Sunday, November 23, 2014

3D Candies - Blue Cheese White Fig caramels - Nov. 23, 2014

Chocolate of the Day:

3D Candies
Blue Cheese White Fig chocolate caramels
Good - Good +
Weight: .672 oz. (19 g.) / 3.36 oz. (95 g.) in total package
Calories: 100 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $14.99 for 1 package of 5 pieces
Purchased from: Draegers, San Mateo, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Fig Theme Week.

3D Candies (Sacramento, CA) offers several caramels, and has developed successful relationships with wineries over time -- which likely leads to fun and interesting food and chocolate taste test research with wine.

Today's 3D Blue Cheese and White Fig, non-GMO, chocolate-covered caramels might pair well with some wines. (Perhaps port or sherry and some savory, roasted walnuts would make an interesting trio?)

Each of the five pieces in this package were decorated with a slice of dried white fig. I didn't taste any blue cheese flavor in these caramels. While some will revel in the generous sweet caramel filling, I might be tempted to add a few grains of sea sea salt or savory flavor to balance the sweetness.

As with any caramel or filled chocolate, make sure you buy a fresh package.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - Fig Butter Bar - Nov. 22, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Oakland Chocolate Co.
Fig Butter Bar
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 149 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $3.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Co., Oakland, CA

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Fig Theme Week.

This dark chocolate Fig Butter Bar was hand-crafted by Nancy Nadel at The Oakland Chocolate Co. (Oakland, CA). The chocolate was made from scratch using single origin, Jamaican cacao beans. And the tiny filling cavities were bursting with dried chopped fig, and hints of orange zest, lemon and sea, salt yielding a small bar that was full of concentrated flavor.






Friday, November 21, 2014

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - 85% Fig, Pumpkin seed bark - Nov. 21, 2014

Chocolate of the Day:

The Oakland Chocolate Co.
85% Cacao Chocolate Bark - Fig, Pumpkin and Hemp Seeds
Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70.75 g.) in total bag/package
Calories: 149 calories (estimate) in 1 oz. piece of bark
Cost: $5.50 for 1 bag/package
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Co., Oakland, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Fig Theme Week. Cold weather tends to enhance my appreciation of rich, concentrated flavors, like those found in dried fruits. So, while fresh figs are wonderful, I'm focusing on great chocolates made with dried figs this week.

Today's dark chocolate and fig offering from The Oakland Chocolate Co. (Oakland, CA) came in the form of thin shards of 85% (Jamaican) cacao bark, adorned with small slices of dried figs. Green pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and small, sparkling crystals of sea salt added great, well-balanced texture and flavor.

When so many other holiday barks are loaded with sugar, this one stands out as a less-sweet, tasty, dark alternative. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - Chipotle Lime Bar - Nov. 20, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Oakland Chocolate Co.
Chipotle Lime Bar
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 149 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $2.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Co., Oakland, CA

I do like citrus flavors, and they stand up well when blended with dark chocolate. Today's Chipotle Lime Bar with Fleur de Sel was a fun and well-balanced bar -- with just the right amount of candied lime zest, fleur de sel, and a hint of chipotle pepper.

Created by chocolate maker, Nancy Nadel, owner of The Oakland Chocolate Co. (Oakland, CA), this 70% dark chocolate bar was crafted from single origin cacao beans from Saint Mary Parish in Northeast Jamaica.

Today was Day #7 of Chocolate and Jamaica Theme Week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - One Love Very Dark Bar - Nov. 19, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Oakland Chocolate Co.
"One Love" Very Dark Bar
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.35 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 149 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $2.25 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Co., Oakland, CA

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Jamaica Theme Week.

For a pure Jamaican dark chocolate experience you might try the "One Love" Very Dark Bar from The Oakland Chocolate Co. (Oakland, CA).

This smaller sized bar (just the right size for me) was smooth in texture, and had a robust, Jamaican Origin 85% cacao flavor profile.






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jamaican Chocolate Tea, Turtle Square - Nov. 18, 2014

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Jamaican Hot Chocolate Tea
(made with grated bean-to-bar chocolate, cinnamon, other)
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: 9 oz. (estimate) serving
Calories: 300 calories (estimate) in 1 serving
Cost: $ (various sources)
Purchased from: (various sources)

The Best Chocolate in Town
Turtle Square
Good
Weight: 1.75 oz. (49.5 g.) (estimate) for 1 piece
Calories: 262 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $ N/A - gift from a friend - Thank you Toni!
Purchased from:  N/A - gift from a friend

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Jamaica Theme Week. Our warm California sun disappeared today behind the clouds and a cooler weather front. So, I searched for recipes for a hot Jamaican Chocolate Tea that I'd read about.

This Jamaican style chocolate beverage, or my facsimile thereof, was close to what we call hot chocolate in the U.S., although more flavorful than our hot cocoa. Ingredients include: grated chocolate (not cocoa powder), water, and cinnamon (leaves and/or bark) carefully brewed together, and sweetened with condensed milk, sugar, and sometimes a dash of salt.

I enjoyed the Jamaica hot chocolate tea with a chocolate Turtle Square from The Best Chocolate in Town shop (Indianapolis, IN) that I received from a friend. This generously sized square-shaped turtle was filled with chewy chopped nuts and caramel.

After this warm, cinnamon-spiced chocolate and hearty square, it made it easier to imagine being on a beach in Jamaica, maybe watching some turtles in the sea.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - Black Pepper Cherry Bar - Nov. 17, '14



Chocolate of the Day: 

The Oakland Chocolate Co.
Black Pepper Sweet Cherry Bar
Good ++ - Very Good 
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 149 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $2.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Co., Oakland, CA

Dried sweet cherries harmonized with dark chocolate, in today's slightly earthy, Black Pepper Sweet Cherry Bar from The Oakland Chocolate Co. (Oakland, CA). A light sprinkle of black pepper and sea salt gave this 70% cacao bar a balanced, complementary flavor zing.

Chocolate maker, Nancy Nadel, sources cacao beans from a single Parish (Saint Mary) in Jamaica to craft her bean-to-bar (or bonbon) chocolate that serves as a base for her offerings.

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Jamaica Theme Week.

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