Category Archives: Rating: 5

J and J Chocolate Chalet

Jandjchocolate

I was recently sent some chocolate from J & J Chocolate Chalet, a company started by a mother daughter duo in Edwardsville, IL. They specialize in molded flavored chocolates but also have some hand dipped items, such as the fresh marshmallows and dried fruit pictured above.

For me these were quite sweet and the flavors were a bit strong. My daughter, however, loved them. I did enjoy the handmade marshmallow but would have preferred it with a darker chocolate to offset the sweetness.

You can find J & J Chocolates via their website, or at the Goshen Market in the summer (which I'm guessing is near Edwardsville, IL where they are located.)

Hebert’s Dark Bananas Foster Chocolate Bar

Heberts_dark_bananas_foster

When I was in CVS yesterday, I decided to take a look at the candy selection.  And stuck somewhere between the Cadbury Cream Eggs and the special edition carmel KitKat were theHeber’ts Fully Loaded bars in some strange flavors (one of the others was Marguerita, I believe?!?).  I picked up the one that looked lease offensive and decided that I should give it a try.  This is how I ended up with a bar called Hebert’s Dark Bananas Foster Chocolate Bar.  Hm.

Now on the front it says "Dark Chocolate with Banana, Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Filling" however in the list of ingredients there is no mention of banana, cinnamon or brown sugar — the filling ingredients are sugar , water, natural and artifical flavor and citric acid.  Hm.

The chocolate did look okay though and the smell when I opened the package was overwhelmingly of chocolate.  The little pillows are cute too — and the individual sections are very important to me, as you may know.  So I broke off one little pillow and popped it in my mouth.  At first you taste the chocolate — not as flavorful or smooth as I would have liked, but not bad.  The layer of chocolate on top is a bit thinner than the bottom and dissolved quite quickly, releasing the bit of banana flavored stuff inside.  It kind of had that artifical banana flavor you get in banana flavored taffy — and I could taste the cinnamon flavor.  As for the brown sugar?  Well, the filling is white — so I don’t know what that’s all about.  It didn’t have any of the molasses flavor of brown sugar as far as I could discern.

All in all, it was okay for me.  I’ll eat the rest of the bar, but I probably wouldn’t buy another one. 

Mine was purchased at CVS and Hebert’s has a website, but I didn’t see anything about these bars there.

Two takes on chocolate & curry

Naga_bar

Spicy chocolate bars seem to be all the rage right now — although usually the heat comes from some kind of hot pepper.  There is a group of chocolate bar makers that is branching out and trying something a little different though — curry. 

Now I do like my chocolate dark and with a nice bitter edge, but spicy?  I’m not so sure.  I thought I’d give two of my favoritie chocolate makers a shot though.  First up — the Naga Exotic Candy Bar from Vosges.  This bar uses a dark milk chocolate base (40%) and combines it with sweet Indian curry and coconut flakes.  While the overwhelming flavor is the spices — which are nice and earthy and only pack a small amount of heat — the chocolate still does come through and it leaves you with a chocolate after taste.  I’m not sure that I would get it again, but it was definitely worth trying once.

Coconut_curry

Next up was the Phinney 3400 Coconut Curry bar.  Now I am a *huge* fan of Theo and 3400 Phinney chocolate bars and I wanted to love this one.  The texture was there — it was a beautiful bar — but it was just too spicy for my liking.  The heat and flavor of cumin (I believe) totally overpowered the chocolate.  While the aftertast is somewhat sweet, the flavor of the spices lingers.  If you love curry powder and heat — this bar is for you. 

Both of these chocolate bar makers have some other excellent products (Vosges makes the outstanding Barcelona Bar and 3400 Phinney makes a wonderful Nib Brittle bar and Bread & Chocolate bar), so I guess this just wasn’t the flavor combo for me.

New Tree Chocolate Bars

New_tree

New Tree is a chocolate company from Belgium that markets their bars as somewhat of a health food.  Recently I’ve tried 2 of their bars — Forgiveness and Cocoon.

Forgiveness (Harmonizing) — This is a dark chocolate bar (73%) that contains "natural lemon flavor" as well as "cactus extract" which is supposed to "reduce the intake of fats" according to the label.  I was disappointed upon opening the inner foil packet to see that the bar was covered in bloom and wasn’t glossy at all.  Upon taking a taste, I felt that the dark chocolate was somewhat brittle rather than creamy and instead of a nice bite it kind of crumbled in my mouth.  There was a subtle lemon flavor — although it tasted more spicy than citrusy. 

Cocoon (Comfort) — Here is a bar from their milk chocolate line which contains "natural cinnamon flavor" as well as "soy germ extract".  The package says that "Soy isoflavones are known to help with hormonal balance and calcium retention" and that one bar has "the recommended daily dose of isoflavones."  I have to say that I liked this bar much better than the Forgiveness bar.  The chocolate is very milky and fruity and the cinnamon flavor is a nice addition.  The bar was shiny and well tempered and while it was smoother, I did feel that it left my mouth feeling a bit dry.  I also found it odd that they used vanillin (an artificial flavor) rather than vanilla — especially when their website goes on and on about their chocolate being all natural — hmmmm.

I might try another one of their milk chocolate bars in the future — "Rejoice" looks interesting — but I think I’ll steer clear of their other dark chocolate bars.

Coffee Crisp

Coffee_crisp

I am a coffee lover — seriously.  So I was pretty sure that the Coffee Crisp wouldn’t measure up for me.  And while I didn’t think there was a lot of coffee flavor in this bar, I really liked it. 

My first thought when I bit into the bar was that it reminded me of a KitKat, only larger.  Now It’s not like the Big KitKat — which I abhor.  (Why?  It breaks apart and there’s too much waxy chocolate in relation to the inside.  Ugh!)  Instead it has a thinner layer of chocolate and very nice crispy layers of wafer and coffee creme.  Now, it is a mass market bar and as you would expect it’s quite sweet.  I have to say though that I would eat this again — it’s tasty and I like the subtle coffee flavor.

The Coffee Crisp bar is from Nestle of Canada and I’ve only seen it at one shop — a little candy store in a town about 30 minutes from where I live.  However, there have been people petitioning to get Nestle to sell the bar in the US and low and behold — it looks like they are going to do just that!  Power to the people!