Blüprint Chocolatier

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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 😉

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

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

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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

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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!!!

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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!

Droste

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For chocolate on-the-go, I LOVE Droste pastilles!!! I remember years ago when I was little my parents introduced these to my siblings and I to these little pieces of yummyness, but it wasn’t until I was in college when I discovered how important they would become to me.

My last year of college was especially stressful. I was packing in as many extra courses as I could to graduate on time yet include a minor or two under my degree and an independent study.  I tried to always keep chocolate in my bag so that during lectures and while running in between classes I could have some much needed stress relief. Chocolate helped me pull through!

The thing was that during warmer months it became difficult to keep chocolate nearby without it melting all over the inside of my bag. I remember having many frustrating days when I’d find a mushy bar or having to wipe traces of chocolate carnage from the interior of my bag.

Then I learned that Droste for some reason didn’t melt as quickly as other chocolates! The packaging was different in that the chocolate pastilles were kept in a foil wrapper and then tucked inside of a box. That’s not the case in my picture above, but most Droste I’ve seen are double-protected like that. I don’t know if that method of wrapping helped insulate it better, but what mattered was that there was no meltyness going on and I was very, very happy to have intact chocolate 🙂

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As the packaging says, this is Dutch chocolate. Lately the more I’ve been learning about Dutch chocolates, the more I fall in love with them over any other chocolates out there. I recently raved about De Ruijter chocolate sprinkles, and now I’ve shared Droste 🙂

De Ruijter Chocolate Sprinkles

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These have changed my life forever. They look so simple. Many people I’ve introduced these to were skeptical at first, but then they would immediately fall in love as fast as I did. It’s easy to pass by a box of these in the chocolate store and not think much about it. But you should reconsider, turn around and grab one up!

I’m talking about the De Ruijter chocolate sprinkles.

An aunt of mine from the Netherlands, who is also a fellow chocolate-lover, introduced me to this magical thing. Yes, this a Dutch product. And I love it. Absolutely love it! If the Dutch wanted to take over the world, they could do it using these little sprinkles 😀

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Whenever I’ve introduced my American friends to these, they look at me incredulously like, “Seriously, Lori? You’re addicted to chocolate sprinkles?” And I understand why they are confused. Here in America our chocolate sprinkles taste like nothing. They look like they are supposed to taste like something, but you just get a little crunch and that’s it. Disappointing, right?

But De Ruijter actually tastes like chocolate!!!

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When my aunt introduced me to De Ruijter, she recommended that I try it on buttered toast. It’s perfect for sit-down-and-have-some-“me”-time. It’s even better with coffee in the morning!

But these sprinkles don’t have to be limited to buttered toast! I mailed a box of this goodness to a dear friend of mine, and in return she sent me a picture of having used it to decorate a cake. I love having these on top of gelato! I’ve had them with cream cheese on top of a toasted bagel. Put them on top of toast with peanut butter. I’ve poured them straight into my mouth during desperate times in dire need of a chocolate fix 😀

De Ruijter also has these available in milk chocolate, though so far I much prefer the dark chocolate sprinkles. They have chocolate shavings as well if you prefer that.

Because of these little sprinkles, I’ve experienced for the first time people almost getting angry at me over chocolate. Why? They get immediately hooked and want more. It’s a good angry 🙂 I highly recommend these, and if you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out on something wonderfully addictive!

Ovation Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice

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I’m one of those crazy people who gets super excited for pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks and pumpkin everything 😀 So in celebration of Fall, I had to share one of these chocolate oranges. I saw this for the first time last Fall and loved the combination of chocolate with pumpkin spice.

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Several years ago I was introduced to the plain milk chocolate orange by Terry’s. I hadn’t seen a chocolate that was packaged in this form, and it’s pretty fun to smash to break apart the pieces before unwrapping! Though sometimes I had a hard time getting the thing cracked apart and then I’d end up frustrated throwing the ball of chocolate around until I could get a few pieces broken off 😛

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I really like this chocolate, but nowadays it might be a tad too sweet for me. Otherwise, it’s a unique combination that’s perfect to have with a pumpkin spice latte in one hand, and a slice of this chocolate orange in the other 🙂 If this were available in dark chocolate, I’d definitely want to try it and see if there’s a more equal balance in spice vs. sweetness.

I’m surprised I haven’t found much for chocolate + pumpkin spice combos 😛 If anyone knows of any, please let me know so I can find it and try it!

Karam Bitter

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I was wandering through Yas Bakery one day exploring what they had. I was keeping an eye out for chocolates I might not have tried before. After seeing no chocolate in sight and feeling disappointed, I wandered to their register counter to purchase whatever else I had gathered. Then I noticed that below the counter there was a hidden stash of goodies. 

Karam Bitter was one of those treasures. This was the first time I’ve seen a chocolate bar with pistachios in it!

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My guess looking at the back of the wrapper was this was Turkish. I tried Googling Karam Bitter to double check. The top search result brought me to a website where a little box popped up at the top of my screen saying everything was in Turkish. With that out of the way, I unwrapped the chocolate to find a very sad discovery.

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It was pretty melted 🙁

*sigh*

Melted chocolate makes me very sad, by the way 😛 I have a story about melted chocolate, but I will have to share that another time.

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After getting over the sadness, I finally tasted it. At first I wasn’t sure I liked it. But the longer I chewed it, the more I got a taste of the smooth, slightly sweet dark chocolate and of the pistachio flavor. I wouldn’t say this is bitter as it says on the wrapper, but maybe the melting might have had an affect?

I can’t say I’m in love with this bar, but I am definitely liking that it exclusively has pistachio as its add-in. Has anyone else seen chocolate only has pistachios in it???

Ikea Chocolate

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This past weekend an unplanned trip to Ikea happened. I didn’t walk out with any furniture in my hands. Nor did I get any home decor goodies…

I walked out with chocolate!!!

The last time I went to Ikea their chocolate wrapping was a little different so I didn’t quite recognize them at first as being the same. I’m sad they only have three varieties to choose from, but I made sure to grab one of each for sampling.

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Since I always love milk chocolate with hazelnut, I consumed that one first. I really liked it! For a super cheap chocolate bar, it was not bad at all!

The milk chocolate was ok, but I wish it had something else mixed in there like berries.

The dark chocolate I did not like 🙁 I guess you could say, “Lori, what do you expect from a 99 cent chocolate bar??” But since I liked the hazelnut, I had my hopes for the dark chocolate. This one tasted like it was asking for cocoa nibs or coffee beans to be mixed into it. It had the right bitterness to make you think it was pretty decent, but having something extra there would definitely give it a thumbs up.

Overall, I would have picked up a lot more of those hazelnut bars. The milk and dark chocolate were more meh for me, but kudos to Ikea for making the effort.

Meiji Black Chocolate


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I found this at HMart (and Asian grocery store) while I was waiting in line and I knew that I HAD to try it! I’ve tried other chocolates by Meiji, and this was one I hadn’t seen before.

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I love the detail I’ve seen in the packaging of some Japanese products. Like how the chocolate pieces in this box is individually wrapped to look like mini gold nuggets. I’ve heard that individually wrapping sweets is meant to support portion control, but it doesn’t take much energy to unwrap piece after piece XD

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Since the box says “black” on it, I’m guessing that this is supposed to be dark chocolate, but it tastes like a combination of dark and milk chocolate. It’s not bitter enough to be all dark chocolate, but not sweet enough to be all milk chocolate. When I first took a bite, the flavor was very familiar! I couldn’t put my finger on it right away, but if I remember correctly, the combination seems similar to the Droste Pastille half milk – half dark chocolate wafers.

A long time ago I had directly ordered from Japan a chocolate bar containing green tea. The bar itself was literally green in color, and you could immediately taste the bitterness of the tea (I’m guessing a kind of matcha tea was used?). I can’t remember if it was also by Meiji, but I hope I can find it again so I can talk about it here 🙂 I will definitely at some point talk about Dolfin’s milk chocolate bar with green tea. Theirs isn’t green in color, but it is one of my top favorite chocolate bars and I’m looking forward to sharing more about it!

Icelandic Chocolate

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The lighting wasn’t good where I was taking my pictures 🙁

A sweet friend gave me this bar as a surprise 🙂 I have seen this brand many times at Whole Foods, but for some reason I never bothered to try it. This was my chance!

I usually prefer the creaminess of milk chocolate over dark chocolate, but I will have to try Icelandic’s dark chocolate at some point for comparison.

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I inhaled half of this bar in one sitting. It was very smooth in texture and I just couldn’t stop eating it! If you have a problem keeping a stash of milk chocolate aside for more than a day, I recommend Icelandic Chocolate XD

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