Archive for Chocolate

Freeze Dried Banana & Walnut Candy Bar

A little while back, I noticed that Trader Joe’s started carrying a wide variety of freeze dried fruits. They have strawberries, bananas, pineapples, apples and a couple others I can’t remember off hand. I’ve seen freeze dried berries at the regular grocery store before, but they were always really expensive for small bags. At Trader Joe’s, I picked up a pouch of bananas for only a couple of bucks.

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So, I decided to throw some of the banana pieces into a candy bar mold with some chopped walnuts and dark chocolate (sorry, no pics). The bananas tasted awesome with the chocolate and are really crispy. In fact, I don’t think the walnuts were even necessary. If you ever get a chance, I recommend trying out some of the Trader Joe’s freeze dried fruits with your favorite chocolate. You don’t have to make it into a bar if you don’t want. Just eat the chocolate and the fruit at the same time and I’m sure it’ll taste great.

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Review: Nestlé Chokito

The Chokito immediately reminded me of the Freia Peanøtt Kubbe, except instead of peanuts, this version has rice crisps. Since the Kubbe is one of my favorite candy bars ever, I had high hopes for the Chokito.

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Structure
An inner core of caramel fudge surrounded by rice crisps and enrobed in chocolate.

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Texture
The caramel fudge center is firm, but soft enough to easily bite through and it doesn’t stick to your teeth. I would compare it most closely to the inside of a 3 Musketeers, except not quite as soft. The relatively large rice crisps provide a nice texture complement and the chocolate binds everything together well. The whole product is perfectly balanced texturally.

Taste
The flavor of the Chokito was a huge letdown. Specifically, the caramel fudge center tasted really artificial. If you’ve ever had the low calorie, Skinny Cow brand caramel ice cream cones, it tasted like the fake caramel in those. Unfortunately, neither the flavorless rice crisps or the sub-par tasting Nestlé chocolate could help make up for the odd flavor of the caramel fudge.

Verdict
The Chokito should be a great candy bar. Texturally, it’s fantastic and all of the ingredients really should taste good together. For some reason though, they don’t.

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Review: Nidar Yade

I don’t often see molded candy bars that have both milk and dark chocolate. In fact, the Nidar Yade is probably the first one I’ve had. It seems most manufacturers assume that milk chocolate and dark chocolate are mutually exclusive and that consumers want one or the other, not both in the same product.

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Structure
A thin, wide molded bar with a bottom layer of dark chocolate and top layer of milk chocolate. Small, caramelized bits of macadamia nuts and hazelnuts are mixed in.

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Texture
Perfectly tempered with a nice snap when you break it into the smaller, triangular pieces. The hazelnut and macadamia nut pieces are really small, but add a nice contrast to the smooth chocolate.

Taste
There’s about two or more times milk chocolate than dark chocolate, but in terms of taste, the two are split evenly. The dark chocolate is more pronounced when you first bite in, but the milk chocolate becomes more noticeable on the finish. It’s difficult to taste any hazelnut or macadamia nut because the pieces are so small, but you do get some extra sweetness from their caramelized coating.

Verdict
I don’t actually finish many of the candy bars that I review on this blog myself. I try to share with others if they’re good or I sometimes toss out the rest if they’re really bad. So when I eat an entire candy bar myself, like I did with the Nidar Yade, that’s a sign that it’s a damn good candy bar. I would put the Yade easily in the top tier of the candy bars I’ve tried so far.

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Review: Nestlé Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria

I learned via the internets (specifically JBox.com) that in Japan there are many odd varieties of flavored Kit Kats. So I was super excited to finally get my hands on one (Thanks Thanny) to try out for myself.

The first thing I noticed on the packaging was “Muscat of Alexandria” in large English print right below the Kit Kat logo. That seemed pretty odd, but I figured it probably had something to do with the pictures of green grapes. Sure enough, Muscat of Alexandria is an ancient vine of grape used in wine and raisin production. These are the things you find out writing (and reading) a candy bar blog I guess.

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Structure
The package contains two individually wrapped bars. Each bar is two segments of grape flavored, molded white chocolate filled with wafers.

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I really like that they added green coloring to the white chocolate.

Texture
The texture is exactly like a regular sized Kit Kat bar. The light crispy wafer and white chocolate coating work well together.

Taste
The grape flavor is subtle, but definitely noticeable – like weak grape bubble gum. The white chocolate helps to balance the slight citric acid flavor that immediately hits your tongue. Overall, it reminded me a little bit of the Choxie Lime Bar.

Verdict
I enjoyed the Muscat of Alexandria Kit Kat a lot. With one caveat though. I don’t think this is a candy bar I could eat all the time. It’s slightly odd and I enjoyed it because it’s unique. Green grape and white chocolate isn’t going to replace peanut butter and milk chocolate as a classic flavor combination, but it’s something you should try if you ever get a chance.

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Review: Cadbury Flake

This is the second Cadbury Flake that’s been in my possession this year. The first was brought back from England and was thoroughly destroyed on the trip. Not surprising though, because this is a very delicate product. This one came from Australia and arrived in much better condition.

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Structure
A long, thin bar of milk chocolate. The chocolate is layered in such a way that it creates air pockets throughout the product.

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Texture
The Flake bills as itself as “the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate” and to that point, I completely agree. The Flake completely crumbles apart when you bite it. The problem is that I don’t think chocolate should be crumbly or flaky. I really hate the texture and worse, it’s messy to eat because it falls apart in your hand. You can tell from the picture above how even slicing it gently with a sharp knife causes the chocolate to explode into small pieces.

Taste
The entire bar is made of Cadbury milk chocolate, so it tastes pretty good.

Verdict
The Flake is very similar to the Galaxy Ripple, except worse. If you’re looking for a light, airy chocolate bar, grab an Aero.

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Review: Pop Rocks Mega Bar – Part II

I previously reviewed the Pop Rocks Mega Bar and concluded that it was the worst candy bar I had ever had, partly because the chocolate was crap. Well, some anonymous person contacted me with a profanity laced tirade about that review. They must have been a huge fan of the Pop Rocks Mega Bar because they said my review was crap and my blog sucked. Who knew people would get so upset about a candy blog? Anyway, I figured I’d give the bar a second chance because the first one I tried was admittedly not very fresh and maybe with better, fresher chocolate, the product would be decent. I had serious doubts, but I tried to keep an open mind.

Pop Rocks Mega Bar wrapper

Structure
A 6-segment, molded bar of milk chocolate with Pop Rocks mixed throughout.

Pop Rocks Mega Bar cross-section

Texture
The consistency of the chocolate is okay, but I don’t really like how thick the bar is though. It makes it rather hard to bite through. It would be better if this bar were about half as thick as it currently is. But the chocolate is of course, not the interesting part of this candy bar. The Pop Rocks are. At first, they feel just like regular crisp rice pieces. After a couple of seconds though, their carbonated properties become noticeable. Maybe others enjoy the fizzy, popping sensation, but it’s too much for me. If it only lasted a few seconds, I’d be okay with it. Instead, the popping lasts for a while though and moves down your throat as you swallow. It’s just a really odd sensation.

Taste
The Pop Rocks are completely flavorless, so the Mega Bar tastes like a plain milk chocolate bar.

Verdict
The second time tasting the Pop Rocks Mega Bar was a little better than the first, but only because I knew what to expect this time. That didn’t really help me like it any better though. I think the biggest problem is that the Pop Rocks themselves don’t have any flavor. I actually like strawberry flavored Pop Rocks and think those might work well with chocolate. I came across a review of the Chuao Firecracker Chocolate Bar, which also uses popping candy, but has better chocolate and some other flavors. I’m interested to try Chuao’s version out and see if popping candy belongs with chocolate after all.

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Review: Cadbury Boost

In the US, the only Cadbury candy bars I ever see are the solid, molded variety with nuts and dried fruits mixed in. These bars are actually produced by Hershey’s under a license agreement. In the rest of the world though, there’s a big variety of Cadbury enrobed products like the Cadbury Boost. I suppose the Hershey’s licensing agreement might prohibit Cadbury from exporting these candy bars to the US.

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Structure
The inner core is a chocolate ganache-like filling, where the bottom half has small, round bits of biscuits (cookies) mixed in. This is surrounded by a thin layer of caramel. The whole bar is enrobed in milk chocolate.

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Texture
The chocolate filling isn’t as soft as I was expecting or would have liked. It’s slightly softer than the pure chocolate coating, but not much. The biscuit pieces are perfectly crunchy, but there aren’t enough of them. I would have liked the whole center, not just the bottom half, to include biscuits pieces. The way the caramel is layered so thin, it’s not noticeable at first. But since it’s so chewy, it lasts longer than the other components, so you end up with some caramel in your mouth after everything else is gone.

Taste
The milk chocolate, both the coating and the filling, taste good. The caramel is slightly salty, which complements the overall sweetness of the product.

Verdict
The Cadbury Boost is a reconstructed Twix bar, though it’s not quite as good. Twix has a higher proportion of caramel and it’s solid cookie bar provides more crunch than Boost’s small, round bits of cookie. That said, it’s still pretty darn good and Cadbury chocolate is tasty.

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