Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Jason Scott LLC - Christmas Cocoa Assortment; Belgian Chocolates- Jan. 14, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Jason Scott LLC
Christmas Cocoa Assortment (3 flavors)
Vanilla with Hazelnut
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (84 g.) in total package of 3 flavors
Calories: 100 calories in 1 packet
Cost: $2.99 for 1 package of 3 flavors
Purchased from: Ross Stores in Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Hazelnuts Theme Week.

Today's Christmas Cocoa Assortment of three festively packaged miniature mixes was from Jason Scott LLC (Boca Raton, FL). Nothing warms one up quite like a good cup of hot chocolate. The vanilla (mix) added comfort and joy to a sweet hot cocoa sipping experience.

Belgian Chocolate Assortment 
I also sampled four filled chocolate truffles from a Belgian chocolate assortment holiday box.

While they mentioned hazelnut fillings, none of the chocolates I sampled had extremely strong hazelnut flavor.

See photo (at right) for a picture of the four flavors that seemed to have the most detectable hazelnut flavor.

Unlike many similar chocolate assortments, these did not contain gluten/wheat ingredients.





Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Ghirardelli Chocolate - Milk Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts - Jan. 13, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Milk Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) 4.8 oz. (136.2 g.) in total package
Calories: 150 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $7.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Michael's, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

Today's Milk Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts from Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (San Leandro, CA) were an addictive blend of sweet rich milk chocolate, nuts, and a wee bit of salt.

The nuts had a slightly roasted flavor and a soft crunchy texture, contrasting with smooth chocolate coatings.

Experimental research...
Other chocolate research is frequently being conducted at Chocolate Banquet headquarters. For example, two experimental batches of pumpkin ice cream blended with pie spices, toasted hazelnuts and almonds, and chocolate fudge pieces, were created today. (The "fudge" pieces were created using melted, untempered dark chocolate and coconut oil.)

The verdict? More research is needed to perfect this ice cream. (I might try vanilla bean and honey ice cream next time.)

We'll stick to polishing off the Milk Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts today.

Trader Joe's - Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box - 2 pcs. - Jan. 12, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Trader Joe's
Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box
1.) Chocolate truffle (square) - Good +
2.) White chocolate covered with milk chocolate and feuilletine* filling - Good
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 3.53 oz. (100 g.) in total assortment box
Calories: 140 calories in 2 pieces/truffles
Cost: $ N/A - holiday gift from a friend (Thank you Joy!)
Purchased from: N/A - holiday gift (Trader Joe's)

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

I enjoyed the last two filled chocolate truffles (pictured at right) in an 8-piece holiday assortment box today.

Filled chocolate confections can be a tad sweet, but hazelnuts and other nuts can help balance out the sweetness. And it's fun to mix it up every once in awhile, especially during the darker winter months when sugar seems a bit more appealing.**

*Feuilletine denotes small bits of wafer mixed into the chocolate filling. And these bits usually contain wheat.

**Generally, I eat at least a piece of a high-percentage single origin bar each day. Living in a high-percentage, high-flavor world is enjoyable, even if one has to be more careful about ingesting too much theobromine (a stimulant in chocolate), and sugar, late in the day before sleeping. 


Trader Joe's - Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box - Hazelnut Leaf - Jan. 11, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Trader Joe's
Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box
1.) Chocolate Leaf (hazelnut filling) - Good +
2.) Dark chocolate covered "snail" with milk chocolate feuilletine filling - Good
3.) Filled chocolate truffle - caramel filling - Good
Weight: 1.32 oz. (37.5 g.) / 3.53 oz. (100 g.) in total assortment box
Calories: 210 calories in 3 pieces/truffles
Cost: $ N/A - holiday gift from a friend (Thank you Joy!)
Purchased from: N/A - holiday gift (Trader Joe's)

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

Today's three Belgian truffles came from an 8-piece assortment Ballotin Box that I received as a holiday gift from a friend.

The first truffle sampled was shaped like a leaf, that enveloped a tasty hazelnut chocolate ganache/filling. The second "snail" shaped truffle had a milk chocolate filling with what I'm guessing were tiny bits of wafer (feuilletine style).* The third chocolate (pictured at bottom left of photo) was filled with soft, flowing caramel.

*Those who are very sensitive to wheat might want to sample a small bite of each truffle first before taking a larger bite.

Trader Joe's Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box - Hazelnut Heart - Jan. 10, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box
1.) Milk chocolate heart (hazelnut filling)
2.) Dark chocolate filled cocoa pod
3.) White chocolate covered flower
Weight: 1.32 oz. (37.5 g.) / 3.53 oz. (100 g.) in total assortment box
Calories: 210 calories in 3 pieces/truffles
Cost: $ N/A - holiday gift from a friend (Thank you Joy!)
Purchased from: N/A - holiday gift (Trader Joe's)

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

There is something decadent and wonderful about chocolate hazelnut filled chocolates. Thank you to Joy for this lovely assortment box of chocolate truffles with hazelnut.

Of the 8 different truffles in this box, some of the fillings had more pronounced hazelnut flavor than others. (The number one ingredient listed on the back was "hazelnut filling."

The chocolate heart in this 8-piece assortment was filled with chocolate hazelnut ganache that was somewhere between an Italian gianduja/gianduia and a Nutella filling. (I have positive memories of both.)

The cocoa pod shaped and textured truffle added an authentic touch. I wonder how many people might recognize this as the "mother" fruit that contains the seeds used to make chocolate?

Note: Some of these chocolates contained tiny bits of wafer or wheat.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Roshen - Dark Chocolate chopped hazelnuts 56% cocoa (bar) - Jan. 9, 2020

Chocolate of the Day:

Roshen
Dark Chocolate chopped hazelnuts 56% cocoa (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 3.18 oz. (90 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Crossroads Specialty Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

Today's Dark Chocolate chopped hazelnuts 56% cocoa (bar) was made by Roshen (Ukraine), and imported by Roshen USA LLC (Cranbury, NJ).

This dark bar had a sweet chocolate aroma with a slight pleasant smoky, roasted nut note. Hazelnut pieces added a soft, crunchy nutty texture and flavor.








Taza Chocolate - Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts - Jan. 8, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Taza Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 4.2 oz. (119 g.) in total package
Calories: 170 calories in 1 oz. serving
Cost: $7.95 for 1 package
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA


Welcome to Day #8 of Hit the Trail with Chocolate Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Hazelnuts Theme Week.

Today's Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts were from Taza Chocolate (Somerville, MA).


The 55% cacao chocolate was stone ground, Organic, Direct Trade, Non GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten Free, Kosher Pareve, dairy free, soy free, and vegan.

The roasted, organic hazelnuts was crunchy and flavorful and complemented the slightly rustic, flavorful dark chocolate. This was a great winter walk snack and not too sweet (thank you!).

Today's walk outside was extra beautiful. Rainbows by the Pacific Ocean and a walk on the beach to look at elephant seals and surfers. And chocolate.

Ingredients: Organic dark chocolate (organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla beans), organic roasted hazelnuts.

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