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Chocolate

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cha-Cha-Cha Choxie

Name: Choxie Chocolates
Brand: Choxie (Target)
Place Purchased: Target
Price: $1.80-5.00
Size: varies
Calories per ounce: 126-148
Type: Chocolate/Caramels

I was planning on making jokes about what Choxie meant, but then I saw a commercial for it and they said it was “Chocolate with Moxie.” Not to be confused with Mockolate. And it’s not Chalk that’s Toxic or as my neighbor pronounces it ... Choke-see. The other weird thing besides the name is that it’s not on the Target website. You search for Choxie and you get some CDs.

At the urging of several readers I went there this past weekend and bought a variety of the new chocolates. A little tub of Warm Spiced Caramels (9.45 oz for $5), a Hot Chocolate Bar (2.5 oz for $1.80) and a small box of the Artisan Truffle Tiles (3.5 oz for $5). There’s lots more variety there with round truffles and other chocolate covered goodies

Warm Spiced Caramels: I’m in love with these little buggers. They’re smooth caramel with a little spicy flavor. No heat to them, just a little bit like a spiced rum or mulled cider. Very fall-like. The chocolate is smooth and not the slightest bit waxy and not to sticky sweet or milky. I think I’d like them with semi-sweet as well.

 

Artisan Truffle Tiles: The tiles are all the rage, as far as I can tell. They have that retro styling to them, with the painted tops. The flavors in the 3.5 ounce box are: chili limon, jasmine tea, orange mango, key lime, lemon rose, apple pie, cafe latte and cinnamon praline.

 


I didn't try the truffles, but I can see the truffles having the advantage of a better ratio of chocolate to filling. Here the filling is about 1/4 of the total of the candy. The chocolate is smooth, but because all the flavors are in the same box, there's a weird sort of jumbled infusion in the chocolate shell ... chocolate is an excellent flavor absorber, and in this case it's absorbed all of them. Perhaps the wrapped truffles don't have this issue. The centers are pretty divine though. The flavors aren't quite as robust as I think I've had at some places like Boule, but for a pre-packaged candy it’s rather nice to have the option of something like Lemon Rose or Chili Limon. Some of the other flavors like apple pie and latte were a little ordinary, but the creaminess of the centers is really the star.

If I were decorating a cake or something, these could be a great, edible addition.

Hot Chocolate Bar: The last, and probably most cost effective pure chocolate candy I found were the bars (the caramels are cheaper by the ounce but not all chocolate). At 2.5 ounces, it’s not a bad deal as candy bars go. If you’ve ever had a Frango, the “truffle” center of this is very similar. Rather firm, but a good instant melt. The flavor is rich with a lot of cinnamon with a little heat from both ginger and chipotle. I wish there were more fire to it and less spice graininess.

Overall, as a hostess gift the packaging is super cute and the quality is good. As fine candy goes, I think I’d still stick with See’s Candies, as they’re quite a bit cheaper though lack those trendy flavors (but their key lime truffle is pretty awesome).

Rating: 7 out of 10

Note: I have a sneaking suspicion that Trader Joe’s ‘Slate of Bliss’ is made by the same people who make Choxie, so I’m digging for more info on that ... maybe I’ll have something later this week.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:22 am     CandyReviewChoxie (Target)CaramelChocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (28)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Overload Cups

Name: Overload Peanut Butter Cups
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Target
Price: $.79
Size: 2.55 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Type: Chocolate/Peanut Butter

In my mind, there is no more perfect melding of chocolate and peanut butter than the Reese’s Miniature (yes, the minis are better than the full-sized cups). I do not pursue anything above that, but in the interest of fairness, I’m giving these Overload thingies a chance to prove themselves.

Overload is three peanut butter cups, each a slight variation on the tried and true original. One with balls of Butterfinger crisps tossed on top, another with some sort of fake m&ms (called ‘candies’) and the last with Buncha Crunch, which are just chocolate covered crisped rice like a Nestle Crunch bar.

First, when I pulled the tray out of the package, I could see that there was some sort of industrial accident. There were little ‘candies’ in ALL of the peanut butter cups and the ‘candies’ one had some buncha crunches in it. So much for segregation.

The chocolate is smooth and sweet, if perhaps a little more of it than a standard Reese’s cup. The peanut butter center is a little smoother than a Reese’s which is neither a good or bad thing, it just is. I kind of like a little grain to my nut butters, but that’s me. It was salty and very roasty tasting. The Butterfinger mixed in with that is a really good combo, a nice variation of smoothness, sweet, a bit chewy later with the Butterfinger and a lingering salty tone. The Buncha Crunch also has a nice texture to it, but in my mind it’s not quite enough crisp to make it through the cup. The ‘candies’ one is just kinda silly - is it the color that’s suppose to impress me or the texture of the candy shells? It’s by far the most chocolately, but the peanut butter part gets kind of lost without a texture to set it off.

These don’t even come close to most other peanut butter and chocolate products for me. The variety was, however, a welcome change when you’re buying a King Size item.

Rating: 5 out of 10 for ‘candies’ and Buncha Crunch and 6 out of 10 for the Butterfinger

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:42 am     CandyReviewNestleChocolatePeanuts5-Pleasant6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (12)

Friday, October 21, 2005

York Pinkermint Patties

Name: York Peppermint Pattie (Special Edition - Miniatures)
Brand: York (Hershey’s)
Place Purchased: freebie!
Price: usually about $2.89 a bag
Size: 12 oz
Calories per ounce: 113
Type: Mint/Chocolate

York Peppermint Patties hardly need a review from me. They’re a dense/fluffy minted center with a thin dark chocolate coat.

The reason I bring these up is that instead of the regular market-testing Limited Edition, these pink-centered patties are to raise awareness and money for the Young Survival Coalition.

“YORK is donating $125,000 to support the Young Survival Coalition. You can show your support for the cause with YORK’s special Pink Patties. Our donation will help provide programs and services to help young women affected by breast cancer.”


While I don’t find $125K to be an extraordinary amount in the fight against cancer, the Young Survival Coalition isn’t that big of an organization, and it’s a good sum to them. I also like the tagline for the patties for this occasion ... Be Sensational.

(Here’s the press release from YSC.)

They’ve been out since this summer, but I’ve yet to see them in any store on the West Coast (okay, I’ve only looked on the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles), these were sent to me by a friend of my sister-in-law in NY. If you find them, grab them. They’re no different than a regular YORK, except for the color. Eat them in the dark if the pink squicks you.

Rating - 10 out of 10 (cancer is bad, breasts are good ... actually I love Peppermint Patties, the miniatures especially)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:02 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateFondantMints10-SuperbUnited StatesComments (6)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ritter Sport Assortment

Name: Ritter Sport
Brand: Ritter
Place Purchased: Cost Plus
Price: $3.49
Size: 5.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Type: Chocolate (Various)

Ritter is a German brand of chocolate that offers these squares of chocolate (large and small) in 18 different varieties. I picked up this mini-assortment at Cost Plus because I haven’t been able to find some of the more obscure ones in the 100 gram size.

The little bars are about 1 1/2 inches square and sectioned into quarters. Overall, their chocolate is smooth, milky without tasting too much like powdered milk and the quality of the ingredients it top notch. They’re mass production candy, not frou-frou high-end stuff, but they offer some good variety to their line.

Here’s what I tried:

Marzipan - well, it’s sad that out of the 10 bars in the box, two of them were marzipan. I’m not fond of marzipan, but the texture was good and the almond paste fresh. The chocolate wasn’t the light dairy milk, but a mild semi-sweet. 6 out of 10

Jogurt - the other sad thing was there were two of these as well. Covered in the dairy milk chocolate, the center was a dense yogurt cream. A little sour, a little odd. Not unpleasant, but not really my thing. 6 out of 10

Knusperflakes - a corn flake crunch in milk chocolate. This is super, I will definitely buy this one again if I see it by itself. Better than a crisped rice bar because the corn actually has its own flavor to add. Rocks my world. You get the picture. 8 out of 10

Vollmilch - milk chocolate, rich, sticky and dairy-rich taste. Sweet and smooth. 7 out of 10.

Knusperkeks - a butter biscuit covered in chocolate. Simplicity. The biscuit is soft and crumbly, but not grainy like a graham cracker. Buttery undertones and lightly crumbly, it works well with the chocolate. 7 out of 10

Nugat - not really nougat in the sense of a whipped sugar, but more of a hazelnut paste. Sweet and very nutty. Not as smooth as a Baci. 7 out of 10.

Haselnuss - crushed hazelnuts in milk chocolate. Sweet dairy milk chocolate with good nutty crunch and flavor. 7 out of 10.

A fun thing to share with people. Each little bar is a nice snack, not as big as a whole candy bar and easy to section and share.

Rating - 7 out of 10 for whole package.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:23 pm     CandyReviewRitter SportChocolateCookieNougatNuts7-Worth ItGermanyCost PlusComments (17)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

All the Pretty Mint Horses

Name: Milk Chocolate filled with Dalecarlian Polkamint Truffle
Brand: Dalecarlia Chocolates
Place Purchased: gift
Price: unknown
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160
Type: Chocolate/Mint

I got these little cuties as a gift from fellow webmaster, Russ, from NaNoWriMo last month. (Unfortunately the box only had three little minty horses left!)

Inside the box are little individually wrapped candy horses. Made with a molded milk chocolate shell, they’re filled with a pink mint cream:

 

The detail on them is really nice, the proportions are good (nobody likes to eat what looks like a deformed animal). Not just an ordinary horse, they’re Dala horses, which are a common symbol for Sweden. The chocolate is rather in between a milk chocolate and a semi-sweet. It’s not heavy on the dairy milk notes, which is just fine with me. The chocolate is smooth and the cream filling is not too sweet. It has a nice mild peppermint hit to it that doesn’t overwhelm the chocolate.

The packaging is obviously for the English-speaking market and I think they probably should have consulted some English-speaking folks to comment on their catch phrase of “A Nice Taste of Sweden!” I’m not sure if other tastes of Sweden are foul and they’re trying to differentiate themselves or if perhaps it’s a catch phrase from their popular culture that just didn’t make it in translation. I think they could also work on the name of the candy. I like to know what to call the things in conversation ... Dalamints? Horsetruffles? Milk Chocolate filled with Dalecarlian Polkamint Truffle, well, you’ve already dozed off reading that, haven’t you?

That aside, it’s nice stuff and if someone gave me a full box of these, I’d be pleased. I was pleased to get 3/10ths of a box ... it can only get better than that!

Rating - 8 out of 10 (I’m a fan of mint and chocolate)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:43 pm     CandyReviewChocolateMints8-TastySweden

Botticelli Chocolatte

Name: Chocolatte
Brand: Botticelli
Place Purchased: London Drugs (Vancouver, BC)
Price: unknown
Size: 1.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 164
Type: Chocolate

My husband brought this back from Canada for me. I know it was a while ago, but if you picture the candy blogger with piles of candy all over her house and office, well, you’re not far off from the truth. I was a little skittish about it because of my experience with the Botticelli Bites last summer. (I have other thoughts on that, but I’ll post about that separately sometime.)

The bar is milk chocolate sections filled with a buttery cream. The chocolate is creamy and smooth albeit a little too sweet to let the dairy or chocolate flavors really shine. The center is smooth, sweet and has a good flowing caramel texture but not really any flavor that I could figure (caramel, vanilla, chocolate?).

It’s a rather ordinary bar with no oomph. The sections divide quite nicely to make the bar look like boxed chocolates instead of a candy bar, so it definitely has an upscale feel but just doesn’t deliver any sensory satisfaction for me. I feel so bad about this post that I’ll try to do another one later, if only so I can have something more exciting to eat (good or bad).

Rating - 5 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:03 am     CandyReviewBotticelliChocolate5-PleasantCanadaComments (9)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hershey’s Cookies

Name: Hershey’s with Almonds & Reese’s Cookies
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Long’s Drugs
Price: $.99
Size: 2.0 oz
Calories per ounce: 150 and 145 respectively
Type: Cookie

So, the Almond Joy cookies were nice. I loved the York cookies, but haven’t been able to find them again. What I have found are the Hershey’s with Almonds and the Reese’s (finally!).

Can I just say this about the Hershey’s with Almonds? OMIGOD! Awesome. Really. I wasn’t planning on reviewing them so close to the Almond Joy one ... but I wanted to photograph them, and once I opened the package and take a bit for the photo ... eek! They’re soooo good. I wanted to run down the hall and share them with someone else. I didn’t want to share them with someone else! They’re mine! I only have four!

The cookie part is light and crunchy with a good cocoa flavor like the cookie part of an Oreo, but lighter. The creamy chocolate topping has nicely roasted almonds in it. Not a lot of them, but enough for a good nutty flavor and texture. The chocolate is good and sweet and provides a good creamy balance to the slightly salted cookie. I wish they weren’t so hard to find and expensive as cookies go, but then again, I don’t want them in a larger package lest I eat more than four at a time. (I did share one.)

The Reese’s didn’t do much for me. They were peanutty, but lacked a creamy quality that the peanut butter cups have. I still think they’re a solidly good cookie - better than a Nutter Butter if you like chocolate with your peanut cookies.

Ratings: Hershey’s with Almond Cookie - 10 out of 10
Reese’s Cookie - 7 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:56 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateNutsPeanuts7-Worth It10-SuperbUnited States

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nestle Munchies

Name: Munchies
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market
Price: $1.29
Size: 1.83 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Type: Chocolate/Caramel

I’d never seen these before, but the package seemed happy so I bought it. Unfortunately the import label that was applied to it covered up half of the original label but I took it off and founds that it says “Share me Munchies.” Okay.

Munchies are a little ball of biscuit (cookie) surrounded by flowing caramel and covered in chocolate, shaped like a little cube (okay, not totally cubular, a little shorter than wide).

They’re completely poppable, about the same size as a Rolo and like a tiny little Twix bar. The ratio of chocolate seems greater than a Twix, so if chocolate is your thing and not the cookie so much, this might be a good alternative candy.

They’re cute and very sweet but a little lacking in flavor for me. The biscuit isn’t really crunchy, just crumbly and the caramel is sweet but lacks the carmelized sugar hit that I enjoy.

Rating - 5 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:08 am     CandyReviewNestleCaramelChocolateCookie5-PleasantUnited KingdomCost PlusComments (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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