Browsing Tag:

dark chocolate

À la carte – Humbolt Chocolate – Dark with Caramel

Posted in A la carte, Candy

À la carte is a small little weekend feature that I am going to be adding to my site for items that I don’t feel warrant a full review.

Normally I tend to stick to things that are somewhat readily available to most readers in the USA (because that’s where I am based) but last night while at Safeway grabbing a few odds and ends for dinner, I noticed this small display of (somewhat) local chocolate. I of course was instantly drawn to the dark chocolate because that is my favorite and decided to grab two bars, the dark with caramel and the salted almond. Did I ever tell you guys my New Years Eve dark chocolate story?

My Mom and I are both dark chocolate lovers and to celebrate New Years we decide to grab a bar of dark chocolate. We, without thinking grabbed a bar of 90% cacao because what could go wrong? It was our favorite chocolate! Flash forward a few hours and as the ball dropped we counted down, both broke off a small piece, popped it in our mouths and gave each other the tiniest peck at midnight… then promptly made a mad dash for the trashcan to spit out the chocolate. How did we not anticipate how BITTER that chocolate would be?! To add insult to injury, I had braces at the time, and all of that bittery chocolately goodness was totally trapped in its metal cage to my teeth. Hilarious moment, but totally gross.

ANYWAYS.

IMG_7615

This chocolate bar was okay. I was expecting something a little more exciting? While the chocolate was a good balance of sweet and bitter (the caramel helped with this too) it felt like the chocolate, once you started chewing it, just wouldn’t come together? If that makes any sense? It felt dry without actually being old or dried out. My Mom ate the salted almond one and agreed that she had the same problem with her bar. The caramel was buttery and sweet, which I could have eaten a lot more of, but at 3 dollars a bar, I would most likely not buy this again.

IMG_7616

Found at Safeway on sale 2/$6.00

April 15, 2017
/

Hawaiian Host – Aloha Macs & Christmas Macadamia Medley

Posted in Candy, Confectionaries

So the lovely people at Hawaiian Host recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing some of their holiday products – UH DUH. Of course I obliged and instantly the video above played repeatedly in my head until these treats arrived at my doorstep from that place I’ve never been to… Hawaii. (Please note, any travel agencies reading my blog that would like me to review a resort in Hawaii, the answer is always yes – just sayin.)

20140301-094300.jpg

20140301-094312.jpg

I thought I would start off with the ole standard of milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Its no surprise here that these were delicious. Combining delicious macadamia nuts with chocolate is a match made in heaven – and gives chocolate and peanut butter a run for their money for best confectionary duo. Or is that hazelnuts and chocolate… OKAY NUTS AND CHOCOLATE BELONG TOGETHER. These are dangerous to have around the house because they seem to magically disappear and by magically disappear I mean that I can eat the entire tray in one sitting while watching tv. One thing that makes you feel less horrible about yourself is that there are considerably less in the tray than in a box of See’s Candy.

Texture: 3.5/5 – So I am unsure if during their journey to my doorstep if they were melted a little and then re-solidified but the chocolate had that weird crumbly texture to it on some of them, but for the most part the macadamia nuts were crunchy and the chocolate was smooth.

Smell: 4/5 – The only thing that you can really smell is the chocolate you are about to consume and it smells tasty!

Appearance: 3/5 – Like I touched on earlier, some of the chocolate was a little crumbly and had that oh so appealing white film, but that didn’t stop me from eating the hell out of them.

Taste: 4.5/5 – Well I think I made my point that these were good and unlike most of the other food that I review, did not make it into the hands of anyone else in my immediate circle of family and friends. YUM!

20140301-094246.jpg

20140301-094324.jpgSo I like to think that I saved the best for last with the Christmas Macadamia Medley. It contains two flavors that I have consumed before, milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts and dark chocolate macadamia nuts but also has two that I have not tried, MacNut Crunch and Maui Caramacs. Of the two, I really enjoyed the MacNut Crunch. The macadamia nut to chocolate ratio is evened out by it being minced into small pieces instead of two large lumps in the middle of chocolate. The Caramac was really good as well, but I was expecting more of a chewy caramel instead of a rip your fillings out one bite at a time caramel.

Texture : 4.5/5 – The texture of the MacNut Crunch was similar to that of a Crunch bar. I really enjoyed the texture as it seemed more airy than the standard chocolate covered macadamia nut. The Caramac on the other hand gave me a jaw cramp from the chewiness of the caramel.

Smell : 5/5 - This box of chocolates smelled just as yummy as the previous box I consumed prior.

Appearance : 5/5 - This box of chocolate fared much better than the other box did, sparing itself from the weird white film and crumbly chocolate – and all of the chocolates looked simply delectable.

Taste : 5/5 - Now before I get into the taste of these chocolates, how come no one has ever made an edible tray in the box? If you look at the close up picture of the chocolates, the brown tray looks almost good enough to eat – how come no one has capitalized on it? Environmentally friendly and makes my inner fat kid happy. The MacNut Crunch chocolates were very very good, I would eat an entire box of these alone. I could take or leave the Caramacs, while they are good because I enjoy caramel, I did not find them very rememberable. I do however like that they chopped up the macadamia nut instead of taking a whole nut, covering it in caramel then covering it chocolate.

Of the two boxes that I was sent, I would probably be more apt to purchase the medley because I like the variety but both of them were very good. I’d like to thank Hawaiian Host for the opportunity to sample both of these boxes of treats and that the opinions I have posted are my own and I have not been compensated in any way other than the boxes of chocolates. Merry Christmas peoples!

 

December 23, 2013
/

Graze Box – Number 1

Hey guys! Have any of you ever heard of Graze? It originally started in the UK and has been slowly branching out into the USA on an invite basis. The basic concept is that for $5 they will send you a mailbox sized box full of 4 different snacks every other week. There are over 80 different options to choose from and they are adding more.

Graze uses the following scale to rate how often they should send you something: trash, try, like, love. One of my New Years resolutions goals is to try new foods, so when I was picking out stuff I really made myself select try on more foods than I normally would.

Because of the amount of food, I will review the treats in a little bit different format than I normally do. Let’a go!

20130326-184257.jpg
The outside packaging is no frills.

20130326-184324.jpg
My first delivery had a nice mixture of different types of treats that Graze will send you.

20130326-184532.jpg

Nacho Libre : salsa almonds, cheesy sombreros, jumbo chili corn

This snack mix was really good. The almonds had a nice coating of spice and the cheesy sombreros are light and crunchy. The jumbo chili corn were seriously on steroids, move over Corn Nuts.
Overall this mix : love

20130326-184623.jpg

Billionaires Shortbread : Belgian milk chocolate, almonds, cranberries, fudge

I will admit, I was a little leery of the cranberries in this mix. I really like cranberry flavored things, but I don’t like the texture of raisins, so I was cautious. The Belgian milk chocolate was crazy good. I found the almonds to be a bit disappointing because they were completely plain, which made them slightly bland, not to mention due to the lack of skins on the almonds, they were squeaky on my teeth. The tiny fudge cubes were really yummy. Ready for my feelings on the cranberries? YUM. They were really good and not raisin-y at all.
Overall this mix : love

20130326-184559.jpg

Inspired by Jaffa Cake : Belgian dark chocolate, orange raisins, roasted hazelnuts

Up until a few minutes ago, I had no idea what a Jaffa cake was. After a little google-fu I found out its a sponge cookie with a layer of orange jam with a coating of chocolate. I think had I known this I might have passed on this mix, but hey, what’s the harm in trying.

As before, the chocolate is very good. The hazelnuts have the same problem as the almonds did in the Billionaires shortbread, lack of roasting, not to mention they really picked up the orange flavor. The orange raisins? I can’t. I tried, I really tried. Nope. Not only do I not like raisins, I don’t care for oranges.
Overall this mix : trash

20130326-184502.jpg

Summer Berry Compote : berry compote with wholemeal shortbread dippers

I was most excited to try this one in the box. Shortest review yet? SO GOOD. The compote was sweet and tart and the shortbread was exceptionally good.
Overall this mix : LOVE

*please note that this post is my own opinion (like all other posts) and was not paid or compensated with goods from Graze for this post.

March 8, 2013
/

Pepperidge Farms Milano Minis Candy Cane & Milano Slices Peppermint

Hello! Hello! Especially to those of you who have found me via Pinterest! Grab your favorite snack and take a look around. Today I received some intel that Target had two new flavors of Pepperidge Farms cookies in their seasonal section. I needed to pick up hair ties anyways, so it didn’t really take much to twist my arm and stop by today and pick these up. I was rather curious what the differences were going to be, if any at all, between these two cookies because they were practically the same. Light delicious cookie, chocolate, and mint together. I was also intrigued by the mini factor, as I have never seen anything like that before. (though a quick Google search turns up that they are available in regular chocolate flavor, and they also produced a limited edition dark chocolate covered version – sounds delicious!)

20121107-200827.jpg

I started with the slices first – I felt like I was re-entering familiar territory since I not so long ago reviewed the Milano Salted Pretzel Slices. Those, were kind of a disaster, but I had higher hopes for these because of the plethora of peppermint pieces crumbled on top. Small rant, what is with the chocolate Pepperidge Farm uses? It melts INSTANTANEOUSLY. They want you to be caught red handed eating cookies, because no matter if you hold the cookie for 0.0001 second or a minute, you will somehow manage to get chocolate on your fingers – even if you aren’t touching the chocolate part. It is a conspiracy.

I did not execute the same taste test as I did for the salted pretzel (chocolate side up and side down), I did however just pop the whole thing into my mouth like a chocolate starved woman. I was greeted with the familiar Milano cookie taste with a lovely undertone of peppermint. It was not overpowering at all. I would most likely compare the flavor to a mild thin mint. If a thin mint were a 10, these would be a 6 on intensity of chocolate mint flavor.

20121107-201407.jpg

Texture: 4/5 – I was slightly concerned that due to the sheer volume of peppermint crunch sprinkled on top of these cookies that it would be too much, but it was just enough to add a nice texture element to the cookie.

Smell: 3/5 – When opening the bag, the only smell you can smell inside is that of chocolate, not peppermint at all.

Appearance: 3/5 – They aren’t the prettiest of cookies, but they get the job done. I also noticed that a lot of the peppermint topping fell off the cookies in my bag.

Taste: 4/5 – These are really delicious. The dark chocolate pared with the peppermint makes for perfect harmony on the light cookie. I could easily eat the whole bag and not feel like I just ate a box of candy canes. I would buy these again a heart beat.

20121107-201458.jpg

So you remember the mini rant (no pun intended due to reviewing mini cookies) about getting chocolate all over your hands when eating Milanos? Pepperidge Farm wanted to make sure that you get caught RED handed with these. I was extremely surprised to look inside of the bag and see how tiny these little guys are. I am not sure what I was expecting their size to be, but they were so little! I can’t really decide if they chose to use the red as a forced festive nod  or what they were going for here, but I can’t say its working for them. I ate a few of these to try and get the full effect. I would say that the mint flavoring tastes more like a toothpaste mint flavor than a candy mint flavor – if that makes sense to you. Its good, but you can tell its completely artificial. The aftertaste of these was not very appealing.

20121107-201415.jpg

(for scale)

Texture: 4/5 – These had the texture of the familiar cookie. Light crunchy exterior and smooth chocolate interior. Because the peppermint flavoring was added to the filling instead of chunks like the slices, there was no crunchy element to this cookie other than the cookie itself.

Smell: 5/5 – The smell of these is immediately chocolate and mint mixed together. They smell divine.

Appearance: 2/5 – Again with the soft smearable chocolate, the red portion did not hold up well in my bag, as when I opened it, it looked like a Milano murder scene inside.

Taste: 2/5 – I did not care for this version of the cookie. The chocolate and cookie portion were delicious, but the peppermint element was off. I also did not like the aftertaste that it left. I would not buy these again, or subject my guests at a holiday party to them, though they are cute.

November 7, 2012
/

Indecision 2012 – Angie’s Artisan Treats

Posted in Chips, Confectionaries

What’s good friends? I’m sure like most of you who are in the USA you have been glued to your TV watching the pending election results. I for one am not one to delve into politics much, but I find myself getting extremely anxious every 4 years with the announcement of the new president. I am not going to go on any sort of political rant, as this is not the place for it, but I will say that I will be happy when this is all over and done with. I am sick of seeing campaign stuff EVERYWHERE.

So tonight, in the spirit of the election, I thought I would present to you two fancy new holiday foods and you can decide which you like! I have never seen Angie’s Artisan Treats Holidrizzle Kettle Corn in stores before. I feel like she must have partnered up with Snoop Doggs camp to come up with that name. The two flavors that I have seen thus far are Which Chocolatier Peppermint and Dark Chocolatier Sea Salt. Popcorn and I have a love hate relationship. I love it and it hates me. Despite the impending upset stomach that is to follow later, I could not resist trying these as I love kettle corn, more than I love plain buttery popcorn.

20121106-202617.jpg

I decided to start with the White Chocolatier Peppermint flavor first. Upon first opening the bag, I only smelled a faint smell of peppermint. I was a bit disappointed that the bag is so large, yet is half air! I popped a handful in my mouth and gave it a whirl. I enjoyed the flavoring. The classic taste of kettle corn which is sweet with a hint of salt with the peppermint topping and drizzle of white chocolate were a nice pairing. I felt like they were a bit stingy with the white chocolate drizzle. So far most of what I have tasted from the bag I bought, I would say about 40% has white chocolate on it. Kind of a let down. While the flavor of this is good, and I didn’t realize that I was on a crazy train to attempting to eat the whole bag mindlessly, it does not hold a candle to the Peppermint Bark Chex Mix.

20121106-202624.jpg

Texture: 3/5 – I don’t know if it is the white chocolate or the weather in California but I found that the popcorn was a bit mushy. The peppermint crystals added a nice crunch to the mix.

Smell: 3/5 – The aroma of this treat is rather non-existent. What you can smell is rather inviting though.

Appearance: 3/5 – Because of the color of the popcorn, you can’t easily see the white chocolate on the pieces, which makes hunting for the really chocolate-y pieces a bit tough. I do like the addition of the red peppermint crunchies instead of mixing the mint flavor into the chocolate. It gives it a nice festive kick.

Taste: 3.5/5 – Overall the flavor is pretty middle of the road. I enjoyed it, but I felt like it kind of missed the mark. The mixture of sweet and salty is definitely present but nothing really took it to the next level.

20121106-202631.jpg

Next we have the Dark Chocolatier Sea Salt. I am an extreme fan of dark chocolate. I am the person that will dig out all the Special Dark Hershey’s minis that no one usually wants. A few years ago, I think maybe 4 years ago or so, my Mom and I were celebrating New Years Eve together. We decided to get a bar of dark chocolate to enjoy at midnight, and in our infinite wisdom, we chose a bar with the highest cacao percentage at the time. WHAT AN AWFUL MISTAKE. As we counted down the clock, we each snapped a little square off the chocolate and at midnight we gave each other a little peck and popped the chocolate in our mouths. It immediately turned into a mad dash for the trashcan because it was so bitter that you couldn’t even swallow it. To add insult to injury I had braces at the time and the chocolate was all kinds of stuck in them. Worst idea ever.

I imagined that the dark chocolate sea salt mix would be a nice balance of sweet and salty, and I was right. But with Sea Salt in the name, I was expecting a little more salt in the mix than just the light dusting in regular kettle corn. The chocolate drizzle in this mix greatly exceeded that of its counterpart, and was pretty satisfying. I do fail to see how this is considered a holiday flavor when I can easily find it on shelves year round from retailers like Costco and Target.

20121106-202638.jpg

Texture: 3/5 – I encountered the same problem with the Dark Chocolate version of this treat as I did with the White Chocolate version, kind of mushy. Unlike the white chocolate version however, there were no saving elements like peppermint crystals to make up for the lack of crunch.

Smell: 3/5 – There was pretty much zero smell upon opening the bag.

Appearance: 4/5 – The dark chocolate version visibly had more chocolate in the mix than the white chocolate. I feel like the amount that was drizzled over was inviting and guaranteed you that you were in for a nice chocolate treat.

Taste: 3.5/5 – Trying a single piece by itself proves to be nothing spectacular. It really takes some investment of eating a few handfuls to taste the entire flavor. I wish that the sea salt element was a little more prominent in the flavoring. All in all it was good.

So in the end, I did what any self respecting foodie would do, I mixed the two together in my bowl. I feel like this made the entire thing extremely good, and it is an untapped market for Angie. Someone let that lady know.

November 6, 2012
/
%d bloggers like this: