June 05, 2014

The Chocolate Blog is Moving!

Please visit me over at The Chocolate Blog's new site!  www.chocolate-blog.com

I have a new review up over there on the Endangered Species filled dark chocolate bars.  Come visit!

March 14, 2014

Yes Cacao

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I was recently sent some chocolate bars by Yes Cacao so that I could try them and post a review.  Yes Cacao is quite a bit different from your usual chocolate bar maker in that their chocolate is not roasted.  In addition, they add "functional medicine" to their chocolate in the form of herbs, extracts and other super-foods.

I sampled all three bars and I have to say that they are very different from other chocolate:

Karma Mellowl -- They call this golden chocolate, and as you can see from the photo it is quite golden in color.  This was a very mildly flavored bar with an herbal flavor up front and bitter spiciness in the finish.  The texture was quite grainy and softer than I expected.  This was probably my least favorite of the three.

Gaba Baba -- This bar was more like chocolate for me with a firm texture that was dry but melted more smoothly.  The flavor here is rich and buttery with a bit of a caramel flavor and a hint of fruit that almost reminded me of bubble gum.

Dirty -- This bar was almost crumbly, with a slightly gritty texture.  I would say this was the closest to a dark chocolate bar, but with the bracing flavor of mint and anise.  In fact, the bar contains both peppermint and fennel.  This was the most refreshing of the bars with an interesting and subtle flavor.

I'm glad I had a chance to try these bars. They are soy, dairy and gluten free and contain no refined sugar which definitely puts them on the healthy end of the spectrum.  I think my favorite was the Gaba Baba, but the Dirty bar would be nice to cleanse the palate. If you are looking for something different, give Yes Cacao a try!

March 10, 2014

Organic Andy's Dandy Candy -- Amy's Crunchy English Toffee with Almonds in Dark Chocolate

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Today I want to talk about Organic Andy's Dandy Candy -- Amy's Crunchy English Toffee with Almonds in Dark Chocolate. What a mouthfull!

Amy's has a new line of candy bars -- many of which are gluten free (yea!) and this particular bar is also organic and contains no HFCS, preservatives or GMO's. The ingredient list is short and contains nothing weird, so while this is an indulgence, full of sugar and butter, I feel perfectly fine having it for a special treat.

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I love that this bar is actually two smaller bars, each a nice size for a snack.  The toffee is thick, perfectly crunchy and well flavored. The salty hit is perfect here and the dark chocolate keeps things from being too sweet. I love toffee and have tried many different brands, and I have to say that this ranks right up there at the top.

I'm very much looking forward to trying the other gluten free bars from Amy's -- Chewy and Crispy.  

 

January 13, 2014

Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee

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I'm a coconut lover, so it comes as no surprise that I picked up the Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee Organic Chocolate when I had the chance. 

This bar is clearly marked gluten free, which is very important in our house. In addition it is soy free, non gmo, organic and fair trade certified. The chocolate here is 47%, which is a really nice balance between milk and dark and falls in my preferred range.

The coconut toffee is very crisp and crunchy, with a salty, buttery flavor that isn't too sweet.  A great balance which made the bar irresistible. The coconut flavor was not overpowering and I think even people on the fence over coconut would enjoy this bar.

I'll definitely be on the lookout for more Alter Eco bars to review in the future!

December 10, 2013

Endangered Species Chocolate Holiday Bars

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Endangered Species Chocolate is a favorite around my house because, as you can see in my photo, they clearly mark their gluten free chocolate bars.  They are also widely available and resonably priced for good chocolate.

This autumn, I noticed that they had come out with some special holiday flavors and grabbed a few bars to taste.  First up is the Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch.  Unlike many peppermint bars, this bar doesn't include pulverized bits of peppermint, but instead relies on cacao nibs for the crunch.  It was a delightful surprise, which kept the bar from being too sweet.  This is a great holiday bar which I highly recommend.

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Next up is the Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Chai bar.  This is a 72% chocolate with natural flavors according to the ingredient list and "cardamom, clove, and pepper" according to their website.  It had a nice warming feel without the grittiness I find in many spiced chocolates.  Definitely a great bar for the cold months.

 

May 01, 2013

Make Your Own Chocolate Kit

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I was sent the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit to try out and review here on the blog.  It's a fun little kit that makes a good amount of chocolate and comes with everything you need, including written instructions that include some interesting information about chocolate.

Basically you heat up some cocoa butter, add your cocoa and sugar and wait until it comes down to the correct temperature (tempering!) before adding the seed chocolate.  They even include a little stick on thermometer to attach to the bowl, so you don't even need to worry about that.

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We added some goodies to the bottom of each of the provided candy cups, poured in the chocolate and thew it in the fridge for a few minutes to set up.

This was a fun project which I did with my 12 year old.  We both had fun, learned a little something and enjoyed the chocolate.  I'd recommend this to anyone with kids who are looking to explore a little food science.

February 04, 2013

Fearless Green Tea Mint

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Time for another chocolate bar review! Today I'm talking about Fearless Chocolate's 70% Green Tea Mint with Japanese matcha green tea and crisp peppermint.  

Before I talk about taste, I want to discuss ingredients. The ingredients here are simple and wholesome -- organic cacao, organic matcha green tea, organic peppermint, and organic rapadura (unrefined whole cane sugar).  The bar is certified organic and direct trade.  This makes me especially happy because it is also gluten free.  

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Next I want to talk a little about packaging. The box that envelopes the bar is nicely designed and easy to reseal, with wrap around flaps and an in terlockin g tab. This is very important because this isn't a bar you'll sit down and eat in one go -- at least I didn't. The bar is wrapped in an attractive foil/plastic wrapper for freshness. 

The taste is clean and herbal with a freshness from the mint.  The bitterness of the chocolate is well balanced with sweetness and the whole thing puts me in mind of a breath mint (in a good way).  I would eat a single square each day after lunch, so the bar lasted a long time.  This is definitely a bar I would eat again, and one I would keep on hand for a tiny post meal treat.  

 

September 25, 2012

Wild Ophelia

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Vosges -- probably my all time favorite chocolate maker -- has a new line of chocolate bars.  They have the same flair as the high end Vosges bars, but a lower price point.  The brand is called Wild Ophelia, and of course I have tried a bunch of their offerings.

First up is the Salted Chowilla Almond bar.  I'm a huge fan of the Vosges Barcelona bar, which is similar in flavor, so this was the first Wild Ophelia bar I grabbed.  Perhaps a little bit less intense than its Vosges counterpart, the Wild Ophelia bar was, nonetheless, delicious.  

I've tried several of the new Wild Ophelia bars and I'll be posting more in the coming weeks!

December 12, 2011

Enstrom's Almond Toffee

 

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I was recently sent some Milk Chocolate Almond toffee from Enstrom's for review here at the Chocolate Blog.  Enstrom's has been around for about 50 years, and they make things the old fashioned way.  The ingredients here are just what you would expect -- Almonds, butter, sugar, milk chocolate, and salt.

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The toffee arrives in two large slabs and you can break it apart as desired, which is kind of fun.  Plus it means the box is completely filled with toffee -- a full 16 oz in the box I received.

The toffee is generously dotted with almonds, and as you can see from the photo, the milk chocolate is completely covered in finely ground almonds too.  The toffee has a wonderful shatter and satisfying crunch.  The flavor is nutty, salty, sweet and ridiculously addictive.

If you want good, old-fashioned toffee, I highly recommend giving Enstrom's a try. 

December 02, 2011

H.S. Chocolate Co.

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H.S. Chocolate Co. recently sent me a couple of their artisan candy bars to sample, and I'm glad they did!  Since starting the Chocolate Blog and sampling all these gourmet chocolates, I find that your run of the mill candy bar just doesn't cut it anymore.  I've been craving a fancy candy bar that recalls my favorites from my youth, but kicks up the quality a couple notches.  That is exactly what these bars do.

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Peanut Butter Trance -- Caramel, Peanut Butter Nougat and Dark Chocolate -- This bar was amazing!  The peanut butter nougat was fresh and nutty with a solid, almost flaky, consistency.  The caramel was chewy and satisfying and it's sweetness was tempered by the rich dark chocolate covering.  There was also a nice salty note that really elevated the whole thing.  As soon as I finished this bar, I wanted another.

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Troop 652 -- Sea Salt Caramel, Marshmallowy Coconut Nougat and Dark Chocolate -- Another winner.  Here again the ingredients tasted fresh and decadent.  The coconut layer had a chewy, marshmallow feel and the caramel had a great salt hit.  A wonderful candy bar for the coconut lover.

H.S. Chocolate Co. also has some interesting looking Chocomels, which I have not yet had the opportunity to sample.  The Maple Bacon is especially intriguing and judging from the caramel in the two bars I sampled, I'm sure they would be tasty.  You can see more at their website.