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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eat with your Eyes: Jelly Belly Malted Milk Eggs

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I got a sample bag of Jelly Belly Malted Milk Pastel Eggs last month and promptly ate them after taking their picture.

I’ve reviewed the Jelly Belly Easter mix before, so this isn’t a re-review. I do have to note, though, that the crunchy coating was lightly flavored. So it seemed like the green ones were lightly lime and the pink ones were lightly berry. Odd ... I don’t really need an extra flavor, though it didn’t stop me from eating them.

I’m posting this mostly because Brach’s Fiesta Eggs are back on shelves and changed once again. Brach’s has gone through many owners in the past 10 years, and the recipes for many of their iconic candies have changed multiple times. I haven’t found the 2015 variety, but I can attest that the 2014 variety was far too big for the mouth and the shell far too hard for cracking easily to bite.

Brach’s Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs - 2007 Review
Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (White with Speckles) - 2011 Review
Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (Large White with Speckles) - 2012 Review

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Jelly Belly are far more expensive than the Brach’s version, but at the very least they use a good quality chocolate and I do enjoy the malted center very much.

Related Candies

  1. Sugarfina: The Chocolates
  2. Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (2012)
  3. Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
  4. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (Plus a Bonus)
  5. Brach’s Fiesta Eggs
  6. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix
  7. Jelly Belly Chocolate Malt Balls

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:56 pm     CandyMaltHighlightPhotographyComments (1)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Suss Pecan Maple Caramels

DSC_8512rbAt the Fancy Food Show last month I ran across another small-batch caramel maker. This one is called Suss Sweets. They’re based in New Hampshire and have a line of caramels with an interesting package idea - the caramels are sold in long logs, not individual pieces. So a standard roll is 1/4 of a pound. You slice off however much you want.

I found them at an Italian deli at Americana at Brand mall in Glendale. I had to go through the entire basket of caramel logs to find the only Maple Pecan one, since it was the flavor that I sparked the most with at the show.

There’s a lot of packaging for what looks so simple. The outside is a piece of baking parchment, twisted at the ends with a little sleeve with the label on it. Inside is a box, embossed with the logo (kind of a waste, I didn’t notice this touch until I was throwing it out). Then inside the box, the caramel roll is wrapped in wax paper.

Real maple syrup adds lovely richness to this caramel. A hint of sea salt and crunchy pecans top off this great salty/sweet flavor combination.

Suss Pecan Maple Caramels

The long log was easy to slice into appropriate pieces. The nuts were not as numerous as I’d hoped, so some slices were nutless. However, the maple and pecan flavor was throughout the entire bar. The chew of the caramel was smooth with excellent toasted sugar and fresh butter notes. The salt touch was quite light, enough to balance the sweetness but not so much to make me grab a glass of water. The nuts were fresh and the pecan flavors went very well with the woodsy and vanilla maple notes.

The bar was expensive at $7.50, but of course it was a quarter of a pound. But the fact that they’re not ready to eat meant we couldn’t just try them with our coffee at the store, we had to wait until we got home and got out a knife.

Suss Caramels

I did get to try the full range of flavors, including Pumpkin Seed and the straight Vanilla with Sea Salt. It’s a good caramel, just like I make at home when I have the time and the weather cooperates. It’s a fun item if you’re putting together a gift basket, especially if it’s a themed with coffee, cheese or other sweets. The fact that you can control the size of the pieces will appeal to some consumers, but I think I just want mine individually wrapped.



Name: Pecan Maple Caramels
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Suss Sweets
Place Purchased: Deluca Deli (Glendale)
Price: $7.50
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 115
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Caramel, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:34 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewCaramelNuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (1)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Honey Acres Chocolate and Orange Patties

DSC_8231rbHoney Acres in Wisconsin has been keeping bees since 1852. They sell a variety of honeys as well as some very specific honey-based products. I picked up these samples from the Fancy Food Show last month.

One of the lines Honey Acres makes are honey patties which feature an unsweetened chocolate coating around a creamed honey center. This may sound familiar, as I’ve reviewed the Trader Joe’s Mint Honey Patties before. Honey Acres actually makes three varieties of honey patties: the traditional mint, orange and chocolate.

The creamed honey is just honey, that’s been carefully recrystallized in a way that makes it milky looking, spreadable and thick, instead of clear and viscous. There are no additional ingredients, no dairy associated with the creaming process.

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The most intriguing of their three patties is the Honey Kissed Dark Chocolate Cocoa. There are two ingredients: chocolate and honey. It’s a little more complicated than that. The chocolate shell is unsweetened chocolate and then the center is honey creamed with unsweetened chocolate.

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The pattie comes in a matte gold foil. Snapped in half, the center is a golden brown, set off nicely by they very crisply tempered chocolate.

It’s a very strong chocolate product. The honey melts at a different rate from the chocolate on the outside, so it’s an uneven mix of the honey flavors, the sweetness, the creaminess and then the bitter pop of the chocolate. It’s quite rich and the recommended serving of 3 pieces is very filling. I enjoyed eating them in different ways, sometimes nibbling the chocolate edges so that I had more of a honey proportion for a big bite of the center. Mostly I bit in half and let it all melt together.

Ultimately, I think I prefer a little flavor with it, the chocolate in the honey center did little more than just make the honey less pronounced.

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The Honey Kissed Dark Chocolate Orange patty uses Valencia orange extract in the center instead of the peppermint oil for flavoring. This is an interesting combination, because I think that the citrus flavors go far better with honey than peppermint. The oily beeswax feeling on the tongue is cut but the vibrant orange oil. The bitterness of the unsweetened chocolate really shines through all this, with lots more woodsy notes than I noticed when combined with mint.

The calorie count on the website for Honey Acres listed them as about 11 grams a piece and only 110 calories per 3 piece serving. I don’t think that’s quite right, because it works out to less than 100 calories per ounce, which is not possible for a candy that’s also half fat. So, I’d prefer to go with the accounting for the Trader Joe’s which says 140 calories for 3 patties.

Related Candies

  1. Droga Money on Honey Caramels
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
  3. Honees Honey Filled Drops
  4. Gimbal’s Honey Lovers
  5. Jelly Belly Honey Beans
  6. Melville Candy Company Honey Spoons


Name: Honey Kissed Dark Chocolate Cocoa
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Honey Acres
Place Purchased: Samples from Honey Acres
Price: $8.50
Size: 6.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 127
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:53 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateKosher8-TastyUnited StatesComments (3)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Russell Stover Big Bite Coffee

DSC_8678rbRussell Stover Big Bite House Blend Coffee is a new all-year item from Russell Stover. The 2 ounce pieces are actually big bites, more than a single serving but less than a sharable piece.

The package says: smooth dark chocolate enrobes a robust coffee-flavored center.

This is the first I’ve seen a coffee flavored item from Russell Stover in their single serve line, though I think they do some coffee items in their boxed chocolates.

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The dark chocolate coating is pretty thick and sticks to the filling well. The filling is what I’d call a cross between a ganache and a fudge. It’s thick and has a good melt. The base is made from sugar and cream, so it’s like a ganache, but doesn’t have that much chocolate in it. Instead it’s just loaded with coffee. The coffee flavor is woodsy, with a little bitter acidic note to it. It’s definitely strong, and not terribly sweet, considering the amount of sugar in there.

It’s nice. However, it’s big. I don’t want this much chocolate and ganache. I want about half as much, and maybe in more of a stick or plank format than a big patty. Or maybe a smaller patty, like a Peppermint Patty format, but with a coffee ganache center.

DSC_8675rbRussell Stover Big Bite Cappuccino is similar to the House Blend Coffee, instead of a dark chocolate shell, it has a white chocolate shell, kind of like a cappuccino has a milk foam topping.

The package says: Rich coffee-flavored filling surrounded by creamy white chocolate & dusted with cocoa.

My photo didn’t turn out very well, partly because it’s actually a low contrast wrapper. It’s a light gold foil with other darker gold accents and a mix of brown and white text. Not easy to read on the front and even worse on the back.

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It smells similarly coffee-ish to the House Blend Coffee, only there’s a more sweet note from the white coating. The combination wasn’t appealing to me on paper, as I was expecting it to be cloyingly sweet. However, the bitterness of the center can actually accept quite a bit of sweetness from the white chocolate coating, which is especially thick at the middle. It never quite mixes to create a good approximation of a cappuccino or latte, but does give me more of a coffee ice cream note to the whole thing.

On the whole, Russell Stover has done an excellent job with their coffee flavoring for the center. It has a lot of the right flavor elements without tasting too much like instant coffee or including actual coffee grounds in the center. I wouldn’t mind seeing these in the seasonal varieties, mostly because those are a bit smaller than the Big Bite line, but I think this is a good addition to their line. Since there aren’t many coffee flavored chocolates out on the market, it’s a nice option.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie
  2. Good and DeLISH Morning Rush Coffee Bites
  3. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffles
  4. Russell Stover Big Bite Caramel Apple
  5. Russell Stover Big Bite Dark Chocolate S’Mores
  6. Meiji Corot & CoffeeBeat
  7. Javaz - Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans


Name: Big Bite House Blend Coffee
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Coffee, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's


Name: Big Bite Cappuccino
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Russell Stover, Coffee, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:51 pm     CandyReviewRussell StoverChocolateCoffeeWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (3)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 8 -  Pick a Mix

pick-a-mix-ep8

Maria and I went to the store and picked up 15 items from the pick a mix ... you can listen to the results.

You can also download the MP3 directly. Check out the show notes on Candyology101.com.

 

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:21 pm     CandyHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (0)

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

 

 

 

 

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COUNTDOWN.

Candy Season Ends

-45 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Flavor Trends: The Slow Extinction of Lime

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

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