Monthly Archives: March 2010

Valrhona Chocolate Easter Eggs

Valrhona_eggs

Valrhona sent me over some of their Chocolate Easter Eggs to sample and review.  As you can see, they come in a pretty little box and are wrapped in classic Easter candy colors. 

Valrhona_eggs_open

The milk and dark mix, which they sent to me, contains three each of four different eggs. 

The chocolate egg wrapped in blue is a sweet, milk chocolate gianduja with a wonderful smooth melt and caramel flavor which surrounds a crispy, brittle of sorts.  It is a bit nutty and wonderfully flaky — a nice surprise!  

The other milk chocolate, wrapped in vibrant yellow-green, has a rich, smooth caramelly, chocolate filling.  Extremely satisfying. 

The green wrapped egg is dark chocolate with a wonderfully complex chocolate filling.  Bright, but with a earthy finish, there is a lovely ripe red fruit flavor on the tongue as the chocolate melts, leaving behind a slight dryness in the mouth.

Finally, the pink foil covers another dark chocolate egg, this time filled with raspberry filling.  The fruit flavor is sweet and bright, only slightly jammy.  The ripe fruit flavor pairs well with the dark chocolate, balancing out the sweetness.

These were a wonderful treat and of the high quality you would expect from Valrhona.  You can purchase them through Valrhona's online shop.

See’s Candies — Easter Edition

Sees_egg_box

Recently See's Candies asked if they could send me some of their Easter candy for review.  Being a fan of See's for many years, I was quick to say yes!

They sent over three different holiday items, pictured at the top is the Easter Egg Box which contains a nice selection of their chocolates, including the Easter only Lemon and Raspberry Truffles.  I loved the White Chocolate Lemon Truffle, which was sweet and tart, with a true lemon flavor.  (The ingredients list both lemon puree and freeze dried lemon.)  The Raspberry Truffle was also very good, with a bright, jammy flavor.  Also included are their famous Molasses Chips, as well as one of my favorites, the Bordeaux — a brown sugar buttercream.

Sees_easter_assortment

They also sent the Easter Assortment, which comes in such a pretty box, that I had to include it in the photo.  This assortment includes chocolate bunnies, assorted truffles, two of their Marshmallow Eggs and a Scotchmallow Egg, plus a few other little candies.  I have to say that the surprise winners in this assortment were the Marshmallow Eggs — I absolutely loved them.  The eggs are nice and plump with a wonderfully thick coating of sweet and creamy chocolate.  The marshmallow was fresh and delicious — they use honey in the marshmallow which gives it a unique flavor and color. 

Sees_bunny_foilSees_bunny_choc

Since the chocolate bunny is such a big part of Easter (at least for a chocolate lover like me), I wanted to show off one of the two bunnies in the assortment.  To me this bunny, which looks slightly old fashioned, fits in nicely with See's image.  The "undressed" bunny has some nice detailing and looks to be well tempered.  The chocolate is exactly what I expect in an Easter bunny — sweet and mild with a hint of vanilla.  

Sees_scotchmallow_eggs

Finally we have the Scotchmallow Eggs.  If you've ever had See's before, it's likely you've had one of their Scotchmallows, which come in truffle form, but also various shapes throughout the year.  The Easter version is a plump egg that starts with a layer of the honey marshmallow that I mentioned before, topped with caramel and covered in dark chocolate.  The caramel is smooth, but holds it shape, and has a nice caramelized sugar flavor — sweet and a bit salty.  The texture and flavors here really complement one another.  The chocolate has enough flavor to stand up to the filling and the chewy caramel is wonderful against the bounce of the marshmallow.  These are a classic and I'm not safe alone in the house with a box of them.

If you haven't tried See's yet, I highly recommend them for that old fashioned taste that you will remember from when you were a kid.  You can purchase See's Candies at their shops or through their online store.

Michel Cluizel

Michel_cluizel

I love really good dark chocolate.  The kind of chocolate that is rich and smooth with a perfect melt and wonderful creaminess, but which also has a complex flavor — each piece unique.  Michel Cluizel single origin chocolates fit this profile and I was lucky enough to have some sent to me recently for review.

A box of tasting squares is a great way to try different single origin chocolates to find out what you like best.  The Michel Cluizel squares are small and thin, just about two bites each.

Grand Lait Pur Java — This 50% cacao is a darker milk which retains a bit of milkiness, tempering the complex, smokey flavors of the chocolate.  It finishes with a caramel sweetness. 

Los Ancones (Santa Domingo) — At 67% cacao, this dark chocolate was smooth and rich with the flavors of tropical fruit and a slight bitterness that tasted of coffee.

Concepcion (Venezuela) — A 66% cacao chocolate with the distinct flavors of red wine and berries.  It finished with a citrusy brightness.

Maralumi (Papua New Guinea) — A lighter dark at 64% cacao, this was my absolute favorite!  A complex chocolate, the flavor of caramel is the first to appear, followed by tobacco.  An exotic bar — rich and spicy.

Vila Gracinda (Sao Tome) — A slightly darker bar at 67% cacao.  The flavor of banana and spices shines through followed by a smooth finish.

Finally, there was one square of milk chocolate, which in retrospect, I should have saved for another time.  It was smooth, sweet and milky with a wonderful caramel flavor.

Try a single origin tasting some time — I think you will be surprised at how different each chocolate tastes!

Wonka Exceptionals

Recently I was sent the new Wonka Exceptionals chocolate bars to sample and review.  There are three new bars which are each quite large, weighing in at 3.5 oz. each and retailing for $2.39.  A pretty decent value for chocolate candy bars made with all natural ingredients.

Wonka_chocolate_waterfall

The Chocolate Waterfall Bar is the first I'll discuss, and I think it's the prettiest by far.  The marbling of white and milk chocolate and the beautifully tempered bar made for a nice effect.  This chocolate is quite sweet and milky, with a nice smooth melt and cocoa butter flavor.  It is very sweet, which usually isn't my thing, but I couldn't stop eating it.  the flavor reminds me of Easter candy.

Wonka_scrumdiddlyumptious

The second best bar, in my opinion, was the Scrumdidlyumptious Bar.  This is a candy bar all the way, filled with crunchy toffee, cookie and peanut bits.  Again, super sweet, but the crunchiness was had to resist.  The chocolate here takes a backseat and allows the almost peanut brittle like flavor to shine through. 

Wonka_domed_dark

Finally we have the Domed Dark Chocolate Bar which was my least favorite of the three.  The chocolate, while quite smooth and creamy, just didn't have enough flavor for me.  In fact, sugar was the main flavor here, with only a hint of flat cocoa flavor in the background.

I liked these bars overall and would recommend them if you are in the mood for a sweet treat.  Choose the Waterfall Chocolate bar if you like it creamy and milky and the Scrumdidlyumptious bar if you love some crunch.