Monday, November 8, 2010

Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt

Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea SaltCooler temperatures mean more chocolate consumption in my world. I’ve really been enjoying the bars from Equal Exchange, so I decided to branch out from the plain dark chocolate bars to their flavored offerings.

The Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt is a modest bar, sporting only 55% cacao content, it’s not extraordinarily dark and has more of a candy bar flair to it with bits of salty toffee.

The bar is wrapped simply in a burnt orange and brown wrapper that goes with the color coding Equal Exchange has going on for their line.

Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt

The bar is inside a thin white plastic sleeve which is easy to open and slip the bar back into. The bar looks great, it has a reddish hue to it and the inclusions of toffee bits are visible within the chocolate mass.

Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt

The bar has a distinct and bright snap. Breaking the bar reveals a plethora of big crunchy toffee bits (made with just four ingredients: cream, sugar, vanilla and sea salt). The chocolate itself smells like coffee and has a light acidic bite to it. It’s sweet, but not sticky and has a well rounded woodsy chocolate flavor. The toffee bits are crunchy and buttery with a strong salty note. They go exceptionally well with the chocolate and complement the smooth melt of the chocolate with the hard burnt sugar notes and the dash of sea salt.

This bar straddles the world of easy to eat candy and decadent treat. The chocolate isn’t as nuanced as the darker single origin bars, but it’s also more accessible. It’s one of my favorite toffee chocolate bars now. (It still prefer the slightly more candy-ish Green & Black’s Peanut Bar, but that’s milk chocolate and I’ve had more of those bars than the Equal Exchange.)

It’s fair trade, organic and Kosher. It’s made in a facility that processes tree nuts and peanuts and of course isn’t vegan because of the milk in the toffee.

UPDATE 11/16/2010: I transcribed the ingredients incorrectly in an earlier version of this review. There is no corn syrup in this bar. The only sweetener is organic unrefined and/or raw cane sugar. I’ve revised the review to reflect the accurate ingredients.

Related Candies

  1. Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate: 65%, 71% & 80%
  2. Green & Black’s Peanut Milk Chocolate
  3. Sweet Earth Chocolates
  4. Mini Mentos: Orange, Apple, Lemon & Strawberry
  5. Valerie Toffees & Nougats
  6. Equal Exchange: Espresso, Mint & Nibs
  7. Equal Exchange Miniatures

Name: Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt (55%)
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $4.00 retail
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, Single Origin, Toffee, 9-Yummy, Switzerland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:06 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyEqual ExchangeChocolateEthically SourcedKosherOrganicToffee9-YummySwitzerland

  1. have you tried the (new, i think) packets of trader joe’s dark chocolate tahitian vanilla caramels?  they’re sweet enough that i don’t think i’ll buy them again—i just ate a whole packet, and my throat is burning—but then again i did just eat a whole packet, so… maybe.  i do like the slightly smokey taste.

    Comment by writergirl on 11/09/10 at 1:12 pm #
  2. I picked up the Green and Black’s version today, which I probably never would never have done if not for your review.  You were right, it’s great!

    Comment by JJR on 11/10/10 at 2:01 pm #
  3. Thank you for reviewing our new chocolates and the kind words.

    However, we would like folks to know that we do NOT use corn syrup in the Caramel Crunch bar nor in any of our products.

    Here are the ingredients:
    *Organic Chocolate Liquor, *Organic Raw Cane Sugar, *Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Caramel (*Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Whole Milk Powder), *Organic Unrefined Whole Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, *Organic Ground Vanilla Beans.

    *Fair Trade Ingredient. [By weight 97% Fair Trade content.]

    The caramel (or “toffee chunks”) are made with only raw sugar and milk. This contrasts to how many companies use corn syrup or glucose syrup for their caramel and toffee.

    We have always given great care in selecting recipes with as few ingredients as possible - and deliberately avoiding soy lecithin and corn syrups. And this, of course, is an level of attention above and beyond our efforts to always use Fair Trade certified ingredients whenever possible such as cane sugar and vanilla from small farmer co-operatives.  So it would be a shame for readers or commercial buyers to get the wrong impression.

    Comment by Rodney North, Equal Exchange on 11/16/10 at 3:26 pm #
  4. I LOVE equal exchange. I imagine this chocolate is fantastic….cannot wait to try. Thanks for the review!

    Comment by kat on 11/05/12 at 7:03 pm #
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