Monday, August 26, 2013

A Mindblowing Celebration of the Gummy Bear

image courtesy of shelfies.com- available for sale

CLICK HERE to read an absolutely mind-blowing celebration of and nuanced examination of gummy bears! The mind reels!! 
-via buzzfeed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Baron Milk Chocolate PB&J's




I should have known better, but I had such high hopes for the Kosher Baron Milk Chocolate PB&J Chocolate Bar. I truly do not believe that there is a better flavor combination in the world than peanut and jelly with chocolate on top. And Kosher candy bars can be really good. And I like this individual mini bar wrapping scheme. Each mini bar in the package is 60 calories so although indulgent, there's a portion size you can refer to if you feel like adhering to a healthy diet. Unfortunately, the peanut butter filling tasted nothing like peanuts! I don't know what nut constituted the base of this filling but it was not at all delicious. The jelly filling was veritably flavorless. The candy bar had such potential. It was the first I'd seen on the market really filling this niche that I long for. So I give Baron kudos for creativity but am awaiting a better execution of this brilliant candy bar by Baron or some other candy bar company. Please create a peanut butter and jelly candy bar I can believe in!

Score: 2

This Really Exists: Pastry Shaped Sleeping Bags


according to kotaku, this sleeping bag is called the korone, the name of a chocolate-filled japanese pastry

 a cream bun bed. wow.
 all images courtesy of Felissimo

For me, the love of sweets is pretty all-consuming. I feel, therefore, that a kindred spirit in Japan designed these pastry-shaped sleeping bags and beds. They're brilliantly designed and whimsical and they also look super comfy (and you can order your own at Felissimo!). I'd love to nest in a cream bun.

Click here to read a full report at Kotaku

Big Time Wish List: Pumpkin Spice m&m's

image courtesy of theimpulsivebuy

Word has it over at The Impulsive Buy blog that Pumpkin Spice m&m's are already popping up on store shelves. I need to find these. I would guess that these are white chocolate based, like the Carrot Cake or Candy Corn flavors. But who knows!? Have any readers sampled these? I'd hazard that they'll be absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nuggle Candy Bar: Peanuts, Fudge and Creamy Caramel Candy Bar from Tobago



The name "Nuggle" bar is evocative of many images, but many of them are not appetizing. The name was part of what drew me to try the Nuggle Bar. The other reason was because it's produced by Charles Chocolates for sale in Trinidad and Tobago. I have never had candy from these locales and was determined to taste test. The description on the package of "lots of peanuts, chewy fudge, creamy caramel in milk chocolate" sounded enticing, too. Not so! Maybe the whole bar got a little stale in transit but I don't think that was the underlying reason for the muddied flavor. Instead of gooey fillings of fudge and caramel, the bar's center was a dense crumbly sweet substance that didn't quite taste of either chocolate or caramel. Instead the center tasted simply sweet and any other flavor note was drowned out by the super sweet milk chocolate exterior. The Nuggle was a disappointment, simply too sweet without a lot of substance.

Score: 1

Monday, August 12, 2013

Turkish Treats: Ulker Dankek 8 Kek Cikolata - Muz (Chocolate Banana Cake)



These photos don't adequately capture the cool aspects of Ulker's Dankek 8Kek Cokolata-Muz treat. Basically, this individually portioned cake is produced in the shape of a figure eight; one side features chocolate cake with banana cream center whereas the other side features banana cake with chocolate cream center. It's a great idea! And I loved the banana pudding-like filling, which made me concerned about the lack of banana-flavored sweets in the world. I feel we are under-utilizing the banana in candy, especially after combining it with chocolate. Do any readers know of good candy that includes banana in its flavor profile? I liked the whole idea of the infinity cake, as I took to calling it. Instead of a figure-8, I choose to believe that the Ulker Dankek is produced in the shape of the infinity symbol in order to drive home the concept of infinite cake possibilities. It's a beautiful message. That said, the execution was a tad less sublime- I would have preferred double the cream fillings and perhaps a less crumbly cake recipe. Next time Ulker should spring for moist cake and more filling! Thanks for finding this, Will and Ben!

Sonoma Chocolatiers Smoked Sea Salt Nibbles



Wow! I love this trend of a tiny bit of salt mixed into a good chocolate bar. Sonoma Chocolatiers Smoked Sea Salt Nibbles, created from fine Scharffen Berger chocolate, are the best combination of chocolate with salt I've ever encountered. Mark tried, too, and seconds this emotion. The bite-sized pieces of solid dark chocolate are already vaguely bitter in taste, with a small hint of sweet primarily hitting the taste buds at the end of the bite. The chunks of sea salt add a tiny bit of texture to the chocolate and also create these surprisingly moments where the flavor of the chocolate doesn't change as much as the tone of the chocolate. The salt somehow warms the flavor of the bitter chocolate, creating almost a savory chocolate blend that is both exquisite and unique. Thanks, Bernice!

Score: 5

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Colombian Chocolate: Confiteca Shock Bar





I was excited about the concept behind this Shock Chocolate Bar from Colombia. It's a light wafer with three buttons of vanilla cream filling, all covered with chocolate. And the packaging is cool with a lightning bolt. The chocolate, however, was mock chocolate and super waxy. The filling was dried out and cracked and only filled half of each button (not as pictured on the packaging). Maybe I purchased a really old Shock bar, but there was nothing really going for this confection- flavor, texture, ingredients. I got one and a half bites in and rejected the rest. I would like to try a second bar at some point, though, just to make sure that this wasn't an issue of freshness.

Score: 2

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ioannis Andriopoulos Greek Confections: The Sweet Koufeta of Alex and Veronica





My wonderful friends Alex and Veronica were recently married and I learned a new candy tradition tied into Greek and Italian weddings: the secret of the Bomboniere (Italian) or Koufeta (Greek). Apparently this tradition started around 300 years ago in France, where a small box of sweets was given out to guests on happy occasions. The idea spread throughout Europe and became especially entrenched in Greece and Italy. Alex and Veronica's bomboniere contained almonds covered in really good chocolate and then enrobed in a hard candy shell. These particular goodies were created by Ioannis Andriopoulos. Traditionally jordan almonds and these yummy chocolate candied almonds (like the ones included in Alex and Veronica's) are typical sweets included in bombonieres, meant to represent the bittersweet nature of marriage. I like that. Also, the almonds are packaged in uneven numbers, most commonly five almonds, in order to represent five wishes for the couple: happiness, health, wealth, children, and long life. I like that, too. Congratulations, Alex and Veronica! The sweetness of bonbonieres and love!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Divine Chocolate Bar with 70% Dark Chocolate and Raspberries: Heavenly Chocolate with a Heart


image courtesy of divinechocolateusa.com

At work I am often given the opportunity to sample a wide variety of fancy chocolates and sweets. Colleagues travel around the world and bring back such exciting samplings! A recent new product unveiled at work is the Divine Chocolate Bar, a mixture of 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries. As with all fancy chocolate brands, there is a company motto: "Heavenly Chocolate with a heart." I loved the packaging, an enticing printed sheath of paper. I loved the freeze-dried raspberries suspended throughout the dark chocolate. And there were a lot of raspberries- no skimping by Divine Chocolate. They added a nice crunch and the tart fruit mixed nicely with dark chocolate. My only complaint. 70% chocolate doesn't appear to melt at all in one's mouth. In fact, I chewed and chewed and although the chocolate pieces got smaller and smaller and more mixed with the raspberry, I never got that pleasant mouth full of melty chocolate and mixins melange. I would have preferred a more corrupted 50 or 60% dark chocolate with a little more meltage. This was certainly a pleasure to try, though. I'm going to start seeking out raspberry infused chocolate bars....

Score: 3