Saturday, September 22, 2018

Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate - Magnum Milk Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream - Sept. 22, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Unilever
Magnum Milk Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream
Good - Good +
Weight: 1/3 cup (55 g.) / 14.8 fl. oz. (440 mL) in total container
Calories: 185 calories in 1/3 cup
Cost: $4.99 (estimate) for 1 container
Purchased from: Safeway (missing location information)

Welcome to Day #12 of Celebrating 12-Years of Chocolate Series, and Day #2 of Chocolate and Ice Cream Theme Week.

Today's Magnum Milk Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream was from Unilever (Englewood Cliffs, NJ).

The unique feature about this relatively new offering was: "Squeeze to Crack" packaging—a hybrid of a large, chocolate-coated ice cream bar and a container of ice cream.

When you squeeze the plastic container, the chocolate "lining" or coating breaks with a crunch. Then you can enjoy bites of hazelnut ice cream mixed with milk chocolate shards. Fun concept.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate - Magnum Double Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream bars - Sept. 21, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Unilever
Magnum Double Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream bars
Good
Weight: 3.04 oz. (90 g.) / 9.12 oz. (270 mL) in total package of 3 bars
Calories: 280 calories in 1 ice cream bar
Cost: $4.99 (estimate) for 1 package of 3 ice cream bars
Purchased from: Safeway (missing location information)

Welcome to Day #11 of Celebrating 12 Years of Chocolate Series, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Ice Cream Theme Week.

Continuing the chocolate and hazelnut ice cream thread started with yesterday's Turkish Choco Hazelnut ice cream, and in response to a last blast of hot summer weather, today's chocolate came fresh from the freezer: Magnum Double Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream bars from Unilever (Englewood Cliffs, NJ).

Each ice cream bar was composed of chocolate hazelnut ice cream dipped in a "chocolatey coating," hazelnut sauce and milk chocolate.

Constructed with satisfying layers of cool, rich sweetness, ice cream and chocolate, the hazelnut flavor in this bar was very subtle.

*"Magnum cocoa comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms." This bar was "made with Belgian chocolate."







Thursday, September 20, 2018

Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate - Marash Turkish Ice Cream - Choco Hazelnut - Sept. 20, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Marash Ice Cream
Choco Hazelnut - Turkish Ice Cream
Good+ - Good ++
Weight: 4 oz. (96 g.) / 8 fl. oz. (236 mL) in total container
Calories: 220 calories in 1/2 container
Cost: $5.45 for 1 container
Purchased from: Tuts Bakery and Cafe, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #10 of Celebrating 12 Years of Chocolate Series.

I began this month's 12-year celebration line-up with chocolate and hazelnut offerings, and am ending this baker's dozen series with three more, starting with today's ice cream.

Today's Choco Hazelnut (Turkish Ice Cream) from Marash Ice Cream (Santa Ana, CA) had a creamy texture, and natural tasting roasted hazelnut chocolate flavor more commonly found in Europe than in the U.S.

The Turkish-style ice cream was made with sahlep (a substance made from a starchy orchid tuber). I was told this ice cream contained mastic (tree sap), which is found in some Turkish ice creams. But, if this was so, it did not appear on the ingredients list. (This ice cream did contain vegetable gums (locust bean, guar) and carrageenan.)










Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate Series - Chocolate Banquet - Sept. 19, 2018

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Seattle Chocolate Company
San Juan Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar
Good+
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift

Wild Sweets Chocolate Factory
Black Onyx Truffles
European Black Cream Truffles
Good
Weight: unknown
Calories: 130 calories (estimate) in 2 pieces
Cost: $N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift

Greetings and Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Celebrating 12 Years of Chocolate Series. Seattle, WA and Portland, OR, are both high chocolate IQ cities.

Today was a true Chocolate Banquet day, with a spread of different birthday chocolates from these two Pacific Northwest hot spots (thank you all). Chocolate is always sweeter when shared with others.

The first course was a San Juan Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with crunchy coffee from Seattle Chocolate Company (Seattle, WA). (Thank you Michelle and Hali!)

The second course involved two dark chocolate creams from Wild Sweets Chocolate Factory (Portland, OR): a Dark Chocolate truffle and a Black Onyx Dark Chocolate bittersweet truffle. Both filled chocolates had smooth, creamy dark chocolate ganache fillings and dark chocolate shells. (Thank you Kaitlin!)

Other chocolates included a 72% Bacon Caramel bar (made with cacao grown in Ecuador) from Xocolatl de David (Portland, OR), and a Salt dark chocolate bar from Woodblock Chocolate (Portland, OR)—made with cacao from Peru and Ecuador.











Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate - Seattle Chocolate Company - Champagne Dark Chocolate Truffle bars - Sept. 18, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Seattle Chocolate Company
"Here's Looking at You" Sparkling Mimosa Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar
Good
Weight: .25 oz. (7 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 38 calories (estimate) in 1 bite
Cost: $3.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Pebble Beach Market, Pebble Beach, CA

Seattle Chocolate Company
Here's to You Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar with Popping Champagne
Good
Weight: .25 oz. (7 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 36 calories (estimate) in 1 bite
Cost: $3.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Pebble Beach Market, Pebble Beach, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Celebrating 12 Years of Chocolate Series.

Nothing like a little champagne if you're celebrating an important occasion. Even if the bubbly comes in the form of chocolate embedded with popping candy.

Today's similarly wrapped and designed fizzy, celebratory dark chocolate truffle bars were from Seattle Chocolate Company (Seattle, WA). Cheers.

The "Here's Looking at You" Sparkling Mimosa Dark Chocolate bar had a natural orange aroma and a sweet chocolate flavor, interspersed with tiny bursts of very slight candy fizz.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate - Living Raw - Hippie Hemp Truffles - Sept. 17, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Living Raw
Hippie Hemp Truffles
Good
Weight: 1.59 oz. (45 g.) in total package of 3 truffles
Calories: 180 calories in 1 package of 3 truffles
Cost: $5.59 for 1 package of 3 truffles
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Celebrating 12 Years of Chocolate Series.

Today's single serving size trio of Hippie Hemp Truffles were from Living Raw (Franklin, TN).

These round truffles had a thick, natural chocolate fudge texture, melt and flavor with a slightly nutty taste and texture (from the hemp seeds they were rolled in).




Sunday, September 16, 2018

Celebrating 12 Yrs. of Chocolate - Kakawa Chocolate House - Chocolate - Sept. 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Kakawa Chocolate House
Aztec Warrior (Unsweetened)
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 6 oz. (170 g.) (estimate) in total package
Calories: unknown (estimate: between 150–170 calories per serving)
Cost: $ N/A - gift (Thank you Anne!)
Purchased from: N/A gift

Welcome to Day #6 of Celebrating 12 Years of Chocolate Series

Today's Aztec Warrior chocolate granules were created by Kakawa Chocolate House (Santa Fe, NM). The company specializes in authentic, historic drinking chocolate (elixirs).

The Aztec Warrior dairy-free chocolate blend included: "unsweetened chocolate (cacao solids, cacao butter), organic herbs, flowers, organic nuts, organic spices, chile and vanilla." It had a moderately bitter flavor with subtle star anise flavor note and low chile heat.

After adding hot water, I tried frothing this beverage with a hand-powered molinillo (modified wood chopstick rotated or rolled back and forth between two hands (palms)). My improvised tool wasn't really up to the job, but it was fun to indulge in a bit of imaginary time travel** and re-experience some traditional drinking chocolate and chocolate-making techniques and tools.

If you're not feeling your inner warrior and want something more friendly, you might also experiment by adding to this blend corn masa, ground roasted (unsalted) almonds and orange (peel), vanilla and cinnamon, to slightly warm and de-acidify the unsweetened base flavor of this blend. You could also add honey or sugar and milk, but I preferred experimenting with these other inclusions first.

Thank you again to Anne for bringing this blend back from Santa Fe, NM.

*Kakawa was an ancient name for cacao.
** Chocolate beverage making dates back more than 4,000 years in Mesoamerica/South America.




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