Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Doulton Liqueur Chocolates (Cointreau & Teacher’s)
I picked them up at the Fancy Food Show in the final hour, which is usually a chaotic grab as the vendors tear down their booths and opportunists & vultures grab at anything and everything that isn’t hot-glued down. Some companies also abandon their booths and leave piles and piles of merchandise for whomever wants it. I wanted these. I took three boxes: two of the Cointreau and one of the Teacher’s Scotch Whisky.
I rarely see these kinds of chocolate except around the holidays at stores like Trader Joe’s (which has a “brandy bean” each year) and Cost Plus World Market.
The box isn’t upscale or fancy, it reminds me of the kind of box you might get a pair of gloves in or a new tie. Inside is a plastic tray that holds the little beans. Four beans wide and six beans long, they’re an impressive sight.
The ingredients aren’t fancy, in fact, some are downright cheap. It goes like this: glucose-fructose syrup, cocoa liquor, sugar, lactose, Cointreau, cocoa butter (contains milk), rectified spirit, milky, soy lecithin & polyglycerol polyricinoleat [PGPR], flavouring.
I started with the Cointreau Liqueur Chocolates because I think that orange and chocolate are a great combination. Cointreau is made by Remy Cointreau in France. The spirit is made from sugar beets and flavored with a proprietary blend of sweet & bitter orange peels.
The little beans are cute, maybe a bit banana shaped.
The insides are quite syrupy. I liked biting off an end and then sipping the liquor, but eating the thing whole was fun, too.
The chocolate isn’t quite dark, not quite milk. It’s sweet and a little grainy. Though Cointreau has a substantial orange flavor by itself, it was a bit lost in the sweetness and chocolate flavors. Still, there was a little orange essence that lingered after it was all gone.
The second variety (not photographed) is Teacher’s Scotch Whisky. My experience with whisky is a bit more limited than my experience with aperitifs. Whisky is a dark and mysterious liquid, usually very strong with charcoal, tobacco, oak and peat and has a companion flavor called throat searing.
This particular variety, Teacher’s Highland Cream Scotch Whisky, is completely new to me.
The chocolate is rather unappealing, bland and sweet. The liquor center is sweet but definitely alcoholic. There’s a mild burn and some woodsy dark flavors do accompany it, a highlight in the flavor department here, because the chocolate itself wasn’t doing much.
I liked this combination, but the novelty wore off after about three of them, so then the package sat around for a few weeks before I polished them off for this review. I prefer them to the wine ones that I reviewed yesterday, but didn’t really care for the packaging or the ingredients, though they’re a much better value.
A cautionary note to anyone who buys any kind of alcohol infused chocolate - eat it quickly after opening. Alcohol evaporates, even through the chocolate shell and any plastic wrap. They’re best consumed fresh. As the weeks went by, these weren’t nearly as potent as when I opened them.
I haven’t seen this particular brand for sale (though I suspect that the same manufacturer may produce house brands. I believe these retail for about $3 to $4 a box. So they’re not that expensive and kind of a kick in the mouth. They come in other varieties as well: Irish Whiskey & Cream and Grappa. They do have some alcohol in them, so consuming the whole box may give you a buzz (they’re probably 3-5% alcohol).
POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:37 am
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.