Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mirzam Chocolate Makers - 62% Coffee and Cardamom bar - May 23, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mirzam Chocolate Makers
62% Dark Chocolate Coffee and Cardamom bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.235 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 186 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's 62% Dark Chocolate with Coffee and Cardamom bar was from Mirzam Chocolate Makers (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).

This dark chocolate bar had an authentic coffee aroma with a slight sweet spice note.

The ground Arabica coffee gave the bar a slightly earthy, but balanced, texture and flavor, and coffee finish, with an occasional faint twinkle of cardamom.

The African cacao used to make this 5-ingredient* single origin bar was grown in Ghana.

*Ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, coffee, cardamom

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Antidote Chocolate - Coffee Crunch + Cardamom 73% cacao bar - May 22, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Antidote
Coffee Crunch + Cardamom 73% slow roasted cacao bar
Good
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $6.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Coffee Crunch + Cardamom bar made with 73% slow roasted cacao (from Manabi, Ecuador) was from Antidote (Brooklyn, New York).

This dark chocolate bar had dark chocolate and roasted coffee* flavor and crunchy bits with coffee buttercrunch toffee and cardamom spice notes.

*The Arabica coffee in this vegan, gluten-free and Kosher bar was grown in the Loja region of southern Ecuador.



Ethereal Confections - French Vanilla and Salted Almond - Olive Oil Ganache bar - May 21, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Ethereal Confections
French Vanilla and Salted Almond - Olive Oil Ganache bar
Good
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42.5 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 170 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.95 for 1 bar
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

The filling for this Dark Chocolate bar from Ethereal Confections (Woodstock, IL) contained olive oil and a hint of balsamic vinegar.

The coffee potion of today's entry was supplied by an affogato—a shot of coffee* poured over a small bowl of Mocha Difference and Vanilla ice creams from Three Twins Ice Cream (Petaluma, CA).

*A shot of coffee containing chaga and reishi mushroom no less. I don't think there is any way to mess up affogato. Coffee + vanilla, chocolate or coffee ice creams were made for each other.


Scandal-less Mocha Chip - May 20, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Lucerne Foods, Inc.
Open Nature Scandal-less Chocolate Mocha Chip Light Ice Cream
Good
Weight: 1/4 container (65.25 g.) (118.25 mL) / 1 Pint (473 mL) total container
Calories: 85 calories in 1/4 container
Cost: $3.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Open Nature Scandal-less Chocolate Mocha Chip Light Ice Cream was distributed by Lucerne Foods, Inc. (Pleasanton, CA).

A lot of people have created light ice creams, hoping to deliver the rich, creamy essence of ice cream, without all the fat and sugar. And the resulting products have mostly improved over time.

Today's "Scandal-less" ice cream had relatively creamy texture and light chocolate mocha flavor with a touch of authentic coffee taste, and tasted naturally sweet (erythritol) without an artificial sweetness.

The "only 340 calories in 1 pint" claim might encourage someone to have more than one serving, which may defeat the purpose. We still prefer a smaller portion of ice cream with the shortest ingredient list possible; but, people do enjoy having options like this.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Ritual Chocolate - Novo Coffee Anyetsu 60% bar - May 19, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Novo Coffee Anyetsu 60% Cacao bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Miette, Oakland, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Novo Coffee Anyetsu 60% bar was made by Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT).

This Novo Coffee bar had a bold roasted coffee aroma, smooth melt and relatively creamy texture.

The chocolate (a dark, multi-origin blend) had strong dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee* flavor.

For those wanting to experience more vanilla with your chocolate and coffee, Ritual also offers a great Vanilla (Madagascar) dark chocolate bar (featured previously on this site)—and a Vanilla Mocha truffle (part of their current spring 2019 assortment).

*Makers notes: "Novo Coffee's Anyetu is a sun-dried coffee from Wellega, Ethiopia. This ripe berry and floral coffee is paired with a balanced chocolate made from a blend of cacao sourced from several farms around the world."





Saturday, May 18, 2019

JonnyPops - Cold Press Coffee, Chocolate and Cream Pops - May 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

JonnyPops LLC
Coffee Chocolate and Cream pops
Good ++
Weight: 1.55 fl. oz. (45.8 g.) / 9.3 fl. oz. (275 g.) in total box of 6 junior pops
Calories: 90 calories in 1 junior pop
Cost: $3.39 (estimate) for 1 box of 6 junior pops
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Coffee Chocolate and Cream Pops were from JonnyPops LLC (St. Louis Park/Minneapolis, MN).

The company, founded by four Minnesota college students, offers a variety of fruit and cream, and chocolate and cream, flavors in their frozen treat line. The founders are committed to a simple ingredient list and avoiding artificial ingredients in their pops.

Made with cold press coffee made at their manufacturing facility (cold press coffee is the first ingredient listed) and real (heavy) cream, today's cream pops were in fact creamy smooth and rich with authentic mocha latte flavor in every bite. A hint of vanilla helped give these a light and sweet flavor without being too sugary.

JonnyPop's frozen treats are gluten-free, kosher certified and peanut-free. (Products are made in a peanut-free facility and, other than coconut in some flavors, these cream pops are nut-free as well.)

These cream bars were "junior"* pop size, which were great if you just want a smidge of tasty, creamy fun without spoiling your appetite for dinner.

After the pop is eaten, you'll find a good deed oriented message printed on each stick. Co-founder and CEO Eric Brust is quoted as saying: "We believe that every act of kindness—no matter how big or small—goes a long way." (We appreciate that sentiment.)

*It's not clear if this smaller, junior pop, size is still available in stores. All other (standard-sized) flavors we saw came packaged 3 to a box.







Donnelly Chocolates - Almond Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, Dark Chocolate Coffee Caramel - May 17, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Donnelly Chocolates

Dark Chocolate Coffee Caramel (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in 1 large piece
Calories: unknown
Cost: $6.00 for 1 large caramel

Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Ice Cream Almonds (ice cream bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: unknown
Calories: unknown
Cost: $6.00 for 1 ice cream bar
Purchased from: Donnelly Chocolates, Santa Cruz, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week. The hunt for these three flavors led to Santa Cruz, CA.

Today's mini-bar sized Dark Chocolate Coffee Caramel and Dark Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream and Almonds ice cream bar were created by Donnelly Chocolates (Santa Cruz, CA).

Thank you to Nick for counter assistance at Donnelly's and help in finding and selecting these two deluxe-sized chocolate, coffee and vanilla offerings, also known as dinner.

The Dark Chocolate Caramel bar was filled with everything you'd expect to find. The coffee flavor harmonized well with the dark chocolate, and the soft, caramel filling. The coffee helped balance the sweetness.

Now, on to the next course in this chocolate dinner. The vanilla ice cream in this Dark Chocolate Vanilla Almonds ice cream bar was from Marianne's Ice Cream (another local Santa Cruz, CA, sweets favorite). This tasty bar was a satisfying, cut above your standard store-bought ice cream bar for sure.


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