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April 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Madelaine Duets

Madelaine DuetsMadelaine Chocolate makes chocolate morsels. They make a wide array of chocolate pieces wrapped in novelty foils, but what they do that’s different from RM Palmer or even Russell Stover is they use really good chocolate.

Their array of foil wrapped treats is dazzling. Butterflies, poker chips, stars, hearts, balls, flowers and coins. They also make panned chocolates like a rainbow of Malted Milk Balls in both classic and specialty flavors. They’re a bit expensive but my real complain has been how hard they are to find.

It looks like they’re making a new push into retail outlets instead of bulk bins and wholesale quantities for party planners they packaging for the shelf. In addition to their new treats (some reviewed by Sugar Pressure) they have a new line of bonbons called Duets which are double filled chocolate spheres in four varieties.

Madelaine sent me a press kit with a sample of three of each of the new chocolates for review.

Madelaine Duets - Milk Chocolate & White Chocolate

The chocolates come in stand up bags made of paperboard, ten chocolates to a package and retail for about $6.25 according to their own direct-sell website (but probably less on store shelves). That makes each chocolate about 63 cents, not bad when compared to a Lindt Lindor Truffle which is about where I think they’re aiming in the marketplace.

Milk Chocolate & White Chocolate Duets

The pieces are nicely formed and again, I’m using Lindor truffles for comparison. They’re individually twist wrapped and not only clearly marked, they’re color coded if you should dump them into a bowl with other flavors. They’re about the same size as Lindor, though lacking the little divot that allows it to sit up on its own. Instead of a coconut and palm kernel oil in the center, Madelaine uses a combination of real chocolate, milk products and canola oil for the ganache core.

This is a classic confectionery pairing: milk chocolate and white chocolate. The ganache centers are satisfyingly soft, so much so that they melt readily. The blend of the flavors is quite milky with a bit of a cream cheese tang to them. For the most part it was like eating a version of a chocolate cheesecake.

It’s rich and sticky, a bit cloying but not as sickly sweet as I would have expected for a white and milk pairing like this. The chocolate shell is also good quality though it was the sweetest part of the confection. The flavors are well rounded and wholly authentic, not watered down or thinned out by excess oils.

Madelaine Duets - Caramel & Peanut Butter

Caramel & Peanut Butter Duets

I thought, How good could a caramel and peanut butter bonbon be from a commercial company? After all, I was consistently disappointed by gooey caramel from mass manufacturers. It usually had a great texture but little more flavor than Karo.

Madelaine Duets - Caramel & Peanut ButterThe sphere smelled like peanut butter and chocolate. So far so good. Biting into it, the peanut butter side wasn’t quite a meltaway, but not quite the crumbly peanut butter of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. A good roasted taste, a little salty and pretty smooth. The caramel side was a revelation. The texture was ultrasmooth and thick though not chewy. The flavor profile was actually like burnt sugar, like a true caramel. The combination of the two along with the milky chocolate shell was decadent and homey.

Madelaine Duets - Raspberry & White Chocolate Truffle

Raspberry & White Truffle Duets

This one smells quite milky without a hint of the berry jam inside. After biting into it I recognized the yogurty white ganache side. The great part of this one was the raspberry filling. No seeds but lots and lots of jammy raspberry flavors - boiled sugar, floral berry notes and a gooey sticky jam texture.

Madelaine Duets - Raspberry & Peanut Butter

Raspberry & Peanut Butter Duets

I saved the best for last. A few weeks ago I posted my favorite piece from an assortment of chocolates from William Dean Chocolatier that my sister gave me for Christmas. It was a peanut butter & jelly bon bon. Yeah, it sounds simple and homey. But what’s wrong with that?

This Duet has a layer of creamy peanut butter and that wonderfully flavorful raspberry filling. I could eat a whole bag of these without any problem.

They are expensive, but if I could buy them individually like Lindor Truffles I’d guarantee I’d pick up one or two of the PB&J on a regular basis. As a box, I’d hesitate a bit but probably go for it anyway - especially if I could snag a bag for about $5. They’re rich but not too decadent, a little more homey and have fresh flavors that fill a hole where I don’t think there are other commercially made products.

They will be released the week of April 19, 2010 and will be available at retailers such as WalMart and Kohl’s. (Check their website for current locations.)

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  2. Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar
  3. Dove Peanut Butter Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate
  4. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  5. Cadbury Raspberry Bunny
  6. Lindt: 60% Extra Dark Truffles


Name: Duets Milk Truffle & White Truffle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 162
Categories: Candy, Madelaine, Chocolate, Kosher, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Duets Peanut Butter & Caramel
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Madelaine, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Peanuts, 8-Tasty, United States


Name: Duets Raspberry & White Truffle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Madelaine, Chocolate, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Duets Raspberry & Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Madelaine, Chocolate, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Peanuts, 9-Yummy, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:55 am     CandyReviewMadelaineCaramelChocolateJelly CandyKosherPeanutsWhite Chocolate7-Worth It8-Tasty9-YummyUnited StatesComments (10)

Eat with your Eyes: Pretzel M&Ms

Pretzel M&Ms

Check out the first “from the wild” review I’ve seen so far from Sugar Pressure.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:58 am     CandyM&MsFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (7)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cracker Corn Choco

Choco CornThere’s very little that’s appealing about this bag of Cracker Corn Choco. It’s a peg bag and was featured adjacent to a few other products with similar generic wrappings of red, black and white.

The window in the bag is nice in that it shows the big, beefy looking pieces. I really wasn’t sure what the candy was, but I was pretty sure they were chocolate (or in this case decent quality mockolate) covered corn puffs.

The package is proud to state that it contains 63 grams. Is this an appealing amount? But what drew me to look closer were the little icons of milk, corn and soy. And then above that was the motto for the company:

Choco Corn
Each time while you are relaxing we can make you more comfortable.

More comfortable, you say? Well, I could be more comfortable when I’m relaxing (not that I actually know how to relax).

Corn Choco

The nuggets are like lumpy, nubby chocolate thumbs. They smell like cocoa cereal, like Cocoa Krispies - a little chalky and sweet. The ingredients are okay, I think it’s a mockolate coating because the first five ingredients are sugar, cacao, palm oil, corn, lactose. I suspect it’s chocolate with additional palm oil, the smell and texture is convincing the the flavor not so much.

Corn Choco

At the center of each 1.5” long piece is a foamy corn puff. They’re about the size and shape of a foam packing peanut. The centers are airy and crunchy but lacking a definitive corn meal flavor. In fact there’s very little to the center at all - just some texture. Not even a hint of salt. The chocolatey coating is mild and has a good creamy melt, but the cocoa flavors are a little thin and watery.

I’ve had them for a few months and find myself drawn to them expecting a good mix of textures ... and it does provide that. But the flavors just don’t rise to the occasion. I really enjoyed my Choco Mugi, which is chocolate covered barley or wheat puffs and was hoping these would be a corn version. (I’ve had several brands of the Choco Mugi and even though some are mockolate, I find it still satisfies my cereal & chocolate craving.) So I’ll stick with the Mugi in the future or maybe try to find the Kimmie Milk Chocolate Kettle Corn Nuggets.

Related Candies

  1. Kimmie Sweet & Salty Corn Bits
  2. Hot Chocolate Mochi Krunch
  3. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  4. Wheat Chocolate
  5. Ritter Sport Assortment


Name: Corn Choco
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Oneuchi Ichiban
Place Purchased: Nijiya Market
Price: $1.99
Size: 2.2 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: Candy, Cookie, Mockolate, 4-Benign, Japan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     CandyReviewCookieMockolate4-BenignJapanComments (1)

Eat with your Eyes: Kopper’s Absinthe Cordials

Koppers Absinthe Cordials

I love Kopper’s Rum Cordials. There are lots of flavors, but I prefer the tried and true combination of rum and dark chocolate. The Kopper’s Absinthe Cordials are a little different because they have a crunchy candy shell in addition to the dark chocolate layer. A little too much sugar for me, but the absinthe flavor - a combination of anise, lavender and juniper in my opinion - makes for an interesting treat.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:12 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (0)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: See’s Butterscotch

See's Butterscotch Square

I can’t remember if I’ve shared this photo or not. This is a piece, because it’s milk chocolate, that I’d never had before last year. See’s calls it the Butterscotch Square. But it’s not square. They say that it’s Firm brown sugar, vanilla buttercream but it’s not a cream at all, it’s more of a grainy fudge type thing with lots of butter. It really is a pure blast of sugar.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:26 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (10)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: Godiva Pecan Crunch

Godiva

A simple little enrobed piece, a patty of chocolate with some crispy pecans. Simple.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:28 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (0)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Panda Soft Herb Licorice and Licorice Cremes

Panda Soft Herb LicoriceIt’s National Licorice Day and I’m always up for some good black licorice.

I picked up the Panda Soft Herb Licorice after seeing Gigi Reviews coverage of the product.

First, I like the box that Panda uses. It’s foil lined and completely sealed, after opening the tab top there’s a little plastic film that keeps the contents fresh. Then I just tuck in the double tab top to keep it soft. The contents were soft for weeks, though there is some toughening after that.

This version of Panda’s licorice bites are all natural black licorice tubes made with molasses and wheat flour with an added punch of 18 herbal extracts. They include peppermint, blackberry, plantain, torch weed, sage, star anise and thyme. Sniffing the box it’s like a tea shop: minty, woodsy and clean.

Panda Soft Herb Licorice

The pieces are soft but separate easily. I like the aerated tubes, it makes it easier to chew them if they do get a little stale. The color is nice, it’s dark but not artificially colored.

The taste isn’t licorice immediately and it’s not molasses either. It’s more like brown sugar in peppermint and chamomile tea. The licorice and woodsier notes come in later. It’s delicate and not as overwhelmingly dark and charcoal-like as Panda’s usual far. There’s a cool menthol aftertaste that makes this kind of like a mint.

There’s a little sticking to the teeth, but it’s not as bad as some other Aussie-style brands. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. It’s mellow and might be a good “starter” licorice for folks who don’t care for the bitter, smoky and overwhelming licorice of Panda.

Panda Licorice CremesAs a little change of pace I picked up Panda Cremes as well. The stand up bag holds the same amount as the box but has a zipper lock to keep it fresh. I have to admit that it’s not as eco friendly but did a better job of keeping these soft and fresh. A bonus is that the bag is collapsible, so it takes up less space the more you eat. The box is always the size of the box.

Cremes are the same shape as the bites but inside those little tubes are creme fillings. They come in three flavors: Banana, Caramel and Strawberry. I can’t say that any of these were ever really on my mind as great complements to the flavor of black licorice, but Panda usually knows what they’re doing.

The bag says that they’re all natural and suitable for vegetarians (but not vegans, as there’s some milk in there). The creme center is made from palm oil and there’s no indication of the source of it. A 39 gram serving (9 pieces) has 160 calories and 4 grams of fat (3.5 of those are saturated). In case you’re curious, 40 grams of the Soft Herb are 130 calories and no fat. It’s not like either is calorie-dense but still, it’s notable.

Panda Licorice Cremes

The package smelled like strawberries and banana, like some sort of smoothie or yogurt.

The Strawberry were easy to pick out as they were pink. The Caramel and Banana were the same color as far as I could tell.

The creme isn’t soft and flowing, it’s kind of crunchy at first - but at mouth temperature it softens up. It’s cool on the tongue and not too sweet. The Strawberry is fresh and floral. Banana is actually pretty fun, it’s strong banana flavoring but the sweet notes go well. The Caramel had a slightly darker note but the toasted sugar was missing or maybe overshadowed by the strength of the licorice itself.

I don’t think I need this much fat for something that didn’t really satisfy me the same way that a creamy chocolate product does. I think I’ll stick to the regular Panda licorice products. These are pretty enough to put in a clear jar and as compelling as Allsorts (especially if you’re not a coconut fan).

Related Candies

  1. The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores
  2. Organic Finnska Soft Licorice
  3. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Filled with Creamy Peanut Butter
  4. Anis de Flavigny
  5. Dutch Licorice
  6. Panda Bars
  7. Fazer Lemon Lakritsi


Name: Soft Herb Licorice
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Panda Licorice
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Pasadena)
Price: $2.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Panda, Kosher, Licorice Candy, 8-Tasty, Finland


Name: Licorice Cremes
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Panda Licorice
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Pasadena)
Price: $3.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Kosher, Licorice Candy, 6-Tempting

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:35 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewPandaKosherLicorice Candy6-Tempting8-TastyFinlandWhole FoodsComments (4)

Eat with your Eyes: Coco Chocolate

Coco Chocolate - Artist's Collection

Coco Chocolate - Artist's Collection

I picked up these artisan candy coated chocolate lentils at the Fancy Food Show. They’re from the Artist’s Collection at Coco Chocolate from the United Kingdom. The box is clever and attractive and of course the lentils are made with good quality chocolate. They’re kind of like a flattened version of Cadbury Mini Eggs.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:07 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (0)

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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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Choose one or more:

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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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