March 8, 2008

Review: Nestle Treasures Renew Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar

prodDarkTruffle.jpgThis is a really nice eating bar. It is only 50% cocoa, so you're not going to get the depth of flavor of darker chocolate. However, what is may lack to some in terms of complexity, it more than makes up for in texture. The chocolate itself melts more like milk chocolate than dark chocolate, and that creaminess is amplified by the truffle-esque filling. I say "truffle-esque" because it is in bar form...truffles are supposed to be roundish usually. Running in contrast to the creaminess are the tiny cocoa bits, which add the perfect amount of crunch.

Nestle calls this bar "Renew" - making reference to the health benefits of eating dark chocolate (such as being a good source of anti-oxidants). To us, it has also renewed our faith that the big chocolate makers can put together luxurious, high-quality chocolate that's available at your local check-out.

Check out Nestles Treasures Renew Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar hereor here.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

March 7, 2008

Review: sweetriot flavor 50 - cocoa nibs dunked in dark chocolate

We picked up a 1 ounce tin of sweetriot's "flavor 50" product at Whole Foods, which are lightly roasted cacao nibs covered with 50% dark chocolate. As the package clearly says, this tin is filled with "'peaces" of intense yum." And the whole tin only has 140 calories!

At first glance, they look like mini-chocolate covered raisins, and even smelled a little raisin-y. But while there are definitely fruity notes to the taste, that look & scent doesn't carry through. What you get is more on the raspberry side of things. But less like real raspberry flavor and more like raspberry liqueur, such as Chambourd.

Since they are roasted cacao nibs, they were a wee bit dry, but definitely tasty. I found that you need to eat several at once to get the full flavor. Because they're pretty small, eating just one or two doesn't do the flavor justice.

And if there was ever a socially conscious candy company, sweetriot is it. They use all-natural ingredients, believe in fair trade with developing countries, celebrate culture and diversity , create a solid environment for their customers, partners and employees, and the candy is kosher. I think that about covers it. They call their nibs 'peaces' for goodness sake!

Even better, they have a lot of fun. First, the provide a cacao country fun fact inside each tin - which is on a little slip of paper just like the fortune in a fortune cookie. Ours said the following:

Front side: Cacao Country Indonesia is home to the giant Komodo dragon, which would be cool if it didn't occasionally snack on a villager.

Back side: Your get lucky numbers: 1,5,10,12,22,30

Second, like Jones Soda before them, they solicit artwork for their tins on their website. So if you're an aspiring artist and want to get your work seen by chocolate lovers the world over, click here.

Check out the sweetriot website.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

March 5, 2008

Review: Lake Champlain Organic Dark Spicy Aztec Chocolate Bar

We love the Dark Spicy Aztec bar from Lake Champlain. Its 55% cocoa content is flanked by strong cinnamon and cayenne flavors. This is not a bar for the faint-hearted or the weak-paletted.

Unexpected is a good word to describe this spicy and sweet treat. It contains classic Mexican ingredients that hit you right off the bat. The minute you put it in your mouth, the cinnamon kicks in. But hold on to your hats, the cayenne is soon to follow, getting you in the back of the throat. This dark, rich bar has a very nice texture - smooth and velvety - which segue into the last surprise in this bar, the pumpkin seeds, which leave you with a crunchy treat to finish off your bite.

Lake Champlain's Organic Dark Spicy Aztec Bar is an enjoyable ride we recommend everyone lines up to take.

Check out Lake Champlain's Organic Chocolates here.

Free Lake Champlain Chocolates with Purchase

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

March 3, 2008

Review: Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate Bar

panther.jpg Endangered Species Chocolate has a terrific, simple idea - sell high quality chocolate to people and donate 10% of the net profits to help support endangered species of animals. All of Endangered Species Chocolate bars have compelling photos of the animal they help on the wrapper. For the Extreme Dark bar, its a black panther. On the inside of the wrappers, you can learn about the plight of the animal that's threatened.

We love the idea, so we tried out their Extreme Dark Chocolate bar - 3 oz. of DARK chocolate - 88% cacao content. It is made with all-natural, shade-grown, ethically traded, single-origin extreme dark chocolate. And the chocolate is ethically or fairly traded, and its Kosher. So we have all the right bases covered.

The company touts that this bar is "one of the highest cocoa content chocolate bars available with a smooth, not overly bitter flavor." As much as we wanted to, we just can't agree with that last part. We actually felt that the bitterness totally overwhelmed the chocolate flavor. And what little flavor there was had no finish, by the time the piece melted in your mouth you were left with nothing more than the fine grit that exemplifies the overall texture of the bar.

Although this wasn't our favorite, we will definitely be sampling the other variations. When we do, you'll be the first to know.

To borrow from their tagline, if you would like to "savor chocolate and save the planet" check out their website.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 29, 2008

Easter Selections from Ethel's Chocolate

There is no time like the present to get started on your Easter candy shopping, especially since its March 23rd this year. And there are few places as great to shop as ethel's chocolate. We've known about these "chocolate lounges" for some time, but hadn't been at an actual store until this past weekend in Las Vegas. In a nutshell, they are attempting to bring a Starbucks-esque experience to chocolate - democratizing high-end chocolate with truffles, bars and hot chocolate. Here are their Easter offerings, but come back soon to see our reviews of the 12 truffles we bought from ethel's.

teddy bear.jpg8 Truffle Eggs in an Easter Egg Box
A unique truffle collection, perfect for sharing. 8 truffle eggs in milk chocolate in 2 of each of 4 flavors. Decadent ganache centers include Key Lime, Lemon, Raspberry and Passion/Mango. (Box size: 7 1/8" x 4 11/16" x 2 1/8"; declared weight: 5.2 oz (148g) - More Here

Small Egg & Bunnies - Milk Chocolate
Adorable bunnies with an Easter egg in milk chocolate. Almost too cute to eat, but never too cute to share! More here

Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny/Egg

Adorable bunnies with Easter egg in milk chocolate. Almost too cute to eat, but never too cute to share! More here

Spring box dark chocolate assortment

More here

Milk Chocolate Bunnies in a Basket
4 ounces of milk chocolate shaped adorable bunnies in a basket. Perfect for filling Easter baskets or just as a treat. More here

Bear w/ Red Deluxe Heart Box

A bigger hug to wrap your arms around. A classic combination of soft and sweet. Heart contains 25 pieces. More here

Look for our Easter Gift Guide coming soon!

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 28, 2008

"The Absolute Best Organic Chocolate in the World"

organic_green_blacks_almond.jpgOr at least that's what Really Natural has to say in its 2/22 post about Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate Bar, with Whole Almonds.

Candy Snob has yet to review Green & Black's, but it has been on our list for some time. But as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of organic chocolate, as well as an expert on living a natural lifestyle, we're going to take their word for it.

Interesting side-note we learned - Green & Black's was the first to earn the UK's Fairtrade mark.

What's inside to qualify it as organic? Nothing but good Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla. Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Almonds (25%) Organic Whole Milk Powder (20.2%), Organic Cocoa Liquor and Organic Cocoa Butter.

From Really Natural

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 27, 2008

Review: Lake Champlain Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

As with all Lake Champlain Organic Chocolates, these are all-natural, Kosher, gluten free, and 100% Organic Chocolate certified by QAI. The Dark Chocolate Bar contains 55% cocoa content.

The first observation that struck us as we ate this is that it melts extremely well in your mouth - it actually melts more like milk chocolate than dark. This is a big plus, it adds a whole dimension to the chocolate experience past the flavor (which was very good).

There is an herbaceous, earthy flavor to the chocolate - which adds nice dimension. Along those lines, there is a subtle, woody aftertaste.

So if you like your dark chocolate flavorful, complex and with a nice mouthfeel, Lake Champlain's Organic Dark Chocolate Bar is one to check out.

Check out Lake Champlain's Organic Chocolates here.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 26, 2008

Review: Chocolove Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

If there was ever a candy company with an appropriate name, it would be Chocolove.

This bar (which measures 6" x 3") is chock-full (no pun intended) of great dark chocolate flavor. At 61% cocoa content, there is enough cocoa butter to get through and smooth out the flavor for non-dark chocolate aficionados. The flavor is tart, and merges the bitter with the sweet brilliantly. There are solid fruity notes, and a really full body - no doubt from the Belgian chocolate Chocolove uses.

This particular bar is also certified 100% organically grown and processed which, according to the wrapper, is what gives the the beans' their rich and deep character. FYI, the beans are grown in the Caribbean.

Look for more reviews of Chocolove from Candy Snob soon.

Get some Chocolove for yourself.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 25, 2008

Review: Choxie Espresso Truffle Bar

scan0001.jpgThe Choxie Espresso Truffle Bar is Candy Snob's second foray into the world of Choxie, and it does not disappoint. The bar contains rich truffled dark chocolate blended with aromatic espresso. I often notice when I eat chocolate truffles that as they melt they give way to a unique mouthfeel, one that is almost a cool feeling vs. the warm feeling of the initial outer coating. This was also the case with the Choxie Espresso Truffle bar. Add to this the tiny nibs of espresso evenly spread throughout, which add nice contrast to the super smooth texture, and you have a bar that is a joy to eat.

The chocolate isn't necessarily "top notch," but it is not low-end either, which is exactly what we would expect. The espresso flavor is understated but by no means weak - not nearly the intensity of a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Learn more about Choxie.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 19, 2008

Review: Choxie Dark Chocolate Ceylon Spice Bar

choxie ceylonTo be honest, whenever I've been in Target">Target and pass the Choxie display I have never really given it much of a chance. I look at the packaging, think its very creative and cool, and that Target">Target does that kind of thing pretty well. But I had never tried any.

Until now.

I picked up a 3 oz. dark chocolate Ceylon spice bar. There are six pieces of solid (and I mean solid), dark (and I mean really dark) chocolate that is infused with Ceylon cinnamon and just enough piquant pepper to get you on the back of your tongue.

From a texture standpoint, its rock-solid dark chocolate - hard and slightly crumbly - and they throw in toasted cacao bean nibs which really throw the piece over the top and give it great added texture. Like a lot of infused chocolate, which I'm coming to enjoy more and more...the flavors are subtle. But make no mistake, this chocolate has a ton of unique and multi-dimensional flavor - it took me a minute to warm to it, but then I found myself craving more.

It is unlikely I will leave Target without some Choxie ever again.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

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