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January 2007

Friday, January 5, 2007

Mallow Blast

Here’s a strange product line from Hershey’s in the Philippines. They’re called Mallow Blast and are described thusly on the package:

It’s a mind-blowing combination of light chewy Marshmallows bursting with luscious grape flavor, dipped in rich Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.

Hershey’s Mallow Blast(tm) - an explosion of flavors!

Also available with Strawberry and Orange Flavored Filling.

I’ve tried other Asian marshmallows before with a fruity filling in them, but this was a first to have them dipped in chocolate.

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The Grape Mallow Blast packaging was certainly fun looking. The overall package is a pack with five individually wrapped pieces. Mine were slightly smashed but otherwise unharmed by their journey.

The grape ones smell very strongly of grape jelly and no hint at all of chocolate. The little twist of marshmallow is about as big as my big toe, but with a fruity filling (my toes might be filled with fruit, I’ve never checked). The marshmallow is springy and not terribly sweet. The jelly center is firm and tangy and of course grapey.

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The Orange Mallow Blast smelled more of chocolate. The orange inside was actually pretty nice. A bit on the artificial side, but with a balance of zest and tang to it. The chocolate was crumbly and not terribly creamy, but all things considered, it was tasty enough for me to finish off the package of five.

Of course it’s not real chocolate on the outside, but I guess the labeling restrictions are different for other countries. The package clearly calls it Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, but the only “chocolate” in there are some milk solids and cocoa powder much later on the list after the number three ingredient, hydrogenated palm kernel oil. That said, they’d probably make a good treat for dieters, as they’re rather satisfying but not that dense in fat calories (6 of them have 3 grams of fat and 150 calories).

I could see these being popular in the States. The way that they’re packaged though makes it easy for them to get crushed, so they’d probably have to place them in a little tray with sides or something to prevent that.

The Mallow Blasts are certified Hallal.

Name: Mallow Blast
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: gift (thanks TSOGB!)
Price: unknown
Size: 32.5 grams
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chocolate, Marshmallow, Jelly, Hershey's, Kosher/Hallal

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:55 am     Comments (6)

The Politics of the Candy Jar at Work

You thought the staff meetings where they talk about who’s responsible for filling the candy jar at the reception desk were difficult!

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Looks like the non-re-election of Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania will have a lasting effect on the Senate.

Santorum was responsible for the “candy desk” which has been around since the sixties. Anyone holding that desk has traditionally been responsible for supplying treats to the Senators and staff. Santorum, as the Pennsylvania Senator, was given candy by his home state producers (Just Born, Goldenberg’s & Hershey’s) as ethics rules allow. But the new occupant of the seat is from a non-sweet producing state, Wyoming.

Read more here at the Wall Street Journal. (Story found via ObscureStore)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:39 am     CandyNewsComments (3)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Whitman’s Sampler Tin

This was a super-cute stocking stuffer that Santa gave me this year. I have to say that Whitman’s has never been of much interest to me. Perhaps it’s that I’ve found them a bit stale tasting. But it also might be the package, sure Whitman’s Samplers are retro looking, but that not-so-fresh appearance may have been affecting my taste.

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But without the regular packaging, I have to say these looked pretty good. The tin has a Tiffany blue background and gold printing. It’s about the same size as a Sucrets lozenge tin, but a little deeper. Each piece of candy is nestled in a little perfect-shaped spot in the plastic tray.

The long milk chocolate rectangle was called Milk Chocolate Butter Cream, which was a kind of chewy sweet fudge. Very sweet, but a pleasant flavor combination.

The round dark chocolate piece was called Dark Chocolate Coconut and unsurprisingly had a coconut center like a Mounds bar. Fresh tasting and not too sweet, the real winner in the box.

The Messenger Boy was cute, with it’s little cross-stitch look. It was a small tablet of milk chocolate. Sweet and unremarkable.

The last one was the Milk Chocolate Caramel which was just the right consistency. Easy to bite but chewy with nice long strands of caramelized sugar and butter. It could have used some more salt to balance the very sweet milk chocolate.

Do they beat See’s (my touchstone for inexpensive boxed chocolates)? No, not even close. These were fresh tasting but a little too “middle of the road” for me. I wanted more zing, more flavor and less sweet. But I do love the tin.

I am curious to try their new Organic Sampler at some point.

Name: Whitman's Sampler Replica Tin
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Whitman's (Russell Stover)
Place Purchased: Santa Claus
Price: $1.49 retail
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Coconut, United States, Russell Stover, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:00 pm     Comments (5)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

December Search Strings

How did new visitors find Candy Blog in December?

1. merry christmas
2. christmas candy
3. choxie
4. reeses
5. kissables
6. butterfinger
7. razzles
8. lemonheads
9. max brenner
10. rockaleta

Nothing suprising there, Christmas was higher on people’s minds in December than in November.

The continued appearance of Rockaleta does suprise me though, not that people come here (I’m the first result) but that the candy company (Sonric) that makes them doesn’t make more of an effort to get their web page higher.

M&Ms did not even make the list this time (that doesn’t mean people aren’t looking online for M&Ms, they’re just not coming to Candy Blog for their M&M content).

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:35 pm     CandySearch StringsFun StuffNewsComments (1)

Recipe: Candy Cane Sugar

One of the most flexible things you can make out of old candy canes (or any hard candy) is candy cane sugar which can be used just like regular sugar in a variety of ways.

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I made mine from a couple of humongo peppermint sticks by Spangler (each weighs 4 ounces). Two of these sticks will make 1 Cup of candy cane sugar.

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There are a couple of ways to make it, I use the old fashioned method.

Supplies:
1 cutting board
1 kitchen mallet or hammer (with a flat surface to it)
2 heavy duty (freezer) plastic bags

Put the candies into one of the ziploc bags and then into the other. Once you start pounding away the sharp pieces will cut the bag a bit and if you don’t want a powdery-sticky mess, it’s best to double bag.

Whack away. Break up the big pieces first, hitting them as best you can with the flat side of your mallet or hammer.

After breaking up the candy, dump it into a bowl. Shake the bowl gently to get the larger pieces to the top, scoop them off and return them to the plastic bag for further pulverization. Repeat until you get your candy sugar to the grind that you desire.

Alternate Method:

Break up candy canes into small pieces by hand.

Put into clean Coffee Grinder (or food processor).

Pulse grind to break up big chunks. Continue until you reach the desired consistency.

For best results:

When finished put into an airtight container. If you live in a particularly humid area keep it in the fridge to prevent it from reforming into a sticky pile.

Use single-colored candy. Multicolored candy canes (such as red and green stripes) will make for a rather muddy colored sugar once it’s pulverized.

Do not use plastic produce bags, they’re just too thin and you’ll end up with bits of plastic in your sugar.

See the grand list of 33 Things to do with Candy Canes for ideas on how to use your Candy Cane Sugar. I made the Peppermint Stick Layer Cake!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:54 am     CandyRecipesChristmasHard Candy & LollipopsMintsNewsComments (2)

33 Uses for Leftover Candy Canes

Here you go, oodles of things to do with those leftover candy canes. (Or maybe you want to pick some up on sale.)

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Use them whole:
1. Stir your hot cocoa
2. Stir your hot tea
3. Stir your coffee (works for lattes & cappuccinos, too)
4. Stir your cocktail
5. Stir your milkshake
6. Snap off the hooked end and dip the straight piece in the chocolate of your choice for homemade “reception sticks
7. Candy Kebabs (spear marshmallows and roll them in sprinkles or other crushed candies)
8. Valentine’s Heart (I’ll try to kitchen test this over the weekend)
9. Edible Fondue Sticks (best for marshmallows)

Crush them lightly:
10. Ice Cream Sprinkles
11. Cake Sprinkles
12. Cupcake Sprinkle
13. Frosted Cookie Sprinkles
14. On top of Whipped Cream in your Hot Cocoa
15. Roll marshmallows in them and eat them whole, toast them in the microwave or drop them in hot cocoa

Make Candy Cane Sugar:
16. Sweeten your Hot Tea
17. Sweeten your Iced Tea
18. Sweeten your Hot Cocoa
19. Sweeten your Coffee or Mocha
20. Use to rim your Cocktails (or this one)

Use them in recipes:
21. White Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge
22. Peppermint Four Layer Cake
23. Chocolate Mint Layer Cake
24. Chocolate Peppermint Bark (I like to pour mine into candy cups instead of making a bark.)
25. Make vanilla ice cream into Peppermint Ice Cream
26. Make your own Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches
27. Chocolate Candy Cane Sandwich Cookies
28. Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Cookies
29. Candy Cane Brownies (these are vegan!)
30. Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
31. Peppermint Meringues
32. Add to Rice Krispies Treats
33. Candy Cane Cheesecake

So, what can you add to the list?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:53 am     CandyRecipesChristmasHard Candy & LollipopsMintsFun StuffComments (16)

Recipe: Peppermint Stick Layer Cake

This was my traditional birthday cake throughout my teen years: The Peppermint Stick Layer Cake. My mother came up with it as a way to use up the remaining candy canes from Christmas but it’s a great cake to make any time of year. The whipped cream is lighter tasting and less sweet than a buttercream or sugar frosting, but you’re free to create your own adaptation with your favorite frosting recipe. When the cake is well chilled it’s almost like an ice cream cake.

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I like mine as a four layer cake because it means that the ratio of whipped cream to cake is about equal.

Ingredients:

2 8” Round Chocolate Layers (I make mine from Devil’s Food cake mix - use any recipe or mix you like)
1 pint of heavy whipping cream (well chilled)
1/2 cup of crushed peppermint candy canes (or starlight mints)

Allow your cake layers to cool completely before assembly.

Whipped Cream

Chilling is essential to great whipped cream. I make mine using a two bowl method.

Take a large pasta pot and fill the bottom with ice and then a bit of water. Fit a mixing bowl over it (I have a lipped bowl that fits inside my pasta pot well). Make sure the ice water mixture comes up to at least 1/3 of the side of the mixing bowl.

Pour in your pint of whipping cream. Add a dash of salt.

Whip using an electric mixer or whisk well.

At about the halfway mark (when the whipped cream starts to hold its shape) start adding your crushed peppermint candy.

Continue to whip and taste as needed.

I prefer my whipped cream a little less sweet but your mileage may vary depending on how chunky your candy is and how sweet you want it. Be prepared to add between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crushed candy. If you want it really minty, add some peppermint extract. If you want it really pink, add some red food coloring.

Assembly

Once your cake layers have cooled, make sure that they are flat (cut off any mounding).

Either cut carefully or use dental floss to split each of the layers into two. (I’ve found cutting them easier if the cake is frozen.)

Place first layer on cake plate. Mound some whipped cream on layer and spread evenly.

Place next layer on top of that, repeat with as many layers as you have.

Frost top. Depending on how generous you’ve been with your whipped cream, you can also ice the sides, I kind of like being able to see all the layers without it being cut.

Dust the top with some remaining chunks of candy canes or whole starlight mints. Don’t add them until you’re ready to serve, they get a bit runny after about an hour in the whipped cream.

Chill cake if you’re not serving immediately. You can even freeze it and serve it that way.

Other variations:

● Use Cinnamon Candies instead of Peppermint
● Use white cake instead of chocolate
● Use a square cake pan and divide in half both in height and width to create stack
● Sunset magazine featured a Candy Cane Cake too, they used a bundt shaped Angel Food cake, which means no layers. So as a whipped cream delivery device it’s sadly lacking. But if you’re looking for, you know, a balance and perhaps something that’s not quite as fatty as eating a half a pint of whipped cream yourself, then go for it!
● Make cupcakes and use pastry bag to fill them with minty whipped cream and then frost them with it as well

Related: How to make Candy Cane Sugar and 33 Things to do with Leftover Candy Canes

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:43 am     CandyRecipesReviewChristmasChocolateHard Candy & LollipopsMints9-YummyComments (14)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Big Island Chocolates

imageThere are three things people bring back from Hawaii: photos, coffee and chocolate covered macadamia nuts(CCMN). These are from Big Island Candies, which is a local chocolatier that does more than the typical Hilo Hattie’s style box (and sells both CCMN and Kona coffee).

Yes, everything Big Island Candies does seems to have macadamia nuts in them, but they’ve got some inventive combos with potato chips (Hawaiian style!) and crisped rice. This box featured a mix of milk & dark chocolate covered macadamia nut cups.

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The macadamias are crisp and large, with an even crunch and light coconut taste to them. The milk chocolate was very sweet, a little too sweet for my taste, but still good smooth quality stuff. The dark chocolate set off the macadamias better, with a dark smoky flavor and smooth texture. All that said, there’s nothing wrong with me, but I’ve never been a huge fan of macadamias. They’re okay as an added element to a cookie, but as the feature in a chocolate they’re just not what I want to use my daily allotment of calories on (and boy howdy are macadamias calorie intensive!).

If you’re looking for something a little more interesting to bring back from your next island trip, make an effort to find Big Island Candies. Their flagship store is in Hilo on the big island of Hawaii (with factory tours and free samples!), they also have more than candies, they’re known for their cookies as well.

Name: Milk & Dark Chocolate Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Big Island Candies
Place Purchased: gift
Price: retail $3.75
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 166
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, United States, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:04 am     Comments (9)

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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

Candy Season Ends (Easter)

2 days

 

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

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