Posts Tagged ‘Caramel’

saltycaramelapple

Photo from Knoshbox.
Click on pic to go there.

Product Description:

The Salty Road brings you delicious handcrafted saltwater taffy made with local apple cider jelly from Brooklyn, New York. A chewy treat with notes of apple, cinnamon and allspice with a signature sea salt crunch.

I got a box of these taffies in my October Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion: 

Mmm!  These taffies are so good, and the only thing that makes them better is some tea to sip while eating them.  I brewed myself a pot of this Keemun Black Tea from Teasenz to enjoy with these chewy taffies, and I like the way the smoky elements contrasted with the sweet confection.  A very interesting pairing!

What I Think:

Seriously yum.  Every time I get my hands on a taffy from the Salty Road … I become more enamored with this company.  These are the BEST.  Taffies.  Ever.

I love that little crunch of sea salt that I get in every little bite.  It’s not overly salty … but there’s just enough crunch to give a different texture to the very chewy taffy … and just enough salt to cut into the sweetness of the confection.

I taste the apple.  I taste the caramel.  I taste the allspice and cinnamon.  I taste the salt.  And this is total yummy deliciousness.  It tastes like apple pie with a drizzle of salted caramel!  So very, very good.

My Final Thoughts:

My final thoughts this time are really simple:  MORE PLEASE!

???????????????????????????????Learn more about Decadent Creations here.

What I Think:

While shopping at my local New Seasons Market, I found this cute little box of macarons on the bakery shelf.  The packaging was almost as alluring as the contents:  the box is a pretty French blue, and it’s been wrapped in twine.  Really cute with a very French sort of appeal to it.

It didn’t take me long to start in on these treats.  I could think of little else on the way home except those macarons in the grocery bag!  I did take a moment to read the label and I found that Decadent Creations is a local bakery in Beaverton, Oregon.  I like supporting local businesses, so I felt even better about this purchase.  (I always feel a little guilty when I buy treats for myself, and knowing that I’m supporting a local business … lessens the guilt just a little bit.)

The macarons are delicately crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside.  The creamy filling adds the right amount of decadent sweetness.  These seem to just melt in my mouth.  So delicious and … yes … decadent.  They named their bakery appropriately!

???????????????????????????????There were three flavors in this box:  2 pistachio macarons, 2 lemon lavender macarons and 1 salted caramel.  The pistachio macarons were very sweet and it was a little difficult to discern the nutty pistachio flavor through all the sweetness until the finish, then the pistachio nuttiness came through.  The pistachio macarons were good … but my least favorite of the three.

The lemon lavender macarons were delightful!  The lemon comes through prominently as soon as I bite into the crackly crisp shell of the macaron, and the lavender pops through as I continue to eat and allow the flavors to move across the palate.  I like that the lavender is delicate here.  It’s just the right amount of lavender to add a hint of sweet, floral contrast to the tangy lemon notes … but not so much to overpower the confection and give it a soapy taste.

The salted caramel macaron was by far my favorite.  Oh my goodness.  Perfection!  The caramel is sweet and creamy and luscious, and there is just the right touch of salt to cut through that sweetness to keep it from becoming cloying.  I only got one Salted caramel macaron in my box of five macarons, and I found myself wishing that all five of them were the salted caramel!  They’re so good!

My Final Thoughts:

These were delicious.  At $6.99 for a box of five, they’re a little spendy, but, macarons ARE a little difficult to find and when you do find them … the price I paid is comparable for what I’d pay elsewhere.  These were a little bit of heaven.

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Product Information:

The original Creation is our trademark recipe that offers oven-baked corn with just the right amount of simple caramel, made to perfection. Pure, natural ingredients combined to make a snack that’s deliciously addictive.

I received a pouch of this caramel corn in my July Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed a cup of Dorchester Breakfast Black Tea from Harney & Sons with these Caramel Cosmos Creations.  YUM!  The tea has a natural caramel-y undertone to it, and these caramel snacks brought those notes forward.

What I Think:

Having previously tried the Salted Caramel Corn snacks from Cosmos Creations, I was pretty confident that I’d enjoy these too.  The big difference, of course, is that the salty aspect is missing, and if given the choice, I’d choose the salted caramel.

These are similar to caramel corn … but there is a noticeable difference too – no hulls to get stuck in between your teeth.  Nice.  These … basically taste like Corn Puffs cereal that have been coated with caramel!  YUM!  They aren’t so much popped corn as they are a puffed corn that has been baked with caramel-y goodness.

My Final Thoughts:

I like the crunch of these, I like the sweet corn taste, and I love the delicious caramel coating.  I like that I can munch on these and not encounter unpleasant hulls or unpopped corn.  They are different from caramel corn … but with enough similarities to make you think that’s what you’re eating!

info-piglets-caramel

Photo from the Hagensborg Chocolate website.
Click on the pic to go there.

Why Pigs?

If I only had a dollar for every time somebody asked me why we put “PIGS” on our chocolate bars I would be a very wealthy lady!  The truth of the matter is quite simple.  We produce high quality All Natural European chocolate truffles.  When we decided to create a chocolate bar we researched where the word truffle originated from and learned everything there is to know about the subject.  What we learned is that truffles are a rare mushroom found in the forest, also called the diamond of the kitchen. To find these unique delicacies pigs were used because they have an innate ability to sniff out these exotic treats.  Understanding that chocolate truffles and truffles have nothing in common we decided to bring these two ideas together, thus creating “The Truffle Pig”.  Aren’t those pigs smart?

I received two Truffle Pig’lets in my February Love with Food box!

Tea Suggestion:

Since I was devouring two different flavored Truffles with one cup of tea, I decided to go with a pure, unflavored black tea blend, and I went with this Golden Blend from Harney & Sons.  It was a sublime combination!  The tea was rich and earthy, with notes of chocolate and caramel which perfectly melded with the chocolate (and caramel!) notes of the pig’lets!

What I Think:

Mmm!  Truffles.  There are few words that pique my interest quite as effectively as the word Truffle.  I love chocolate truffles and I also like the mushroom too.  Truffles rock.

In my February Love with Food box, I received two truffle Pig’lets from Hagensborg Chocolates.  YUM!  The first one I tried was the peanut butter pig’let, and it was really delicious.  The peanut butter truffle filling was so incredibly smooth, and the milk chocolate was … well, it was chocolate.  What more needs to be said?  I did find myself wishing for a darker chocolate here, because the peanut butter truffle filling was sweet, and I thought that the darker chocolate would have been a nice contrast.  But it was delicious as it was.

Not surprisingly, my favorite of the two truffle pig’lets that was the Milk Caramel Pig’let.  The caramel was oh so gooey and creamy and delicious.  A slight bitterness to the caramel that complemented the sweetness of the milk chocolate very nicely.  Again, I do prefer dark chocolate so I think I would have enjoyed a dark chocolate shell as opposed to the milk chocolate, but as it was … it was still YUMMY!

My Final Thoughts:

Truffles – yum.  Nothing more needs to be said.  I’ve seen these pig’lets in Whole Foods … so the next time you’re in there, pick one up for a sweet treat! Your taste buds will thank you!

seasaltcaramel

photo from 479°
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Product Description:

Indulgence doesn’t have to be guilty — especially when it comes in our 100-calorie single serving packs. Now you can enjoy a delicious treat of air-popped organic popcorn coated with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt. No regrets!

I received this pouch of Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn in my Love with Food tasting box for December.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed this popcorn with a cup of this Japanese Black tea from Tealet.  I liked the way the cocoa notes of the tea brought out the sweetness of the caramel.  It made for a decadent treat at tea time!

What I Think:

What do I think?  YUM … of course!

I love caramel, I love salted caramel even more.  And this Sea Salt Caramel popcorn from 479° proves to be my favorite popcorn from 479° so far.  I mean, I’ve tried a few different popcorn flavors form 479° … and some I’ve liked, and some I found just alright.  But this … this is AWESOME!

There is just the perfect amount of sea salt on these fluffy, crispy popcorn kernels that are well coated with caramel.  I like that it doesn’t just cut through some of the sweetness to lighten the sweet notes a little, but, I can taste enough salty taste to make this a true salty-sweet snack.  And a deliciously satisfying crunch, too!

My Final Thoughts:

What I liked best about this, really, is that I found it to the sweet point before I finished the 1 ounce pouch that I received in my tasting box from Love with Food.  I didn’t feel like I over-indulged.  I felt like I got just enough salty-sweet flavor without feeling guilty after I munched on this treat … and my sweet-tooth was satisfied after consuming only 50 calories!  That doesn’t happen often … and I love it … and I love this popcorn!

passion_fruit

Photo from Petit Amuse.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

If you love passion fruit, this is the treat for you! The tart, tropical passion fruit truly shines and is complemented but not overshadowed by the smooth caramel and luscious chocolate.

I received a box of these caramels in my November Petit Amuse box and they can be purchased on the Petit Amuse website.

Tea Suggestion:

Given the delectable, intense flavor of the passion fruit in these caramels, I recommend going for a pure tea, rather than one that’s flavored.  No need to obscure the flavors here!  I chose this Pheonix Pearl Black Tea from Zen Tea.  The rich, natural cocoa notes of the tea enhanced the luscious flavor of chocolate in these caramels … and the caramel brought out the natural caramel-y undertones in the tea.  A very synergistic pairing!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness!  These are so good!

Before biting into one of these soft, sweet caramels, I worried that the flavors of caramel and chocolate would overwhelm the flavor of passion fruit, but it doesn’t.  The passion fruit comes through loud and clear!  It is sweet, luscious, and just a wee bit tart.  And it’s that tart note that (surprisingly, at least for me!) makes all the difference with these caramels.  Because as much as I love caramel, I often find it to be just a wee bit cloying, especially when it’s been encased in milk chocolate like these have been.  So, my palate really appreciates a little contrast like sea salt, for example, or in the case of these caramels, the tartness from the passion fruit.

The caramel is a rich, soft and gooey kind of caramel … the kind that sumptuously melts in your mouth rather than a harder caramel that requires some effort to chew it.  Both are very satisfying caramels, but they are different!  The passion fruit tastes very true to the fruit, as if real passion fruit was made to create the chocolate covered caramels, rather than a flavor extract.  And a quick glance over the ingredient list tells me that this is the case.

As I indicated before, the chocolate used here is a milk chocolate, and I think if I were to change anything at all about these chocolates, it would be to change it to a dark chocolate.  I think that the complexity of a dark chocolate would have enhanced these even further.

My Final Thoughts:

So yummy.  I’m really glad that I got to try them.  I still prefer a salted caramel, but, these are really good – and different!   Sometimes it’s nice to change things up a little bit, and these certainly are a delicious surprise for the taste buds.  I think these would make a great gift for the passion fruit aficionado!

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.

Photo from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

This is not just your run-of-the-mill caramel sauce. This is cajeta – a Mexican specialty made from caramelized, reduced goat’s milk. Compared to standard caramel sauce, this is more savory with a slight tang. Even though we usually just eat this out of the jar with a spoon, it would make a delicious sauce for baked desserts, fresh fruit (mmm…apples!), ice cream, coffee drinks, and even mild cheeses.

I received a jar of this caramel in October’s Petit Amuse Sampler box, and this caramel can be purchased online at Petit Amuse.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I drizzled some of the caramel over a sliced apple.  Then… I licked the spoon.  Mmm!

I think I’ve mentioned my love for caramel once or twice on this blog.  And I’ve been hearing about Fat Toad Farm’s caramels for a while, on various gourmet food sites and such, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time now!  So I was thrilled when Petit Amuse included it in the October box!

This stuff is awesome.  It is not quite as sweet as other caramel sauces I’ve tried, this has a somewhat savory edge to it that I find compelling.  Oh, that’s not to say it’s not sweet … it certainly is.  It’s caramel!  But because of the goat’s milk, it has a tangy quality to it.  This doesn’t taste like caramelized sugar sauce … this is smooth and creamy and rich … with a distinctive savory tone, a tangy note and maybe even a hint of smokiness to it.

My Final Thoughts:

This is so much tastier than anything found on the grocery store shelf.  You can taste the goat’s milk and that really makes all the difference in the world.  I love that while it is sweet, it doesn’t taste sickeningly sweet … you can eat it by the spoonful!   So, so, so YUM!

Product Description:

The original farmstead goat milk caramel, flavored with sea salt & pure bourbon vanilla. Handmade by Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell of Big Picture Farm. Photos courtesy of Louisa.

These caramels can be purchased on Knoshbox for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

I wanted something a little bit earthy to go with these caramels, something that would allow me to really enjoy the sweetness as well as the contrasting flavors, so I selected this Roasted Maté from Culinary Teas.  It was a delicious pairing, and the rich, roasted flavor of the Yerba Maté really complimented the sweet, luscious flavor of the caramels.

What I Think:

Well, this is my first time trying caramels made from the milk  of a goat … or perhaps I should say, this is the first time, to my knowledge, to be trying caramels made from the milk of a goat.  The only thing I think I’ve ever tried with goats milk prior to this is cheese … oh, and yogurt.

The caramels are soft to the bite, so soft that the bite just sort of falls off into the mouth, you don’t have to pull it apart with the bite.  They don’t stick to the fingers though.  Mmm!  Yum!  It has a very buttery texture, very smooth and sweet.  Not grainy, although I can occasionally note the texture from the sea salt.  And I can definitely taste the presence of the sea salt too, as well as the vanilla.

It tastes very creamy and buttery, with a touch of salt that helps to offset the sweetness.  I also like how the tangy note from the goats milk also offsets some of the sweetness.  The contrast of flavors between sweet, salty and tangy is quite satisfying.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these!  It is something that I probably would have overlooked in the candy aisle, as I probably would have been a bit uncomfortable with the idea of the goats milk if I were shopping for myself.  Which is exactly why I love these kinds of sampler boxes – it exposes me to different foods, and grants me the opportunity to try something different without making a huge investment to do so.

And as for the caramels … this is something that I’d be happy to enjoy again.  As autumn is finally here (hurray!) I can’t help but wonder how amazing this caramel would taste as a dip for apple slices.  YUM!

Picture from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

You haven’t tasted real cashews until you’ve had them from Nuts + Nuts. They are incredibly fresh, crunchy, and highly addictive. These are similar to the lightly salted cashews but slightly caramelized to enhance the crunch add a touch of sweetness.

This Nuts + Nuts product is available at Petit Amuse.

Tea Suggestion:

I like to grab iced tea when I have a salty snack, because it’s easier to guzzle down iced tea than it is hot tea (which I prefer to sip), and when the salt builds up on the palate, you want to wash it down!  I wanted something unflavored, though, so that I could enjoy all the layers of flavor that these cashews had to offer.  I decided to brew up some of this Shou Mei White Tea from BigTeaHouse which is light and allows for the enjoyment of the snack while still providing some intriguing flavors on its own.  The sweetness of the tea and the creamy vanilla tones really brought out the sweetness of the caramelized cashews.  A very nice pairing!

What I Think:

Oh yum!  These are amazingly good.

When I saw “sweet and salty” on the package, I knew I’d like them.  I love flavor contrasts like sweet and salty or spicy and sweet.  What I’m really loving about these cashews though, is that they’re not heavily sweet.  They’ve been lightly caramelized … and there’s not even enough caramelizing to this to make the nut feel sticky.  Just enough to add a little texture to the already crunchy cashew, and a hint of sweetness to contrast with the saltiness.  In fact, I’d say these are salty and sweet … not sweet and salty, if you know what I mean.

The small package I received in my sampler box from Petit Amuse was vacuum packed, so while the package was very compact, it held a LOT of cashews in it!  Most of the cashews are whole, not broken up bits, or even halves.  I like that.  (Seriously, I think I found enough small, broken bits to comprise just one whole cashew.  Not much at all!)  You get a whole nut and they taste fresh and have a nice crunch to them.  The caramel coating on this is very slight, not enough to add any kind of chewy texture (in fact, it adds to the crispness of the cashew).

The flavor is of course sweet and salty, but there is a certain savory quality to these too.  What is that?  It almost tastes like … garlic!  Or possibly onion?  Then I read the nutrition information for the ingredients:

Roasted cashews, garlic, sugar, sea salt, coconut oil.

Yep, garlic.  I love the size of this ingredient list.  Just five ingredients:  short and simple!  I even love that these are processed with coconut oil instead of some of the cheaper “filler” type oils that are on the market and over-used in snack foods.  I feel like these are healthier snacks, even with the sugar in them, than a typical “junk food” snack.

My Final Thoughts:

The sweet, the salty, and the crunch are all very satisfying to those snack/hunger cravings that we all get from time to time, and I like that these satisfy those cravings without lots of extra ingredients that we don’t need.  I feel like this is not only a delicious snack that curbs the hunger pangs but also somewhat healthier than some of the snacks I might otherwise reach for.   Put simply, these are really delicious – tasty enough to eat instead of a sweet treat, but also salty and savory enough to enjoy as a fatty potato chip substitute.