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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

KitKat Hazelnut Cream

KitKat Hazelnut CreamKitKat candy bars in the United States are made by Hershey’s under a licensing agreement. Everywhere else in the world, they’re made by Nestle. The most vibrant culture for KitKats is undoubtedly Japan, but Europe has their share of KitKat variations.

I found this KitKat Hazelnut Cream at a grocery store called Golden Farms in Glendale, CA. There’s a large Armenian population there, so the local grocers in the area tend to carry a lot of Eastern European and Middle Eastern confections. This particular bar, though in English on the front, was made in Bulgaria. The bar is the single, chunky version of the bar which clocks in at 1.48 ounces (42 grams).

Hazelnuts are much more popular in Europe and Eurasia than in the US, in part, I think, because they do not have the far cheaper peanuts in such ready supplies as we do in North America. Italy has made the chocolate and hazelnut combination world-famous with the innovation of gianduia.

KitKat Hazelnut Cream

First, I’m not a fan of the big, single finger chunky KitKat style of bar. There ratios are completely off, the chocolate is too thick and the cookie wafers are less delicate. Now, don’t get me wrong, thick chocolate and wafers are still a great combination. They just lack the essential properties that define the classic KitKat, the lightness and balance.

The construction of this bar is a little odd in and of itself. It’s about 4.5” long and a little over an inch wide at the base. There’s a little stack of thick, light wafers in the center with a milky cream between them. Then it’s all topped with another layer of hazelnut chocolate and then encased in milk chocolate. The thick hazelnut topper is what’s odd here, it’s a lot of chocolate flavor and texture and much less wafer.

The bite is, well, thick. It breaks easily, the milk chocolate is well tempered and this was definitely a fresh bar. The three layers of wafer cookies are crunchy and airy, and the cream between then just slightly grainy and cool on the tongue. The centerpiece of this bar is the thick cap of hazelnut chocolate on top of that though. It’s not a pasty giandiua or Nutella style hazelnut chocolate though, it’s more solid, like Milka. It’s sweet but not sticky, there’s a light toasted nutty note to it, but it doesn’t scream hazelnut to me. The chocolate overall is much creamier with more milk flavors than the American version.

It’s an admirable bar and has a lot more flavor depth with some richer caramel notes and of course the light touch of hazelnut. But my hopes were rather above that, I wanted a powerful punch of hazelnut in there, thick ribbons of cream inside those wafers. But for folks looking for a more decadent KitKat, this is actually much better than the plain KitKat Chunky bar. It’s been around for a few years, so it shouldn’t be that hard to find if you’re in the right area.

See review from Rosa at ZOMG Candy.

Related Candies

  1. KitKat Otonano Amasa (Adult Taste)
  2. Milka NAPS Mix (Assortment)
  3. KitKats: Royal Milk Tea, Ginger Ale, Bubbly Strawberry, Kinako Ohagi & Milk Coffee
  4. Ice Cubes
  5. KitKat Temptations: Hazelnut & Coconut
  6. Nestle Experiencing KitKat Slump
  7. Caffarel Gianduia 1865


Name: KitKat Hazelnut Cream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Golden Farms (Glendale)
Price: $2.49
Size: 1.48 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Cookie, KitKat, Nuts, 7-Worth It

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:28 pm     CandyReviewNestleChocolateCookieKitKatNuts7-Worth ItComments (2)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dark Angell Organic Candy Bar

Dark Angell Candy BarAt last there are some niche companies out there starting to make quality candy bars. Real ingredients, ethically sourced but still retaining the essence of what a candy bar should be - deliciously indulgent. Jungell Inc has introduced a new line of candy bars that still fit the mold of candy, but with a bit of a twist on the ingredients. Their new line includes three candy bars, but I’ll go with the one that I was most interested in first, the Dark Angell Organic Candy Bar.

I picked up an array of samples at ExpoWest earlier this year, but I didn’t want to write about them until I bought a real set of bars in a store.

Here’s how they describe it: Dark Angell, sophisticated and perfectly balanced. A refined combination of luxurious organic dark chocolate, wrapped around a smooth cocoa center with organic almonds for crunch. For those who prefer a more complex chocolate, the Dark Angell is the candy bar for you. Grab it. Eat it. Love it.

So let’s have a look at the self-declared specifications of this bar: made with fair trade ingredients, organic, vegan, kosher, no artificial colors or flavors, non-GMO ingredients, no preservatives, no corn syrup, low sodium and 0g of trans fats. What it does have in it is real chocolate, the first ingredient is real dark chocolate. So it looks good so far. Then it goes on: tapioca syrup, oats, almonds, dutch cocoa powder, sea salt and almond extract. That’s it!

DSC_1931rb

It’s not a big bar, if you’re accustomed to Snickers or Milky Way. It’s about 3.5” long and about an inch wide. It clocks in at 1.31 ounces, which doesn’t sound like much, but nuts tend to be very filling for me.

The sheen of the bar is nice, the dark chocolate ripples and shines. It smells like chocolate, rich and deep. The flavors are quite woodsy when I bit into it. The first time I tried it, a few bites at the ExpoWest natural products expo, I didn’t know what was in the bar, so there was a cereal flavor and a sort of chew to it I couldn’t put my finger on. The center of the bar is a bit of a moist but firm truffle sort of thing, it’s chocolatey but is also studded with big almonds. In addition there’s a bit of rolled oats in there. The thing is, it’s not like they’re toasty and crisp, but more like they’re raw and can taste a little pasty.

I feel like the center of the bar would have been interesting without the oats, kind of like a creamy truffle, but maybe more like a fluffy, more chocolate nougat thing.

I love most of the bar, except for that lingering flavor of raw oats. It brought the whole thing into the realm of “nutrition bar” when I’d firmly decided that I was going to eat a candy bar that just so happened to be made with good ingredients.

The nutritional panel shows some surprising nutrition to this bar as well: 90% of your daily value of iron, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of dietary fiber. Vegans should be excited that this is a bar that’s really no compromise, it tastes like a candy bar, there’s nothing faux about it.

So aside from the texture/taste contribution of the oats, my other misgiving about the bar is the price. I paid $2.69 for my little bar. That’s $32.85 a pound. That’s a pretty fancy chocolate price. And for that price and that many calories I really want decadent.

Related Candies

  1. Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Go Max Go Jokerz Candy Bar
  3. Q.Bel Double Dark Chocolate Wafer Bar
  4. Sun Cups
  5. Sweet Earth Chocolate Cups
  6. Sjaak’s Vegan Chocolate Assortment


Name: Dark Angell Organic Candy Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Angell
Place Purchased: Erewhon & sample from ExpoWest
Price: $2.69
Size: 1.31 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jungell, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Nuts, Organic, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:22 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewJungellChocolateEthically SourcedKosherNutsOrganic7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (4)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Aldi Choceur Flame Egg & Chocolate Rabbit

DSC_2693rbThe Choceur Milk Chocolate Flame Egg is 12.4 ounces of chocolate for only $3.99. It’s an impressive presentation of chocolate. The packaging is a paperboard sleeve over a huge blue or pink mylar wrapping. The egg is about six inches high and made as two separate hemispheres. Each side is wrapped in gold foil then taped together with a pretty sticker with red butterflies on it. Inside the egg is a little cellophane bag with candies. In the Pink Flame Egg is a bag of milk chocolate eggs with vanilla creme wrapped in gold foil. In the other egg is a little assortment of hazelnut chocolates.

The candy is made in Germany. The package says that it’s all real milk chocolate and has no artificial flavors or colors

Choceur Milk Chocolate Flame Egg

They traveled quite well, considering the fact that my mother bought them in Ohio, then took the train to Philadelphia then all the way back to Los Angeles. One of the eggs had a little dent in it, like someone put a thumb through it, though none of it damaged the packaging, so I felt it was still good to eat.

The milk chocolate shell is, well, milky and sweet. It’s European style milk chocolate, so the milk flavors echo that of dried milk a bit, so there’s a little malty note. It’s smooth, but not silky like Dove or Lindt. The tempering is good, everything was shiny and crisp.

DSC_2715rb

The Pink Sleeve version had a small assortment of chocolates inside. There were four different candies with an elegant presentation. They were a little scuffed up here and there, since they were inside a bag inside the egg instead of a little tray.

The dark chocolate faceted piece is Nougat in Milk Chocolate. It was a milk chocolate cream with hazelnut paste and hazelnut pieces in a very mild dark chocolate shell.

The star for me was the Soft Caramel Covered with Crisp Rice and Milk Chocolate piece that looks kind of like a miniature 100 Grand bar. And it was rather similar. The center was a milk chocolate cream nougat which was covered in caramel then the crisped rice mixed into the milk chocolate. It was sweet but had a lot of texture, a little chewy and a little crunchy.

The Hazelnut Trio was a little row of hazelnuts inside what looks like a mountain range. The white chocolate topping was sweet and quite milky while the fresh but small hazelnut at the center of each mountain lent a large crunch to the whole thing.

The red foil wrapped chocolate is Milk Chocolate with Apricot Flavored Center. I didn’t read the package before I ate the first one, so I really didn’t know what it was. The center is a very soft and creamy ganache with a fruity flavor that I thought might be some sort of fruit liqueur, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s sweet but has a light melon or actual apricot note to it.

DSC_2723rb

The second egg in the Blue Sleeve had more than a dozen large gold foil wrapped eggs inside. The package calls them Cream Filled Milk Chocolate Eggs.

DSC_2726rbThe eggs are very long and narrow, a little over 1.5 inches long. The matte foil is quite pretty and I have to say that nestling the eggs into the half of the chocolate shell and placing it on a platter is a lovely presentation.

The center is soft and creamy with only a slight grain to it, like a good vanilla buttercream frosting. The flavors aren’t intense though the milky notes of the chocolate do take over. It’s a lot of sweet at all once, but thankfully there’s a light salty note to it as well. The center is made from palm fat, so I’d suggest a little moderation on that front and perhaps stick to the milk chocolate egg shell.

While I don’t think I’d just buy these for eating, I loved the look of them and for less than $4 for 3/4 of a pound of actual chocolate, I’d call it an excellent value. It’s a great option for a household with children, who are more likely to dig into the sweeter sides and of course everyone like gigantic versions of everyday items.

Choceur Milk Chocolate Bunny

The Choceur Milk Chocolate Bunny is 5.29 ounces and made of German chocolate. It resembles the Lindt chocolate bunny quite a bit, though when unwrapped it has some little molded details that the Lindt rabbit lacks. At $1.99, it’s an excellent deal. It’s sizable and easy to eat, as it’s a hollow bunny.

The foil decorating is charming and nicely done to accentuate the shapes like legs, ear contours and mouth.

DSC_2677rbThe bunny looks great. Again, these little friends traveled all the way across the country by rail protected only by their foil and placed inside another bag.

It’s absolutely charming as well, and by that I mean the little collar it wears has an actual metal charm with a rabbit silhouette on it. The elastic gold band is sized about right for a child or small adult (I had it around my wrist for a few hours this morning without any loss of circulation).

DSC_2681rb

A Lindt Rabbit is about twice the price (I saw them for $3.99 this season) and weighs only 3.5 ounces. This rabbit is 5.29 ounces. It should be noted that this is not Lindt chocolate. Choceur, Aldi’s house brand of chocolate, is made in Germany. It’s the same, as far as I can tell, as the egg shells of the Flame Eggs. It’s sweet and milky and with only the slightest cocoa notes to it. Still, it’s pleasant and if you’re presenting this to a child, they will not be disappointed. It’s a beefy looking, rotund little rabbit with thick walls and a good shape. So if you’re going for true chocolate quality and flavor, go for Lindt (or even more upscale with Lake Champlain or See’s). The value here is certainly better than the American options but the flavor profile is certainly in the European style.

Related Candies

  1. RM Palmer My Little Bunny
  2. The All American Chocolate Bunny Battle
  3. Happy Christmas Sweet Friends
  4. Riegelein Confiserie Hollow Chocolate
  5. Lake Champlain & See’s Bunny Battle
  6. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  7. Upscale Hollow Chocolate: Michel Cluizel & Hotel Chocolat
  8. Palmer Hollow Chocolate Flavored Bunny
  9. Russell Stover Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny


Name: Choceur Flame Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Aldi
Place Purchased: Aldi (Cleveland, OH)
Price: $3.99
Size: 12.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Aldi, Chocolate, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany


Name: Choceur Milk Chocolate Rabbit
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Aldi
Place Purchased: Aldi (Cleveland, OH)
Price: $1.99
Size: 5.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Aldi, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:54 am     All NaturalCandyEasterAldiChocolateNuts7-Worth ItGermanyComments (1)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Easter Eggs

Tony's Chocolonely EggsTony’s Chocolonely is a rather funny name for a chocolate company. They make fair trade chocolate in the Netherlands and can be found in much of Western Europe. (I saw them in department stores in both Amsterdam and Cologne.)

The packaging is eye catching with its bold use of primary colors and large friendly typefaces.

The issue of slavery, particularly child slavery, in cacao growing regions of Africa has been well documented. You can read more on Tony’s website. The aim of Tony’s Chocolonely is to source their cacao directly in Ivory Coast and Ghana from fair trade plantations in order to create a more responsible supply chain model and provide living wages for farmers. But really, it can’t happen overnight and this sort of widespread change needs more than just niche producers, it requires the involvement of the price-conscious, major chocolate buyers like Hershey’s, ADM, Mars, Kraft, Nestle and Cargill.

Tony's Chocolonely Chocolate

The packaging of Tony’s Chocolonely is friendly and casual, and probably a lot more attractive to children than many other fair trade options out there. So it’s a great choice around a holiday when you want to give kids a treat that might include a lesson but also include, well, the actual goodness of the treat they expect. The chocolate levels are not as intense, I’d say we’re close to the family chocolate range instead of the gourmet intense end of things.

The Easter Egg range that they gave me as a sample comes in this cute little egg carton that holds a full dozen eggs, which are about 1.5” inches high - a little larger than the size of a quail’s egg.

Tony's Chocolonely Milk Chocolate Egg

The Milk Chocolate Eggs are quite decadent. The chocolate is definitely kid friendly, but not without its appeal to candy lovers of all ages. The bite is soft, like a Cadbury though the cacao density is much higher at 30%. The milky flavors are in the Belgian style, clean but rather thick and sticky.

Tony's Chocolonely Dark Egg

The Dark Chocolate Egg has a great snap, though in this size it’s a little hard to bite. (So just let the whole thing melt in your mouth.)

The flavor profile is very mild. There are light fruity and woodsy notes, but it’s overall a very sweet chocolate. It’s a dark chocolate for children who can’t have milk products or perhaps vegans.

Tony's Chocolonely Praline Egg

The Milk Chocolate Praline Eggs are probably the most luxurious of the bunch, perhaps it’s just me because this style is not as common in the United States. The milk chocolate shell looks the same but is easier to bite. They’re filled with a hazelnut paste, which is sweet and nutty ... there’s a light and fresh floral note, a little like the fresh feeling from jasmine tea. I like them, though they were really very sweet and I couldn’t eat more than one at a sitting.

For every day consumption Tony’s Chocolonely also makes milk chocolate and dark chocolate bars. It will be a wonderful day when there are more holiday and special occasion options available and this set is a good start. I’m still a little more inclined towards Green & Black’s for my ordinary chocolate needs, but for folks who want something a little sweeter or kid friendly, this might be the stuff.

Related Candies

  1. Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups
  2. An Easter Dash - Reviews in Short
  3. Sun Cups
  4. Sweet Earth Chocolates
  5. Madelaine’s Foiled Milk Chocolate
  6. Divine Fair Trade Chocolate
  7. Theo 3400 Phinney Bars


Name: Easter Eggs, Milk & Dark Chocolate Bars
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Tony’s Chocolonely
Place Purchased: Samples from ISM Cologne
Price: 2.20 Euro ($3.20 US)
Size: 5.64 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Netherlands

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:57 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEasterChocolateEthically SourcedNuts7-Worth ItNetherlandsComments (4)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Milka L’il Scoops

Milka Lil ScoopsMilka is a chocolate confection brand that originated in Switzerland and is now made by Kraft at several factories in Europe. Since Kraft is a global food giant, it makes sense that they’re going to make as many of their brands global as well.

You might notice that I said chocolate confection brand. The reason Milka doesn’t qualify as actual chocolate is a little complicated. In the United States (and many other countries), chocolate can only contain cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar and milk (the standards of identity). If there are any other vegetable oils or solids in there (aside from inclusions like almonds or crisped rice), then it has to be called chocolate flavored or a confection. Milka contains both hazelnut paste (that’s certainly not a bad thing, but there’s not enough to kick it into giauduia territory) and whey, which is a milk protein. I like Milka. As a confection alternative to pure chocolate, I prefer the addition of nut paste and a milk sugar/protein elixir instead of partially hydrogenated palm oil.

Kraft doesn’t seem at all concerned about the technicalities of Milka, it’s spreading the bars and candies worldwide on the strength of the milk part of the product, not the cocoa. In the past five years I’ve seen them in stores in the United States quite a bit more, not just at import themed stores like Cost Plus World Market, but also at big box retailers like Target. I found this little Easter treat called Milka L’il Scoops at my local grocery store, Ralph’s.

Milka Lil Scoops

The candies are described as Milk chocolate confections with creamy mousse filling.

The packaging is precious. It’s a real egg carton, in the sense that it’s made from recycled pulp though it’s bright purple instead of a muted color. The carton has four little sections that hold the foil wrapped egg confections. At the center of the package is a little stack of two purple spoons for eating the filling. Yes, it’s a lot of purple. (Kind of confusing, as many Cadbury items are also identified with purple which is also owned by Kraft.)

The eggs themselves are actually egg sized. I threw a Grade A Large Egg in there for comparison. I’d call these medium eggs, they’re about 2.3 inches high and 1.2 ounces though a little lighter than an actual chicken egg which are about 1.5 ounces.

Milka Lil Scoops

The foil is thin but not wrapped so tight that it’s hard to get off, like I sometimes find with Cadbury Creme Eggs. The egg inside the wrapper is scored with a thinner shell at the top.

The eggs are to be eaten like a soft boiled egg. The top of the egg shell (chocolate confection) is removed and the little spoon is used to scoop out the filling. This actually works just as advertised. It was easy for me to either bite it off cleanly, or pinch the top gently and pull it off. (I suppose the spoon may be a useful tool as well, since the shell is quite soft and who cares if you get a little chocolate in the filling like you would with a real egg.)

Milka Lil Scoops

The Milka chocolate confection is sweet and a little nutty, it’s soft and has a good fudgy melt. The cream center is frothy and buttery, almost like a buttercream frosting or whipped topping. It’s made of sugar and fractionated palm kernel oil so it’s a little oily on the tongue.

Overall, I preferred breaking the chocolate up and eating it with the creamy center instead of eating the center straight. Maybe if it was flavored, like a frothy hazelnut paste cream I’d be happier to eat it straight.

I liked this far better than I thought. I was fully expecting them to be another version of Cadbury Creme Eggs. Instead I found that the quality of the shell was better and the creme was actually not so sweet.

These are super calorie & fat bombs. Each one has 190 calories (158 per ounce) which is far more than a CCE. They’re really overpackaged, but at least everything is recyclable. (Well, maybe not the spoons, but I plan on reusing those for quite some time.) They’re expensive, at least twice the price of most other holiday eggs, so make it special. These are also called Milka Loeffel Chocolate Filled Eggs and sell for about $8.00 online, so I was fortunate to get mine for only $4.99. For that price I’d prefer something with a little bit better quality ingredients. However, if this is a favorite of someone you love, then it’s all worth it.

Related Candies

  1. Milka NAPS Mix (Assortment)
  2. Real Eggshell filled with Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle
  3. House Brand Creme Eggs
  4. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  5. Russell Stover Eggs
  6. Melster Marshmallow Eggs


Name: Milka L’il Scoops
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Glendale)
Price: $4.99
Size: 4.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 158
Categories: Candy, Easter, Kraft, Mockolate, Nuts, 6-Tempting, France, Ralph's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:27 pm     CandyReviewEasterKraftMockolateNuts6-TemptingFranceRalph'sComments (19)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

See’s Orange Cream Lollypops, Mayfair Egg & Pecan Butterscotch Bar

See's Orange Cream LollypopsI visited See’s Candy Shop over the weekend to see what was new.

See’s has really been increasing their seasonal Lollypops over the past few years. I quite like their Root Beer and Cinnamon offerings. The newest is See’s Orange Cream Lollypops for Easter.

They’re not sold individually like the regular flavors, so I had to buy a package of 8 pops for $5.35. The woman at the shop in Sherman Oaks said that they were selling well, and they only had the few packages that were on the counter left.

They’re Kosher though not all natural as they have artificial flavors and even some artificial colors. They are a rather low calorie treat, considering how long it takes to eat one. They’re .71 ounces and 50 calories.

See's  Orange Cream

The pops are the same format as the classic versions - a big 1.25 inch tall block on a stick. The hard candy is like a toffee with plenty of cream but uncrunchable. The color is a light, peachy orange. They smell like a milky orange and reminded me immediately of orange sherbet.

They’re smooth and slightly milky. The orange is light and fresh but ultimately just sweet. There was no really intense flavor to it at all. It’s not bad, but perhaps a little disappointing, though I’m sure it will be a great flavor for children who often prefer more mild flavors. Is a big switch from the more intense flavors lately like Cinnamon.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

See's Pecan Mayfair EggSee’s makes a fair number of classic Easter Eggs. I prefer the smaller versions, mostly because they’re a lot of small bites. But there’s something luxurious and decadent about the huge, decorated chocolate eggs they make. Thankfully they come in a wide variety of sizes. The largest are around 12-14 ounces, the middle are 7-8 and the small one I chose is 4.2 ounces. The Mayfair with Cherries & Pecans comes in a little box, tucked into a fluted paper cup. It’s less decorated than it’s larger pals, just a little sugar frosting rose on top.

Years ago one of my favorite pieces in the box of See’s Nuts & Chews was the Rum Nougat. It featured English walnuts, rum, cherries, and raisins in a chewy nougat, all covered in milk chocolate. I had to give it up about 10 years ago when my walnut allergy became apparent. Oh, how I would love it if they made it with pecans. (But there’s still a dark chocolate covered nougat that has almonds in it, though no rum and is the basis of the Awesome Nut & Chew Bar.) The Mayfair is pretty close to that rum nougat, in that it has that rum note to the buttercream center along with the cherries and for Easter, it comes in a walnut or pecan variety.

See's Pecan Mayfair Egg

The egg is about three inches long and has a thick dark chocolate shell (made by Guittard, which is also based in California).

The Mayfair egg center is thick and moist. I was actually shocked at how pink it was, I thought the coloring would be limited to the cherries, but the fondant is also quite a vibrant shade of pink. The cherries give the center mixture a rum, vanilla and cherry flavor to it with less of a maraschino note than I’d anticipated.

The cherries are firm and moist, but don’t have much character otherwise. They’re not crisp, they’re not tart and they don’t really taste that different from the fondant since they’re more glace at this point than just syrupped. The pecans are crunchy and give a little bit of a woodsy note to the center, though the pieces were generally small and not quite as numerous as I would have preferred.

Generally, I don’t care much for candy that requires utensils. Normal folks can’t just take a bite of this, it’s intended to be sliced and served. The thick chocolate cracks when I cut it, the proportions of chocolate aren’t consistent. It’s sticky when you eat the slices. The small versions are simply better - they’re pretty from beginning to end.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

See's Butterscotch Pecan BarI usually buy my standard favorites by the piece. For the past few years this means I get two or three of the Scotchmallow and the Butterscotch Square.

The Butterscotch Square is not square and isn’t actually what I’d consider butterscotch either ... but that doesn’t stop it from being a fatty, melt in your mouth delight. The center of the square is a crumbly, slightly grainy brown sugar fudge. It has a deep salty and light molasses flavor with some hints of toffee. The milk chocolate gives it a creamy quality that serves as a counterpoint to the quick melting grain of the sugar.

I had no idea there was a See’s Butterscotch Pecan Bar, which is a pre-wrapped 1.6 ounce bar that combines a chocolate base, butterscotch layer and then a healthy heaping of pecan pieces. (I think it might be overshadowed by the Scotchmallow Bar.)

See's Pecan Butterscotch Bar

The bar is an excellent portion, a little lighter than a standard candy bar but the satiety level of the nuts more than makes up for it (210 calories but not as much fat as some other chocolate combo bars). The maple and woodsy notes of the nuts and their crunch combine well with the buttery toffee flavor of the crumbly butterscotch. The chocolate holds it all together, though provides far less of a flavor contribution on this iteration. This may be a new go-to See’s product for me.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Godiva Spring Pearls
  2. See’s Lollypops
  3. Pete’s Gourmet Confections: Marshmallows
  4. See’s Egg Quartet
  5. See’s Scotchmallow Eggs
  6. Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs


Name: Orange Cream Lollypops
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: See’s
Place Purchased: See's Candy Shop (Sherman Oaks)
Price: $5.35
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 70
Categories: Candy, Easter, See's, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, United States


Name: Mayfair Egg with Cherries & Pecans
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: See’s
Place Purchased: See's Candy Shop (Sherman Oaks)
Price: $5.85
Size: 4.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Easter, See's, Chocolate, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Pecan Butterscotch Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: See’s
Place Purchased: See's Candy Shop (Sherman Oaks)
Price: $1.50
Size: 1.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 131
Categories: Candy, See's, Chocolate, Nuts, 9-Yummy, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:52 pm     CandyReviewEasterSee'sChocolateHard Candy & LollipopsKosherNuts5-Pleasant7-Worth It9-YummyUnited StatesComments (3)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Milka NAPS Mix (Assortment)

Milka Naps MixOne of the most popular chocolate brands in Europe is Milka. It’s currently distributed by the international food conglomerate Kraft but began its existence as a family chocolate brand made by Suchard back in the early 20th century. I tried the version that’s available in the States about four years ago.

Milka is, of course, known as milky chocolate, very similar in profile and price to Cadbury. However, instead of putting vegetable oil in the chocolate, Milka uses just a touch of hazelnut paste.

Milka is now widely available in the United States but I wanted to pick up some while I was in Europe, just in case it was a little different. I did find this assortment called Milka NAPS Mix in Germany. It features four different varieties of tiny bars: Alpenmilch, Crunchy Caramel, Erdbeer & Creme au Cacao.

Milka Naps Mix

The little bars are about 4.25 grams, individually wrapped and easy to identify your favorite. The bars are about 1.5 inches long.

Milka

The traditional Milka is just as I remember it. Milky, sweet, smooth and not very chocolatey. They’re a good candy and at this size, and excellent little tough-covering pick me up. The hazelnut is just a light hint of roasted nuts, not like a thick gianduia. It’s much creamier than I recall the American packaged bar I tried, though as someone who likes a lot of either chocolate in my chocolate or hazelnuts in my gianduia, this didn’t quite fit my personal profile.

Milka Honeycomb

The Milka Crunchy Caramel is the same little bar with some toffee chips in it. (Not Daim chips, for some reason.) I liked the crunchy texture and light salty hint, though sometimes they tasted a bit like butterscotch and not quite like toffee. This was my favorite of the mix, now I’m sorry I didn’t pick up the Daim version of Milka.

Milka Strawberry

The Milka Erdbeer is the milk chocolate with dried strawberry bits in it. The strawberry bits taste real, but have a grainy quality to them that kind of ruins the texture of the chocolate at time. Still, the milk and strawberry flavor was great, it reminded me of neapolitan ice cream.

Milka Truffle

This was the only filled bar in the mix. The center was a thin little strip of chocolate creme. It really didn’t taste that much different than the standard Milka Bar, mostly because of the proportions. It had more of a chocolate frosting flavor to it though. It was my least favorite of the mix.

I like that Milka comes in so many different varieties and that the European versions also come in different sizes and seasonal variations. This box of chocolate though was a bit on the expensive side, compared to the large 100 gram (3.5 ounce) tablet bars at 3 Euros (about $4). Basically, I could have bought one of each of these varieties as a full sized bar for about the same amount of money, but had more than 3 times as much candy.

I have a dark chocolate version of a Milka bar at home, I’m hoping that’s a bit more to my personal liking, but mixes like this always have something to please most folks. (And I did finish most of the box without any help from anyone else.)

Related Candies

  1. Kraft Daim
  2. UK vs US Cadbury Dairy Milk
  3. Terry’s Chocolate Toffee Crunch Orange
  4. Toblerone Single Peaks
  5. Milka Alpenmilch
  6. Caffarel Gianduias


Name: Milka NAPS Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Kaufhof (Cologne, Germany)
Price: $4.00 (3.00 Euros)
Size: 4.87 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Chocolate, Nuts, Toffee, 7-Worth It, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:34 pm     CandyReviewKraftChocolateNutsToffee7-Worth ItGermanyComments (3)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kraft Daim

DaimThe Daim bar is a popular crunchy toffee bar covered in chocolate that originated in Sweden.

According to Wikipedia, the development tale is rather curious. Marabou, the preeminent Swedish chocolate company, approached Heath Bar back in the early 1950s for permission to license the Heath name and recipe to be produced for the Swedish/Norwegian marketplace. Heath said they couldn’t but did furnish the basic recipe so Marabou created the Daim Bar. The Daim went on to become quite a sensation, so much so that Hershey’s decided it needed its own crunchy toffee bar and copied the Daim in the US and called it Skor (along with the tag line of “The Taste of Sweden” in their launch advertising). The funniest part of the whole thing about Hershey’s marketing a copy of a Swedish candy that was a copy of an American candy was that Hershey’s ended up buying Heath Bar when they acquired Leaf Candy Company in 1996.

Marabou, in turn, was bought out by Kraft back in 1993 which distributes the Marabou chocolate products around the world. The easiest place to find Daim bars is at IKEA.

Daim

The bar does look a lot like the American Skor. It’s a smallish bar, flat and with a crisp buttery toffee center with a few bits of almonds in there. The milk chocolate coating is a little thicker on top with some attractive swirls and waves.

At only 28 grams (about .99 ounces) it’s a small bar but provides a lot of crunch.

I’ve bought this bar at least three different times for review on Candy Blog and each time I’ve managed to eat it before reviewing. (The photos here are from a 2008 episode where at least the bar made it into the studio for documentation.)

Daim nuggetsWhile I was in Europe I was pleased to see Daim widely available. Not only does it come in the familiar bar format, the toffee chips are also used in other co-branded confections, like a version of the Milka Bar (Jim’s Chocolate Mission has a review)

Since I knew I could find another bar in the States if I wanted it, I picked up this 100 gram (3.5 ounce) bag of Daim. The package says nothing else on the front - no description, no brand name ... just Daim. Not even the fact that this is not a bar but little chocolate covered nuggets. I guess the picture on the front says it all. My guess is since Daim is available in so many countries, it’s just confusing to say things, why not show them? The back of the package features micro-printing to accommodate at least 8 different language versions of the ingredients and still no actual name of the product. So I’m going to call these Daim Nuggets.

Daim nuggets

The little pieces are actually better, in my opinion, than the bar. I loved them. The chocolate is certainly not of excellent quality but good enough for this purpose. It’s milky and sweet and just creamy enough. It seals in the crunchy pieces of toffee to keep them from getting sticky and syrupy.

The toffee has a light burnt taste to it, plenty of milk and a touch of salt. It’s crunchy and every once in a while I think I got a little bit of an almond. The toffee is cooked to perfection - it’s crunchy but not too hard (having small pieces helps) and also doesn’t get tacky or stick to my teeth in large clumps.

I bet this is great on ice cream or added to cookies, of course it would need to come in larger bags, because this one is empty.

Other Daim reviews: Chocablog, Jim’s Chocolate Mission and Candy Addict.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee
  2. Godis Gula Snoren (Toffee Laces)
  3. Lindt Excellence Toffee Crunch
  4. Roca Buttercrunch Thins
  5. Valerie Toffees & Nougats
  6. See’s Peanut Brittle Bar


Name: Daim
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Rewe (Cologne, Germany)
Price: unknown
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Chocolate, Toffee, 8-Tasty, Sweden

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:07 pm     CandyReviewKraftMarabouChocolateNutsToffee8-TastySwedenComments (8)

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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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