Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Hearts

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Hearts with truffle fillingIf the statistics braniacs are correct, you’re less likely to receive chocolate this year than a year when Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday. This is because the major heart-shaped confectionery purchasers are men and when the holiday falls on a weekend the celebrations are more likely to be date-related than object-related.

I picked up this box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Hearts with Rich Truffle Filling on a weekend (long before Valentine’s Day though). The box holds 7.05 ounces and 16 Belgian truffles. Well, the package calls them truffles, I’m not convinced as you’ll see in a moment.

The flat and simple box has a stylized cartoonish design on the front though the overall format is similar to the Belgian Fancies I bought before Christmas.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Hearts with truffle filling

I like the overall design, it’s simple and spare and not so precious or frilly that it couldn’t work for either gender or as a gift between friends or family.  The box does and excellent job of protecting the candies, which were all shiny and flawless.

Trader Joe's Truffle Hearts

The hearts are nicely sized for a single bite. They’re about one and a half inches at the widest, about three quarters of an inch high.

The ingredients list for these non-flavored bonbons is extremely long. In my perfect world the definitions of things like ganache and truffle are pretty strict. A truffle is chocolate mixed with extra dairy fats like butter or cream. That’s it. There can be flavorings, inclusions and maybe even nut butters but then it becomes a bonbon with a truffle ganache base filling. The Belgian maker of these has things in here like corn syrup (third ingredient) vegetable oils (fourth ingredient) and some other things like glycerin, crystalline fructose, mono & diglycerides and citric acid.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Hearts with truffle fillingThe result of those ingredients is not so much of a mock ganache but something that I think of as really good chocolate frosting. The thing is, the reason to put all that extra fat into ganache is to make the melting point lower, so that it actually melts in your mouth quicker than chocolate. (Cocoa butter has a higher melting point than dairy butter.) Putting all those different oils in there just isn’t the same and things like corn syrup add moisture, which makes it chewy and gives it an almost-caramel like pull when it’s bitten.

Now, all that aside, they’re not bad to eat. The chocolate shell is rather sweet but very smooth. The flavors are berry and a little bit on the woodsy spice side. The semi-sweet shell plays well with the very sweet center. There’s a slight fudginess to it, I hesitate calling it a graininess but it simply tastes sugary instead of chocolatey. For a store bought box of chocolates, they’re not bad, but at $5 for a box I expect a little better. In fact, I wouldn’t mind paying an extra dollar for fewer ingredients and a more intense chocolate punch.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate Fancies
  2. Valerie Confections: Pour Homme and Pour Elle
  3. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  4. Trader Joe’s French Truffles
  5. Choxie 3 Ounce Chocolate Bars
  6. BonBonBars: Malt Ganache & Scotch
Name: Dark Chocolate Hearts
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Laguna Woods)
Price: $4.99
Size: 7.05 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Chocolate, Belgium, Trader Joe's, Valentine's Day

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:36 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. hi! mmm i love your blog! i am still patiently waiting the arrival of pretzel m&ms;, which i found out about thanks to your awesome blog. keep up the awesome work, and feel free to check out my blog above. smile

    Comment by christina on 2/04/10 at 10:19 am #
  2. i never really liked TJ’s chocolate.  I wanted too because of the PJ cups, but they were awful.

    Comment by dawn on 2/04/10 at 10:58 am #
  3. You just reminded me of how much I love Trader Joe’s. I used to work there about 10 years ago and loved all the wonderful candies and treats they had. They even had really neat private label wines which were very affordable. Cheers~

    Love The Blog!

    Comment by WB on 2/04/10 at 12:07 pm #
  4. For the quality I expect from TJs, I agree that these seem a little substandard. It sounds like a more ganache-y centre and a less sweet chocolate would improve these no end.

    Comment by Richard @ The Bewildered Brit on 2/04/10 at 6:03 pm #
  5. I also tried these about a week ago - while the quality of ingredients was not what I expect from TJ’s, I really did enjoy them. They’re the ultimate guilty pleasure (and two was more than enough for me, which helped prevent eating all of them at one time).

    Comment by Lauren on 2/05/10 at 10:10 am #
  6. You come off as a candy snob. Let me guess, you are extremely overweight (fat ass) and have cats?

    Comment by Kyle on 2/07/11 at 2:17 pm #
  7. I love the belgien chocolate wink It’s one of the best in the world.

    Comment by Alexander Zorn on 3/10/11 at 7:13 am #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: Eat with Your Eyes: E. Guittard Orinoco Milk Chocolate

Previous entry: Eat with your Eyes: Grandessa Signature Single Origin
















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


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

    Delivered by FeedBurner






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


Candy Season Ends

-715 days

Read previous coverage



Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter




These candies will be reviewed shortly: