Posts Tagged ‘Cocoa’

Product Description:

Dark semisweet chocolate and natural peppermint oil. Creamy dark chocolate gives way to refreshing natural peppermint; the flavors of chocolate and peppermint swirl on your palate, ending in a cool mint finish.

Learn more about Chocolove on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

As this is a fairly large chocolate bar (and so delicious!) I wanted to savor it on several occasions so I broke it up into thirds.  The first third, I enjoyed with Emperor’s Gold from The Tao of Tea.  I love how the deep, rich, chocolate-y tones of the tea complemented the dark chocolate flavor.  With this tea, the chocolate was more focused than the peppermint, although, the peppermint was still quite prominent.  With my second tasting, I tried a green tea:  Organic Sencha from Den’s Tea.  While this was an enjoyable pairing, I didn’t find that the green tea really highlighted the flavors of the chocolate or the mint, and I think that a Moroccan Mint might have made a better pairing.  Finally, with my third tasting, I brewed this Silver Needle from Rishi Tea.  I think that the chocolate brought out some of the mineral-y kind of notes in the tea, which I didn’t really experience when I drank the tea previously.  It was interesting trying this with all three teas, but I think my favorite was the Emperor’s Gold.

What I Think:

I don’t shop at Whole Foods often because, let’s face it, it’s not the cheapest place to procure one’s groceries.  And as I have a family to feed and we are on a tight budget, like so many others out there, I get most of what I need at a “bag-your-own-groceries-and-save” type of grocery store.

However, on occasion there is something I want or need that can only be found at a “natural foods” grocery store.  And when I do happen to visit my local Whole Foods market, there are a couple of areas that I always visit.  One of them is the chocolate aisle.  I don’t always buy chocolate, but, as a chocoholic, I actually even enjoy the drool factor of walking through the chocolate aisle.  Sad, yes, but true.

This is one of the bars I picked up on my most recent visit.  I don’t usually choose a minty type confection – I mean, I like them alright, but I usually prefer a nutty confection to a mint one – but, I was in the mood for mint chocolate and this is the bar that caught my eye.

As I mentioned above, this was a fairly large bar (3.2 ounces), so, I decided to break it into thirds so that I could extend my chocolate enjoyment.  I’m sure that if I wanted to, I could probably have polished off the whole bar in one sitting, but, I wasn’t looking to over-indulge, just satisfy my chocoholic sweet tooth craving.

When breaking the bar, I listened for the snap, and there is a slight snap to this… however, since it is 55% cocoa, it isn’t quite as sharp a snap as when I’d break a higher cocoa content bar.  The texture is soft and silky, not quite as creamy as a milk chocolate, but much richer.  Deliciously sweet, with hints of bitterness to keep it interesting.

The mint is not an overpowering flavor, I find the two components are very harmonious.  A very enjoyable bar, I prefer this to the creamy peppermint patty type of candy bars, because I find those a bit too sweet for my liking.  This focuses more on the chocolate than the mint, and for this chocoholic, that’s just the way I want it!

My Final Thoughts:

Put simply, this is a fine chocolate bar.  Delicious!  I’ve had better, sure, but, I do think that this is one of the better chocolate mint confections I’ve had in a long time.  Certainly one I’d consider picking up again if I happen to be craving chocolate while shopping in Whole Foods (and really, when am I ever NOT craving chocolate?)

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.

How’s this for being a bit behind?  This is one of the items in the AUGUST Foodzie Tasting Box!   Fortunately, though, it is the last of the August items that I need to review … and I do have an excuse.  My blender broke down earlier this year, and I hadn’t yet replaced it until September… even so, it still took me a couple of months to get around to actually breaking out the blender and whipping up this delightful confectionery beverage.

Where to Buy:  Serendipity 3 on Foodzie

Price:  $35.70 for a 6-pack of 6-oz pouches

Product Description:

From the famous NYC Landmark restaurant, Serendipity 3, Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. A blend of 14 exotic cocoas mixed in a blender with milk and ice to create a devilishly delectable drink!

What I Think:

I guess it is fair to say that I like it.  I am, after all, a chocoholic.  These 6 ounce packages make enough to share with others … or to make an incredibly indulgent treat for one.  I shared mine with my youngest daughter, my husband and my brother-in-law, mostly because they were around while I was making it, and I would have felt incredibly selfish to not share it.

My daughter says it tastes like a frosty (from Wendy’s) and… I’d agree with that, except that this has more depth of flavor.  I can taste more chocolate in it.  While I would describe the frosty as a pretty one-dimensional treat, this has many layers of chocolate-y flavor.  This is the “frosty” for chocolate connoisseurs.

The chocolate is incredibly rich and creamy, with profound notes of savory bitterness and sweet chocolatey goodness.  This puts every chocolate shake that I’ve ever tasted to shame.  Even the ones I’ve made.

This is SOOOOO good.

Now, for the bad news.  It’s quite pricy.  At $5.95 per 6-ounce package, I can’t really justify the price.  Especially considering that I could make more ice cream shakes using a high-end ice cream than I could with one package of this mix … and still end up spending less than I would with just one package of the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix.  Of course, the ice cream shakes would not taste as delightful as this decadent treat, but… I fear that much of the complexity in the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is lost with my young daughter (who compared it to a frosty) and my husband (who would be just as happy, I think, with a store brand fudge bar).  And since I am more of a tea drinker than a chocolate ice drink consumer, I just can’t find a justification for purchasing this.  I am REALLY glad that I had the opportunity to try it though… because it was AMAZING!

My Final Thoughts:

Very good.  I can’t help but wonder how delicious it would be if I had dropped a banana in the blender and made a Frrrozen Banana Hot Chocolate.   Hmm… maybe I will have to buy just one box… if for not other reason than to try it with the banana!

Where to Buy:  Biscotti Bari on Foodzie

Price:  $8.00 for approximately 20 bite-size pieces of biscotti (5.29 ounce package)

Product Description:

Our Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Biscotti are packed full of San Franciso’s TCHO Chocolate and California grown roasted pistachios. Chocolately, nutty, crunchy…a biscotti lover’s treat!

What I Think:

After sampling the biscotti offerings in the May Tasting Box, I knew I had to order more of the biscotti from Biscotti Bari.  I loved both the Lemon Poppyseed and the Authentic Almond Biscotti that was included in the tasting box, but I must admit that there was just something exceptional about the Authentic Almond.   Along with a full-size Authentic Almond, I also ordered this and the Apricot Pecan biscotti (which I shall review later).

I was very pleased with the speed in which my order arrived!  Also tucked inside the box with my order was a handwritten note of thanks – I like that personal touch!

But let’s get on to the review, shall we?  This biscotti is amazing.  I love the texture!  It is quite crisp, they way one might expect a biscotti to be (biscotto means twice baked), but there is a lightness to it too.  It isn’t so hard that one is likely to chip a tooth if they bite into it without first dipping it in tea (I like Keemun with biscotti), although I must say that I do prefer dipping it before taking a bite.

This biscotti is incredibly decadent.  The cocoa of the biscotti is rich, and there are BIG chunks of creamy chocolate in the biscotti (they warm up just enough when dipped into the hot tea!)  There are also large bits of crunchy pistachio in the biscotti.  As much as I love chocolate, I like the way the pistachio sort of cuts through some of the richness of the chocolate.  I think it would become a bit too much if they weren’t there.

As it is, though, it is a nice balance of flavors.  Just enough nutty flavor to keep it interesting, but also intensely, deliciously chocolate-y.  It is almost sinful!  The chocolate, the pistachios… YUM!

My Final Thoughts:

If you love chocolate, you really MUST try this biscotti.  But be warned, once you try the biscotti from Biscotti Bari, there is no turning back… you’ll never want ordinary biscotti again!

Where to Buy:  The Ticket Kitchen on Foodzie

Product Description:

Bold but not afraid to be sweet, our signature French Dark chocolate is just aggressive enough. Swirl a block of our signature French Dark chocolate into 6-8 ounces of steaming milk, and you’ll have a cup of hot chocolate worth lingering over. We can’t help feel that the stirring adds to the experience, soothing you over while building up anticipation for that first sip. The hot chocolate that results is the same caliber you will find in the world’s finest cafes and bakeries. Trust us, we know our hot chocolate.

Every hot chocolate Ticket Stick is handmade in our San Francisco chocolate kitchen of fine French couverture.

What I Think:

I don’t really drink a lot of hot chocolate, mostly because I’ve usually a cup of tea in hand.  But, I must say that I absolutely love the concept of hot chocolate on a stick.  No need for a spoon, just heat the milk and stir your way to a decadent mug of chocolate-y goodness.  And the best part, licking the stick after most of the chocolate is melted away – YUM!

And this Hot Chocolate on a Stick is totally yum!  Certainly not your ordinary hot chocolate!  It is quite possibly the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted.

The chocolate block is pretty large.  I used just six ounces of hot milk to make my hot chocolate, but, I think it would have worked well with eight or even ten ounces of hot milk as well.  With the six ounces, it made for a very rich, dark chocolate experience.  The flavor is sweet with a faint note of bitterness, and so very pleasantly chocolate-y.  Chocolate enough to satisfy even this chocoholic!

And what is especially cool about this hot chocolate on a stick is that you can add a little chocolate to whatever you’re drinking – how about a chocolate chai latte?  Or you can turn your morning cup of coffee into mocha!  Delicious!

The Ticket Kitchen offers many different options with this unique and delicious hot chocolate – you can purchase as few as two hot chocolate cubes on a stick for $7.00 or 36 for $120.00.  A little pricey for a cup of hot chocolate.  But then again, this isn’t your average cup of hot chocolate!  This one is for serious chocolate drinkers!

And for those who like their hot chocolate on the spicy side, they now offer Three-Chili Hot Chocolate on a Stick, featuring a blend of chipotle, ancho and cayenne chili peppers.

My Final Thoughts:

This Hot Chocolate on a Stick takes hot chocolate to a whole other level.  So good, it doesn’t even need a marshmallow!