Posts Tagged ‘Cacao’

chocolatebourbonbrownie

Photo from Knoshbox.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

The perfect balance of fudgey and cake, moist and chewy, these brownies are infused with pure Bourbon Whisky. Hints of Bourbon notes beautifully highlight the bittersweet chocolate flavors. The roasted & salted pecans add a crunch and burst of flavor that can’t be matched.

I received this brownie in my November Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

The flavors in this brownie are really intense … you don’t need a tea with flavors that will attempt to compete here.  Instead, I found something that helped bring out some of the dimension in this tea.  I chose this Unsmoked Lapsang Souchong from Townshend’s Tea.  The hint of smoke from this tea accented the bourbon in a really delicious way, and it also helped reduce some of the cloying qualities of the brownie just a tad.

What I Think:

OK, the first thing that excited me about this brownie … besides the fact that it was a brownie … is the SIZE of the brownie!  It’s HUGE!  Seriously, it is approximately three and a half inches long by two and a half inches wide!  It’s almost an inch thick too!  Thick, rich, fudge-y goodness!

The brownie is indeed fudge-y.  Brownies are usually either cake-like or moistly fudge-y, this brownie is somewhere in between … fudge-y, yes, but there is a certain cake-like texture to this too.   It is deliciously decadent and chocolate-y, and so rich that I could not finish the confection in one sitting.

After consuming approximately one-fourth of the brownie, I started to get that “overly sweet/cloying” kind of feeling from the brownie.  This enormous brownie is best enjoyed over several sittings – or perhaps shared with someone (or a couple of someones!)

I taste a note of Bourbon here, but, it acts to accentuate the sweetness of the chocolate more than serve as a distinct flavor of its own.  Although, I won’t deny that I did feel a little “warm” after I ate it, as if I had just imbibed a wee bit of alcohol (or perhaps indulged in something sinfully chocolate-y).   And the pecans added a nice crunch to the brownie, although I found myself wishing that the pecans had been stirred into the brownie batter rather than just sprinkled on top of the brownies.  That is to say, I wanted more pecans in this brownie.

In addition, the close up photo of these brownies show flakes of what I am guessing is sea salt, I would have liked a little more of that in my brownie … I didn’t see any sea salt flakes atop my brownie.  I think that the extra salt would have helped to cut through some of the sweeter/cloying notes, while helping the flavors to better express themselves.  I got a wee bit of a salty note as I ate the brownie, but, there really wasn’t enough of it to call this a salty/sweet kind of treat.

My Final Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this brownie.  I love that it was so enormous that it was actually two servings rather than one!  It was delicious, I could feel the effects of the Bourbon a few minutes after eating the brownie (seriously, I am having to correct some typos as I may be slightly tipsy after eating this brownie!) and I could also definitely taste the Bourbon but I liked that it wasn’t a strong, protruding flavor that overwhelmed the rich chocolate flavor.  And it is indeed a delicious, dark chocolate-y delight.  More pecans would have made this brownie a “10” … as it is, I’d rate this an 8.5.

Yay!  I love it when my foodie tasting boxes arrive!  It’s almost as wonderful and amazing as when I get tea in the mail.  Almost, but not quite.  Tea still wins out over food!

Please excuse the orange-ness of my photo. I’m terrible at taking pictures and the lighting here was not great. On the other hand, it IS November … autumn. Maybe I’m just making an artistic statement about the season …

The theme of this month’s Knoshbox is “Bourbon Box” which got me excited!   Foodzie  – before it became Joyus … a transition which lead me to seek out new tasting boxes, which lead me to discover Knoshbox, and I’m so much happier with Knoshbox than I was with Foodzie! – anyway, Foodzie had a Bacon and Bourbon box about a year or so ago, and I loved it.  I’m not so keen on Bourbon (I drink tea, and am not a big fan of alcohol … I’m a tea-totaler!  hahaha!), but, I did love the bourbon products that were in that Bacon and Bourbon box, so, I am keeping an open mind and a hungry stomach (that sounds kind of Iron Chef-ish, doesn’t it?) to the possibilities of this box.

But what excites me more than the theme of this box, is the items it includes.  First, there’s the handmade marshmallows from 240Sweet … Bourbon Sugar Bourbon Marshmallows!  For those of you who haven’t read many of my reviews on this blog, 240Sweet are my #1 choice when it comes to marshmallows, because they’re AWESOME!   And I love that Knoshbox decided to include them in this box.  It makes me love Knoshbox all the more!

Also in this box are Bourbon infused brownies!  Yes, you read that correctly:  Bourbon infused brownies from Cacao Sweets & Treats.  Then there is a jar of Fat Toad Farm caramel (Bourbon infused caramel!) and Bourbon Salted Pecan pancake mix from Southern Culture.

Yes, this is an amazing box … and I’m excited to try each and every item.

Now, Knoshbox, you know I love you, right?  How about a tea time box?  I’d be happy to serve as a consult on that box, if you want.

Product Description:

All natural Java Rocks® Dark provide an unpretentious and portable way for the dark chocolate enthusiast to enjoy coffee confections™ of the highest quality. Made with a decadent 72% dark chocolate and fairly traded organic Arabica coffee, Java Rocks® Dark contain only slightly more caffeine than plain chocolate.

All natural Java Rocks® Dark…Curious, yet wholesome. Simple, yet exotic.

Learn more about How Do You Take Your Coffee? on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

It seems a little weird to recommend a tea to drink along with these coffee-ish candies, and since these have caffeine in them already, I suggest trying them with a naturally caffeine-free tisane or perhaps this Organic Decaf Masala Chai from Arbor Teas!  I love how the deep chocolate-y flavors mingle on my palate with the spicy flavors of the chai.  It really is quite a delicious treat.

What I Think:

Of all the delicious goodies that were included in this month’s Ski Lodge Tasting Box from Foodzie, this was the one treat I was least excited about.  I mean, I’m a tea drinker, not a coffee drinker.  I haven’t had coffee in many years now, as I had a big falling out with the beverage when I realized it was the culprit of my late morning nausea I’d experience every day at work, right about 11 am, just a couple of hours after drinking that all-important cup (or two) of the day.

Since that time, I’ve been drinking tea (and even writing about it) and I’ve never been happier.  I’ve not really missed coffee much, although there are times when I happen to walk past a coffee shop in the mall or grocery store and smell that roasted aroma and I think to myself “maybe just one cup won’t hurt.”  Then I remember how sick I’d feel afterwards and that momentary desire for a cup of coffee disappears.

But, one thing I do have to admit, coffee and chocolate do go very well together.  And these Java Rocks from How Do You Take Your Coffee? prove it.  They are yummy little bits of chocolate-y coffee goodness!  They are shaped like little pebbles – but not nearly as hard to bite into! – and they are quite unlike any candy I think I’ve ever tasted.  The chocolate is rich and flavorful, and the texture is at first pleasantly crunchy but there is also a creaminess from the chocolate.

I really like these crunchy, munch-able candies much more than I thought I would.  I’m really glad I had this opportunity to try them … yet another example of why I absolutely LOVE the Foodzie Tasting box!

My Final Thoughts:

The coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate very well, giving it a depth that is not usually experienced without the coffee.  And I really do like the little bit of crunch from the coffee bean, as well as that deep roasted coffee flavor.  It almost makes me wish I could drink coffee again.  Almost.  The verdict is not yet in on whether eating these little bits of chocolate-y goodness will leave me feeling nauseous in a couple of hours … but I’ll be sure to leave a comment to update you on that!

Product Information:

For lovers of chocolate with a crunch. The cocoa nibs add texture to the 63% cocoa bar’s naturally smooth flavor. A light dusting of sea salt intensifies the complex flavors of the cocoa.

Each bite has a satisfyingly sweet & savory experience to be remembered.

Learn more about Madécasse on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Personally, I prefer black tea with chocolate, as the deep flavors of the tea complement the flavors of the chocolate so well.  With this particular chocolate bar, I found the dimension of flavors to be so pleasing I wanted something fairly mild from my black tea choice, so I chose this Neela from The Tao of Tea.  It has a pleasant sweetness and a mellow character, and it highlights the amazing complexity of this chocolate bar quite nicely.

What I Think:

This is one of those chocolate bars that is so incredibly tasty that it’s difficult to stop eating it.  I broke off a portion of the bar to savor, and the next thing I knew, I looked down to see not only that small portion (about 1/8th of the bar) had vanished, but, HALF of the bar was gone!

I’ve never really paid much attention to the cacao percentages on chocolate as far as determining what percentage level is most satisfying to my palate, but, based upon this experience, I am thinking that my personal preference is in the 60-65% range.  Dark, with lovely bittersweet tones, but not so dark as to overpower some of the more delicate notes within the chocolate.

I am noting some fantastic fruit notes in this bar.  Sweet and luscious, but the added sea salt offsets some of that sweetness so that it does not become cloying.  The sea salt also adds a very enjoyable crunch to the bar (as does the cacao nibs).  It has a deep, roasted flavor to it and I like the way the savory roasted tones and the sweet fruit notes meld together to bring a delectable sweet yet savory contrast.

My Final Thoughts:

Truly a beautiful chocolate experience – this chocolate bar is one that I think all lovers of chocolate should try.

Where to Buy:  Marché Noir Foods on Foodzie

Product Description:

Cabernet Brownies made with rare wine flour. Our Brut Cacao is a velvety dance of texture and depth.

What I Think:

Before I received my foodzie tasting box for February, I peeked on the homepage of foodzie.com to see what they were going to be sending out.  I was very excited to see that this was one of the treats that would be arriving in my box.

And I am not disappointed AT ALL with this brownie.  It’s awesome!  It’s incredibly rich and fudge-y, but I like that I can taste a background note of wine.   The wine flour gives this brownie an interesting depth that I’ve never experienced from a brownie before.

The brownie is everything you’d expect from a brownie:  moist, decadent, deep chocolate flavor.  But I like that there is just a little bit of something else too.  I wouldn’t say that there is a strong, distinct wine flavor there, but, you can taste notes that are distinctly wine-like.

I am so glad that this was part of the foodzie tasting box, because I don’t know that I would have tried it otherwise.  I’m not big on wine (tea is my thing) so, I don’t know that the wine flour aspect would have been incredibly appealing to me as a casual consumer, nor is it something I would have searched to find.  But now that I have tried it – I can definitely say that this is something I’d order.  YUM!

My final thoughts:

Truly unusual; truly delightful.  I want more!