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Chocolate

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.

DSC01083r

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
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
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 (0)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nestle Mini Smarties Chick & Milkybar Rabbit

Nestle Mini Smarties ChickNestle Mini Smarties Filled Chick are little hollow chocolates wrapped in yellow foil. Inside is a small handful of mini Nestle Smarties. I kind of made up the name of the candy, the name on the sticker on the base of the foil is

Hollow milk chocolate figure containing mini Smarties. Seems like they could have named them something like Nestle Nestling.

The idea of a hollow chocolate figure filled with other treats is nothing new, but is a fantastic idea that’s utilized much better in Europe since these overprotective Americans think that we’ll all choke on the fillings. Nestle has many different sizes they do for Easter, as well, including a foil wrapped hen filled with Smarties as well, and often sold in a box that looks like a chicken coop with a bunch of the little chicks.

There were a lot of displays of these in grocery stores and drug stores while I was in London, so it was easy to pick up both. Most were priced at about two for one pound, which I thought was a bit steep for 30 grams (about 1.06 ounces) when you factor in that it’s Nestle chocolate.

Nestle Mini Smarties ChickUnwrapped the little chick is just as cute. It’s very well molded. The best thing about the candy is really the sound. Just shake the figure and it’s like a rattle.

The milk chocolate isn’t stellar, as it is Nestle; the ingredients are subpar. It wouldn’t qualify as real milk chocolate in the United States, as they use milk whey as a filler. However it’s 25% cacao content and they do use sunflower lecithin instead of soy, so if your kid has a soy sensitivity, you might want to seek the UK Nestle confections. The Smarties also use all natural colors for the shells and rice starch. Still, the label states that it may contain traces of soy, gluten, peanuts and other tree nuts.

For those of you not familiar with them, Nestle Smarties are little chocolate lentils. Unlike many of Nestle’s global brands, they’re not sold in the United States very often, as they have the same name as a pre-existing candy. Instead of renaming them, Nestle just doesn’t compete with M&Ms in the United States. (They do in Canada, though.)

Nestle Mini Smarties Chick

The little chick is rather thin. The chocolate is rather soft, so it was easy to stick my thumb through it to break it up. Inside were 15 little Smarties lentils, far smaller than the regular Smarties. They come in pleasant pastel colors.

The chocolate is bland and sweet and sort of fudgy-thick. It doesn’t taste like something that should be eaten, more like packaging. The texture is decent enough, but I admit I’m spoiled from the Rococo Chocolate I had yesterday, so perhaps the proximity of the reviews is unfair. The Smarties don’t use the same chocolate. They taste nutty, like unroasted peanuts and porridge. The thin, crispy shell is fun. They’re about as good as Sixlets.

Even though I thought this was a marginal product, they’re inexpensive enough to buy and use as place settings for a dinner or give to a child. The interactivity of the candy inside is really what makes this special along with the attention to detail in the foil wrap and mold.

Nestle Milky Bar RabbitThe Nestle Milkybar Rabbit is just as cute in his little white foil outfit.

Milkybar is a Nestle white confection bar. It’s made with natural ingredients, but like the Smarties chick, it contains extra whey as filler and some vegetable oils ... but there is real cocoa butter in there. It does seem to have a mix of sunflower and soy lecithin. The other allergens listed on the label were traces of peanuts and tree nuts. While I may complain about the use of vegetable oils, this is 26% dairy, so they’re not kidding when they say milky.

This fellow clocked in a little shy of a full ounce, my guess is the difference in weight between the two is the little Smarties. (Why this one doesn’t get Smarties, I don’t know. They don’t make a white confection Smarties at the moment.)

Nestle Milky Bar RabbitOut of the foil, this rabbit looks a bit like a themed guest soap. It’s cute and has a very thick base so he stands up well.

It smells okay, very “dairy” though I’d also say slightly rancid or just not quite fresh. The texture is good, not as silky as, say, the M&Ms White Chocolate, but still not terribly grainy. The dairy flavors are thick and just unpleasant overall. The whole thing has a bit of a plastic note to it, as if I was eating a foam egg carton, not a white chocolate.

I’m not a white chocolate snob, I actually like the stuff, but this is not good white chocolate. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Milkybar (I haven’t review them before) but it never impressed me since there are many excellent true white chocolate bars available these days. It’s still fun to look at, and for a child who doesn’t care for the milk chocolate stuff, if this is what they ask for, it couldn’t be cuter, and on top of that, the portion is already controlled.

Nestle has been doing a lot to source their cacao through verified sustainable sources, however, their Easter novelty line does not seem to have any of those certifications.

Related Candies

  1. Aldi Choceur Flame Egg & Chocolate Rabbit
  2. Eat with your Eyes: Acorn filled with Squirrels
  3. Riegelein Confiserie Hollow Chocolate
  4. Peeps inside a Milk Chocolate Egg
  5. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  6. Upscale Hollow Chocolate: Michel Cluizel & Hotel Chocolat
  7. Palmer Hollow Chocolate Flavored Bunny
  8. Russell Stover Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny
  9. Lindt Chocolate Bunnies (Dark & Milk)
  10. Kinder Egg


Name: Milk Chocolate Chick filled with Mini Smarties
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Marks & Spencer (London)
Price: £0.50 ($.85)
Size: 1.06 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, Easter, Nestle, Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United Kingdom


Name: Milkybar Hollow Rabbit
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Marks & Spencer (London)
Price: £0.50 ($.85)
Size: .99 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, Easter, Nestle, White Chocolate, 4-Benign, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:57 pm     CandyReviewEasterNestleChocolateWhite Chocolate4-Benign6-TemptingUnited KingdomComments (1)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rococo Easter Egg

Rococo LondonWhile in London I made a point of visiting Rococo Chocolates. I’ve picked up quite a few of their bars in the United States before, I loved the packaging design and the molding of the bar in addition to their choice of Grenada Chocolate Company and Valrhona as chocolate sources. It’s not hard to find their products, they were sold in some of the grocery stores and in most of the food halls at the flagship department stores. But I wanted to see the store for myself, and pick out some individual pieces of their famous violet creams (not a whole box).

The Rococo Chocolate Shop on Motcomb Street is not far from Harrod’s and in an area with a large number of embassies. I mention this because I happened to walk past the Ecuadorian embassy, which I probably wouldn’t have given a second glance except for the demonstrators calling attention to the fact that Julian Assange was in there.

Rococo Easter EggWith my limited space in my suitcase, I wanted to bring back something special, something seasonal but also something that would travel well. The Rococo Easter Egg filled with a Selection of Ganaches seemed like an ideal item.

It was expensive, at £11.75 for only 70 grams, but something I wouldn’t find in the United States. The box is lovely, a heavy cardstock printed box with no other branding on it once I removed the product sleeve. The decoration on the box are prints from catalogues of old chocolate molds.

The egg is a common format I’ve seen in Europe for Easter. Some places call them Flame Eggs. It’s a hollow egg, made of two sections that are usually wrapped in foil separately and then filled with a selection of other chocolates, like little ganaches or just a pile of Cadbury Mini Eggs or Smarties. They can be small, like this one, or gigantic centerpiece items that can weigh more than a pound and are meant for a whole family.

Rococo Chocolate Egg

Everything inside the box was also neatly wrapped. The egg itself was wrapped in tissue paper, in a print matching the box. Inside the two hemispheres of the egg were the little ganaches wrapped in another large piece of food-grade tissue paper. Even though this had traveled thousands of miles, it fared very well.

The egg piece are wrapped in a nice orange-gold foil that’s easy to peel off. The egg itself is about 3.25 inches high and 2.25 inches wide at the widest spot.

The chocolate egg was formed in two layers, as it kind of cleaves when bitten. The quality of the chocolate is excellent. The tempering is superb, as it looks great with its beautiful glossy sheen and silky melt. The flavor profile is very rich. The toasted notes of toffee and coffee are immediately forward with some bitterness along with a sort of brownie flavor. The shell is 65% cacao, but tasted far darker.

Rococo Chocolate Egg

The ganaches inside were unmarked, the package only said that they were a mix of ganaches, so I’m not certain what I had. Here are my guesses:

Milk Chocolate - orange ganache with mango & passion fruit jelly. The light orange truffle center was sweet and tangy with a little note of zest. There was a layer of firm jelly with a wonderful tart and floral flavor, the mango was more forward with only a hint of the passion fruit.

Dark Chocolate - Valrhona Manjari Madagascar single origin. This was a wonderfully reliable piece with a nicely acidic ganache center with notes of cherry and raspberry (which means it might have been a berry ganache). Very good melt and very little sugary grain to the whole thing.

Coffee - Irish coffee white chocolate ganache in dark chocolate. This had a little sprinkling of coffee bits and turbinado sugar on the top. It was much sweeter than I was expecting, not as intense or as chocolatey as I’d hoped. As soon as the coffee flavors developed, it was gone. Maybe if I ate several of them in succession ...

Rococo ChocolateI also picked up a few impulse items. The Honecomb Crunch bar is one of the Bee Bar line, which have a charming bar mold design (see that here). It’s organic milk chocolate with a bit of crushed cinder toffee (sponge candy). The bits of the candy were too small to appreciate properly, but provided a nice toffee note. The milk chocolate was dark and had a lot of cheesy dairy notes, rather in the Swiss style. It’s quite a munchable bar.

Rococo Carre squares are single origin pieces, probably about 7 grams each. They’re each a different color, depending on the source of the chocolate.

63% cacao from Peru’s Chanchamayo Province smells strongly of honey. The melt is quick and a little thin and sweet. It later develops with excellent cherry and raisin flavors: dark and jammy. A very nice munching chocolate, especially if you like those fruity flavors that typify Peruvian chocolate.
71% cacao from Grenada Chocolate Company starts with a roasted scent and an olive note. The melt is very smooth, but a little cool on the tongue compared to the other two squares. There’s a tangy note towards the back with some black tea and maybe even a little smoke notes in there.
70% cacao from Jamaica was pretty bold with a lot of coffee notes from the smell but the flavor was far more complex. The balsam start went into pure green wood and a hint of and a lot of green eucalyptus and green tea. A little acidic towards the end with a dry finish. Actually pretty odd.

Finally, I also picked up four little chocolates from the candy counter while I was there to consume while I was in London. The key piece worth noting was the Violet Cream. This is something of a British traditional chocolate. I’m not adverse to floral flavors, I like them very much ... if I had to rank them, it would go something like this: orange blossom, jasmine, lavender, rose, geranium, elderflower and then violet. I don’t have photos, but they’re as you would imagine, a small dollop of sugary fondant covered in dark chocolate. The texture of the cream center was very nicely done, not grainy at all, not even too sweet. But the violet as overwhelming. There was scarcely a note of chocolate in the coating. They’re simply not for me.

I’ll continue to seek out Rococo Chocolates, the flavor combinations are a little more traditionally British, which is refreshing when so many other brands I’ve tried from the UK seem more in line with the Swiss/Belgian traditions.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:58 pm     CandyChocolatierReviewEasterChocolateCoffeeEthically SourcedSingle Origin7-Worth ItUnited KingdomComments (1)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Equal Exchange Dark Bars: Raspberry, Lemon Ginger, and Coconut

Equal Exchange RaspberryEqual Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate with Raspberries 60% is part of the Equal Exchange line of chocolate bars.

They’re 3.5 ounces and priced competitively with other premium chocolate bars. Equal Exchange (I reviewed some Easter items on Friday) is a cooperative using fair trade standards to create a whole store filled with chocolate, coffee, tea and other goods.

This bar features organic freeze dried raspberries in organic and fair trade dark chocolate. The cacao is sourced from fair trade cooperatives in The Dominican Republic, Panama, Ecuador and Peru with sugar from Paraguay and vanilla from Madagascar. There’s no soy lecithin and it’s considered gluten free though it may contain traces of milk, hazelnuts, cashews and coconut. Equal Exchange makes their chocolate in Switzerland.

The bar is wrapped simply, in thin foil and then a thicker paper overwrap (the inside had all the sourcing details about the bar).

Equal Exchange Raspberry

The bar is glossy and attractive, with some bumps on the bottom from the raspberry bits. The molding is good as is the temper, it’s very consistent and I noticed no voids or swirling in any of the bars (which can happen with inclusions). It smells rich, though barely sweet. Like cherries, coffee and honey. Once snapped in half though, the raspberry scent, with its floral notes becomes much more noticeable. The chocolate is sweet on the tongue and has a good, cool melt with a creamy texture. The raspberry bits are crunchy and tangy, though the seeds in the center can be a bit tougher.

It’s a very easy to eat bar, with a lot more acidic tang than most other 60% bars. I don’t care much for the grassy, woody note of the seeds, but that’s berries for you.

Equal Exchange Lemon and Ginger

The Equal Exchange Organic Lemon Ginger Chocolate with Black Pepper is 55% cacao, so it’s the lightest chocolate intensity of the bunch. The package gives the identical sourcing info for the major ingredients but doesn’t say where the lemon, ginger and black pepper is from, though they’re all organic.

It’s nice to see lemon used with chocolate, it’s not as common as orange, but can still combine well, especially with dark chocolate. The addition of ginger and black pepper makes this the most unconventional flavor in the Equal Exchange line. This package looked the same on the outside as the other bars, but instead of a foil inner liner, it’s in some sort of compostable mylar. I also noticed that the nutritional panel listed this one at only 200 calories a portion, not 230 ...which actually sounds more plausible. (But calorie calculations are fraught with error, as the basis for it is over 100 years old, so really they’re just a guide.)

Equal Exchange Lemon and Ginger

Though the bar contains no milk, it doesn’t look like a particularly dark chocolate bar. It smells woodsy and fresh, with a little note of rosemary and cedar.

The melt of the dark chocolate is very smooth, but I did start to detect a bit of sugar grain ... this was from the crystallized ginger in the bar. The lemon is a bit strong, rather astringent at first, but it dissipates. The chocolate is mild, woodsy and of course creamy. The ginger and black pepper hit come in slowly as a hint of warmth in the throat. The sugar from the crystallized ginger rather disguised the ginger kick at first, then it came forward.

It’s a satisfying bar.

Equal Exchange  Coconut

The final bar is the Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate with Coconut 60%. Like the Raspberry bar, this one has a thin silver foil wrapping.

It is also 60% cacao content and contains only one additional ingredient to the chocolate, the organic coconut flakes.

This bar reminded me most of Passover, which I’ve often thought of as Macaroon Season, as coconut macaroons (often dipped in chocolate) are a typical treat since they can be made without only coconut, chocolate, egg whites and sugar to follow the Kosher for Passover rules.

Equal Exchange  Coconut

The bar has a lot of coconut in it, and the silky chocolate goes well with it. There are cherry and raisin notes to go with the more tropical scent of the coconut and hints of the Madagascar vanilla bean.

The exciting development this year for Equal Exchange is their new designation of their dark chocolates as Kosher for Passover. Equal Exchange chocolates that are marked pareve (the 3.5 oz or 100 g line and dark chocolate minis) may be purchased before Passover and consumed on Passover according to Rabbi Aaron Alexander, Associate Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University. The specific bars from Equal Exchange that qualify for this designation are: Organic Chocolate Espresso Bean Bar, Organic Dark Chocolate with Almonds Bar, Organic Ecuador Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Mint with a Delicate Crunch Bar, Organic Orange Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Panama Extra Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Very Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Lemon Ginger with Black Pepper, Organic Dark Chocolate Minis.

It’s interesting that before this, there were no certified fair trade chocolates that were designated Kosher for Passover. Which is odd, because Passover is all about the commemoration of Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt. The best news is that these are tasty and come in a pretty wide variety of flavor options.

CNN has been covering modern day slavery, including in the cocoa trade in a series of articles, segments and documentaries.

Related Candies

  1. Equal Exchange Milk and Dark Chocolate Foil Eggs
  2. Original Beans Piura Porcelana and Esmeraldas Milk
  3. Kauai Chocolate Tour plus Nanea & Madre Chocolate Bars
  4. Divine Milk Chocolate Praline Mini Eggs
  5. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
  6. Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate: 65%, 71% & 80%
  7. Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries
  8. Javaz - Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
  9. Equal Exchange Halloween Kit


Name: Organic Dark Chocolate with Raspberries 60%
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $3.99 retail
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 176
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, 7-Worth It, Switzerland


Name: Organic Lemon Ginger Chocolate with Black Pepper 55%
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $3.99 retail
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Ginger, Kosher, Organic, 8-Tasty, Switzerland


Name: Organic Dark Chocolate with Coconut 60%
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $3.99 retail
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 176
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Coconut, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, 7-Worth It, Switzerland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:36 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEqual ExchangeChocolateCoconutEthically SourcedGingerKosherOrganic7-Worth It8-TastySwitzerlandComments (0)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Equal Exchange Milk and Dark Chocolate Foil Eggs

Equal Exchange EggsEqual Exchange is cooperative that sells products with fair trade ingredients and/or labor. Many of these are products where the farmers that grow them live in poverty, lack educational opportunities. Things like coffee, tea, bananas and of course, cocoa. These are all grown in tropical regions and depend on a high degree of manual labor. With the chocolate industry, there’s the added issue of slavery of hundreds of thousands of children on farms, mostly in Western Africa.

Equal Exchange also makes its own chocolate, which uses fair trade certified ingredients, not just ethically sourced cocoa. The result isn’t charity, these are real, sustainable products that you can buy at a fair price that are actually good quality as well.

They’ve been making chocolate for a while, but only more recently has it become more mainstream ... and now they have holiday packaged foil-wrapped eggs.

Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate Eggs

Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate Foil Eggs are 41% cacao, which is as dark as some semisweet chocolate sold these days. The ingredients sound delicious: cacao butter, whole milk powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor, unrefined white cane sugar, ground hazelnuts and vanilla. The ingredients are also fair trade (except for the hazelnuts and milk) and all organic. There’s no soy, no lecithin, no other fillers.

The melt is smooth and creamy. It’s not at all grainy but very fatty and thick on the tongue. The flavor is interesting and not something I initially liked. It’s deep and not terribly sweet. The milk flavors are definitely more on the powdered milk, flirting with the cheesy side. But the roasted flavors of the hazelnuts balances that. The chocolate itself is woodsy with a sort of green banana note to it. It sounds weird.

I can’t stop eating these. I actually did stop, when I ran out. Then I realized they also sent this to me:

Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate Minis

Yes, that’s over a pound and a half of mini milk chocolate bars. In a handy dispenser box. I have it on my desk, like it’s dispensing tissues during allergy season.

Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Eggs

The Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Foil Eggs are also quite rich. They feature the same high fat, though in this case there are no nuts and no dairy at all. The 55% cacao content is rounded out only with sugar and vanilla beans. Like the Milk Chocolate, it’s all organic, but in this case it’s also all fair trade certified. There’s no soy in there, no GMOs though there may be traces of milk, peanuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and/or pecans. Though it doesn’t say on the ingredients, they should be gluten free. Finally, they’re vegan. While there’s not a lot in there, there are a lot of folks these could satisfy. ]

The 55% cacao content makes these quite mild. They smell woodsy, with a light cherry note. The chocolate has a good, silky melt with a light dry finish to it. The flavor profile is all over the map. I taste coffee, cherries, figs and bananas and sometimes even a hint of malt ... though that could have been its storage adjacent to my milk chocolate pieces. There’s a light bitterness in there, nothing too difficult to conquer, but might be enough to keep children away.

You could put these in front of anyone without any information about the origins or disposition and they’d never know that this is more transparently source, ethically accountable stuff. It’s just tasty. As you can tell, I preferred the milk chocolate version, but the dark is a wonderful middle of the road chocolate that’s not too dark for wide appeal.

The only hesitations for most folks will be where to find them and how much you pay. Equal Exchange has them on their website for $6.99 per package, which is pretty steep compared to their very competitively priced bars. (For some reason foil wrapping just amps up the price of any chocolate, good quality or bad.) Some Whole Foods Markets and other natural product stores may carry them as well. The fall back is always the little mini-bars, which are also extremely cute and a bit better deal per ounce, but come in this 23.8 ounce box (yes, a pound a half) for $35.00 plus shipping. It’s hard to compare that to R.M. Palmer (which isn’t even real chocolate, let alone sustainably sourced), but Godiva or Lindt may be a good comparison on both price and ingredients.

On Monday I’ll have a review of Kosher for Passover chocolates, also from Equal Exchange.

Related Candies

  1. SweetWorks Foil Covered Chocolate
  2. Ghirardelli Milk & Crisp Chocolate Eggs
  3. Divine Milk Chocolate Praline Mini Eggs
  4. Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Easter Eggs
  5. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
  6. Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate: 65%, 71% & 80%
  7. Eat with your Eyes: Fair Trade Eggs
  8. Madelaine’s Foiled Milk Chocolate
  9. Godiva Easter Eggs


Name: Organic Milk Chocolate Foil Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $6.99
Size: 3.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 163
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Nuts, 9-Yummy, Switzerland


Name: Organic Dark Chocolate Foil Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $6.99
Size: 3.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 163
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, 8-Tasty, Switzerland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:38 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEasterEqual ExchangeChocolateEthically SourcedKosherNuts8-Tasty9-YummySwitzerlandComments (1)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chuao Orange A Go Go Chocopod

Chuao Orange A Go GoThe Chuao Chocopod line is a funny little set of mini versions of their large chocolate bars. It’s a great way to try something before committing to 3 ounces.

There’s a shop by my office that has very wide inventory of them, so I’ve been able to try a few Chuao varieties. The Chuao Orange A Go Go Chocopod is a rather standard combination of flavors, orange and dark chocolate.

The little choco pods are shaped like a cocoa pod. It’s about 2.75 inches long and only .39 ounces. Not even a full portion of chocolate, but at 50 calories and one dollar, it’s a good way to control your portions.

Chuao Orange A Go Go

The texture is very smooth, the chocolate is not particularly dark at only 60%, but nicely rich. Even though it’s not very dark, Chuao does not use milk fillers in its dark chocolate, so this is considered a vegan bar (though is made in a facility that processes milk, nuts and wheat). The ingredients list orange peel and orange extract along with bergamot extract. There were a few pieces of orange peel that I detected in my portion, but not large pieces. More like tiny coconut flakes would be. The orange flavor, though, was very well moderated. Not so strong as to create an oily or bitter note, but not too subtle to be overpowered by the woodsy and rather coffee notes of the chocolate.

It’s pricey if you’re picking this up for anything other than a sample before committing to a large bar. The large bars are 2.8 ounces and about $5 retail ($1.79 per ounce) and these work out to about $2.56 per ounce, even when you buy a box of 36 on the Chuao website. However, they’re a fun favor, if you’re considering something for a shower or wedding, especially since they’re rather gender neutral.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramel-Orange
  2. Marabou Noblesse Crisps: Original, Dark & Orange
  3. Chuao Honeycomb & Potato Chip Chocolate Bars
  4. Chuao Panko
  5. Chuao Chocolate Blocks from LEGOLAND
  6. Chuao ChocoPods
  7. Mounds Island Orange


Name: Orange A Go Go Chocopod
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Chuao Chocolatier
Place Purchased: Monsieur Marcel (Farmers Market)
Price: $1.00
Size: .39 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chuao Chocolatier, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:16 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChuao ChocolatierChocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lindt Gold Bunny Hazelnut

Lindt Hazelnut BunnyLindt Gold Bunny Hazelnut is a new introduction that’s sadly not available in the United States. I saw an announcement about it a couple of months ago and put it on my London shopping list. Not only did I find it, they were on sale, two for £5 ... which is still pretty pricey at $4.25 with the exchange rate at the time.

Honestly, I never read past the name of the product and I was sold. So, I didn’t know quite what to expect, I simply assumed that this was going to be an giandiua product, a sort of milk chocolate with hazelnut paste blended in for an extra rich texture.

The bottom label on the foil covered rabbit explained that it was milk chocolate with hazelnut pieces. It’s actually 20% hazelnuts while the chocolate is 30% cocoa solids and then another 14% milk solids. In addition, there’s a touch of malt extract (I don’t know what that means when it comes to gluten status). There’s no actual allergen statement, just bolded items on the ingredients which include dairy, soy, hazelnuts, and barley plus traces of almonds.

Lindt Hazelnut Rabbit

The bunny looks a little odd, with the variations in the color, but oh, my goodness it smells great. It’s a roasted hazelnut scent that just makes my mouth water. The ears are nearly solid, so the first bite was quite a treat. The chocolate is a bit softer than the Lindt Dark, though their regular Milk Bunny is also on the soft side and also has a touch of malt.

Lindt Hazelnut RabbitThe melt is immediately milky, but it’s not that dried milk flavor that so many Swiss chocolates have, this is much fresher and brighter.

The note of malt is not completely overshadowed by the hazelnut either. It just moderates the sticky sweetness of the Lindt milk chocolate, as do the generous hazelnuts. The hazelnuts are crisp and crunchy with a macadamia or coconut crispness. They’re quite small bits (as they’d need to be for a molded item like this).

This is amazingly good. Easy to eat, filling but not too sweet. It’s expensive ...but really cute and very well executed. I would love to see these introduced in the United States next year. I was poking around online and saw that they may be available in Canada and there’s always a few eBay sellers that do European confectionery imports.

Related Candies

  1. Eclat Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts 65%
  2. Poco Dolce Hazelnut Bar
  3. Ferrero Eggs: Hazelnut & Cocoa
  4. The All American Chocolate Bunny Battle
  5. Riegelein Confiserie Hollow Chocolate
  6. 3400 Phinney: Fig, Fennel & Almond and Hazelnut Crunch
  7. Lindt Chocolate Carrots
  8. Lindt Chocolate Bunnies (Dark & Milk)
  9. Dagoba Hazelnut


Name: Gold Bunny Hazelnut
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Sainsbury (London)
Price: $4.25 (£2.50)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 175
Categories: Candy, Easter, Lindt, Chocolate, Nuts, 9-Yummy, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:09 am     CandyReviewEasterLindtChocolateNuts9-YummyGermanyComments (3)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Almond Eggs

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Almond EggsAlongside the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Eggs on shelves this year are the new Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs.

They’re not something particularly Easter-themed, as chocolate covered almonds are already rather egg shaped. But they’re still a welcome item, since some chocolate covered nuts sound less sweet than the many other marshmallowy, sugar-crusted and white chocolate items that typify the holiday fare.

They were expensive, as real nut items often are. I picked up this 7.1 ounce bag for $3.29, which is on par with what I’d usually pay for an item from Whole Foods ... yet I bought this at Target.

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Almond Eggs

They look great. Dark and glossy. They varied in size quite a bit, from a peanut all the way up to an almond in the shell. I expected this, because almonds themselves vary.

The chocolate itself is Hershey’s tangy, cheesy, fudgy chocolate ... it’s odd. But it goes well with the almonds, which are well chosen, nicely crunchy and good quality. I ate the whole bag in about two days, so I must have liked them, but I didn’t feel satisfied by any particular element. The chocolate is gritty and has that Hershey’s burp note ... the almonds are good, but the fact that I spent over $3 on less than half a pound of a Hershey’s chocolate product was a little odd.

Hershey’s had a version of these in their Pieces line that had a candy shell which added to the texture experience, but I haven’t see those in stores for a while.

If you’re a lover of the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almond bar and wanted an Easter version, I think these ratios are good.

The allergen warning only says that these may contain traces of peanuts. They are made with soy, dairy and almonds as well. There’s no note on gluten or wheat at all.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds
  2. Starbucks Salted Almond Chocolate Bites
  3. Toblerone Crunchy Salted Almond
  4. Valor Milk Chocolate with Almonds
  5. Trader Joe’s Almondictive Bits
  6. Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds
  7. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds


Name: Milk Chocolate Almond Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.29
Size: 7.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Candy, Easter, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, 6-Tempting, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:28 pm     CandyReviewEasterHershey'sChocolateKosherNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesTargetComments (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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COUNTDOWN

Candy Season Ends (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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