Monthly Archives: February 2011

Julia Baker Confections

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This week I was sent some Valentines Day Truffles to sample from Julia Baker Confections.  My daughter and I were recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which means we can't eat any wheat or gluten containing grains.  When I raised this concern, they were happy to verify that the chocolates they sent were safe for me and Julia even included a personal note confirming that these truffles are all wheat and gluten free.  A very nice touch which impressed me greatly.

 

I believe this Valentines Day selection corresponds to their 18-Piece Window Box, which appears to be available year round.  As you can see, the confections are of two styles.  The top layer contains beautifully decorated, hand-cut chocolates.  The filling in these is somewhat dense, with a creamy and satisfying bite, and the chocolate surrounding them is thin and shatters nicely, contrasting with the creamy interior.  I especially enjoyed the Passion Fruit confection, which had a lovely brightness.  The milk chocolate confection, which had a lovely caramel note, was also very good.  Other flavors included dark chocolate, raspberry and Irish Creme — all quite delicious.

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The bottom layer consisted of 9 truffles, 3 each of caramel, coconut and hazelnut.  The caramel had a liquid center which contrasted beautifully with the crunchy, nut covered chocolate shell.  The coconut was fresh and sweet, paired with its white chocolate coating and the hazelnut had a smooth, flowing center with a subtle hazelnut flavor.

These were a hit in my house and my daughter was thrilled that I let her sample them with me.  You can learn more about Julia Baker Confections by visiting their website.

In the press…

I was recently contacted by Woman's World Magazine and asked to recommend some chocolate for Valentine's Day.  I recommended Vosges' Exotic Candy Bar Library and they included me in the piece.  It hits checkout stands today, so I'm looking forward to having a look!

B.T. McElrath Salty Dog Chocolate Bar

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I love a salty chocolate bar — especially one that contains toffee pieces — so when Pete spotted the Salty Dog Chocolate Bar from B.T. McElrath, he decided to bring one home for me.

The bar was beautifully tempered, shiny and smooth with lovely raised sections.  The chocolate is dark, containing no milk, and has a very firm bite.  It's melting point is a little higher than I like, making it feel just slightly waxy, but the flavor was well rounded with a hint of tropical fruit — namely banana.  The toffee gives a bit of texture to the bar, but not much.  In fact, I felt there wasn't quite enough toffee.  There was, however, plenty of salt, which was liberally sprinkled on the back of the bar.  On most of the pieces, the overwhelming flavor was that of salt.

Overall this was a good bar.  I ate the entire thing over the course of a couple weeks, having only one section at a time (because it was so darn salty).  If there was a bit more toffee and a bit less salt, I think this would be an excellent chocolate bar.

It looks like B.T. McElrath also makes a Prairie Dog Bar which adds almonds and uses milk chocolate instead of dark — I'd like to try that one as well as their truffles someday.  You can see more at their website.