Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Short & Sweet: Hazelnut Bites

As the temps are climbing here in Southern California, I need to eat up all my chocolate before it melts. So instead rolling these little goodies out one at a time, here’s a few bites in brief:

Fiat Gianduia

I picked up these cute little cubes at Lucca, an Italian deli/grocer in San Francisco a couple of months ago. The graphic design of the little wrappers with bold FIAT logo and variations was just irresistible. They’re made by Pasticceria Majani, founded in 1796 and one of the first confectioners to make actual solid chocolate in Europe. The Fiat line of chocolates were introduced in 1911 and actually named in honor of the Italian car.

Fiat GianduiaThis style of gianduia cube is rather common in Europe, I’ve had a few variations of these before.

They’re all layered. They’re a little shy of one inch on the longest side and about 3/4 of an inch tall and wide (so they’re not quite cubes).

FIAT Classico: two medium layers alternate with two light colored hazelnut paste layers. It’s extremely sweet, very hazelnutty. But really too sweet that it burns my throat. The only way to cut this is with a strong cup of coffee or espresso (which may be the way they’re intended to be eaten). I didn’t finish my second one.

FIAT NOIR: this is the one shown here, it’s a dark chocolate layer with a thick medium gianduia center. Even the dark chocolate layer is a hazelnut infused chocolate, but it’s the center that’s packed with a hazelnut punch. The combo is spot on perfect. A little difference in the texture, a little difference in the sweetness and nuttiness and a perfect bite.

FIAT CAFFE: the caffe looks a lot like the Noir, but has a darker center than the top and bottom layers. It’s sweet though, and has a light coffee flavor and a slight bitter tang. What sets this one apart from the other two is that it has almonds in it as well as hazelnuts. At first I thought it was too sweet, but once the bitterness and a dry finish kicks in, I came to appreciate it more, just as I did with unsweetened coffee as a teenager.

I give the line an 8 out of 10.

Caffarel Hazelnut Buds

If I thought the Fiat cubes were a good deal, I guess I didn’t realize what a value my Caffarel find was.

I got these little Caffarel foil hazelnut flower buds at Chocolate Covered in San Francisco. The little package had five pieces for four dollars ... so eighty cents each (and Jack, who runs the store, also gave me one to eat while I was there).

I love Caffarel’s little bites, no matter what shape they are. These are rather small, they’re obvious built in halves and mushed together to create the three dimensional bud, I kind of like pulling them apart with my teeth.

The milk chocolate shell is sweet and milky. The center is creamy and thick, a little fudgy and has tiny crushed hazelnut bits. It’s super smooth otherwise and slightly cool on the tongue. If you’re a fan of Perugina Baci, consider these a tiny milk chocolate version.

They’re just so adorable. I don’t know where to find them for sure, but if you’re a hazelnut fan scoop a few up.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Cote d'Or Milk ChocolateMy final hazelnut indulgence this week is the Cote d’Or Experiences Milk Creamy Smooth bar.

What clued me in that this was a hazelnut bar (since it’s not obvious) was that it was called a Smooth and intense MILK chocolate confection which is a coded way of saying, “there’s something else in this bar.”

The hazelnut paste is pretty far down on the list of ingredients, after the major chocolate ingredients and whey & milkfat but before the soy lecithin.

Like the dark bars I tried last week, the bar is big and thin, with the logo elephant on each segment.

Cote d'Or Milk Chocolate

It smells a little malty and very milky. It’s a softer bite than the dark bars (as is usually the case with milk chocolate). The bar has a smooth but fudgy consistency. The hazelnut flavors aren’t readily apparent, but there are some nice smoky and toasted notes to the bar.

It’s not too sweet, has a dash of malt and even a little burnt sugar bitterness to it that I find appealing. I can’t see myself buying one of these (I rarely buy milk chocolate unless it’s for a review) but knowing that Cote d’Or does a very mellow milk does intrigue me ... I may find myself experimenting with more of their product line.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Reese Hazelnut Creme
  2. 3400 Phinney: Fig, Fennel & Almond and Hazelnut Crunch
  3. Short & Sweet: Fancy Food Bites
  4. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  5. Caffarel Figs & Chestnuts (Fico & Castagna)
  6. Villars Swiss Milk Chocolate

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:19 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewCaffarelChocolateCoffeeNuts7-Worth It8-Tasty9-YummyBelgiumItaly

Comments
  1. I’d be interested to see what you think of the Cote d’Or Noir de Noir bar (56%). In Toronto I can get them imported from France, so the pkging & sizing is totally different (2 small thick tablets, stacked, that break into bars, textured 2-tone brown matte wrapper w/ elephant logo)from what you’ve shown.  I wonder if they’ve been sweetened for the American market as well as repackaged.

    Comment by naomi on 6/26/08 at 4:22 am #
  2. I reviewed the Cote d’Or bar myself awhile ago, I’m impressed that you also located the secret ingredient so soon. I thought it was a great bar, Cote d’Or are very nice, check some more of their stuff out if you can.

    Comment by Terry on 6/27/08 at 10:46 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    naomi - I’ve seen those alternatively packaged Cote d’Or. I’ll be sure to pick some up to figure out what’s so special about them. (I prefer the look of the packaging.)

    Terry - I have an 85% Noir as well, but I haven’t been as pleased with it. But I’m not sure if it’s as fresh as it should be, so I’m not going to review it.

    Comment by Cybele on 7/01/08 at 2:47 pm #
  4. This is great! I’ve been searching for a while for some good hazelnut products. I can never seem to find any that actually have the strong flavor of hazelnut. I’ve found many new favorites on this site so thank you very much!

    Comment by Michelle on 10/03/08 at 10:50 am #

Name:

Email:
(not published)

Location:
(not published - please don't put your address in there)

URL:

Comments may be held for moderation to prevent spam and other violations of the Candy Blog Comment Policy

Remember me!

Get updates to comments on this post?

Next entry: Sweet Earth Chocolate Cups

Previous entry: M&Ms Premiums




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT

FEEDS

CONTACT

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.

EMAIL DIGEST

    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

CANDY RATINGS

TYPE

BRAND

COUNTRY

ARCHIVES

Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon

COUNTDOWN

Sweets & Snacks Expo Starts

-69 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

image

ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

image