Category Archives: Rating: 6

Dove Chocolate Easter Candy

Dove Chocolate recently sent me some of their Easter candy to sample and review here on the Chocolate Blog.  I was sent chocolate eggs, peanut butter eggs and coconut cream eggs — all are milk chocolate, and wrapped in foil.

The Milk Chocolate eggs are small and egg shaped.  They have a very smooth texture, and while sweet, they do have a nice chocolate flavor. 

The Peanut Butter eggs are oval, domed and flat on one side.  The chocolate shell is thick and once again, smooth in texture, although perhaps a bit waxy.  The peanut butter filling is firm and nutty.  Overall, I found it a bit sweet for my taste, but I tend to prefer dark chocolate.

The Coconut Cream eggs are similar to the Peanut Butter eggs in shape and appear to have the same chocolate shell.  They smell strongly of coconut but have a nice mellow, almost buttery flavor.  I liked these quite a bit despite their sweetness.  And as an aside — my husband, who claims he doesn't like coconut — had one, not knowing what flavor they were, and liked it quite a bit.  He attributed this to the smooth texture of the coconut cream center.

My 10 year old daughter liked all of these flavors, but her favorite is also the coconut cream — definitely different and something I would recommend. 

I'm also happy to report that Dove told me these chocolates are all gluten free!  In fact, their representative mentioned that all the Dove Chocolates are gluten free (although I would recommend that you always check the nutrition and ingredient labels.)  So our gluten free household is very happy to be able to sample these Easter treats.

Ferrara — Imported Belgian Milk Chocolate & Milk Chocolate Orange


Ferrara — the genius behind Lemonheads — has a new line of chocolates.  They are a nice compromise between pricey chocolate and the low end stuff that you usually see in the candy aisle.  The lists of ingredients are short and contain mostly natural ingredients (although the Milk Chocolate Orange does contain vanillin — an artificial flavoring). 


First up is the Ferrara Imported Milk Chocolate bar which is simply real milk chocolate.  The bar is quite pretty with chunky sections that are beautifully tempered — glossy and smooth.  The bite is satisfying as each section is a nice sized nugget of chocolate.  It is creamy and sweet on the tongue, and tastes milky with a hint of caramel and vanilla.  It reminds me of childhood and I could easily see eating a good portion of this bar in one sitting in a weak moment.  Perhaps a bit too sweet, but satisfying nonetheless.

Next we have the Ferrara Milk Chocolate Orange which I imagine is much like Terry's — although I've never had one of those.  Ferrara's is generously sized and well packaged.  Upon removing it from the outer carton and inner, plastic packaging, you "Burst then Enjoy" as the package says.  The result is some pretty sections of imprinted chocolate:


The smell is overwhelmingly of orange — and the ingredients list orange oil, which I'm sure accounts for the wonderful aroma.  The slices are thin and well formed with a nicely molded design.  The melt is a tad grainy and a bit sticky, while the flavor is all orange with the chocolate definitely taking a back seat. I think this is a fun, novelty item, but didn't like it nearly as well as the milk chocolate bar.

I know Ferrara also has another new chocolate bar that includes almond nougat, and I'm looking forward to sampling that bar, even more so now that I've tried and enjoyed the milk chocolate bar. 

Emily’s Chocolates


Recently Emily's sent me some of their panned and chocolate covered confections to try. As you can see, they come in nicely designed, colorful boxes which are resealable. In addition, the chocolates are sealed in plastic pouches inside, keeping them nice and fresh. All the items I tried were fresh & quite pretty. Here is what I tasted:

Milk Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers — I thought these would be my favorite and I was excited to try them. The chocolate was smooth and creamy and the cracker was quite crisp. I felt the chocolate to cracker ratio was a bit too much as I could hardly taste the graham flavor at all. This one also could have benefited from a salt hit. All in all it was good, but too sweet for my taste.

Milk Chocolate Cocoa Dusted Pecan Halves — These were by far my favorite. Once again the chocolate was smooth, creamy and sweet, but the cocoa cut the sweetness nicely. The pecans were fresh and crunchy and not overwhelmed by the chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberry Almonds — The dark chocolate here was very sweet with sugar as the main ingredient. The cranberries were overwhelmed by the sweet, creamy chocolate, but the almonds were nice and crunchy.

Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry Hazelnuts — As with the Cranberry Almonds, I felt that these were just too sweet and lacked the kick I wanted from a nice tart cherry. They were fresh and the nuts were crunchy.

All in all I liked these and while my taste definitely tends toward something less sweet and more complex, these were  of good quality and quite fresh.

IKEA Milk Chocolate


While at IKEA a few weeks ago I was in the food section picking up some delicious lingonberries and other Swedish goodies when I spotted huge stacks of boxes filled with chocolate bars.  At $2 each, they appeared to be a deal (like most everything at IKEA) so I picked up one of each variety.


Today I tried the milk chocolate which was packaged — as are all the bars — in a shiny plastic wrapper — minimal and economical.  At first look, the bar is good looking but not fancy — the temper is nothing spectacular, but it is milk chocolate.  The smell is overwhelmingly of peanuts.  Peanuts?  I flipped over the package and read the ingredients — no peanuts here, but there is real cocoa butter, thank goodness.

I popped a section in my mouth. . . the initial taste was of — you guessed it — peanuts.  The mouthfeel was thick and a bit grainy.  As it began to melt, I got a hit of saltiness and a touch of brightness.

All in all, this is a decent bar for the price you are paying, but nothing exciting.  Better than most cheap chocolate, but not good chocolate by a long shot.

More IKEA chocolate coming up . . .

Choxie — Three Milk Chocolate Sweet and Nutty Mini Bars


Whenever I’m at Target I always like to take a look at the chocolate selection.  They have some pseudo high end bars now and the colorful and prettily packaged Choxie at the end of the aisle always draws me in.  This week I picked up some of their mini bars — Milk Chocolate Sweet and Nutty — was what the package declared them to be.


Each bar is made up of two of these little 2 bite pieces.  They are shiny and smell lightly of chocolate and nuts.  The chocolate in each bar is reasonably smooth, somewhat thick and gummy in the mouth upon melting and quite sweet and milky.  The nut additions are chopped into very small pieces which give the bar a nice crunch, but leaves you wanting.

There were three varieties in this pack: praline pecan, almond toffee and honey cashew.  To tell you the truth, I couldn’t really find anything that distinguished one bar from another.  In fact, they all tasted very similar and had a similar texture.

I would have liked to see some of these bars done up in dark chocolate — my Target only had plain dark chocolate mini bars — and a little bit of difference amongst the bars.  Larger pieces of the nuts would also have been a welcome addition.  Overall, I would say these are nice as a "candy" bar, but a bit overpriced.

Pralus Colombie 75%


The Pralus Colombie is a 75% chocolate bar made in France.  From what I understand from looking at their website, Pralus owns it’s own plantation and grows their beans there in Madagascar.  So while the name is Colombie — this implies that the plants come from Columbia but are grown in Madagascar.  Another page says they import beans from around the world.  At any rate, this chocolate is made from Trintario beans. 

I tried this bar with my 7 year old daughter and she said she liked it, so I would say this is a mild dark chocolate.  In fact, I found that it was too mild for me — I wanted something richer and more assertive.  There is a bit of bitterness reminiscent of coffee at the end, but mostly it tastes bright but meek and leaves a slightly dry feeling in the mouth.

Dagoba Hazelnut


My last experience with Dagoba was excellent — I loved the “seeds” bar — so I figured it was time to try another. This time I went with one of their milk chocolate bars — “hazelnut” — which is actually milk chocolate (37% cacao) with roasted hazelnuts & rice crisps. I think it was lauded as a grown-up version of a Nestle Crunch, or some such thing.

Now I’m a dark chocolate girl and perhaps why this bar didn’t really hit the spot like I hoped it would. The bar is almost overwhelmingly sweet for me. And although the chocolate is quite smooth, it lacked a depth of flavor. I also thought the rice crisps were not as crisp as they should be.

Having said all that, it’s pretty good! The hazelnuts are nice and crunchy (although they are in pretty tiny pieces) and have a nice flavor. Overall I would say this bar is mild and sweet, so if you like your chocolate that way, I think you’ll enjoy this bar. Me, I’ll stick to their dark chocolate offerings.

Dagoba is organic and they believe in something called Full Circle Sustainability. You can read more about them at the Dagoba website.

Dark Chocolate M&M’s


On that trip to CVS, I was also able to find the Dark Chocolate M&M’s that I had been looking for. I had a buy one get one free coupon in my purse for a couple weeks, but was unable to locate the silly little chocolates.

Upon opening the package, I have to say that they look exactly like regular M&M’s — all colorful and shiney. So I popped one in my mouth and gave it a try. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think the taste difference was that radical. They are a bit more chocolatey — probably due to the fact that there is a tiny bit less sugar in there — and have a slight bitter aftertaste.

It’s definitely nice to see more mass market candy bars coming out in dark chocolate versions and I would recommend these over the regular M&M’s although I’d rather eat Trader Joe’s semisweet chocolate chips straight from the bag , to tell you the truth (Try it — delicious!)

Art Bar — Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts


Today we have the Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut Art Bar from Ithaca Fine Chocolates.  While I’m not a big fan of milk chocolate, I did enjoy this bar.  The main reason is that it had whole hazelnuts and quite a few of them.  (There is something I just don’t like about crushed up nuts in my chocolate bar.) 

The chocolate was quite sweet, but it was smooth and creamy.  The hazelnuts were fresh and crunchy and left a pleasant nutty aftertaste.  I definitely want to try their Dark Chocolate with Coconut Flakes bar.

Another nice thing about the Art Bars — they are organic and Fair Trade certified.  In addition, they include an art reproduction on a little card in each bar (you can see the one I got in the photo) and they donate 10% of the profits from each bar to art programs  — The Community School of Music & Arts in Ithaca, NY and The international Child Art Foundation. 

There is a listing on their website showing where you can buy the bars near you.

365 Organic Dark Chocolate with Mint Crisps

In my continuing efforts to find a good chocolate mint bar, I picked up a "365 Organic Dark Chocolate with Mint Crisps" bar last time I was at Whole Foods.  I’m not ending my search with this bar, but I do like it quite a bit.

First a little about the chocolate — it’s certified organic, which is nice and all of the beans are purchased from a "co-op of small farmers called the YACAO Project" according to the label.  So it’s "feel good" chocolate.  Not only that — the chocolate is manufactured for Whole Foods by a Swiss chocolatier with "145 years of experience". 

Now for the taste.  While this is called a dark chocolate bar, it’s very sweet and organic raw cane sugar is the first ingredient.  I’m guessing that the "mint crisps" are little crushed sugary things for the most part.  These give a nice crunchy, grainy feel to the bar overall — although the graininess of the mint crisps make it difficult to really evaluate the quality of the chocolate.  It does seem to have a creamy feel though and it’s flavor works well with the mint.  The mint is floral and leaves a nice fresh taste in your mouth.

I really liked this bar and would definitely buy it again.