Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Manhattan Chocolates Dipped Mint Cremes
The dietary restrictions during Passover not only mean no grains, chometz, except for matzo meal but also no kitniot (legumes). This means a lot of the ingredients commonly used for candy preparation are forbidden during this festival. No peanuts is obvious, but also no corn syrup, no soy lecithin, no cornstarch, no soy or canola oil.
Most observant Jews I know simply go without candy during this time or stick to the tried-and-true holiday specialties like macaroons or chocolate dipped matzo. I know that it’s possible to make great candy that’s Kosher for Passover - something that goes beyond the mediocre Manischewitz molded chocolate items.
The Gelson’s Market near my house had a nice display of Passover items near the entrance and I was pleased to see a few more upscale and decadent items than the common jelly slices. I picked out these Chocolate Dipped Mint Cremes from Manhattan Chocolates.
The box was pretty, just green themed on white with chocolate drip along the top. Inside it was a little less upscale. The mint cremes are nestled in little cubbies in a plastic tray, which isn’t such a big deal, except that the candies were much smaller than their little nooks, so they rattled around quite a bit when I carried them home ... and is probably why they look a bit scuffed. (A piece of that fluffy, corrugated waxed paper would probably help.)
The ingredients look great: Chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, vanilla), sugar, tapioca syrup, natural and artificial flavors. (During the rest of the year there’s soy lecithin in the chocolate and corn syrup instead of the tapioca syrup.)
There are 15 pieces in the box, which holds 6 ounces (so each piece is .4 ounces).
They’re rather tall, more like a cream chocolate than a patty, a little larger in diameter than a quarter.
The chocolate shell is nicely done, no voids or little leaky spots. They smell sweet and a bit like toasty hot chocolate. There’s only a slight whiff of mint.
Once I bit into one, the cream revealed its mintness. It’s soft, the cream is quite silky with only a slight small grain to it. It’s not flowing soft like a Junior Mint and not hard and crumbly like a York Peppermint Pattie ... just a bit in between.
The dark chocolate shell is sweet and not quite bitter enough to offset the very sweet center. But overall it’s a very good post-Seder treat to refresh the palate after those bitter herbs.
I wouldn’t call these glorious or anything, but if I were in a week where I was limited in my choices, the Manhattan Chocolates seem very promising as a line. They’re also lactose free - all year round.
Carl at the National Confectioners Association also found that Oh Nuts! has a great selection (and there’s still time to order before Passover ends).
POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:53 am
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.