April 25, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Honey Truffle (Dark)

honey truffle.gifI thought about simply writing "mmm....mmm...mmm...." for my review of Ethel's Honey Truffle chocolate, but I thought better of it, although that's a completely accurate review. Imagine a churro wrapped inside creamy dark chocolate...add in the flavor of high-end honey...and give it a smidge of cinnamon flavor...and you have the Honey Truffle. This chocolate is really delicious and stands out as one of our favorites from Ethel's.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Creme Brulee (Milk)

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 24, 2008

Review: Starbucks Mocha Dark Chocolate Bar

chocolateBars.jpgTo quote a friend of mine when she particularly enjoys a meal or beverage, "This chocolate bar is a good time."

First things first, this is an aesthetically beautiful bar. It comes in one piece (which is a little annoying to break pieces off) of smooth, dark chocolate - etched with a fairly intricate flower design.

At first taste, you get the chocolate primarily. It melts nicely, they obviously used pretty good stuff. When you add in the coffee, you get the added citrus and cocoa notes. But it is the texture is what puts this over the top. There are little (I mean almost sand-like) nibs of Guatemala Casi Cielo coffee throughout the piece, so whether you're a "melt" or a "chew" kind of person, you can't escape the coffee-licious goodness.

The wrapper says, "When coffee dreams, it dreams of chocolate." The Starbucks Mocha Dark Chocolate Bar is dreamy for sure.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 22, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Dark Chocolate Truffle

dark truffle.gifEthel's Dark Chocolate Truffle is what one might consider a more "traditional" truffle - dark chocolate with super-creamy truffle filling. But let us not mistake "traditional" for "average," for that is surely not the case. Beyond the high quality we expect from Ethel's, this truffle has quite a bit of depth of flavor. As you are enjoying the creaminess of the truffle, you'll notice the dark berry notes. From there, you will pick up on a coffee finish and aftertaste. This is a solid truffle for nearly any palette.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Creme Brulee (Milk)

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 21, 2008

Review: Russell Stover Internationale - German Black Forest Truffle

russell stovers.jpgRussell Stover Internationale is doing an interesting thing to compete in the "gourmet" chocolate market. It strives to take consumers to different areas around the world to sample the different chocolate tastes. So we tried the German Black Forest Truffle.

To be honest, it was surprisingly good. We hadn't set the bar too terribly high - nothing against Russell Stover. The bar is thin, divided into eight smaller pieces, which makes for easy eating. The dark truffle inside has a hint of cherry, and a very nice texture. Apparently, there is both dark and milk chocolate enrobing the truffle, which I didn't know until I read the package because I didn't taste the milk chocolate. Nice idea, but the subtlety was missed.

I think this bar would make more of an overall impact if it were a little thicker. Because it is so thin, there is naturally less truffle. This left me wanting more, and didn't give the texture contrast its just due. Also, if you're going to put a chocolate cake with white frosting on the package, wouldn't it make more sense to use white chocolate on the candy bar?

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 18, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Pudding Pie (Dark)

pudding pie.gifWe really looked forward to this tasting, chocolate pudding seemed decadent yet jovial. The Pudding Pie is a dark chocolate piece found in Ethel's American Pop Collection. Flavor-wise, the filling tasted like really good chocolate Jello-o pudding, which hit a nostalgic nerve was not quite as noteworthy as I'd hoped. In addition, the filling was thicker that I would have thought - I would have expected pudding to be much thinner. Overall, there is really nothing wrong with the Pudding Pie, it is a completely enjoyable, delicious candy. But I had raised the bar pretty high in my own mind, which I think caused it to fall a bit short.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Creme Brulee (Milk)

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 17, 2008

Review: Starbucks Vanilla Bean Truffles

chocolateTruffles.jpgWe waded into the Starbucks chocolate waters recently, with one of their new grocery items - Vanilla Bean Truffles. Let's start with the packaging. As to be expected with Starbucks, the packaging is a well-designed triangular box with really attractive pics of the truffle on the outside. But like many grocery store items, the package never holds as much as you'd like - I believe it had 9 truffles.

The truffles are pretty small, but beautiful. Each comes wrapped in gold foil, twisted at the top. Inside is a conical truffle that's 1/2 perfectly smooth dark chocolate and 1/2 pinstriped. Its a really nice looking piece of candy.

The package says "Sweet and dreamy vanilla from Madagascar meets exquisite dark chocolate in a lovely pairing." My mouth started to water just thinking about it. But here's the deal, the chocolate is quite good and flavorful. The problem is with the pairing - the chocolate overwhelms the vanilla, rendering it nearly indistinguishable. Don't get me wrong, its a tasty treat for sure, but it is does not have the vanilla pop I hoped for, leaving me a little disappointed.

Overall, if I were giving this a rating, I might rate it a solid 6 or 7, because it is beautiful and the texture is solid. If they can figure out the right balance between the dark chocolate and vanilla bean, this would be a killer piece of candy.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 15, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Key Lime Limbo (Dark)

Thumbnail image for key lime.gifToday's Ethel's installment comes to us from their Fruit Collection, straight from the Florida Keys - the Key Lime Limbo. Visually, this is a stunning chocolate. It is spray painted in green, but its on a gradient, so it get gradually lighter as it moves up the chocolate. Like many of Ethel's chocolates, this is a piece of art.

The Key Lime Limbo is a dark chocolate piece, which frankly intrigued me at first, I wasn't sure how dark chocolate would work with key lime. But as you taste it, it is the key lime pie flavor that is dominant. There is a hint of chocolate - which adds a touch of creaminess and depth. But its this flavor ratio that I think makes it work, and work well. If it were equally key lime and chocolate, I'm not sure it would have tasted as good.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Creme Brulee (Milk)

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 11, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Pecan Toffee Crisp (Milk)

pecan toffee crisp.gifI risk hyperbole with this review. My tasting notes say things like "OMG" and "Good S#$%" so that gives you an idea about what we thought. The Pecan Toffee Crisp is the perfect salty-sweet combo - which we all know makes one's taste buds stand up and take notice. The combo is extremely well-balanced. It is quite salty to start, but then the creamy, milky chocolate kicks in, leading into the crumbly and sugary nuts inside. The crumbly nature of the nuts, and the piece in general, is what really puts this over the top. With many toffees, brittles and similar confections, they are more crunchy than crumbly, they are harder overall. Plus, you often get pieces stuck in your teeth. Ethel's Pecan Toffee Crisp is not like that at all, it soesn't stick to your teeth, it has the perfect texture, and a great balance of flavors.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Creme Brulee (Milk)

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 8, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Creme Brulee (Milk)

creme brulee.gifHard to say whether this chocolate from Ethel's will be available much longer, its in their "Seasonal Collection," but we've not seen that change too often. The Creme Brulee is a milk chocolate piece, that will make anyone with a strong sweet tooth quite happy. It might be too much for those who like their chocolates a little less sweet and more complex. There are nutty undertones, which were appreciated and added a little depth. However, you don't really get the creme brulee flavor. If you didn't know that was the flavor of the chocolate by the beautiful painted shell, you might not know. Regardless of whether it lives up to its name, the vanilla and nuttiness come through, which make this quite an enjoyable chocolate if you like your chocolates super sweet.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate
Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

April 4, 2008

Review: Ethel's Chocolates Espresso Truffle (Dark)

espresso.gifToday's Ethel's installment comes from their (or is it "her") Truffle Collection - the Chocolate Espresso Truffle. It is a dark chocolate truffle, with a dusting of espresso powder on the outside. We found this powder to be a little bitter, which is the point I suppose. It certainly struck a stark contrast to the pudding-like truffle inside. For those reasons, we suggest you not bite the piece. Instead, pop the whole thing in your mouth, it will be an overall more enjoyable experience. You won't be overwhelmed by the bitterness, and you'll get the full effect of the contrast.

We're not sure if there was a problem with this batch, a problem with heat in transport, or just an unlucky piece for Candy Snob, but we found the truffle to be a little too too runny. This absolutely didn't effect the flavor, it stood up to the quality we've found with all the Ethel's chocolates. But it didn't quite have the fluffy truffle-ness one might expect.

Read more about Ethel's Chocolates on Candy Snob:
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Peanut Better truffle

Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Gingerbread Spice Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Classic Cabernet Truffle
Review: Ethel's Chocolate - Chewy Caramel with Dark Chocolate
Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

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