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Friday, April 18, 2014

Pelino Confetti Flowers

Italian Confetti FlowersA classic item for wedding favors are little parcels of confetti. Confetti is a generic Italian term for panned candies such as Jordan almonds, coated nuts, mints and of course chocolate. Tradition is a little sachet of five pieces, symbolizing health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity for the couple and their guests.

Another style of presenting the panned sweets is to wrap the little pieces up and form them into flowers and other shapes. I’ve seen these for years, I remember seeing a display of them in New York City’s Little Italy in a deli by the counter. They were so pretty, I’m not sure I even understood that the petals were edible. This photos shows them made with Jordan almonds and tucked into crepe paper. I’ve seen them made with cellophane which can be clear or tinted as well as tule mesh, which can also be uncolored or tinted (but probably isn’t sanitary).

I picked up this little bouquet in London at Harrod’s in their Easter display. It was expensive for so little actual candy, £3.50 for about 15 little pieces (about $5.85 USD). It’s made by Confetti Pelino of Sulmona, Italy. They were established in 1783, in a region of Italy that’s well known for this traditional and painstaking method of confectionery.

Italian Confetti Flowers

This isn’t as much a review of the candy as it is a deconstruction of the assembly of the five stems of flowers.

The bouquet is held together by green floral tape and decorated with green crepe paper leaves of the same color. It’s pretty top heavy, as the candy petals are thick and will tip over the little bouquet when placed in a water glass or wine glass (so be careful if you’re playing with these at a wedding reception). Each little flower is on a stem of wire, held together with tape and string. Floral tape isn’t exactly sticky, so there’s no issue of excessive adhesive with these. It unravels quite easily.


Each little piece of candy is a small, circular disk covered in cellophane. The cellophane is twisted together, the pointed, twisted ends are then tied together with a bit of string, and then taped onto the wire stem.


The candy at the center of these isn’t a Jordan almond, just a little sugar disk. It’s kind of bland, and as far as I can tell, unflavored. It dissolves and tastes like, well, sugar.

As candy, it’s expensive and darned difficult to eat because of all the string and wire and tape and wrappers. As a favor or decoration is classically charming. There are a lot of different ways to achieve these with different colors of candy, different sizes, different tape and leaves or flower shapes. Harrod’s is a fine place to buy one bunch if you’re curious, but if you’re interested in using them as favors or centerpieces, do some research on which will suit you best.

Though chocolate candies could be used, I would advise folks to stick to centers that are more weather-tolerant. It’d be fun to make them with M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces, but I can’t imagine anything with a lot of oil in it would do well with the heat of being handled a lot or possibly sitting in the sun or a hot car. I looked around to find a tutorial for making these but didn’t have much luck (if you know of one, please leave a link in the comments). I can imagine that the same techniques could also be used to make candy wreaths, garlands and other styles of centerpieces.

Related Candies

  1. Eat with your Eyes: Maison Pecou Jordan Almonds
  2. William diCarlo Perle di dolcezza
  3. Sconza Jordanettes
  4. Romanego Dragees, Cordials & Fondants
  5. Confetti & Agrumetti
  6. Anis de Flavigny

Name: Confetti Flowers
Brand: Confetti Pelino
Place Purchased: Harrod's (London)
Price: £3.50 ($5.85)
Size: 1 ounce (approximately)
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Candy, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Novelty/Toy, 6-Tempting, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:08 pm     CandyReviewHard Candy & LollipopsNovelty/Toy6-TemptingItalyComments (1)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Valrhona Blond Dulcey

Valrhona Blond DulceyOne of the most popular luxury chocolate brands is Valrhona, which is made in France. Though you may not know the name or the label, chances are you’ve had their chocolate because they’re used so widely in the pastry and confectionery trade. Though I rarely buy their bars, I am fond of their feves, which are little oblong chocolate disks which are great for baking or simply eating.

Since it’s Easter, I thought I’d review one of the iconic confections of the season: White Chocolate. Valrhona introduced a new white chocolate bar last year called Valrhona Blond Dulcey 32%. It’s like a dark white chocolate, if such a thing could exist. It’s 32% cocoa butter, which is more cocoa butter than some chocolates have for all of their combined cacao content. The next ingredient by percentage (32%) is then whole milk (in the form of whole milk powder, skim milk powder, butter and whey), then there’s sugar and some vanilla, soy lecithin and salt.

If you think that sounds rich, it is. That’s 50% of your saturated fat in half a bar. When I calculated the calories per ounce, it came out to 195 (that can’t possibly be right). But it’s also 3 grams of protein and a full 15% of your daily RDA of calcium.

Valrhona Dulcey

The bar is thick, which is nice considering that it’s only 2.46 ounces, smaller than the usual 3.5 or 3 ounce tablet that I’ve become accustomed to as a premium bar. The diagonals score the bar well enough that it can easily be broken into these irregular but perfect bite-sized pieces.

Valrhona Dulcey

The color is just what you see here, a butterscotch color instead of the creamy yellow-white or most cocoa butter confections. The literature about the Blond Dulcey makes note of the biscuit flavors along with a touch of apricot. They’re not wrong, it does have a rich cereal note to it, along with some toffee and maybe a light hint of lemon.

Valrhona Blond Dulcey

The bar has a good melt, though I admit that it’s a little fudgy at the start. I’d say that’s more from the milk solids than any sugar-grain. It’s lightly salty at first, there’s over 100 mg of salt. It is like a digestive biscuit flavor, just lightly toasted, sweet but not so much that it hurt my throat. There was no slick or greasy coating in my mouth afterwards as many white confections made with tropical oils can leave.The vanilla note is overpowered by the sort of toffee and burnt sugar flavors, though I would have enjoyed some bourbon or tobacco in there.

I found my bar when I was in London, though they do sell them in the United States. It was about $8, which it’s pretty steep for a smallish bar like this. I’ll probably stick with the Green & Blacks or the Ritter Sport if I can find it.

This may be one of those white chocolate bars that converts people who don’t like white chocolate. Or just something for those who do like white chocolate to munch on. It’s a lot more satisfying than many other white bars that I eat, I didn’t feel the need to eat the whole thing. That may be a function of the high protein content as well.

Related Candies

  1. Dove Promises White Chocolate
  2. Amsterdam on Foot: Three Chocolate Shops
  3. Chuao Chocolate Blocks from LEGOLAND
  4. Askinosie White Chocolate (Plain, Nibble & Pistachio)
  5. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  6. Green and Black’s White Chocolate

Name: Blond Dulcey
Brand: Valrhona
Place Purchased: Harvey Nichols (London)
Price: £4.75 ($8.00)
Size: 2.47
Calories per ounce: 160
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Valrhona Chocolate, Kosher, White Chocolate, 8-Tasty, France

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:49 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewKosherWhite Chocolate8-TastyFranceComments (5)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marks and Spencer Chicky Choccy Mini Eggs

Marks & Spencer Chicky Choccy Mini EggsThere was a time when the only choice for candy-coated chocolate eggs for Easter was Cadbury Mini Eggs. Times have changed and there are many versions, ranging from fair trade and all natural to tiny versions with Belgian chocolate to Hershey’s.

The the United Kingdom, there are also plenty of varieties available from store brands. I picked up some from Marks and Spencer, a department store with a chain of grocers. Marks and Spencer is already known for many unique confections, like their line of gummis featuring Percy Pig. I picked up the Marks and Spencer Chicky Choccy Mini Eggs.

Marks & Spencer Chicky Choccy Mini Eggs

They’re pretty bit eggs, at about one inch long. They come in three different speckled colors. The colorings used are all natural, derived from vegetable sources, making the end of the ingredients label look more like the contents of a green smoothie. The ingredients state that the cocoa solids make up 30% while the milk solids are 20% minimum. (The rest is sugar, you know, because it’s candy.)

The shells are quite thick and crunchy. Some natural colors can give a faint flavor to candy shells, but I didn’t notice that here. The shells are shiny and slick (not matte like Cadbury Mini Eggs).

Marks and Spencer Chicky Choccy Mini Eggs

The milk chocolate center is sweet and very milky. The melt is good, a little cool on the tongue with a mix of toasted cereal flavors, a little hint of malted milk and cocoa. The intensity of the chocolate is quite weak, though it’s still a pleasant profile. I found them very satisfying to eat, but definitely not high in chocolate content.

The allergy information is very easy to find. It contains soy and milk and is not suitable for people with nut allergies because of manufacturing methods. Suitable for vegetarians (not vegans) with all natural flavors and colors.

If you’d like a little more Easter fun, here’s the recent episode of The Nosh Show with Marvo, Dubba, Ryan and Eric where we talk a bit about Easter candy.

The #1 reason why I love Easter candy: the crunchy candy shell.


Related Candies

  1. Cadbury White Mini Eggs
  2. Schluckwerder Fancy Marzipan Eggs
  3. Brach’s Robin Eggs (Solid Milk Chocolate)
  4. Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs
  5. M&M and Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Eggs
  6. Cadbury Royal Dark Mini Eggs
  7. Hershey Eggs
  8. Cadbury Mini Eggs

Name: Chicky Choccy Mini Eggs
Brand: Marks and Spencer
Place Purchased: Marks & Spencer (London)
Price: £1.00 ($1.75)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:09 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEasterChocolate7-Worth ItUnited KingdomComments (1)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mars MaltEaster Bunnies

Malteaster Mini BunniesOne of the things that I’ve always been surprised about British confectionery is that they’re not terribly interested in malt. They do have one malted milk ball brand, called Maltesers made by Mars. But that’s it. No Easter varieties with pastel speckled candy shells, no snowballs, no jumbo double dipped. It’s just not in their list of classic candies. However, even though Mars hasn’t tried to extend their malted milk ball range, they have done some wonderful and unique things with their malted milk flavors. They make a hot cocoa mix and for Easter they make MaltEaster Bunnies.

MaltEaster Mini BunnyThere are two versions of the bunnies on the market. They come in the standard single serving size of 29 grams (1.02 ounces) and also in a mini version of 11.6 grams each (.41 ounces) that come in this bag of five. (I think I paid £1.50 for it, which is about $2.50 US.)

The little bunnies are, well, just the epitome of perfection. They’re about two inches high with tall ears and little round bellies with huge feet make them very attractive. The tiny size makes them about two bites each.

Though Mars prides itself on only using real chocolate in their candy in the United States, they’re not afraid to use “family chocolate” in the UK for their confections. Basically, it’s chocolate that contains fillers and cannot be called milk chocolate under the current USDA definitions of chocolate. In the case of MaltEaster Mini Bunnies, the ingredients include extra vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter and whey, which is a milk byproduct.

MaltEaster Bunny

I’ve had Malteser malted milk balls before, and though I like the centers, I found the milk chocolate coating a little lackluster though certainly better than the Whoppers in the US (made by Hershey’s).

The center of the MaltEaster bunnies is actually a crunchy & creamy Maltesers center. I wouldn’t exactly call it creamy, it’s just a thick sort of malty fudge thing that holds the crispy bits together. The malty bits are crunchy and fresh and have a good malt note to them.

MaltEaster BunnyThe chocolate is very sweet and matches the center. There’s a milky malt note to the whole thing and a sort of greasy aftertaste in my mouth. They’re a lot fattier than regular malted milk balls, as they do have about 152 calories per ounce compared to about 130 for regular chocolate malted milk balls.

Of the two versions I tried, the mini and the regular, I prefer the regular one. The mound of the bunny’s belly was a much larger reservoir of malt and cream, so the proportions change as you eat it. With the mini, there was a far greater proportion of chocolate, which would be great if I thought the chocolate was good enough to eat plain.

Even though I didn’t think these were as good as they could be if they were made with better ingredients, I’d still buy them again. They’re a unique item and suit my malt leanings very successfully. I’d be curious to see Mars bring this whole line to the United States, though I understand they’ve tried to compete before with existing brands. Back in the 80s they tried going head to head with Peter Paul with their Bounty Bars which are similar to Mounds and nutless Almond Joy.

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Milk & Crisp Chocolate Eggs
  2. Ovomaltine Chocolate Bar
  3. Ferrero Eggs: Hazelnut & Cocoa
  4. Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (2012)
  5. Target’s Market Pantry Malted Milk Balls
  6. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (Plus a Bonus)
  7. Mighty Malts
  8. Jelly Belly Chocolate Malt Balls
  9. Mars Maltesers

Name: MaltEaster Mini Bunnies
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Marks & Spencer (London)
Price: £1.50 ($2.50)
Size: 2.05 (.41 ounces per bunny)
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: Candy, Easter, Mars, Malt, Mockolate, 7-Worth It, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:03 pm     CandyReviewEasterMarsMaltMockolate7-Worth ItUnited KingdomComments (2)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Creamy Lemonhead and Friends JuJu Flowers

Creamy Lemonhead & Friends JuJu FlowersIn the list of candy holidays, Easter ranks at the top by creating more Candies You Can Play With than any other. The product name, Creamy Lemonhead and Friends JuJu Flowers, actually sounds weird. A lot of those words don’t seem to go together. The Lemonheads and Friends as a brand doesn’t work for me, as I don’t think that the friends are that identifiable. The word creamy before Lemonhead is absolutely jarring and the idea of Jujus are anachronistic enough but then adding the shape of them just makes for a string of “I don’t think I’ve had that before, have I?”

These pretty morsels aren’t shaped like eggs or rabbits, but simply like little six petal flowers. (For the record, I looked up jujubes, they’re in the same order as roses and do actually have five petals or multiples of five.)

The flavors sounded interesting: marshmallow creme, orange creme, strawberry creme, lime creme and banana creme. The last one, banana creme was the one that really got me. Banana is not a common flavor, so this pretty much was why I plunked down my dollar.

Lemonheads & Friends Juju Flowers

Marshmallow Creme is pretty much flavorless. Not that there’s anything wrong with sugar flavored candy. It was very clean with a light vanilla note. I liked using it as a palate cleanser between the other flavors.

Lime Creme has a rather interesting flavor profile. The creamy background gives this a key lime note, though there’s no tart note to it like actual citrus fruit.

Orange Creme is refreshing. It’s like a creamsicle without the zap of the orange juice. It’s just sweetness with the creamy smoothness of the jelly chew and a hint of zest.

Lemonheads & Friends Juju FlowersStrawberry Creme , unfortunately, has some red dye flavors that just ruin it for me. It’s more strongly flavored that the other pieces, the strawberry is rather fake instead of clean and fresh, which is too bad. Since there’s no tangy component, a candy like this should taste rather like cotton candy, not a vinyl inflatable beach ball.

Banana Creme was not what I’d hoped. Instead of a creamy, sweet tropical banana flavor ... it really tasted like a bland lemon creme to me. It tasted do much like lemon that I have to wonder if the packaging label was a mistake. Now, as a lemon creme, it’s passable, actually good. It’s like the marshmallow but with the slightest hint of lemon.

All the flavors were mild, but the whole thing was, well, simply pleasant. They’re like Dots, except they don’t stick to my teeth quite as much (but they still stick).

I wouldn’t buy these again for eating, but they are really great looking. Their outside texture is smooth and dry, so they don’t stick together at all. The colors are bright enough that they could be used for something other than Easter, as well. I could see these as a nice jar of candy for a candy buffet for a wedding or shower. They’re certainly inexpensive, at $2 per pound, if you wanted to sort them to use only particular colors, that would be a viable option for many budgets. They’re not gummis, so there’s no gelatin in there. They’re made in a facility with peanuts, tree nuts, milk and soy.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Carrot Cake Candy Corn
  2. Lemonhead & Friends Jellies
  3. Ferrara Chocolate Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs
  4. Ferrara Pan Chicks & Bunnies Jelly Candy
  5. Eat with your Eyes: Easter Dots
  6. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  7. Christmas Dots
  8. Marich Easter Select Mix
  9. Dots
  10. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix

Name: Creamy Lemonhead and Friends JuJu Flowers
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Easter, Ferrara Pan, Jelly Candy, 5-Pleasant, United States, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:47 pm     CandyReviewEasterFerrara PanJelly Candy5-PleasantUnited StatesDollar TreeComments (2)

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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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  •   Halloween
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• Smarties Lollies and Mega Lollies

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