Monday, June 2, 2008

Crown Nuggets Borrachitos

Crown Nuggets - Tequila Nuggets (Dulce de Leche)Dulce de Leche is a popular confection in Central and South America as well as parts of the United States. There are many regional versions (and some families have their own traditional recipes) but it’s all basically the same thing - a milk caramel. Often it’s made into a sauce or “spoon sweet” similar to pudding, but other versions are cooked into a solid much like a caramel or soft fudge/penuche. Other versions use the sauce as a frosting or filling for other baked goods.

Crown Nuggets sent me this version of Mexican dulce de leche (literally candy of milk) made with tequila. The name Borrachito means “little drunk”, and in this case they’re not kidding. These little fingers of dulce de leche (they call them nuggets) are up to 4% alcohol. (So they may not be available in all states.)

As they launch the candy there are two versions available: Tequila & Licor de Cafe. They’re packaged in little plastic tubs with the fingers separated by cardboard dividers, two layers deep, 12 in each layer. At over 9 ounces per package, they’re pretty dense little candies.

Crown Nuggets - Licor de Cafe & Tequila Nuggets (Dulce de Leche)

The Tequila Nuggets are on the right in this photo. You can see that they’re kind of a layered affair. The center is a smooth & creamy light caramel, almost like a pudding, then it’s rolled in sugar to keep them from sticking to each other. The drunken part is pretty evident when I opened the package. It smells like sweet tequila and a little bit like cotton candy.

I’ve had tequila before, but I don’t drink it straight and it’s not my preferred liquor. The idea of it mixed with some sweet and thick dairy was pretty appealing though.

The little fingers are soft, but the sugar coating keeps them from being sticky. I ate them in two bites, they’re about the size of the top two knuckles of my pinky (I can’t say how big your pinkies are). Inside the grainy exterior is a soft and creamy caramelized milk.

The tequila flavors are a little overwhelming at first, but the dairy flavors come out slowly. It’s soft and melts well on the tongue. I find the sugar grains make it a bit too sweet and mess with the custardy texture of the dulce de leche. Tequila is a bit medicinal but definitely add a bit of dimension to this.

Crown Nuggets - Licor de Cafe Nuggets (Dulce de Leche)The Licor de Cafe Nuggets was a bit more of interest to me because of my love of coffee and the fact that it goes so well with milk.

These had a bit of a coffee note to them and a little bit of a rum taste.

I was hoping both of these would be more caramelized or milky tasting. It was darker, but not quite smoky or burnt enough for me. I like a good flan or creme brulee and I was hoping this would be a confectionery equivalent. The alcohol, while definitely evident, may have overshadowed that.

I think mainstream America is ready for some good dulce de leche. These appear to have overcome some of the issues of how to portion it and make it look appealing. It’s probably a good idea to capitalize on the tequila angle too, so I don’t begrudge the inclusion. But the flavor/texture mix just isn’t for me. I’m not going to give up on finding my ideal dulce de leche.

The nutrition panel is calculate for a single piece (11 grams & 40 calories) so it says there’s no fat in here, but since the second ingredient is whole milk, I’m guessing if you ate a full ounce (three pieces) your body would find some usable dairy fats in there.

I don’t care much for eating them as a confection on their own, but in combination with some bittersweet chocolate or even as part of a dessert cheese plate with dried fruits & nuts, they might be an interesting addition.

For more on dulce de leche: Malena travels Mexico & samples cajeta, Rosa at ZOMG Candy already reviewed Borrachitos and if you’re ever interested in making your own, it’s a simple as submerging a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot and simmering it on the stove (or following a more traditional open pot method by Alton Brown or David Lebovitz).

Related Candies

  1. J Morgan Caramels
  2. UHA Puccho Custard
  3. Das French Salted Caramels
  4. Jolly Rancher Fruitas Enchiladas
  5. Anthon Berg Filled Chocolates
  6. Jim Beam Fudge
  7. Cajeta Elegancita
Name: Tequila & Licor de Cafe Nuggets (Dulce de Leche)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Crown Nuggets
Place Purchased: samples from Crown Companies
Price: $8.50
Size: 9.33 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Categories: Caramel, Coffee, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:55 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. ... eee. sorry if this double posts—my computer bites.

    ... but speaking of “Mexican caramels”, you have got to try the cajeta disks. I know you did that bar thing awhile back, but it doesn’t sound like you got the real deal. The disks are much better—a layer of legit cajeta sandwiched between two unsweetened wafers… comes in a bag and tends to be found in the same places were you find that cheap-ass, 2 FOR A DOLLAR candy…

    ... salty and pleasingly goaty (go with me on this)... you’ve *got* to try…

    Comment by mandy on 6/02/08 at 3:04 pm #
  2. Wow these are a completely new concept to me..im not overly sure about the Tequila ones but I sure as hell would like the try the Cafe liquers ones. Coffee and a bit of Rum??? :D :D YES PLEASE!! Thanks for reviewing these Cybele its always nice to learn about new confections.

    Comment by James on 6/03/08 at 1:06 pm #
  3. I met the guy who makes these at the Expo and he was such a pleasure to talk to and so excited about his product.  I told him he should send you a sample and he thought he had (he was right); after chatting with him a few minutes he gave us one of his little Crown Nuggets tote bags and a box of the tequila caramels…so nice of him!  Made me want to figure out a way to make South Carolina let his product in the state!

    Comment by Kimberly on 6/05/08 at 4:35 am #
  4. Hi Cybele - Great meeting you at the Fancy Food Show!! If there’s anyway you can put us in touch with the folks at Crown Nugget or their distributors please let us know. Might be a fun thing to have at the launch of Joanne Weir’s TEQUILA book: http://joanneweir.com/products/cook-books.html

    Comment by Mariangela Sassi on 1/22/09 at 7:24 am #

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