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Christmas

Friday, December 3, 2010

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint MarshmallowJust Born introduced Chocolate Covered Peeps for Easter 2010. They also made an appearance in the pumpkin shape for Halloween. But the most interesting of their new chocolate covered version of the marshmallow shapes is the Christmas introduction of the Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Flavored Marshmallow.

The candies come individually wrapped and weigh 1 ounce exactly. (There’s also a milk chocolate version, but both that I bought were crushed & sticky so I’ll have to find more.) Like the other chocolate covered versions before, they’re not just a chocolate covered classic Peep, they lack the sugar crust so the chocolate is the cloak it gets instead of the grainy coating.

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow

The tree shaped minty Christmas Peep is just shy of three inches long and pretty tall at about an inch thick. The dark chocolate shell contains a bit of milkfat but is otherwise has a pleasing dark sheen and makes a convincing tree shape. The package says that they’re gluten free, but of course aren’t vegan (gelatin & milk) and may contain peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and coconut.

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow

They actually smell more like sweet dark chocolate out of the package than mint, which I thought was a good sign after the overly sweet and underwhelming Easter and Halloween versions.

Biting into it, I found what I expected, which was a bright green, soft and moist marshmallow flavored with peppermint. The marshmallow is interesting, it’s fluffy without being foamy or latexy. The mint flavor is appropriately strong - strong enough to have a distinctive taste but not so strong to overwhelm the chocolate chip qualities of the dark coating. The smooth dissolve of the marshmallow is better than the slightly grainy and chalky chocolate.

I don’t generally get an aftertaste from green food colorings (blue & yellow), so my repulsion at the color was aesthetic, not technical. It did go far to convince me that this was something flavored like Creme de Menthe.

The product idea is sound, a flavored marshmallow in a festive, seasonal shape covered in chocolate. There aren’t any other mass-marketed candies like that. I still question the necessity of the strong food colorings (and maybe some sprinkles on there would serve a similar purpose of the tree “decoration.” I’m still not much of a marshmallow fan, so these don’t suit me, but I’m sure there are some fans who will enjoy these. They could benefit from higher quality chocolate and eschew the strong colors.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar & Mint Dream
  2. Chocolate Covered Peeps
  3. Pete’s Gourmet Confections: Marshmallows
  4. Christmas Mint Round Up
  5. Peeps Chocolate Mousse (Bears & Bunnies)
  6. Peeps inside a Milk Chocolate Egg
  7. Peppermint Peep Stars


Name: Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Vermonica)
Price: $.50
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Just Born, Chocolate, Marshmallow, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:23 pm     CandyPeepsReviewChristmasJust BornChocolateMarshmallowMints7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (6)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Brach’s Christmas Nougats

Brach's Christmas NougatsChristmas is filled with classic candies, many that simply aren’t found outside of these months.

Brach’s Christmas Nougats are classics. The disk shaped, mostly circular candies are wrapped in clear cellophane with green triangles on a red band at the edges where the wrappers are twisted. They’re about an inch and a half around. The style highlights the look of the candy, which features a green triangle (Christmas tree) in the center of the white chew. There are little red bands around the edge as well. To make the pattern, the candy is constructed like a giant burrito, the triangular green piece at the center, a little red piece for the “trunk” and then the mass of white nougat is wrapped around that with the strips of red added at the end. Then the whole thing is rolled out into a long rope and sliced to reveal the design.

Brach's Holiday Nougats

The base of the candy is called nougat and I admit that there is some egg white in there, but the texture isn’t quite nougat as far as I’m concerned. It’s not as chewy as a taffy, but not as fluffy as most nougats. So I’m just going to call it a chew.

They’re soft and easy to chew, not stringy or particularly sticky but could be considered clingy. They’re strongly flavored with peppermint, but it’s a clean flavor. The texture is mostly smooth, though there were some grainy bits of sugar now and then. They dissolve pretty quickly, so I found it easy to eat them one after the other. There’s a little hint of salt to keep them from tasting far too sweet. They’re fresh, most definitely, I’m sure that old ones get tacky and stiff.

I can see why these are a classic for the holidays. They’re a little on the bland side for me, not quite enough like true nougats and I didn’t care for the aftertaste from the artificial colors. They’re quite pretty and easy to share.

They also come in Wintergreen and Cinnamon (I haven’t found those in stores).

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Peppermint
  2. Nestle Toll House Mint Holiday Gems
  3. Whoppers Sno-Balls
  4. Peppermint Peep Stars
  5. Nougat de Montelimar


Name: Christmas Nougats
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Target (Harbor City)
Price: $1.99 (on sale)
Size: 13 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Brach's, Farley's & Sathers, Chews, Mints, 6-Tempting, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:01 pm     CandyChristmasBrach'sFarley's & SathersChewsMints6-TemptingMexicoTargetComments (11)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces

Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate PiecesThe Wonka Exceptionals Line is brand new this year, so it’s a bit surprising that Nestle already has a holiday version of one of their sub-brands when it seems like it took them decades to make holiday Gobstoppers.

The line of upscale Wonka Exceptionals includes new chocolate pieces. They’re little rectangles that are individually wrapped and feature a little bit of a different take on the standard morsel. The first introductions were Scrumdiddlyumptious (cookie pieces in milk chocolate), Chocolate Waterfall (milk & white chocolate swirled) and Domed Dark Chocolate (milk & dark stack)  In addition, Wonka came up with Marvels and Fruit Jellies with all natural colors and flavors.

The holiday Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces come in a tall box like the Jellies and Marvels. (The previous Pieces I reviewed came in a purple hologram emblazoned bag.) Inside the slim box is a purple mylar pouch with the Wonka Ws all over it. The box only holds four ounces of the foil wrapped chocolates and at nearly $4 for the package, that’s a dollar an ounce. That’s about what I pay for See’s by the pound. (There are approximately 12 pieces in the box.)

Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces

So, Wonka is trucking along, reinventing the brand. They’re going for quality and recapturing the imagination that everyone loves so much in the Dahl books ... and then this Christmas candy comes along. The previous candies in this Exceptionals line have been good, a little expensive but they also have a unique selling position - they’re made with all natural flavors and colors. So I bite into one of these new milk chocolate pieces that have peppermint candy pieces and shortbread cookie morsels.

Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces

There are red bits in there. They’re bright red. They’re kind of minty but they’re also kind of bitter to me towards the end, there’s something slightly off about them. They have artificial colors in them. Why? They’re inside! Why would you put coloring in something that’s not even meant to be seen?

That aside, the milk chocolate pieces are creamy. They’re very sweet and don’t have a huge cocoa punch, it’s quite mild and overshadowed by the mint and a bit of the milky flavors. The candy pieces are crunchy and then there are little bits of shortbread sometimes - they’re a kind of sandy and crumbly cookie crunch that has a light salty note to it. But they’re really sandy sometimes, like cornmeal sandy.

The whole thing wasn’t working for me. It was too sweet and though most of the texture components were right (except for the lingering sand, like that stuff in your jeans pockets after going through the wash). I was irritated that I paid $4 for a box of candy I didn’t want to eat. They’ve already shown that they can do better, so I want Wonka to do better next time around.

I got a handful of these as a sample from Nestle at first, but I didn’t get the box or label with it, so that’s why I went out and bought them, so I could find out how expensive they were for myself and see that there Red #3, Red #40 and Blue #1 in there. Bah, humbug.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Fruit Marvels
  2. Fannie May Mint Meltaway
  3. Dove Peppermint Bark
  4. Wonka Puckerooms
  5. Wonka Kazoozles: Cherry Punch & Pink Lemonade
  6. Wonka Golden Egg


Name: Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 148
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Nestle, Chocolate, Cookie, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Mints, 4-Benign, United States, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:46 pm     CandyChristmasNestleChocolateCookieHard Candy & LollipopsMints4-BenignUnited StatesComments (3)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops

Candy Cane Tootsie Pop DropsA couple of years ago Tootsie brought back their classic Tootsie Pop Drops. The package heralds them as Tootsie Pops without the stick! but they’re actually a mini version of a hard candy with a little filling of chewy, chocolatey Tootsie Rolls.

It only makes sense that they’d do seasonal versions, such as the Candy Cane Tootsie Pop in this smaller, sharable format. I believe these hit the shelves last year, but I didn’t find them until this year.

The 3.5 ounce box holds a thick foil/plastic pouch with the candies inside. I’m never keen on this “bag inside a box” package, but I do admit that all of the candies came out looking great, no chips or broken ones and it wasn’t just a bag of sugar dust.

DSC_9863rb

I loved the look of them when I dumped them out of the bag. They’re thick and feel heavy and solid, like pieces of glass. The color of the candy is a very light and milky pink with red stripes. They’re smaller than a Starlight Mint but I find the size and shape excellent in the mouth.

The hard candy is smooth and has very few voids. The dissolve is good with a good mint flavor that has a few pops and sparkles of extra flavor on occasion. At the center is a small piece of a Tootsie Roll. I found the ratio to be a bit off, I’d like more Tootsie Roll, but still the chew of it is good. The flavor of the Tootsie Roll itself is always a bit disappointing, mostly because the chocolate flavor is often a bit musty and watery instead of woodsy and cocoa-ish. In this case there’s a hint of rum and less of the cardboard taste, probably because of the essence of Peppermint at play here.

There’s only the one flavor in the package, just like the old days when I would buy a roll of just Orange or Grape Tootsie Pop Drops. It would be fun to see these wrapped individually in wax paper and sold in rolls at least for the nostalgia value at Christmas. But the addition of seasonal flavors is a great touch that I hope Tootsie continues.

The new packaging advises that the Tootsie facility that made these is peanut free, gluten free, egg free and tree nut free. (It does contain milk ingredients and soy.)

Related Candies

  1. Candy Cane Tootsie Pops
  2. Tootsie Pop Drops
  3. Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls
  4. Chocolate Filled Candy Canes
  5. Hershey’s Chocolate Mint Candy Canes
  6. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane


Name: Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Noe Valley - San Francisco)
Price: $1.50
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Tootsie, Chews, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Kosher, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:26 pm     CandyChristmasTootsieChewsHard Candy & LollipopsKosherMints7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (6)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sorini Maxipiu Assorted Chocolate Pralines

Sorini MaxipiuAround Christmas Cost Plus World Market usually has an eclectic collection of candies for entertaining and gifting. Many of their products are brands that have very little presence in the United States but are really well priced.

I saw this package of mixed chocolates called Sorini Maxipiu Assorted Chocolate Pralines. It’s a big bag, 500 grams (17.63 ounces) but I was attracted to it even though it was on the bottom shelf because it just looked so different from the little novelty marzipan, torrones and panettone on the shelves. I didn’t recognize the Sorini brand name but the images on the package made the assortment look like a good bet.

Sorini Assortment

The chocolates are nicely packaged and easily distinguished. They’re all in a bright gold mylar with clear print that says what’s inside. There’s also an inner paper-backed foil that just covers the candies and seems to cushion them and keep them from getting scuffed.

There were five varieties. Most of my assortment consisted of the Cereali and Arancia (well over half of the 42 pieces). The other three were Nocciola, Creme and Cocoa Beans.

Sorini Arancia

The Arancia (Orange) is a dark chocolate piece. The chocolate shell is thin but has a nice sheen and crisp snap. The pieces are about an inch and a quarter long, so a nice piece to put in your mouth whole or take two smaller bites.

It smells a lot like orange, but more like orange extract than orange zest. It’s like sniffing a bottle of baby aspirin.

The chocolate center is soft but not creamy, it’s more like a Frango. However, it has a smooth melt once it warms in the mouth. The chocolate notes are strong enough to stand up to the one-note of orange. It’s a bit on the dry side and a little bitter but the chocolate also has a fair amount of sugar in it. It was better when eaten as an accompaniment, like with coffee or strong tea.

Sorini Nocciola

I was disappointed that I only got three of the Nocciola and used two in the photo shoot. (I should have been paying more attention.)

There’s a milk chocolate shell with a darker hazelnut paste cream filling. Inside was a half of a hazelnut. It was nutty and fresh but could have used more of a chocolate punch. I would have preferred more of these instead of all the orange ones.

Sorini Cereali

The Cereali is a big milk chocolate ball filled with a milk chocolate cream and crisped rice. The size is similar to a Lindt Lindor truffle, about one inch in diameter.

These are fun because of the texture variations. They smell sweet and very milky. The chocolate shell is milk chocolate and very soft, the center is even softer but has a good sugary cocoa texture that’s extremely sweet but at least not as greasy as the Lindor. There are little crispy rice bits that provide a little hint of malt and salt.

I would prefer a bit richer chocolate, something that’s not quite so sweet.

Sorini Creme

The Creme piece is basically a milk chocolate truffle.

It smells milky and sweet with a little hint of cocoa (and a bit of a whiff of orange from the other chocolates). The milk chocolate cream center is soft and though not quite silky, it’s very smooth.

It’s a bit like eating a bit spoonful of chocolate frosting. I wasn’t that keen on them, but there weren’t that many of them (I think six), so it was easy to eat around them or just kind of grin and bear it until it was time to eat another variety that I preferred.

Sorini Cocoa Beans

Cocoa Beans Crema Caffe was the most interesting of the bunch. Unfortunately all four pieces I got were slightly bloomed. It wasn’t a bad bloom that made the chocolate hard or chalky, just a very slight white haze on the spheres.

The dark chocolate shell has a good flavor profile balanced with woody and coffee notes and a light fruity plum note. The cream center is a mix of strong, sweet coffee and cacao nibs. There are toffee and caramel hints along with the crunchy texture of the cacao nibs.

I paid only $6.99 for well over a pound, so I thought it was a good deal for an assortment. They’re not really my style, I prefer chocolate that’s darker or with more powerful flavors. I wouldn’t say that they’re a great hostess gift, at least not in this bag, maybe if you put them in jar or basket. They do look nice though out of the bag and are an easy item to put into a candy bowl to share with folks for the holidays. They’re individually marked, which is a plus and they are different enough. I don’t know if Lindt fans would be satisfied with the milkier flavor and less slick texture but maybe if you’re looking for something to satisfy a larger crowd they’re a good choice. But if you like something like Ferrero Rocher, I’d say stick with those ... these aren’t for folks looking for nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Madelaine Duets
  2. Lindt Fioretto
  3. Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Crisp
  4. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  5. Ferrero Rocher


Name: Maxipiu Assorted Chocolate Pralines
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sorini
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $6.99
Size: 17.63 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Coffee, Cookie, Nibs, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Italy, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:41 pm     CandyReviewChristmasChocolateCoffeeCookieNibsNuts7-Worth ItItalyCost PlusComments (2)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas Sweet Friends

I hope all my Candy Blog readers are experiencing a happy holiday season. Candy Holidays, of course, are among the best so I hope you’re getting your fill of the best the season has to offer and the opportunity to share it with those you care about.

Choceur Belgian Chocolate Santa

What sort of wonderful sweets did you get for Christmas this year? (Or did you make or give something particularly wonderful?)

Pictured above is a Choceur Chocolate Santa, which I’d rate about a 7 out of 10. It’s quite milky in the European style but also has a nice malty note. He’s a full 8 inches tall and 7.05 ounces. The dark and white chocolate accents and the molding design was wonderfully detailed.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:44 am     CandyReviewChristmasChocolate7-Worth ItGermanyFeatured NewsComments (11)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Choceur Nougat Bites & Marzipan Bites

Choceur Marzipan BitesI still have a few more candies and holiday items from Aldi, but of note are these Bites from Aldi’s Choceur line.

Marzipan Bites are elegantly simple little marzipan blocks covered in dark chocolate. The ingredients are simple and encouraging: Sugar, almonds, chocolate liquor, water, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and invertase. So it looks like it may be a fun candy for vegans. (The package does say that it’s processed on equipment with other tree nuts, milk and wheat though, so might not be good for those with milk allergies or gluten issues.)

The long box has a gold plastic tray inside with two compartments holding five pieces each.

Choceur Marzipan Bites

The gold and red foil wrapper is simple but elegant and thankfully has a clear label that says what’s inside. (I can see buying several of these Choceur items and then taking them out of the package and putting them in a bowl or on a serving plate with cookies.)

L?becker Edel Marzipan means marzipan from L?beck, a city in Northern Germany. The style there has some strict requirements such as the sugar content should not exceed 30% (making the product at least 70% almonds). L?beck is best known for the Niederegger confectionery (whose marzipan is among my favorites).

The pieces are a stylish two bites. They’re long and narrow - about 1.75 inches long, .75 inches wide and .5 inches high. The dark chocolate enrobing is thin but shiny and well tempered. The scent of dark chocolate is most forward upon opening the wrapper. When I bit into it, that’s when the almond flavors emerged, a bit like almond extract. Happily they dissipated quickly and the pure almond paste was left behind.

I liked the texture of it quite a bit, it’s not the smooth and doughy paste the shapes are usually made from, instead it’s a bit grainier than that. It’s moist and has a good authentic nutty almond flavor that includes those sort of toasted notes that are often drowned out by flavorings. It was very fresh and clean tasting and for someone who doesn’t usually enjoy marzipan, especially when it’s not flavored by things like orange, ginger, coffee or lemon this was quite a revelation.

Each piece is about 60 calories and being mostly almonds, it’s not as bad a treat as many others that you can indulge in over the winter holidays and is quite filling. (There are 4 grams of protein per serving of three pieces.)

Rating: 7 out of 10

Choceur Nougat BitesThe Choceur Nougat Bites were similarly packaged.

In this case the tray holds to columns of the little bricks of praline chocolate bites, 14 in all.

I had these all wrong, all wrong. I thought from the description and the kind of vague illustration that they were a little hazelnut praline (toasted nut paste with caramelized sugar) covered in milk chocolate. When I first opened them I thought, these are really light in color. I thought there’s no way they can be chocolatey.

And it’s true. They aren’t chocolate, it’s a single block of just the nougat. The ingredients go like this: Hazelnut paste, sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, nonfat milk powder, chocolate liquor, malt extract and soy lecithin. See, there’s barely any chocolate in there at all.

Choceur Nougat Bites

Then I realized I was thinking these were going to be gianduia, in the sense that they’d be a chocolate and hazelnut block. Instead they’re a hazelnut and milk block. Quite different. Once I adjusted my thinking, once I adjusted my expectations I realized that these are ingenious little cubes.

They’re only 1 inch long and .75 inches square. The color is like a milky coffee. They smell extremely sweet, a little like toasted hazelnuts and milk. It’s quite soft and melts easily (thank goodness we’re at the time of year when the unheated parts of my house hover around 60 degrees).

At first on the tongue it’s milky and melts into a cool and slick puddle. Then the hazelnut flavors emerge. It’s not as intensely hazelnut as many other gianduia candies that I prefer. Instead this is just a much better version of Ice Cubes, using the native hazelnut oils and cocoa butter for the rich fats instead of other tropical oils.

I didn’t find them terribly substantial in the end and found myself preferring the marzipan (which is kind of a shock after all of these years of proclaiming I don’t like marzipan). But the demonstration of a confection with so much cocoa butter that’s not specifically “white chocolate” is charming and worthy. I’d probably prefer it if it accompanied something a bit stronger, maybe had a dark chocolate coating or if I just at it with some salty shortbread or strong coffee.

The calorie count on these is much higher due to the fat. Each is only 55 calories, but they’re smaller than the Marzipan bites so they clock in at 178 calories per ounce.

Rating: 6 out of 10

These are two decent finds from Choceur that would be fun additions to a holiday candy bowl.

Related Candies

  1. Aldi Chocolate Swiss Assorted Chocolate Squares
  2. Hachez Edel Vollmilch Nuss (Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts)
  3. Moser Roth Chocolate
  4. Snickers Peanut Butter Santas
  5. Choceur Luxury Mini Chocolate Bars
  6. Caffarel Gianduias
  7. Niederegger Capuccino Marzipan
Name: Marzipan Bites & Nougat Bites
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Choceur (Aldi)
Place Purchased: Aldi (Youngstown, OH)
Price: $2.49
Size: 4.33 ounces
Calories per ounce: 134 & 178
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Germany, Aldi, Christmas, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:10 am     Comments (4)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate Fancies

Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolate FanciesTrader Joe’s has a bountiful selection of candies for the holidays, great for hostess gifts and of course serving in your own home. One of 2009’s new items are the Belgian Chocolate Fancies.

The box sports a modular and moderne design created by someone who liked to show off their typesetting skills. They’re:
Decadent & Stylish Chocolates
with
Rich Chocolate Fruit Infused Ganache
No Artificial Flavors. No Preservatives

On the back it goes on in all caps:
Our Belgian Chocolate Fancies are sophisticated hemispheres of flavor! Five delicious natural fruit flavors - raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, cherry and orange., make up a sweet selection. These Belgian beauties are a wonderful gift or a perfect treat to serve at parties and gatherings!

I had a headache from all the shouting and exclamations.

Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolate Fancies

The chocolates are quite pretty to look at, like a selection of gaudy bakelite coat buttons. The five flavors are naturally colored domes with a similar construction. Inside is a ganache with a little dollop of fruit jelly. The top is a shell of chocolate or white chocolate and the base is sealed up with more chocolate of some sort.

They’re one inch high and about one inch and a quarter in diameter. For the most part they’re one bite, but of course I did a lot of biting in half and peeking so perhaps I wasn’t eating them the way those fancy Belgians intended.

Cranberry (white chocolate) - a white chocolate shell with red blush filled with a milk chocolate ganache and a cranberry jelly all sitting on a white chocolate base.

You know what I think about when someone says cranberry jelly? I think tart. I think cheek drawing tartness. What I got here was something a little less startling. The milk chocolate ganache was a rather dairy, which is not a flavor I think goes particularly well with cranberry, I think a dark chocolate would join with the acidity and berry notes better. It was sweet and set off well by the slightly tart cranberry jelly, but the white chocolate shell & base just made to far too sweet in the end.

Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolate FanciesPomegranate (white chocolate) - a white chocolate shell with an orange cast filled with a white chocolate ganache and a pomegranate jelly all sitting on a dark chocolate base.

This was another bland floral jelly with no real note that came through the white chocolate, it was all overshadowed by the dark chocolate base. Not that it was a bad thing, but a pom white ganache truffle sounded pretty good.

Cherry (milk chocolate) - a milk chocolate shell with brownish red hue filled with a white chocolate ganache and a cherry jelly sitting on a milk chocolate base.

The scent on these is an overwhelming woodsy-cherry with some medicinal maraschino thing. It’s quite distracting and swamps the box every time I open it. The jelly itself is rather mild and sweet with an authentic flavor of cherry. The sweet milk chocolate has a little dairy going on, a little creamy party that’s actually rather good. So though I didn’t like the bad influence the cherry had on the box, they were one of the better cherry chocolates I’ve had in a long time.

Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolate FanciesOrange (dark chocolate) - a dark chocolate shell with an orange blush filled with a white chocolate ganache and an orange marmalade all sitting on a dark chocolate base.

It seemed like the orange ones got a more liberal heaping of the jelly, so the flavor was more intense right away. The jelly is tangy and zesty, smooth and not a trace of grain. I would buy a whole box of these.

Raspberry (white chocolate) - a white chocolate shell with red/brown stripes filled with a white chocolate ganache and a raspberry jelly all sitting on a dark chocolate base.

The ganache is soft, creamy and sweet, a little fluffy and generally unflavored. The raspberry jelly does nothing, not even a tangy bite or a floral note. The dark chocolate base actually does a lot of heavy lifting here with a bittersweet overtone in an otherwise “cherry infused” piece.

So my ultimate reaction to these was that I was torn. They’re good quality, I appreciate that they’re beautiful and have some uncommon flavors. The ingredients may be all natural (including the colorings) but there’s also canola and palm oil in there (good quality ganache is made with butterfat). In the end each piece wasn’t distinctive enough and the colors weren’t well defined so I couldn’t even tell what I was eating. They just didn’t satisfy any craving within me for either chocolate or creamy.

Belgian Chocolate Fancies are marked gluten free and say that they’re processed on equipment with tree nuts & eggs (and of course contain dairy and soy). So it may be a lovely hostess gift for a chocolate-loving peanut-allergic pal.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Cranberry Raisinets
  2. Kohler Chocolates Garden Ganache & Toffee Mountains
  3. Trader Joe’s French Truffles
  4. Trader Joe’s The Art of Chocolate
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels
  6. Green and Black’s White Chocolate
Name: Belgian Chocolate Fancies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Third & LaBrea)
Price: $4.99
Size: 7.05 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Chocolate, Jelly, White Chocolate, Belgium, Trader Joe's, All Natural, Christmas

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:38 am     Comments (4)

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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

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-28 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Godiva Chef Inspirations

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

 

 

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