Williams Bennet

IMG_2938

I was waiting in line to purchase some items, when my sister pointed this out to me. I decided, why not give it a try? I was feeling a little iffy on the decision because I’ve had chocolate covered Oreos before from Cocoa Vienna (a local chocolate store in Vienna, VA) and LOVED them, but those were freshly prepared. These were… probably sitting on the shelf for a very long time :/

IMG_2941

But figuring that this was a little package and it wasn’t like I had anything to lose (except maybe if they disagreed with my stomach?), I thought I would give it a go.

IMG_2940

The chocolate looked fine and didn’t have any of that white-ish powder that chocolate gets once it becomes old and no longer good. That was a good sign! The Oreo cookie itself didn’t taste stale or get mushy like old Oreos get. It was surprisingly alright!

I had my brother and brother-in-law try them out. They also thought these choco covered Oreos were ok. Neither of us were absolutely in love with them, so I’m sorry, Williams Bennett. I can’t say I would inhale another package of these :/ Maybe if I could try one right off of the manufacturing belt I’d change my mind. Just like how Krispy Kreme doughnuts are best right off of the belt 😀

I will say, I looked at Williams Bennett’s website and I read that they supposedly have chocolate covered Nutter Butter cookies… I’ve gone through a phase of craving Nutter Butter cookies like crazy, so I’d totally be willing to give those a try!!

Brookside

IMG_2919

I remember first seeing Brookside’s chocolate covered berries in an ad on TV showing what looked like people attending a wine tasting and eating these chocolate covered berries on the side.  I don’t know if their message is that it’s best to drink wine with their chocolates, but I’m going to eat them as they are 🙂

A kind coworker gave me these bags of dark chocolate covered pomegranate and the clusters as a gift. A gift that I thoroughly enjoyed 🙂

IMG_2924

I opened up the bag of chocolate covered pomegranate first.

Something about the tartness of the pomegranate versus the smooth dark chocolate made it easy to eat almost the whole bag in one sitting XD

IMG_2923

This was my first time trying out Brookside’s clusters. I definitely like the light crunchiness! The crunchy parts are not hard on the teeth so you can enjoy the chewy texture of the fruit bits.

When it comes to the dark chocolate covered fruit pieces, I’ve tried all of Brookside’s flavors: pomegranate, blueberry and acai, and goji and raspberry. Out of the three I think my favorite is the goji and raspberry the best for their balance of sweetness and tartness 🙂 I like the chocolate covered pomegranate almost as much, but sometimes the tartness of the pomegranate makes my throat a little sore after eating so many of them XD

I really like the clusters! They would be great as a hiking snack, an on-the-go snack while running errands, or turned into a trail mix bar.

I hope Brookside will expand on their chocolate covered berry flavors and products!

Baci

IMG_2903

I’m excited that this is my 20th post! Already it feels like not long ago I had written my first post about Toblerone 🙂

I’ve decided that in celebration, I’m going to talk about a chocolate that is special. It’s special because it’s one of my mom’s favorite 🙂

When I was first introduced to Baci, I was browsing a store with my mom when she gasped, got really excited and picked up a little box containing a couple of pieces of Baci. She told me that she had them before when she was younger and loved them!

When my parents moved further away and could only visit my siblings and I for Christmas, I decided I would give my mom some Baci every year as a part of my gift to her.

IMG_2904

Baci contains some sort of ganache with hazelnut pieces and one whole piece of hazelnut (it’s that bump on top) all covered with a layer of dark chocolate. My guess is that the ganache might also contain hazelnut flavoring because when I pop a Baci in my mouth, it is flooded with so much hazelnut goodness 🙂

IMG_2906

You know how Dove chocolate usually has a message of some sort on the inside of their foil wrappers? Baci does something like that, but instead of an encouraging or uplifting message, it’s a phrase that you can ponder upon. This one says in four languages, “Friends will forgive each other’s small defects. – Jean La Bruyère”

I would like to imagine that Baci is one of those chocolates that you slowly unwrap while lounging in a cozy space so you could savor the hazelnut flavors as long as you want and read the messages in each wrapper 🙂

Lebkuchen



IMG_2929

Lebkuchen.

Whenever I hear my mom talk about them, I immediately want to eat some 🙂

If you Google “lebkuchen,” you will see a blurb from Wikipedia talking about what lebkuchen is. From my understanding, it’s a type of German cookie (the packaging says “cakes”) that is similar to gingerbread. My mom, of course, introduced me to these goodies 🙂

IMG_2926IMG_2925

The packaging here says that these are “Contessa” or “Contessa choco,” but they are basically lebkuchen.

With Christmas quickly drawing near and with stores starting to fill their shelves with Christmas things, I started keeping an eye out for lebkuchen. I knew that World Market carried them. Last winter I waited too long and they were sold out before I could get some 🙁 But this year when I saw them first hit the shelves, I immediately grabbed a few. The only types I’ve seen there so far are what look like regular and chocolate covered lebkuchen.

IMG_2930

For the regular lebkuchen, the glaze around the gingerbread parts give it a nice, light crispy texture. The gingerbread part inside is very soft.

IMG_2931

These regular lebkuchen even have a layer of secret chocolate lining the bottom 😉

IMG_2929

Of course, the fully chocolate covered lebkuchen are my favorite 🙂 The texture isn’t as crispy because of the layer of chocolate on top, but you definitely get more chocolateyness in your mouth which is always good for a chocolate lover! The flavors brings back to memories of Christmas get-togethers with my family 🙂

I highly recommend lebkuchen, especially for the holidays! Grab some if you can find them!

Scharffen Berger


IMG_2896

I think the first time I heard about this chocolate was in an article where the writer was talking about how you could make your own chocolate bars by melting down some Scharffen Berger and then add some tea leaves, sea salt or other flavorings as you’d like. Not a bad way to customize your chocolate!

I’ve only found this chocolate at Harris Teeter so far, and usually I just find plain milk or dark chocolate, so I was super excited when I was able to find milk chocolate with coconut and macadamia and dark chocolate with pistachios!

By the way, in a previous post I talked about Karam Bitter, a dark chocolate bar with pistachios. I mentioned that I hadn’t seen any chocolates with pistachios in them except for that one. Well, ever since I’ve made that comment, I’m seeing dark chocolate with pistachio EVERYWHERE! Every place I’ve found chocolate I’m seeing a variety of brands that have dark chocolate with pistachios in them. I’m thinking, seriously?! Why couldn’t I find these before??

So, I looked up a little bit of into about Scharffen Berger and apparently they used to be their own little chocolate company that would actually make their own chocolate as opposed to using the chocolate from other brands and manipulating it for their own recipes. Then Hershey’s took over Scharffen Berger… sure enough the back of the wrapper says it’s from Hershey’s! I might have to rethink Hershey’s now 😛

FullSizeRender

Milk chocolate + coconut + macadamia

I keep repeating this, but I do tend to prefer milk chocolate for it’s sweeter taste than the bitterness of dark chocolate, though I am trying to make myself appreciate dark chocolate more 🙂 When I smelled the bar, I definitely got the macadmia, but when eating it, I tasted more coconut than macadamia. There was a slight crunch of the nuts, but I got more of the chewiness of coconut. Since I love macadamia, I wish they were in slivers or larger chunks. If you love coconut though and have a hard time finding it with milk chocolate (usually I’ve found it paired with dark chocolate), this one is for you!

Milk chocolate

Like many other milk chocolate bars out there, this was simple yet creamy and smooth. As a milk chocolate lover, I would definitely eat, like, many of these bars in one sitting XD

Dark chocolate + (sea salted) pistachios

Hmmm so when I smelled this bar, I definitely got dark chocolate, sea salt and sort of the pistachios. In the picture you can see that there are pistachios in there… but when I ate the bar, I mainly tasted the sea salt. The pistachio seemed more like a secondary flavor. Overall this was too salty for me 🙁 More pistachios and less salt please!

Sadly I can’t say I was immediately hooked onto the bars with mix-ins 🙁 I wish I liked them more! If I had to choose, though, I’d go for the milk chocolate with coconut.

Divine

IMG_2892

You know how people say that you need to stop and smell the roses?

I think we need to start saying, “Stop and smell the chocolate!” because chocolate smells so good!

If you’re like me and you tend to buy your chocolate, unwrap it, admire how it looks and then quickly pop it into your mouth, then you and I are missing something super important!

I get that we need to part of savoring food is to admire how it looks, but I always forget that I need to appreciate the aromas as well. When I unwrapped all of the Divine bars, I was reminded of how I need to start smelling my chocolate 🙂

IMG_2893

Dark chocolate + raspberry

You can smell the sweet raspberries amidst the earthiness of the dark chocolate and then taste their light crunchiness.

Dark chocolate + mango + coconut

The smell of mango was stronger than the coconut. When I took a bite, the taste of mango flooded my taste buds. After some chewing, you get the taste of coconut and feel like you could enjoy this bar on the beach with a drink in your other hand.

Dark chocolate + ginger + orange

Normally I’m not a huge fan of ginger. This one did have an explosion of ginger flavors before I taste orange, but thankfully this bar didn’t have an overpowering ginger taste compared to other chocolates I’ve eaten.

Dark chocolate + mint

I loved the smell of this one! The mint smelled more natural than the mint you smell and taste in peppermint patties – though I’ll still eat those! There were crunchy mint bits inside as well.

Normally when I grab up a bar of Divine chocolate I go for their milk chocolate with hazelnut, but I’m glad I tried more of their dark chocolate bars instead!

Perguina

IMG_2765

I have to admit, guys. I’m not proud of this post. I completely forgot how these chocolates taste, so I can’t give any criticism or raving reviews of Perugina 🙁 

What I CAN say is that I was introduced to this brand when a friend gave me their dark chocolate with lemon bar as a gift! Dark chocolate with orange is such a common chocolate + citrus combo, but lemon in chocolate… that was new for me.

IMG_2767

When I got these chocolate bars at World Market, I found mostly dark chocolate and only one milk chocolate bar by Perugina.

I almost forgot that this brand is Italian and that Perugina also makes Baci, a chocolate that my mom loves! I will have to make a post about Baci sometime 🙂

IMG_2771
Dark chocolate with almonds.
IMG_2770
Milk chocolate with almonds.
IMG_2769
Dark chocolate with lemon.
IMG_2768
Dark chocolate with orange peel.

You know, I really can’t think of anything else to talk about this chocolate… maybe that means I wasn’t totally in love with it 😛 Well that’s a bummer 🙁

Chouquette

IMG_2798

You know when you are taking a long stroll in some beautiful scenery, taking it all in, feeling so peaceful… and then you get that snackish feeling? Like you can’t eat a meal but you need an energy boost or else you’ll keel over?

While wandering around the National Arboretum in DC with a couple of friends, we decided we needed to stop by the gift shop and get something to hold ourselves over. Of course, chocolate was needed!

I had heard of Chouquette and I know they have a store location in Bethesda, Maryland, but I have yet to stop by there. This was a chance to try one of their treats!

IMG_2800

The cherry blossom decor on the chocolates looked so pretty, I almost didn’t want to eat them. But since it’s chocolate, it’s destiny is to be consumed XD

IMG_2803

I wish I had gotten a better picture of the caramel goodness oozing out. Better yet, I would have wanted to share these with you, dear reader, because the gooeyness of these chocolates was very delightful. It wasn’t too runny like some caramel chocolates I’ve tried, nor was it tough or too chewy. It was melt-in-your mouth texture. And you could taste some tiny chunks of sea salt floating around in the caramel.

The five chocolate pieces were consumed pretty quickly. I wish I could be eating more as I’m writing this post 🙁 I need to get myself over to Chouquette to try more of their stuff!

Blüprint Chocolatier

IMG_2832

Now that temperatures are starting to drop in my area, I can finally start to get chocolate from local shops and bring them home without worrying about them melting!!! I’m super excited because that means that during the colder months I can post more about the local chocolate shops in my area 🙂 For my blog I like to get the chocolate, take pictures, eat it and then post about it as soon as I can while my thoughts about it are fresh on my mind.

Regarding local chocolate shops, I’m starting with Blüprint Chocolatier in Old Town Alexandria.

They opened I think this past spring. My first time stopping by there was earlier in the summer, but it was way too hot then to carry around a little box of their chocolates. Blüprint makes their chocolates in the same building where they are sold.

Recently when I went, I grabbed a hot chocolate and a 4-piece box. I took the first picture above as soon as I could since the hot chocolate was not going to survive long 😉

IMG_2846

This is the overall picture of what chocolates I brought home.

IMG_2847

Chai with milk chocolate. I really like the slight spiciness of chai with chocolate.

IMG_2848

Whiskey with milk chocolate. Normally I’m not a fan of chocolate with alcoholic flavorings since I usually find them to be too strong for my taste, but this was well balanced in my opinion. I think there was a good ratio of ganache and whiskey flavoring so the whiskey wasn’t too overpowering.

IMG_2849Passion fruit with dark chocolate. I’m always up for trying chocolate + fruit combos!

IMG_2850I wanted to see if Blüprint had their own pumpkin spice or pumpkin flavored chocolate, but they didn’t have any. Instead they had an apple flavored chocolate! I can’t remember what else was in this 😛 I personally haven’t seen any chocolate + apple combinations, so I hope to be able to find more in the future!

Ever since my view to the world of chocolate has been expanded, I love finding local chocolate shops and seeing what makes them unique. And it’s always a great sign when you walk into a chocolate shop and you can see that they make their own chocolates on site. It tells me how serious they are about their chocolate and I feel like I can trust their quality 🙂




Godiva Pumpkin Truffles

IMG_2858

I was really hoping to make a chocolate post at least once a week, but then I got really sick with the changing of temperatures and the season which forced me to not be able to post anything in the past week 🙁 But thankfully I am recovering and I have several chocolate things I want to post about in the near future!

A dear friend came to visit me during my time of recovery and we were able to spend our birthdays together. During her stay while we were wandering around Georgetown, we saw a Godiva store and decided we had to pop in.

So this Godiva store in particular I had gone into multiple times. Like enough times that one of the ladies working there recognized me 😉 It had been a while since I had last visited this location, so I was pleasantly surprised when this same lady recognized me and immediately handed my friend and I chocolate samples!

My friend’s and my main objective was to see if there were any pumpkin flavored truffles and sure enough, there were two of them!!!

IMG_2860

The orange truffle on the left is Pumpkin Cheesecake. It was gooey and so cheesecakey! Next time I pass by a Godiva, I’m going to see if I can grab several more 😉 The one on the right is Pumpkin Spice. It tastes like the pumpkin spice latte condensed into a ball and then surrounded by a protective layer of milk chocolate. That’s the way I would prefer my PSL!

If you have signed up to be a member of Godiva (signing up is free!), during your birthday month you get $10 off any purchase and a free truffle. Because our visit was during my birthday month, I used my $10 purchase to get a small box of Pumpkin Spice truffles. (I had already broken into the box and started eating the truffles before taking a picture.) Admittedly I think I would grab a handful of the Pumpkin Cheesecake truffles over the Pumpkin Spice, but there were no boxes of simply Pumpkin Cheesecake available.

If you are near a Godiva store, grab each of these truffles and try them out! Totally worth it!