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White Chocolate

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy CornMars has introduced a limited edition, limited distribution of a new variety of M&Ms for Halloween. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn are appearing in WalMart stores exclusively across the United States. Since I’m not able to easily shop at WalMart (really not many in the Los Angeles area), some folks at Mars were kind enough to send me a bag for review.

It’s tempting when I hear about candies like this to write the review before I even get a hold of the candy. That would not only be a horrible disservice to the readers, it’s really unfair to the candy. I’m supposed to have an open mind. Luckily I kept mine open for this one. (In reality, I thought it sounded like a dreadful idea, and I blame the Hershey’s Candy Corn Kisses and Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn candies for my predisposition.)

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn

The M&Ms are larger than the regular M&Ms Milk Chocolate, though they vary a little bit in size and shape. They’re thicker and have a larger diameter. They come in three colors: white, bright yellow and bright orange. (The orange and yellow are actually different from the standard colors. The orange is darker and not as shiny and the yellow has a matte caste to it and a slightly neon note.)

Mars has marketed White Chocolate M&Ms before, in 2006 they introduced M&Ms Pirate Pearls in conjunction with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Unlike the other limited edition version of Dark Chocolate M&Ms (tie in with Star Wars), they were never added to the regular or seasonal offerings.

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn

Mars has stuck to their Real Chocolate pledge here, it’s real white chocolate made with oodles of cocoa butter (cocoa butter is the second ingredient - sometimes white chocolate products have milk fat before the cocoa butter). There are no other filler oils.

The candies smell a bit like strawberries or cotton candy, very sweet but not in an artificial way. I was fully expecting the liberal use of diacetyl. Happily that was not the case.

DSC_4582rb

Candy Corn M&Ms on the left and classic Milk Chocolate M&Ms on the right

The shells are crunchy and seem thicker than the standard Milk Chocolate variety sports. Some of the shells were cracked, I don’t know if that was because this was sent to me and got shaken up in transit or if they’re particularly vulnerable.

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy CornThe center is soft and yielding. It’s sweet and buttery smooth, like a well made buttercream frosting. The flavors are only slightly milky, the sweetness is rather clean and again reminds me of Cotton Candy. I was hoping for the honey notes that good Candy Corn has, but this was all a pleasant surprise.

They’re quite rich, both in fat and in sugar, so I found that I couldn’t eat more than about a dozen without feeling a little overwhelmed by the sweetness. Ultimately though I didn’t feel like they rose to the level of an actual Candy Corn flavored candy. Still, they’re nice, and for white chocolate fans who have so few choices for real cocoa butter white chocolate, you might be pleased.

Now I’m waiting for Egg Nog M&Ms .... mmm, nutmeg white chocolate would be dreamy.

One other note I have about this packaging. I noticed on the nutrition panel that they’re giving better information. In the serving size it gives the portion in variety of formats. A serving size is 1.5 ounces, 42 grams or about 1/4 cup. So you really get a sense of how much they mean. The new green what’s inside block also breaks it out very clearly. One portion is 220 calories and 11 grams of total fat (17% DV) and 7 grams of saturated fat (35% DV).

UPDATE 9/11/2012: White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms are back for 2012. They’re available in all stores, in both the large bags as well as 1.5 ounce individual serving bags (with a variety of different designs on the front).

Related Candies

  1. Eat with your Eyes: Meiji Strawberry Lentils
  2. Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy Corn
  3. Puffy Candy Corn
  4. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  5. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  6. M&Ms Premiums
  7. Candy Corn Kisses
  8. M&M Pirate Pearls


Name: White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Samples from Mars
Price: $3.49 retail
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 148
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Mars, Kosher, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:42 am     CandyReviewHalloweenMarsKosherM&MsWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (27)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dove Swirl Bars

Dove SwirlDove Chocolate which is made by Mars continues its focus on female friendly indulgence and perhaps even positioning their products as low cost therapy to counteract the modern world.

The Dove White and Milk Chocolate Swirl bar is no different, as the copy on the package indicates: bites of chocolate relaxation that create beautifully swirled partings of luscious flavors which taste as amazing as they look.

The bar is a large, narrow tablet (3.5” wide and 5.5” tall). It’s 3.3 ounces, so a little lighter than the standard 3.5 ounces (100 grams). It still has that pesky portion problem that large bars have. The package says that a single serving (230 calories & 42 grams) is 9 pieces. But the whole bar is 20 squares ... so there are two bonus squares. Why not just be honest that a portion is an absolute half of the package (1.65 ounces and 256 calories)?

Dove Swirl

The swirls are very consistent and make it appear that the blocks are half and half white chocolate and milk chocolate (though the ingredients say that milk chocolate dominates since it’s listed first).

The pieces are nicely formed and rather thick, which presents a wonderful bite. The bar smells sweet and slightly milky, like a vanilla pudding. The texture is like most other Dove chocolate products, a smooth and silky melt. This one has a bit more sticky sugar to it though, it’s also quite strong in the dairy flavors along with some caramel and toffee. The chocolate notes are subdued, it’s like this bar isn’t at all about the chocolate flavors, just the chocolate texture.

If you’re the kind of person who never cared much for white chocolate, this probably won’t change your mind. For me it was far too sweet on its own, but paired with some pretzels or almonds, it took the throat searing pain away.

Dove Raspberry SwirlDove pretty much sticks to tried and true flavor combinations. While this new swirl line marks a departure for them, veering off into the previously uncharted territory of white chocolate, raspberry is a common flavor in their repertoire. The Dove Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Swirl bar is also a white chocolate bar, with the twist here that it’s colored pink and flavored with artificial raspberry.

Like all of the American Dove and Mars chocolate products, the back of the package has the Mars Real Chocolate seal on it. It’s refreshing to see a big confectionery corp keeping their ingredients transparent like this, especially since cocoa butter can be so expensive. But while they do use real cocoa butter for both the dark and white chocolate, there’s also a bit of PGPR in there (which is an additional emulsifier often used in lower quality chocolate, made from castor beans). There’s also a smidge of artificial colors with Red 40 and Blue 2, which seems unnecessary considering what they’re doing with natural colors these days.

Dove Raspberry Swirl

The appearance of the unwrapped bar is impressive and lovely. However, I didn’t feel like it looked like food. It looked like some sort of plastic stuff that might make nice bangle bracelets or earrings or maybe be carved into a chess set.

The dark chocolate is the same silky smooth texture and cocoa rich taste. The raspberry scent is quite strong at first, but the flavor of it doesn’t overpower the chocolate, which is refreshing. I didn’t taste a lot of the milky notes I detected in the white & milk combo bar. It was sweet, but not cloying or sticky. The raspberry flavor was floral with a strong woodsy note of seeds.

It’s not my favorite bar, it didn’t have the flavor balance that I like, but I do have to say that the texture, melt and smoothness was excellent. I just wish their chocolate flavor was actually nuanced enough to swirl around in that.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Exceptionals: Chocolate Waterfall
  2. Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries
  3. Dove Peppermint Bark
  4. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  5. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  6. Askinosie White Chocolate (Plain, Nibble & Pistachio)
  7. 3 Musketeers Cherry & Raspberry
  8. Dove Caramels & Chocolate Covered Almonds


Name: Dove White & Milk Chocolate Swirl
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Samples from Mars
Price: $2.49
Size: 3.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 139
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Dove Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Swirl
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Samples from Mars
Price: $2.49
Size: 3.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 139
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:09 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosherWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Snow Angell Organic Candy Bar

Snow Angell Candy BarAngell Bars are a line of organic, fair trade and kosher candy bars. They’re basically classic candy bars made with a little more attention to what goes into them.

The Snow Angell Organic Candy Bar is white chocolate sweet and creamy coconut center. Like the previous bar I reviewed, the Dark Angell, it’s a smallish bar at 1.41 ounces which means that it’s less than 200 calories (190). It’s not vegan like the dark counterpart, but it is free from GMO products, corn syrup and artificial colors & flavors.

DSC_1937rb

The white chocolate coating is real, made only five ingredients: cane sugar, whole milk, cocoa butter soy lecithin and vanilla. The center is made from tapioca syrup, oats, dried coconut, honey and coconut extract along with some other natural flavors and sea salt. (The salt isn’t organic because, well, salt is inorganic.)

The white chocolate coating is soft and creamy, more like a pudding than a chocolate. I really liked the texture and the fact that it wasn’t so sweet. The overriding flavor though is the coconut from the center. The middle isn’t quite white, it’s a little more creamy and well, oat colored. In fact, the texture is more oaty at times than coconutty. While I found the oat flavor in the Dark Angell a bit off-putting, I think the combination of oats and coconut is fantastic. The coconut absorbs any of the pasty or gummy texture that oats can bring and brings all the light nutty flavors together.

If you’ve ever wanted a white chocolate Mounds bar, this might be a good option. The center isn’t quite the same coconut experience as the usual candy store fare though, it’s far more flavorful and less sweet. It’s nice to see a line of organic bars doing their own thing instead of imitating others.

Related Candies

  1. Dark Angell Organic Candy Bar
  2. Twix Coconut (Limited Edition)
  3. Mounds
  4. Go Max Go Mahalo Candy Bar
  5. Sunspire Coconut Bars
  6. Almond Joy
  7. Sweet Earth Chocolate Cups
  8. Crispy Cat


Name: Snow 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: 1.41 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jungell, Coconut, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:02 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewJungellCoconutEthically SourcedKosherOrganicWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (3)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wonka Exceptionals Easter Eggs

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdidlyumptious EggsThe Wonka Exceptionals line is available in special Easter holiday packaging.

The Wonka public relations folks sent me this box of their Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Eggs to review. The box is springy, and I’ll say it veers off towards the feminine in a whimsy sort of way. (The Dove chocolate line’s packaging is more towards elegant feminine sophistication.) But I can also see kids taking a liking to it for the brilliant purple and icons on the packages of flowers, vines and butterflies. They also come in another variety, Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall which I also have a sample of.

The box holds five milk chocolate eggs with scrumptious toffee, crispy cookie and crunchy peanuts. Wonka also says that they’re made with natural ingredients, but doesn’t mention on the front that they’re also made with not-so-natural ingredients which include, in descending level of appearance, soy lecithin (I’m guessing GMO), modified cornstarch and high fructose corn sweetener (I never see that used in chocolate, but I do see it quite often in cookies and cereal products so I’m assuming it’s an ingredient in one of the inclusions).

Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Eggs

My eggs were a little worse for their trek in the mail. I find that stuff that’s shipped to me actually ends up in worse condition than items I pick up in the stores, so I expect that this is a worst case scenario.

DSC_2265rbThe individual packages are just little plastic sleeve wrappers and are labeled for individual sale.

Since the portion is less than an ounce, the calorie count is much lower than some other “full serving” chocolate eggs. Both versions are 140 calories, and for a candy so high in fat, that’s a satisfying size. The Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate is already available in large bars or individually wrapped pieces. I reviewed them when they first came out last year. The combination of ingredients is interesting and definitely unique on the market at the moment.

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdidlyumptious Egg

The construction is simple, a 2.5” long and 1.5” wide egg is molded with mixed in items: crumbled cookies, toffee pieces and little bits of peanuts.

It smells green and nutty and a little milky. The crunch of the chocolate is good, it’s a little soft and immediately has a note of cinnamon and graham crackers. The toffee bits taste a little salty and the peanuts are few and far between but taste like they’re deeply roasted. The chocolate is mild and pleasant, it reminds me more of Cadbury than Nestle. It’s very sweet and at least the cookie bits provide a little relief from that.

It’s not that I loved this, but it’s so much better than Nestle’s other efforts like the Butterfinger Egg, it’s a wonder how they can continue making such waxy, poorly flavored chocolate when we now have proof that they know the difference.

Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall EggThe Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Egg is a a delectable combination of swirled milk and white chocolate.

I’m happy to report that there are fewer not-so-natural ingredients in this variety, just the soy lecithin.

White chocolate maybe the unofficial chocolate style of Easter and I was pleased to see that the white chocolate used here is the real cocoa butter variety.

Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Egg

The white and milk chocolate has a similar smooth texture, not quite Dove smooth, but smoother than other Nestle products. It’s quite sweet but has a milky taste and definite vanilla note to it.

The individually wrapped foil pieces are more consistently balanced between the milk and dark chocolate. I only had one sample of this so I can’t say it’s the same for all of them, but I felt there was too much milk chocolate and not enough white. Sometimes I find that white chocolate can taste a little off quickly, a little stale or rancid. In this case it just didn’t taste fresh to me, but I admit that it was stored with other flavored candies from Wonka, which might have contaminated it.

I like the shape, I like how thick it is and especially when there are chunks or layers in it, how it provides a nice cross section of flavors. The packaging isn’t as fun as the foil wrapped pieces, which I liked a little better, the colors on those are just as appropriate for Easter anyway.

It’s nice to see something a little different for Easter baskets or just snacking. These didn’t wow me with their ingenuity, but the quality difference from the earlier efforts from Wonka that were the Golden Creme Egg means that they’re winners just for showing up.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Butterfinger Pumpkin
  2. Wonka Exceptionals: Chocolate Waterfall
  3. Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious
  4. Wonka Golden Egg
  5. Wonka Golden Creme Egg
  6. Dove Truffle and Snickers Eggs
  7. Hershey Eggs


Name: Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Samples from Wonka
Price: $.79 retail
Size: .9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Candy, Easter, Nestle, Chocolate, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Samples from Wonka
Price: $.79 retail
Size: .9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Candy, Easter, Nestle, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, Peanuts, Toffee, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:24 pm     CandyReviewEasterNestleChocolateCookieKosherPeanutsToffeeWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Godiva Gems Peppermint Truffles

Godiva Gems Peppermint TrufflesGodiva Chocolatier has been moving into more stores lately - places like Cost Plus World Market and even drug stores like CVS. This holiday was the first time I saw them in my ordinary grocery store (Von’s). The mass-market fare isn’t quite like the stuff in their shops, it’s small bites (Gems) and bars along with their Chocoiste line of little pearls.

They’re still rather expensive, this bag of Godiva Gems Peppermint Truffles was selling for $6.00 before Christmas. Though the bag looks pretty big (similar to the stand up bags from Ghirardelli which holds nearly 3 times as much), it only holds 3.5 ounces. But after Christmas I snagged this for only $2.64 ... a fair price for a real white chocolate product.

The package says: White chocolate with creamy candy cane filling.

Godiva Gems Peppermint Truffles

The package warns that some settling of contents may occur in shipping, and they’re not kidding. There are 10 individually wrapped Gems inside, making two layers - that’s a lot of empty space in the bag. Each sphere is wrapped in a candy cane striped mylar twist.

The truffles are about 1 inch in diameter. They’re not completely spherical, they’re slightly faceted, I’m guessing to go with the Gems part of the name. They remind me of well-used polyhedral dice.

They’re formed from two hemispheres, so there’s a distinct seam in the center. Sometimes with a little gentle pressure on opposite sides of the seam, I can pop the sides apart. They’re each filled with the pink cream and then joined together with some more white chocolate.

Godiva Gems Peppermint Truffles

The pieces are soft, the shell yields easily when bitten. The center is a soft cream made of white chocolate, sugar alcohols, butter and some palm oil along with some red food coloring and peppermint flavor. There’s just a little dash of salt in there. The sorbitol and xylitol are used as sweeteners to good effect. Both of them are lower in calories but they also are less sweet and provide a cooling effect on the tongue. (Some folks cannot tolerate sugar alcohols, but I don’t think there’s much in here.)

They were good quality, I liked that the ganache filling wasn’t greasy and thin tasting like the Lindt Lindor Truffles, which I see these as competing with. But the flavor combo wasn’t really best for me, I wanted a rich, silky dark chocolate shell and the white chocolate, minty ganache center. White chocolate lovers may disagree though. They’re not too sweet, which is also refreshing.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowman
  2. Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces
  3. Godiva Shamrock Truffles
  4. Fannie May Mint Meltaway
  5. Dove Peppermint Bark
  6. Ghirardelli Holiday Squares
  7. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs


Name: Gems Peppermint Truffles
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Godiva
Place Purchased: Von's (Glendale)
Price: $2.64 (on clearance)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Godiva, Kosher, Mints, White Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Von's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:53 pm     CandyReviewChristmasGodivaKosherMintsWhite Chocolate6-TemptingUnited StatesVon'sComments (3)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowman

Russell Stover Peppermint Bark SnowmenI mentioned in the 2010 Christmas Candy Spotting rundown that I picked up this package of the new Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowman.

I love Peppermint Bark and I’m kind of disappointed that it’s not available year round. There are a lot of different variations on the idea of peppermint bark, but most involves layering different kinds of chocolate (dark or milk with white chocolate) along with a peppermint flavoring and probably crushed peppermint hard candies.

This package holds a cardboard try with six individually wrapped Peppermint Bark Snowmen. I got them for $1.99 but I expect they’re on sale some places.

Russell Stover Peppermint Bark SnowmenEach molded snowman is rather small. They’re only 7/8 of an ounce and about 135 calories each, so this is a nice way to control portions.

It’s a two tone mold, the base is dark chocolate and the top layer is white chocolate. The package notes in bold and all caps type on the back that its MADE WITH 100% REAL CHOCOLATE. This is what spurred me to buy it. There are so many minty holiday candies that aren’t made with all cocoa butter these days, like the Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses and even Andes Mints.

I can say that after eating these, it’s so obvious that real cocoa butter is superior to fractionated or partially hydrogenated tropical oils (and though all are high in calories, at least cocoa butter isn’t bad for your heart).

The fact that these “bark” snowmen are molded does ruin the rustic illusion of bark, but I have to say, I’m not really that fond of bark. I’m a believer in integration. If you want to put something in your chocolate bar, put it in there, get it all covered up. Don’t just let it float on top and get knocked off. Commit!

Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowmen

The base layer looks very dark, almost black. The ingredients mention that it’s made with chocolate processed with alkali, which often gives it that almost-black color. The flavor of the chocolate base reminded me of Oreos, it’s a toasted and smoky flavor. The melt is rich and smooth and though the chocolate flavor stands up to the others, it’s not overwhelming or bitter. The white chocolate is smooth and creamy, it has an excellent fresh dairy taste to it, more like butter than dried milk. Then there’s a light touch of peppermint. Though I think there are supposed to be peppermint candies in here, I didn’t get much. I ate three of the snowmen for this review and at first I thought that it was just a variation in the production run. But there were all rather sparse on the candy. This didn’t bother me.

Russell Stover Peppermint Bark SnowmenIt was like a good quality ice cream. Not too sweet, a good balance of flavors, clean and neat. I liked the portion and the molding was nicely done. I preferred the crispness of the flavors and clean distinction between the layers to the slightly more expensive Dove Peppermint Bark.

I really can’t find much fault with these at all. They’re not the most sophisticated candies in the world, but they were very well done. There are some artificial ingredients in there (there’s some red dye in the hard candy chips) but overall it tastes like a quality product considering the price (about 33 cents each). It would be nice if they can do other variations of the snowman for other holidays - I wouldn’t even mind seeing other flavor variations like strawberry for Valentine’s Day or Orange for Halloween. (I think Mint could return for Easter.)

Russell Stover really seems to shine with their holiday treats. These are easy to afford and stash in stockings or pass around at the office.

Related Candies

  1. Florida Tropic Oranges
  2. Dove Peppermint Bark
  3. Ritter Sport Peppermint
  4. Ghirardelli Holiday Squares
  5. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Bar
  6. Jo’s Peppermint Crunch


Name: Peppermint Bar Snowmen
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Target (Harbor City)
Price: $1.99
Size: 5.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Mints, White Chocolate, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:17 pm     CandyReviewChristmasRussell StoverChocolateHard Candy & LollipopsMintsWhite Chocolate8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (2)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Storck Merci

Merci Chocolate AssortmentStorck Merci were introduced 45 years ago by the German candy maker. It was always position as a hostess item, small individually wrapped pieces of chocolate in flavors to suit everyone.

The package calls it the Finest Assortment of European Chocolates. They’re priced pretty well for an upscale styled hostess gift, I paid $5.29 for my box that weighs 8.8 ounces (that’s less than $10 a pound). The ingredients are heavy on the sugar and milk and a bit lighter on the cacao content, but it’s all real chocolate in there.

I picked these up mostly because I’ve never reviewed them. But I was also curious if there was a difference between these and the newer Werther’s Chocolates.

Merci Chocolate Assortment

The assortment comes in a smart and spare little box. It’s made of thin card but styled to fit the sticks perfectly. There are 20 but only 7 varieties ... so the breakdown was a little odd for my tastes:
4 x Milk Chocolate
3 x Hazelnut-Creme, Dark Mousse, Hazelnut-Almond & Praline-Creme
2 x Coffee and Cream & Dark Cream

The little bars are three inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. There’s a little score in the center to snap them in half easily. All are imprinted with the word Merci on each segment.

Merci Chocolate Stick Assortment

Praline-Creme

I didn’t take an individual shot of this one. It’s a milk chocolate bar, the wrapper has a purple band on it. The filling is a sweet cocoa paste that’s rather truffle like. It’s all quite buttery and melts well, there’s even a slight hint of salt to it. It didn’t do much for me, there’s something missing, probably a stronger chocolate note.

Merci Milk Chocolate Creme

Milk Chocolate

The focus on this piece is milk. Actually, it’s more like butter. The melt is silky smooth and quick with a slight grain to it. The dominant flavors are powdered milk, caramelized sugar and a light note of cocoa.

Merci Hazelnut Creme

Hazelnut Creme

It’s a milk chocolate bar with a filling of sweet, milky hazelnut paste. It’s very sweet but has a good grassy and roasted flavor of hazelnuts to it. I’d probably prefer it in dark chocolate ... but then again if I were really looking for a gianduia fix I’d go for some Caffarel. It’s definitely rib-sticking.

Merci Coffee Creme

Coffee and Cream

This was far and away my favorite. It smells like freshly ground coffee. There are two layers, a dark chocolate and a white chocolate base. The coffee is far and away the strongest flavor, so much so that I couldn’t really detect any chocolate notes in there. The texture is smooth and has an excellent melt that’s a bit firmer than the milk chocolate varieties. The coffee is bold with a light acidic note and a hint of charcoal and toffee.

Merci Dark Mousse

Dark Mousse

The Dark Mousse is dark chocolate filled with a chocolate cream. The bar was beautiful looking, glossy and nicely tempered. The chocolate has strong berry notes with a little hint of black pepper and raisins. The mousse filling was a little more of a paste than a cream but wasn’t very sweet, it was like a good chocolate frosting. The whole thing had a lightly dry finish to it.


Merci Dark Cream

Dark Cream

I was confused at this point about the difference between Dark Cream and Dark Mousse. Dark Cream was more like a dark bar, no filling as far as I could tell.

The flavor was like a dark milk chocolate, there were strong dairy notes, something I didn’t get at all from the Dark Mousse. It wasn’t as sticky or sweet as the milk chocolate and also had a hint of a dry finish to it without being chalky. It was firmer than the nut and milk versions of the little bars, but it was still pretty soft and melted quickly into a puddle in my mouth. (It was not swirled though like the Werther’s Dark Cream was.)

Merci Hazelnut Almond Milk Chocolate

Hazelnut Almond

This was my second favorite variety. As far as I can tell it’s just the milk chocolate with crushed almonds and hazelnuts. The scent is still sweet and milky but has a great roasted nut flavor. The little nibs of nuts are chewy and fresh - mostly hazelnut comes through.

I enjoyed these, though I hesitate to say that they’d satisfy any of my strong chocolate cravings. This had a wonderful texture and luxurious melt, but not a lot of cocoa punch. I see them more as accompaniments than stand alone treats.

Each stick is about 73 calories (it does depend on the variety) and features 14% of your recommended daily allowance of saturated fats. (But there’s also a bit of protein, calcium & iron in there.) There are also a lot of allergens in here. The only ones that aren’t listed are eggs and of course shellfish.

As for the Werther’s Chocolates that Storck also makes ... I don’t see any reason to pick those up instead of these unless you’re only going by price. The ingredients seem a bit better, I like the packaging and the fact that you get a variety in the box is a plus in my mind (though if you don’t like all the flavors that’s a negative). They really are a great hostess gift and a nice item to have on hand to serve with coffee or dessert. A little stack along with some cookies would make an excellent little treat without being too fussy. And the word Merci doesn’t hurt, everyone enjoys a little thank you.

Related Candies

  1. Storck Toffifay
  2. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  3. Ice Cubes
  4. Milka Alpenmilch
  5. Storck Chocolate Riesen


Name: Merci
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Storck
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $5.29
Size: 8.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 164
Categories: Candy, Storck, Chocolate, Coffee, Nuts, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Germany, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:30 pm     CandyStorckChocolateCoffeeNutsWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItGermanyTargetComments (3)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Werther’s Original Dark Cream Caramel Chocolates

Werther's Original Caramel Chocolates - Dark CreamLast week I reviewed the Werther’s Original CaraMelts which were a buttery flavored white confection. I found them confusing and disappointing. But I had hopes that Storck who makes the Merci Chocolates and Chocolate Riesen caramels could do chocolate well.

So I picked up these Werther’s Original Caramel Chocolates Dark Cream. They’re billed as Rich European Cream Chocolate Marbled with Smooth Creamy Caramel. That marbling of smooth creamy caramel had me worried, as I don’t think that you can mix caramel and chocolate together to make a chocolate-like product, it yields something more like a caramel product.

The ingredients sounded pretty good - there’s a lot of milk in there in various forms, but none of the weird tropical oils that I experienced in the CaraMelts.

Werther's Original Dark Cream

The pieces are just like the CaraMelts and pretty much the same as the traditional Werther’s Original hard caramel pieces. They’re ovals about 1.25 inches long and a little under an inch wide. They have an attractive swirl of two kinds of chocolate, a dark milk chocolate and a white chocolate along with a hefty extra dose of cocoa. They’re wrapped in little twisted plastic with maroon color coded ends.

I loved the look of the swirly pattern, each piece was different and the swirls go all the way through the chocolate piece (not like some Hershey’s Kisses that just have stripes on the surface).

Werther's Original Caramel Chocolates - Dark Cream

But let me back up a little bit here for a moment. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with candy. As I got older I found ways of getting money to buy it, but there was a certain lattitude in the house when I was growing up that sweets that you made were more permissible. So to ease a craving I would actually make candy or cookies. And sometimes I would make frosting. Just frosting and eat it. At first making frosting involved a recipe (and sometimes the smearing of the result on Ritz crackers, Saltines or bread). Later frosting was simply: butter, powdered sugar and cocoa. Cream until smooth and consume from the same dish. If there was no cocoa in the house, vanilla frosting would result. (Other variations of desperation would be brown sugar & butter, sometimes with peanut butter.)

The point of that story is that I’ve eaten a lot of butter mixed with cocoa. Pounds of it. I’m very familiar with the mouth feel, smell and the taste of it. The Dark Cream Caramel Chocolates are like chocolate butter. If that’s what you want, well, here it is. The melt is quick and smooth. There’s a buttery taste to it, but more of a clean dairy note than a powdered milk or yogurty tang. It’s certainly not at all fake tasting either. There’s a light salty note, like cocoa often has. They’re slick when melting, but not in a thin or greasy way.

In short, they’re very fatty. The cocoa flavors are well rounded, mostly woodsy, brownie-like with a little coffee note. But they’re cocoa flavors, I don’t quite get actual chocolate from it.

I liked them quite a bit, much more than I thought I would for a product that has, by my calculations, 170 calories per ounce. (Most chocolate is about 145 or so.) There’s also a lot of cholesterol in there for something called Dark Cream (I guess that’s the cream part) - 10 mg. But all that milk also gives the serving of 7 pieces (240 calories) 3 grams of protein, 10% of your RDA of Iron and 6% of your Calcium.

I like their packaging, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s spare and light but still protects the candy. It’s made in facility with all the major allergens: wheat, soy, milk, tree nuts, peanuts. (No eggs mentioned.)

Related Candies

  1. Werther’s Original CaraMelts
  2. Madelaine Duets
  3. Wonka Exceptionals: Chocolate Waterfall
  4. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  5. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  6. Werther’s Caramel Coffee Hard Candies
  7. Lindt: 60% Extra Dark Truffles


Name: Werther’s Original Caramel Chocolates Dark Cream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Storck
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $2.50
Size: 5.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 170
Categories: Candy, Storck, Chocolate, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Germany, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:09 pm     CandyStorckChocolateWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItGermanyKmartComments (3)

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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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