Posts filed under ‘OMG’

Vosges Haut Chocolat Truffles

The Vosges Haut Chocolat boutique was at the top of my list of candy places to hit up in Vegas (though it was a short list; Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge was the only other place on there). The flagship Whole Foods in Austin carries several Vosges bars (BUY!) and small prepicked boxes of their truffles, but I wanted to see an actual Vosges boutique in all of its chocolate glory. I visited the one in Caesar’s Palace’s Forum Shops with my mother on Christmas day, and she generously offered to buy me whatever I wanted as my Christmas gift.

The boutique was prettily laid out, with lots of clean spaces, glass shelving, and accented displays. There’s also a chocolate bar in the back, where you can buy sipping chocolate and giant cookies the size of my outstretched hand. I chose the assortment of mini-bars seen above in the top right corner (I’d known I wanted to buy those since I started planning my trip to the boutique) and picked out two of their truffles, the Tlan Nacu (below photo, left) and the Lion (below photo, right), for my Christmas present. The Vosges employee helping me put them in a pretty white box that he then tied with a purple satin ribbon (like the ones in this photo). I appreciated the decorative touch, as later chocolatiers I visited put my individually purchased truffles in paper or cellophane bags, which were far less pretty.

The Tlan Nacu, described by Vosges as Mexican vanilla bean + dark chocolate, had an incredibly creamy ganache with a sweet tinge to its aftertaste. Otherwise, though, it pretty much tasted like a softened dark chocolate, which is basically what you get when you add vanilla to chocolate.

I couldn’t remember what was in the Lion truffle, so the ingredient list couldn’t influence my tasting notes. I got a very slight chili heat that reminded me of a chocolate chipotle gelato I had a Viva Chocolato. In the truffle, it’s more of a suggestion of that peppery, spicy heat without any actual fire. I also got some slight fruity notes in the aftertaste. Revisiting my photos reveals that the Lion is allspice berry, calabaza, dark chocolate, and pumpkin seed. The pumpkin seed didn’t add much in the way of taste, probably because I picked it off and ate it on its own. Whoops. The allspice berry was probably the source of the chili almost-heat I couldn’t describe while the calabaza, a type of lightly sweet squash, accounted for the slight sweetness in the finish.

These truffles have the smoothest ganache I have ever had the pleasure to experience, and their spherical shapes are gorgeous in a minimalist manner. I wish I’d picked something more adventurous than the Tlan Nacu, which turned out to be pretty tame, but the most of the other interesting truffles overlapped with the mini chocolate bars. At $3 a pop, the Vosges truffles tie with the imported truffles at Viva Chocolato for the most expensive truffles I’ve ever bought. I’d give them a hearty ZOMG! for being decadent, interesting, and well made, but I’m demoting them to an OMG because of the exorbitant price. I probably wouldn’t buy them again for myself, but I wouldn’t turn them down if I got a chance to pick out more next Christmas.

You can also check out Cybele’s take on the Vosges brand at her site.

Advertisements

January 30, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

3400 Phinney Vanilla Milk Chocolate

Theo 3400 Phinney Week (BUY!) continues with the Vanilla Milk Chocolate with a 40% cacao content. The Theo website calls this one “a harmonious blend of finely ground Madagascar vanilla bean and milk chocolate.”

This milk bar had a European/Cadbury-finish which I found to be quite good. The melt is smooth and the mouthfeel creamy. I thought I tasted hints of bread or toast, but my palate is untrained, and it also may have just been the power of suggestion (I knew one of the bars would be the bread & chocolate).

The bar looks pretty dark in the photo, and it’s not just a trick of the light. 40% is a high cacao content for a milk bar, and many lesser chocolate companies would try to pass that off as a semisweet. I thought this bar was wonderful for a “milk” bar, and I thought the sweetness level was just right. An OMG from me, and a 3.71/5 from my friends, making it good enough for 4th place at my chocolate tasting party.

January 23, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Gigi’s assorted caramels

After being impressed by Lula’s Chocolates’ Aloha Rocky Road, I was eager to dig into my sample of their assorted (and handmade!) caramels. Whoever writes their product descriptions really knows their way around food adjectives.

“I start with small batches of premium butter and fresh, heavy cream, which I slow cook in heavy, copper pots. We offer plain caramels, and, for nut lovers, we add fresh, whole almonds, cashews, or macadamia nuts.”

I can definitely taste the quality of the ingredients in these generously sized caramels. They’re super, super buttery and creamy – so much so that I almost expected them to literally melt away in my mouth. The plain caramels are almost too rich and buttery, if that’s possible. They don’t stick in your teeth at all because they’re so greasy. The caramel is sweet and light without any dark notes, and the intense creaminess is almost overwhelming in the plain version.

The addition of nuts helps a lot. It’s nice to have the contrast between the soft caramel and the crunchy, grainy nut. The macadamia (left) helped texturally but didn’t add much in terms of flavor, as macadamia nuts are pretty buttery tasting and high fat too. The almond ones (right) were a taste revelation. The smoky almond flavor balanced out the caramel and broke up the texture better than the macadamia nuts did. I wish there were more almond caramels in my assortment. As far as I could tell, my bag had no cashew ones, though it’s possible I may have eaten one thinking it was macadamia nut.

These caramels are a delicious and decadent treat. Because they’re so rich, you can only eat one or two at a time, but that just means you can savor them for a longer time. My only complaint is that the wax paper was sometimes a little embedded in the caramel and impossible to remove before eating. I take that little foible as further proof that these caramels are truly handmade. An OMG for the almond ones; an OM for everything else.

December 7, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Das caramels

Before I left school for Thanksgiving break, I checked my PO Box one last time. Surprise! There was a box of caramel samples from Das Foods. I was thankful that I’d thought to check my mail; otherwise I would have had to wait an extra week to taste these.

The caramels may come in a small box, but Das Foods packs that box to the brim. I was surprised at how many caramels fit inside (not that I’m complaining). I was also surprised to see that my caramels differed a little from the ones in the website’s photo. Where were my visible grains of fleur de sel (French sea salt)?

Even if I couldn’t see the salt, I could taste it. If you’ve never had a salted caramel before, you’re missing out! While it may seem like an odd flavor combination, the salt really cuts through the sweet to bring out the darker, burned sugar flavors of the caramel. The Das caramel had a dark and dusky flavor that I found quite enjoyable. The website claims lavender and honey flavors; I could taste the honey component (which probably brought some of the darker sugar taste) but didn’t notice the lavendar.

Texture-wise, it had a creamy, buttery, and slightly greasy mouthfeel. I loved the buttery and creamy; the slightly greasy I could do without, but I don’t think it’s physically possible to get the first two without the latter. Life’s tough like that. The chew was quite soft and enjoyably sticky – it gets stuck in your teeth but eventually works its way out without you having to commit a social faux pas by picking it out.

Das caramels come in a wide assortment of flavors, including cafe cortado, ginger and pistachio, chocolate walnut, lemon and honey, orange and honey, and chai latte. They all sound intriguing. An OMG on these guys, even though I probably won’t buy them again (I’m not one who likes to regularly eat caramels). The box that I do have, however, I will slowly savor.

November 30, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Emily’s Chocolates’ Dark Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

An extremely generous box of samples arrived from Emily’s Chocolates (BUY on Amazon!) while I was out of town for Thanksgiving break, so I didn’t get them until yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to taste everything in there, but I did try the cookies, and they were most definitely worth the wait. In fact, they were so good that I’ve bumped today’s news story to share this review.

emilys-dark-choc-mint-cream-sandwich-cookies.jpg

The sandwich cookies come in mint cream and peanut butter cream. The peanut butter cream cookies come in a similar container, only it’s orange, and it’s snowman had a top hat instead of earmuffs. Isn’t it funny how we now associate orange with peanut butter, all thanks to Reese’s? The packaging is pretty, cute, and festive, making these cookies a great candidate for a hostess gift or a way to suck up to teachers.

Both flavors of cookies are like dark chocolate-covered Oreos with generously thick layers of peanut butter or mint cream. The dark chocolate covering is thick, rich, and delectable. Here’s a shot taken with a flash that shows off how hefty the layers of chocolate and cream are, though it makes the chocolate look lighter than it really is.

The cookies are a great blend of textures – smooth dark chocolate, crunchy chocolate cookie, and creamy filling. The mint cream cookie smelled strongly of mint and chocolate and packed a wallop of mint flavor. I loved it. The mint flavor was strong, but not too strong, leaving the cookie well balanced. The finish was of just chocolate, which I think works well, as a lingering, sugary mint taste isn’t always pleasant. Flavor-wise, the cookie is reminiscent of a Thin Mint, but better – it’s more texturally interesting, the chocolate is of better quality, and there’s more of everything! An enthusiastic ZOMG! for the Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Cream Sandwich Cookies.

The peanut butter cream cookie smelled slightly of peanut butter, and it’s peanut butter taste was present but mild. The finish was pretty much all chocolate, just like that of the mint version. I would have preferred a stronger and saltier peanut butter flavor, though the overall cookie was still delicious. An OMG for the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Sandwich Cookies.

Emily’s also sent me their limited edition boxes of their dark chocolate covered nuts and fruits, a big box of their milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts (apparently still in stock on Amazon as of 11/26), and an adorable dark chocolate-covered cashew-filled snowman. I’m excited to taste those as well, though I think I may save the macadamia nuts to bring home for my folks for Christmas.

What surprised me the most about the Emily’s Chocolates line was how affordable all the products were. They look like they would cost much more than they actually do. I think they’d make great gifts, especially since all the holiday boxes already look like they’re wrapped. If you order by December 10th, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $40. I’ll try to have the rest of my package (minus the macadamia nuts) tasted and the reviews as soon as possible so y’all can take advantage of that offer.

November 27, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Asian candies III

Nestle Choco Milo

A tiny cube of chocolate cookie – the densest, crunchiest tiny cube of chocolate cookie I’ve ever had. It was super hard, and it only got away with being so nearly impossible to crunch because it was about 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm. Though tiny, the Choco Milo is delicious. Its chocolate flavor is reminiscent of that of hot cocoa, and it strikes a perfect bittersweet balance. OMG. Unfortunately, I grabbed this one out of a dish at a party of an acquaintance and have no idea where to find more.

Kasugai hard candy

Kusugai (BUY!) makes a lot of great Asian candies; their gummies are especially popular and deliciously faithful to their fruits’ taste. From my first quick glance at the wrapper of these Kasugai hard candies, I expected these to be a mix of individually wrapped candies of different flavors. A pineapple here, an apple there, a… bell pepper? Wait. There are vegetables on the wrapper too! My Chinese reading skills are nearly nonexistent, but I do recognize the second character as one that usually means “vegetable”.

These pleasantly light and sweet candies were all the same color – orange – and all the same difficult to pin down flavor. I definitely tasted pineapple; the bell pepper, not so much. I’d describe these as V8 Splash (BUY!) flavored candy. Again, they were pleasant enough, but not something I’d want to eat again and again. Just an O, but a positive one.

Mikakuto Tokuno Japanese Milk Candy

I didn’t know what these were called but managed to stumble across them on Amazon (BUY!). The cow and barn motif (which I find adorable, by the way) match up, so I think it’s safe to assume they’re the same candy.

I think I’ve yet to meet an Asian milk candy (BUY!) I didn’t like. To me, they’re all pretty much the same. They’ve all been a milky, creamy vanilla, but such a delicious vanilla, with that extra bit of vanilla essence oomph that elevates it to the next level. That oomph is difficult to describe. It’s like the difference between generic vanilla ice cream and the best homemade vanilla ice cream (oh Blue Bell, why haven’t you made it to New England yet?) you’ve ever had. Which makes this way better than a vanilla Tootsie Roll. In this particular brand of milk candy, the vanilla flavor is more that of vanilla extract than vanilla bean, but it still works! An OM.

October 12, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Mars Delight

My Mars Delight came from Economy Candy, I think by way of Germany or France? The wrapper read, “Überraschend knusprig, lecker cremig. Étonnamment croustillant, délicieusement fondant.” I haven’t taken French since first semester freshman year, but I believe that the French sentence roughly translates into “Surprisingly crunchy, deliciously made.” And the Mars Delight is indeed delicious and crunchy. And delightful (yeah, I went there).

This bar comes in two pieces, like a Twix. I think the scalloped design is quite pretty. The chocolate is super sweet, but isn’t cloying. It’s European, so it’s Cadbury’s style chocolate – milky and creamy.

The inside crunchy portion is gorgeously folded on itself. Look how pretty that is! Its texture reminds of that of an egg roll – the flaky sweet kind, not the savory deep fried, often served with Chinese food lunch specials kind. However, unlike an egg roll, which has its own taste, the Mars Delight crunchies didn’t taste of anything themselves. However, they did serve to mitigate the sweetness of the chocolate coating and ganache/truffle layers inside.

Speaking of that truffle/ganache layers, yum! According to the website, it looks like the top one is caramel, while the bottom one is milk chocolate. I couldn’t really make a taste distinction there, but it was all rich and good! I give the Mars Delight a OMG. If only they were as widely available here as they are overseas!

October 10, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Welcome to ZOMG, Candy!

Taste tests and reviews of sugary treats and all things sweet.

ZOMG, Candy! Photos

Photos at Flickr



I'm flattered if you want to use my photos, but please use the Contact form to get my permission first. Because that's what a decent human being would do.

What is the ZOMG! Rating System?

Get ZOMG, Candy! Updates by Email!

Categories

September 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Feeds