Monday, January 10, 2011

COCOA HEAVEN REVIEW - Feed Your Chocolate Obsession

Since doing our giveaway I have cashed in my $25 gift certificate to not only see what a winning entry would taste like, but used the remaining funds to have a little fun of my own with a custom chocolate combination from Choccreate Custom Chocolates.

The order came really fast once I placed it and although I got tripped up a bit in the gift certificate redeeming system, customer service came through in a flash. Everything came in a neat pink and brown striped box with a fun pink ribbon tied up all around it. I’ll definitely be reusing this box as a gift box in the future!

So what did I create?

First up: Figgy Pudding (the winning entry from the Choccreate Chocolate Christmas Contest)

White chocolate, dried figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecan nuts, walnuts

I am loving the whole pecans on this bar by the way. No dust or bits here! The base white chocolate is quite creamy and a solid start to house the winning combination of pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg, which is what I get on the first bite. The second bite brings out the dried figs and walnuts and I have to say I really not only like this combination, but the entire package. The spices come through but don’t overpower, the nuts and figs compliment the white chocolate and I am ready to go for another bite, the only downside being trying to get the fig bits unstuck from my molars.

Next: Dark chocolate, almond slivers, dried raspberries, granulated honey

The base dark chocolate is a decent base, bitter, not too bitter/dark, creamy and it smells like dark chocolate should-strong but not sickly sweet. The dried raspberry reminds me a lot of raspberry Fig Newtons because of the texture, not because of what was stuck in my teeth. It’s a good solid raspberry flavor that is spread out throughout the bar in little pockets of fruity goodness. The granulated honey is unfortunately lost in all this. I tried just licking or separating it out to see if I could taste it, I just couldn’t. If I were to do this again, I’d pair the honey with a lighter chocolate like milk or white. The almonds didn’t have a whole lot of taste either, but they did lend a great texture both visually and orally.

Next: Milk Chocolate, candied rose petals, cinnamon, pecan nuts, sour tart cherries

I will admit I added candied to rose petals to this creation purely out of curiousity. Wouldn’t you? And yes, I bit a piece out by itself first. You know what’s tasty? Sugared rose petals.The cinnamon on this bar is very “present” as in I smell it and can see it quite well. I get a good bite with the cherry, rose petal and cinnamon right away. The pecan are those gorgeous whole pecans, so I’ll have to do some finagling on the next one to get a bit of everything. The cherries are terrific, plump (as plump as dried can get), sour and sweet. I could eat these by the handful alone, add in a bit of pecan and it’s really special. The base milk chocolate is smooth and creamy and pairs well with this combination as it’s very subtle and doesn’t ride over the featured ingredients. If I had to do this again, I would leave out the cinnamon, as I feel it’s overpowering what I really want at this point.

What did I learn from “creating” my own chocolates? Less is more. The reason chocolate makers stick to one flavor isn’t just related to cost (sometimes they are cheap, let’s face it) but too much can pull you in too many directions when enjoying a chocolate candy. However- “creating” my own chocolate was a blast. I did overall liked what the creations ended up being and if I did it again, I have a lot better idea of what actually goes than what I thought would!

Thanks to Choccreate for the chance!

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