mast Brothers Stumptown Coffee
  4. Starbucks Dark Chocolate with Via Ready Brew Bar
  5. Askinosie Intelligentsia Coffee Bar
  6. Six Kilos of Felchlin Arriba 72% Chocolate
  7. Amano Milk Chocolate Ocumare
  8. TCHO Fruity


Name: Mokaccino
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Tcho
Place Purchased: Monsieur Marcel (Farmers Market)
Price: $1.09
Size: .28 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: All Natural, Bay Area, Candy, Chocolate, Coffee, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:49 pm     All NaturalBay AreaCandyReviewChocolateCoffeeEthically SourcedKosher8-TastyUnited StatesComments (0)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Perugina Dark Chocolate Covered Whole Cherries

Just when I think I’ve finished with my chocolate covered cherry experience, I find another.

Perugina Cherries

Perugina is probably best known for their little foil wrapped Baci hazelnut kisses. But they have a similarly packaged cherry treat ... simply called Cherry on the front but then descriptively named Perugina Dark Chocolate Covered Whole Cherries on the side of the box.

The box is only 1.2 ounces, but I found it on sale at Cost Plus World Market for $1.49, which isn’t a bad price for a single serve imported item like this. There are three pieces, wrapped in red foil, with gold cherries on top; so they’re prettier out of the box. Unwrapped, the chocolate shell was shiny and unmarred.

Perugina Cherries

This chocolate covered cherry is in syrup. The cherry is big, as big as the See’s, but in a smaller cup, so there’s not much room for syrup in there. The flavor of the cherry is mild, as is the sauce that comes with it. I found this refreshing, as it meant that it wasn’t as artificial as some, but also a little bland. The texture of the cherry was as firm or crunchy as others I’ve had in the past week either. The chocolate has a more distinct cocoa flavor, but also isn’t as creamy or integrated. So the cocoa notes are a bit chalky.

I liked these, but not because they were great quality, mostly because they didn’t taste too much like maraschino cherries and weren’t really large and sweet ... which in most cases would be attributes folks would seek out. So, they were cute, but not something I would buy again.



Name: Dark Chocolate Covered Whole Cherries
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $1.49 (on sale)
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 125
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Italy, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:27 pm     CandyNestleChocolate7-Worth ItItalyCost PlusComments (1)

Friday, December 12, 2014

See’s Milk and Dark Cherry

See's Milk Chocolate CherriesChocolate covered cherries are a broad confectionery art form. They vary quite a bit, from syrupy cordials to sticky fondant. Most contain a whole cherry, though even that varies depending on the maker’s wishes.

See’s Candy sells both a milk and dark chocolate cherry. You can’t buy them online, they’re available only in the stores, as far as I know, as they don’t travel well. (Though I recall seeing them in a foil-wrapped version before in the past.)

They’re big, quite big. I positioned one of the Trader Joe’s Liqueur cherries next to it as a comparison. The Trader Joe’s are about 12 grams and the See’s varied between 26 grams and 29 grams.

See's Milk Chocolate Cherries

The See’s version is mostly a soft fondant, with a small reservoir of syrup. See’s calls them simply Milk Cherry and describes them as, A plump, dipping cherry surrounded by a liquefied soft center covered in milk chocolate.

The milk chocolate is very nice, I enjoy the custom blend that Guittard makes for See’s, it’s milky and has a light toffee note to it. The creamy melt goes well with just about everything, including the first bite of a soft fondant. The fondant has a cherry cough syrup note to it and a strong vanilla flavor. The best part was the truly large cherry at the center ... it as so big that I feared that it still had its pit and I bit into it quite gingerly. The pink coloring is pretty awful, but I take it as a traditional aspect of this candy.

See's Dark Chocolate Cherries

The Dark Cherry was supposed to be less sweet, but since mine weighed more (about 2 grams), I figure they just made the sugary center even larger. It’s simply too much for me. The fondant is a wonderful texture, but it, too, tastes like bubble gum. Bubble gum is nice, but really not as a chocolate item.

Since I’ve had quite a few of these in the past few weeks, I can say that I don’t think I like the fondant, I prefer the liquid or syrup centers. But if you’re a fondant fan, this was exceptionally smooth and imbued with quite a bit of flavor. In the future though, I’ll pass.



Name: Milk Cherry and Dark Cherry
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: See’s
Place Purchased: See's (The Grove)
Price: $7.75
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, See's, Chocolate, Fondant, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:19 pm     CandyReviewSee'sChocolateFondant6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (1)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 4 - Christmas

Candyology-Episode-4

In Episode 4 of Candyology 101, we’re talking about candy associations with Christmas. It’s all the good and bad that the season has to offer.

You can also download the MP3 file, subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

Check out all the links & show notes on the Candyology 101 website.

 

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:01 pm     CandyChristmasHighlightFun StuffRadio InterviewsComments (1)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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COUNTDOWN.

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-48 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Russell Stover Cake Truffles

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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