Chestnut chocolate

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Japanese food is very much based on what’s in season at the time. Even in fast food joints and supermarkets things change with the season. I was there in autumn and picked up a box of chestnut flavored chocolates, along with some sweet potato ones which I will mention later on.

I had made a dessert before with chestnut puree and chocolate, and that turned out to be great. The chocolate bar was filled with chestnut in the middle. As much as I tried to use my palette, I could not taste any chestnut, just chocolate. It was fine chocolate, but I was rather hoping to taste some chestnut, as that was what was being advertised on the box. Perhaps the sweet potato chocolate would fare better.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 6

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Citrus KitKat

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I have previously written about KitKats from Japan. When I recently went to travel there I found a great opportunity to buy some of these more unusual candy bars. One of the limited edition packs I found was a citrus flavored one. White chocolate was mixed with lemon, orange and a local citrus fruit that resembles a tangerine.

I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if lemon and chocolate would work, even though I had liked it before, but it most definitely worked. The three fruits blended into one sour citrus flavor, that I found was mainly just lemony. They could have easily made a pure lemon flavored KitKat. Having said that the lemon and white chocolate worked perfectly together. You got a shockingly refreshing lemon taste, without it being to astringent due to the sweetness of the chocolate. I would rank this my favorite of the KitKats I have tried so far.

Fear Factor 1 – Taste Test – 9

White chocolate Twix

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So yeah, I like candy bars. There’s no denying that. On my blog you will find quite a few different KitKats, especially from Japan. The other usual suspects like Mars and Twix don’t actually come in that many variations. Therefore I was pretty excited when my friends from Holland came over to China and handed me a bag of goodies including a limited edition white chocolate Twix. Exactly how limited this edition is, I’m not sure as I think you can buy it in supermarkets around the world.

Other than replacing the outer layer of chocolate for white chocolate, the interior of the candy bar remained the same. I love the combination of the sticky caramel and that crumbly biscuit. The white chocolate did impact on the taste though. Unlike other white chocolate products, this bar didn’t taste overly sweet. You could actually taste white chocolate, which was nice. In fact I would say there was an almost buttery yet slightly salty taste to it.

Fear Factor 0 / Taste Test – 7

Crème brulee chocolate

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E. Wedel is one of the best chocolatiers in Poland. I had previously eaten breakfast at their restaurant, and decided to pick up a few bars. The panna cotta chocolate wasn’t that good unfortunately, but their crème brulee chocolate was a lot better.

The bar consisted of a thick chocolate shell with a crème brulee filling. The filling was actually a double layered affair with a bottom layer of a hardened pudding and a top layer of runny caramel. Caramel and chocolate have always worked for me, and the set pudding added some creaminess. All in all a very enjoyable bar of chocolate and much better than the panna cotta one.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8

Berry yogurt chocolate

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Fruit an chocolate pair extremely well together. Fruit and yogurt does as well. Now the geniuses at Dove have come up with a berry yogurt chocolate bar. I expected it to be a white chocolate bar with a berry filling, or with pieces of fruit, but instead everything was mixed so well the chocolate had turned pink.

Basically it was a pink candy bar in which you could taste neither chocolate nor yogurt. It wasn’t bad though, as it all tasted quite tart and fruity, without being overly chemical. The nicest part was the addition of some biscuit crumbs for extra texture.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 6

Rosemary chocolate

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After my run in with a divine rosemary flavored crème brulee at Ed Red in Krakow, I was really excited to tear open a bar of rosemary chocolate I had previously purchased at a discount store. I waited until I was back in China, and my patience was rewarded.

There was a really strong taste of rosemary throughout the chocolate, and yet it didn’t turn into something savory. What was great was that the chocolate itself was pretty dark. Somehow I don’t think it would have worked with white or milk chocolate. Also, you could tell this chocolate was made with real rosemary as I encountered a few sprigs of it even after the bar was finished.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 9

Maltesers spread

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If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I have a secret love affair with chocolate. I guess it’s actually not that secret. I don’t eat a lot of candy, but my favorite candy/chocolate is Maltesers. I could eat them by the bucket. On my trip to Poland I was browsing the shelves at the supermarket when I my stare fixed on a jar of Maltesers chocolate spread. Angels started to sing.

Once safely home in China I opened the lid and, without having the patience to grab a spoon, stuck my finger in. The chocolate was absolutely loaded with small kernels of crispy goodness. Something I always find lacking in their little brothers Malteasers for Easter and Christmas. Result was a beautifully crunchy chocolate spread that I often put on a piece of toast until the jar was empty. On the negative, I did feel like the chocolate itself was inferior, and didn’t have a great chocolate flavor. The jar was still empty pretty quickly regardless.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7

Raspberry & licorice chocolate

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Since my recent trip to Europe, I’ve been adding a fair few articles on licorice. I grew up on licorice, as did many other Dutchmen, but it’s definitely one of those things that you either love or hate. I have been seeing it used more and more in desserts and other dishes throughout the culinary world, such as Heston Blumenthal’s licorice poached salmon.

On my first stopover in Helsinki I had already tried sea buckthorn and licorice chocolate, and now on the way back I picked up a bar of raspberry and licorice chocolate. This time around the chocolate was white, and the licorice wasn’t blended throughout but rather sprinkled in. The sprinkles of raspberry and licorice not only gave the chocolate a crunchy texture, but it also made sure that you could taste each flavor. One second I could taste raspberry, while the other I could taste licorice. Savory sweet strikes again.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 8

Panna cotta chocolate

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At the airport in Warsaw I had some money left and in that case I tend to buy chocolate. You can never go wrong with chocolate. I had bought two bars by Polish chocolatier E. Wedel. One of them was a panna cotta chocolate, or chocolate with a berry panna cotta filling.

The bars of chocolate were basically a layer of cream topped with a layer of berry jam and covered in chocolate. That sounds good, but it didn’t taste that great. All I could taste was the berry. I didn’t taste any chocolate and what I did taste was extremely sweet. Another case of teeth-loosening sweetness. It’s a real shame as the normal chocolate from this company is actually pretty good.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 5

Rose & pistachio Magnum

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A little while back I wrote about a Magnum I tried in Florence with salt, pretzel and chili. Just recently I went back to Florence and revisited the same Magnum shop. I didn’t want to repeat my mistake of adding too much chili, and so I went for something sweeter.

I asked the waiter to coat my Magnum in white chocolate and then sprinkle it with pistachios, rose petals and meringues. Although in Holland we don’t use rose to eat, in many Middle Eastern countries rose and pistachio is a tried and tested combination.

The Magnum ice-cream was as wonderful as ever, and the chocolate beautifully crisp, but I couldn’t really taste the pistachios or the rose. Then what’s the point of creating your own Magnum? Luckily the small dots of meringue did add a nice crunchy texture.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7