Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Godiva Chocolatier has been moving into more stores lately - places like Cost Plus World Market and even drug stores like CVS. This holiday was the first time I saw them in my ordinary grocery store (Von’s). The mass-market fare isn’t quite like the stuff in their shops, it’s small bites (Gems) and bars along with their Chocoiste line of little pearls.
They’re still rather expensive, this bag of Godiva Gems Peppermint Truffles was selling for $6.00 before Christmas. Though the bag looks pretty big (similar to the stand up bags from Ghirardelli which holds nearly 3 times as much), it only holds 3.5 ounces. But after Christmas I snagged this for only $2.64 ... a fair price for a real white chocolate product.
The package says: White chocolate with creamy candy cane filling.
The package warns that some settling of contents may occur in shipping, and they’re not kidding. There are 10 individually wrapped Gems inside, making two layers - that’s a lot of empty space in the bag. Each sphere is wrapped in a candy cane striped mylar twist.
The truffles are about 1 inch in diameter. They’re not completely spherical, they’re slightly faceted, I’m guessing to go with the Gems part of the name. They remind me of well-used polyhedral dice.
They’re formed from two hemispheres, so there’s a distinct seam in the center. Sometimes with a little gentle pressure on opposite sides of the seam, I can pop the sides apart. They’re each filled with the pink cream and then joined together with some more white chocolate.
The pieces are soft, the shell yields easily when bitten. The center is a soft cream made of white chocolate, sugar alcohols, butter and some palm oil along with some red food coloring and peppermint flavor. There’s just a little dash of salt in there. The sorbitol and xylitol are used as sweeteners to good effect. Both of them are lower in calories but they also are less sweet and provide a cooling effect on the tongue. (Some folks cannot tolerate sugar alcohols, but I don’t think there’s much in here.)
They were good quality, I liked that the ganache filling wasn’t greasy and thin tasting like the Lindt Lindor Truffles, which I see these as competing with. But the flavor combo wasn’t really best for me, I wanted a rich, silky dark chocolate shell and the white chocolate, minty ganache center. White chocolate lovers may disagree though. They’re not too sweet, which is also refreshing.
Monday, January 3, 2011
I think the best thing to ever happen to raisins is rum. There’s simply no better flavor combination to boost the natural fruity flavors and give the whole dried fruit thing a creamy finish. Add a little milk chocolate in there, it becomes a unique experience.
This Cadbury Dairy Milk Rum & Raisin is from South Africa (though they also make them for Europe in England).
The 100 gram (3.5 ounce) bar is a slightly different format from the versions we’re used to in the United States from Hershey’s, who makes Cadbury’s Dairy Milk under license from Cadbury. Those bars are wider and a little thinner. This bar is compact and beefy. It’s 2.25 inches wide and 6 inches long and at most 1/3 of an inch high.
The ingredients list no actual rum, which is too bad, because that’s what makes the Ritter Sport Rum Trauben Nuss so good. Instead we’ve got some percentages 23% milk solids, 22% cocoa solids and 20% raisins. That leaves another 35% to sugar, extra vegetable fat (which means by American rules, this isn’t even chocolate), emulsifiers and artificial flavors.
It looks smooth and creamy. The scent is definitely rummy - a boozy and fruity fragrance that reminds me of holiday baking. The bar is fresh and glossy and had a good snap to it, revealing a paucity of raisins (I know, 20% must mean two per section). The chocolate flavors are overpowered at first from the rum flavors, which are sweet, buttery and have a strong vanilla & banana finish. The raisins are soft and chewy with a sparkling tartness that cuts through the otherwise overly-sweet bar. The chocolate itself is stiff. It melts well enough, but not in a silky way. I can’t quite say it’s chalky or grainy, but it’s not smooth either. The dairy flavors are not quite what I expect from Cadbury either, which often has a dried milk flavor to it, this seemed much cleaner and fresher - which I admit I enjoy more.
It’s quite munchable, but doesn’t enter into “satisfying chocolate” for me. I prefer a smoother, higher cacao content milk chocolate and maybe even a few more raisins.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.