Monday, July 16, 2018

Flax 4 Life - Chocolate Brownie + bourbon ice cream, whiskey nibs - July 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Flax 4 Life
Chocolate Brownie (muffin)
Good ++
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33 g.) / 14 oz. (396 g.) in total container
Calories: 140 calories in 1 muffin
Cost: $4.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week; and Day #1 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

Today's mini-muffin shaped Chocolate Brownie from Flax 4 Life (Bellingham, WA) was part dessert and part health-food. (The number one dry ingredient was ground flax seeds.)

Sadly, we may have neutralized some of the health benefits by pairing this cute and delicious muffin with a shot of Bourbon Maple Blondie ice cream sprinkled with whiskey-soaked cacao nibs. The nibs helped add flavor depth and texture and helped balance the creamy, caramel sweetness of the ice cream. Cheers.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Timothy Adams - Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac chocolates - July 15, 2018

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Timothy Adams Chocolates
Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac chocolates
Good ++, Good ++ and Good +++
Weight: .39 (11 g.) (estimate) x 3 = 1.17 oz. (33 g.) in 3 pieces
Calories: 175.5 calories (estimate) in 3 pieces
Cost: $7.50 (estimate) for 3 pieces
Purchased from: Timothy Adams, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

Today's trio of dark chocolate truffles (Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac) were created by Timothy Adams Chocolates (Palo Alto, CA).

Each had a 58% creamy filling infused with the spirit of choice, and was covered in a 72% dark chocolate shell.

All three flavors were worth sampling. And a side-by-side, blind tasting was enjoyable and informative.




Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ben and Jerry's - Urban Bourbon Ice Cream - July 14, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream
Urban Bourbon Ice Cream
Good - Good+
Weight: 1/2 cup (109 g.) / 1 Pint (473 mL) in total container
Calories: 300 calories in 1/2 cup serving
Cost: $2.50 (sale) for 1 container
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

There was a lot going in today's Ben and Jerry's Urban Bourbon Ice Cream. Imagine alternating flashes of toasted caramel, coconut, almonds, chocolate (fudge flakes) and bourbon—all packed into a cold, rich ice cream breakfast.

This ice cream contained enough sugar and spirits to fuel a trip into the urban San Francisco and—at 300 calories for a single (1/2 cup) serving—keep hunger at bay until lunchtime.

Note to gluten free eaters, this Urban Bourbon ice cream is probably not gluten free. In between the cocoa powder and the guar gum in the ingredients list was dry malt extract (barley).


Friday, July 13, 2018

Chocolate Tree - Whisky Nibs 70% bar - July 13, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Tree
Whisky Nibs 70% bar
Good+
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 196 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey* Theme Week.

Today's Whisky Nibs 70% bar was from Chocolate Tree (Dunbar, Scotland). The presence of spirits was unmistakable in this five-ingredient dark bar (cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, cacao nibs (10%), whisky (6%)). 

The makers selected cacao nibs from the Maranon Canyon in Peru; and these nibs were soaked in single malt Scotch whisky from Islay, an island known for whisky with peaty flavor notes. These nibs were then blended with cacao from the same origin (Peru) to make 70% cacao dark chocolate—two individually-wrapped bars in today's package.

The nibs provided some texture as well as boozy, authentic whisky flavor and aroma.

*You say whisky, I say whiskey...Which spelling is correct? The spelling differences are largely regional; but they are also tied to pride of origin and specific product classifications as well. E.g., the Scots use "whisky" without an "e" and Scotch whisky (usually made with malted barley) is made in Scotland, whereas the Irish refer to Irish "whiskey" with an "e." You may find both spellings in the U.S. However, Bourbon Whiskey (with an "e") refers to a specific whiskey made in the U.S., generally in Kentucky (from corn).




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ritual Chocolate - Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% bar - July 12, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% Cacao bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

This Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% Cacao bar "crafted at 7,000 feet" by Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT) managed to attain an ideal state: a creamy, smooth texture and complex, rich flavor.

To get a creamier texture or mouth-feel, a chocolate maker usually conches or grinds cacao for a longer period of time, achieving a finer particle size. However, in doing so, more volatile flavors can be lost during this process. This chocolate was made using a special (Mid Mountain) house blend of cacao beans from different origins.

Today's complex, well-balanced dark chocolate bar contained flavor notes of cherry and vanilla—but not just flat, dime store vanillin in alcohol. Rather, it was an earthy, faintly smokey, authentic ground vanilla bean vanilla, from Madagascar. High-quality Bourbon* vanilla from Madagascar-grown beans is much prized. 

*The term "Bourbon vanilla" does not involve any whiskey. Instead it refers to vanilla beans (orchid Vanilla planifolia) originally from the Americas, that were (like cacao and other crops) taken to be cultivated in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. (One of these colonial islands was once known as Ile Bourbon.) Bourbon vanilla is slightly different than Mexican vanilla and quite a bit different than Tahitian vanilla (which is more aromatically floral).

Ritual Chocolate - Bourbon Barrel Aged 75% bar - July 11, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Bourbon Barrel Aged 75% Cacao bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $18.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's Bourbon Barrel Aged 75% Cacao bar from Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT) was made from a blend of cacao nibs that were aged in High West Distillery* bourbon whiskey barrels for several months.

This 75% Cacao dark chocolate bar had a dark chocolate and slight bourbon aroma. The vegan,  relatively thin, bar had an even, smooth melt—and a complex, smooth and uniform dark chocolate flavor with notes of coffee, very slightly smokey, bourbon-soaked fruit (mild cherry), light oak and honey, and a slight nuttiness.

The bar came with this evocative tasting suggestion: "Best enjoyed alongside an alpine babbling brook with a flask of your favorite whiskey."

*Based in Park City/Salt Lake City (Utab), the High West Distillery is a "ski-in gastro-distillery." Their Old Town Park City mountain location (approx. 7,000 ft. in elevation) is based at the bottom of "Quittin' Time" ski run near the Town Lift. 





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lake Champlain - Filled Bourbon Caramel bar - July 10, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Lake Champlain
Filled Bourbon Caramel bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 3.25 oz. (92 g.) in total bar
Calories: 425 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.69 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

Today's Filled Bourbon Caramel Dark Milk bar was from Lake Champlain Chocolates (Burlington, VT). 

Made with dark milk 43% cocoa dark milk chocolate, this bar was a bit sweet, but over the course of one day and evening, I still managed to eat the whole bar.

Vermont-crafted Mad River Distiller's bourbon added a tasty accent flavor to the soft caramel filling and helped balance the sweetness.






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...