Thursday, January 31, 2013

Her Coconess - Bittersweet Nibby Rocky Road - January 31, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Her Coconess Confections
Bittersweet Nibby Rocky Road
Good +
Weight: 1.7 oz. (48.1 g.) in 1 package, piece
Calories: 240 calories (estimate) for 1 package
Cost: $?
Purchased from: Serendipity, San Carlos, CA

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

Cacao nibs added pleasant crunchy texture to an old favorite (rocky road) in this simply packaged Bittersweet Nibby Rocky Road from Her Coconess Confections (Belmont, CA).

With a great company name like Her Coconess I felt I should perform a small curtsy before trying a bite of this dark chocolate confection -- made with marshmallows, almonds and the aforementioned nibs. But, the last bite of this square seemed to have disappeared into my mouth before I got the chance.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Raw Decadence - Biscolinos! Coconut and Cacao Nibs - January 30, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Raw Decadence
Biscolinos! - Coconut and Cacao Nibs
Good + - Very Good
Weight: 2 oz. (56.6 g.) in total package
Calories: 180 calories in 1 package, 3 pieces
Cost: $3.99 for 1 package of 3 pieces
Purchased from: Miki's Farm Fresh Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was the last day of Chocolate and Gluten-Free Cookie Theme Week, and the beginning (Day #1) of Chocolate and Nibs Theme Week.

I love cacao nibs. Crunchy, nutty bits chocked full of the essence of cacao without the sugar. I wondered if that was why I was so pleasantly surprised by these gluten-free, vegan, Coconut and Cacao Nibs Biscolinos! from Raw Decadence (Redwood City, CA). Maybe.

Three other reasons why I liked these:
  1.  The subdued sweetness of unsweetened coconut, and the use of agave and monk fruit as sweeteners instead of corn syrup and sugar
  2. The nutty flavor -- from ground California almonds 
  3. The perfect hint of sea salt that balanced well with the nutty flavors, and helped counterbalance sweetness
These petite biscotti-shaped treats (3 to a package) were dehydrated and not baked, and had more protein and fiber than many other (gluten-free) cookies -- resulting in a better, more satisfying taste that I preferred.

The company offers other Biscolinos flavors -- including Apricot and Cacao Nibs, and Cranberry and Cacao Nibs flavor, as well as two other flavors without nibs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nature's Best - Chocolate Sandwich Cookies - January 29, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Nature's Best (Cadia product line)
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 10.5 oz. (298 g.) in 1 package
Calories: 140 calories for 2 cookies
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Gluten-Free Cookie Theme Week.

Nature's Best (Brea, CA) is one of the largest privately owned wholesaler-distributors of health foods in the Americas. Their Cadia product line can be found in an increasing number of independent grocery stores, and small chains, such as Piazza's Fine Foods, where I found these chocolate sandwich cookies.

Similar to Nabisco Oreo sandwich cookies, these cookies (from Canada) weren't marked organic (many of the company's products are); however, they were gluten-free. So, I was able to enjoy two of these crisp chocolate wafer style cookies with the vanilla cream middle, reminiscent of childhood.

Did I unscrew the two chocolate cookies so I could eat the cream center? No, that would be playing with my food. Instead I engaged in some dessert landscaping. I crushed one of the sandwich cookies -- transforming it into chocolate dirt -- and packed this sugary soil into an orange, plastic shotglass flowerpot. With the help of a paring knife, a strawberry became a flower in this pot. Et voila, a shotglass dessert with only 75 calories. Chocolate gardening should be fun.

Purely Elizabeth - Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix - January 28, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Purely Elizabeth
Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42 g.) / 15.5 oz. (439 g.) total box of mix
Calories: 200 calories (estimate) in 2 cookies
Cost: $8.99 for 1 box of mix
Purchased from: Abe's Market, Michigan (online)

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Gluten-Free Cookie Theme Week.

I was having visions of rack after rack of chocolate chip cookies marching out of the oven, like the multiplying brooms and buckets in Walt Disney's animated film "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Why? This box of Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix (Appetite for Healthy Living LLC - New York, NY) made far more cookies than anticipated -- 41 to be precise.

I didn't mind having extra warm cookies perfuming my kitchen. But, it did take three sequential batches to cook them, and I needed to clear extra counter space to cool three large plates worth of them.

The base for these gluten-free and vegan cookie mix consisted of organic millet, organic almond and garbanzo fava bean flours, as well as chia seeds.

Directions for this mix called for 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup of applesauce, which helped establish a cohesive, chewy texture.

The golden brown cookies were dotted with small chocolate chips that seemed the right size for smaller cookies that I made. The cookies were sweetened with a relatively heavy dose of organic coconut palm sugar. While I like the flavor of this sugar -- often touted for its less refined, higher nutritional and lower glycemic properties -- I might use a bit less of this sweetener.

Because there was no raw egg in these cookies, the batter could be eaten (safely) uncooked, or could be enjoyed with other dessert items, e.g., ice cream. I tried this later -- layering cookie dough and crumbs with vanilla ice cream, to make a small shotglass dessert parfait. It reminded me of an oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich. And because I can't have wheat or oats, I appreciated this close facsimile.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

WholeVine - Chocolate Chip Cookies - January 27, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

WholeVine Products
1.) Chocolate Chip Cookies
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 8 oz. (227 g.) in total package
Calories: 110 calories in 1 cookie
Cost: $7.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Paradise Foods, Corte Madera, CA

2.) 2-Chocolates Chip Cookies
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 8 oz. (227 g.) in total package
Calories: 120 calories in 1 cookie
Cost: $7.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Paradise Foods, Corte Madera, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Gluten Free Cookie Theme Week.

When baking with gluten free flours, applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin, jam with pectin, or xanthan gum, can help approximate the texture of conventionally baked cookies, and help bind ingredients together.

Today's Chocolate Chip, and 2-Chocolates Chip (chocolate and white chocolate chips), "Sonoma Style" Cookies from WholeVine Products (Santa Rosa, CA) incorporated applesauce and xanthan gum in their gluten free cookies.

However, what made these cookies special was the addition of Sauvignon Blanc grape seed, and grade seed skin flours. (The company also uses other varietal grapes.) According to the company -- based in Sonoma County, home of many fine wineries -- the unique, grape-based flours came from sustainably farmed coastal vineyards, via sister company Jackson Family Wines.

At the time of this writing, WholeVine made at least four different gluten free cookies. I previously featured their Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Of the two I tried today, may favorite flavor was the Chocolate Chip (one without white chocolate chips), winner of a Sonoma County Harvest Fair Gold Medal. (Other flavors include Oatmeal Currant and Peanut Butter.)

Hats off to creative use of vineyard ingredients that add fiber and some nutritional value to baked goods like this.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trader Joe's - Chocolate Chip Cookies - January 26, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Trader Joe's
Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Weight: 3.5 oz. (99 g.) / 7 oz. (198 g.) total package
Calories: 490 calories in 1/2 package
Cost: $3.99 total package
Purchased from: Trader Joe's, Menlo Park, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Gluten-Free Cookie Theme Week.

These Gluten Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA) were relatively thin and golden brown, with softer morsels of rich chocolate.

Well executed, with just a hint of vanilla, these cookies may appeal to those who prefer thinner, wafer style treats over thicker, mounded cookies loaded with sweet lumps. As with other natural tasting wafer cookies, butter and brown sugar helped create just the right crunchy texture.

The cookies provided further evidence that gluten free doesn't have to mean sodden or crumbly when it comes to baked goods. Trader Joe's started offering gluten free products many years ago, and they've continued to be a reliable source of chocolates and tasty gluten, free offerings.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Aleia's - Chocolate Macaroon Cookies - January 25, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Aleia's Gluten Free Foods, LLC
Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Cookies
Weight: .28 oz. (8 g.) / 12 oz. (340.2 g.) total package/bag
Calories: 15 calories in 1 cookie
Cost: $12.49 total package/bag
Purchased from: Paradise Foods, Corte Madera, CA

More chocolate macaroons today for Day #2 of Chocolate and Gluten Free Cookie Theme Week.

These diminutive Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Cookies from Aleia's Gluten Free Foods (Branford, CT) provided a small, sweet bite-sized, coconut flavored snack, with a light cocoa flavor. At $12.49 a bag, they were not inexpensive, but they were also made in a certified, dedicated gluten free facility, and the bag did contain a fairly generous 12 oz. (340.2 g.) worth of cookies.

Aleia's founder, Kimberly Snow, found she couldn't eat gluten, and used her culinary chef training to create a line of gluten free products including bread and cookies.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mrs. Crimble's - Chocolate Macaroons - January 24, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Mrs. Crimble's
Chocolate Macaroons
Weight: 1.3 oz. (36.8 g.) / 7.8 oz. (220 g.) in total package of 6
Calories: 130 calories in 1 macaroon
Cost: $3.69 total package of 6
Purchased from: Miki's Farm Fresh Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #1 of Chocolate and Gluten-Free Cookie Theme Week.

The first gluten-free cookies I remember eating were coconut and almond flour macaroons. It was just a matter of time before I found ones dipped in, or coated with, chocolate. I remember macaroons being sugary sweet, rich and chewy, so much so that one was quite satisfactory.

Today's macaroons were much like the ones I remember from childhood. Chocolate covered the backs and a few thin chocolate stripes ran across the tops of these Mrs. Crimble's Chocolate Macaroons (affiliated with Stiletto Foods, in Odiham, England). They were fresh, stuffed with sweetened coconut; the darker chocolate helped balance out the sweetness. In short, everything you'd want in a macaroon.

I ate half of one macaroon, and chopped up the other half to make a coconut and berry parfait in a shot glass*. Other recipes using Mrs. Crimble's products are available on their website.)

My own recipe consisted of layering chocolate macaroon crumbs with cultured coconut yogurt and some award-winning Wild Thimbleberry Jam from American Spoon (Petoskey, MI).

*My new rule for eating dessert in 2013 is -- one serving of dessert should contain at least one interesting, tasty ingredient, and should fit in a shot glass. You'll probably be seeing more shot glass desserts soon. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

shokomonk - coconut bars - January 23, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

shokocrown GmbH
shokomonk bars

1.) kokos bar - 50% chocolate with coconut
Weight: .586 oz. (16.6 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 88.5 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $ N/A - sample from shokomonk
Purchased from: N/A - sample; shokomonk booth, Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, CA

2.) kokos bar - 31% white chocolate with coconut
Weight: .586 oz. (16.6 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 97 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $N/A - sample from shokomonk
Purchased from: N/A - sample; shokomonk booth, Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, CA

Today was Day #9 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week. Once again, I'm extending the conventional 7-day week, because chocolate offerings expand beyond time and space -- or at least geography -- in today's shokomonk bars from Germany (adorned with an illustration of a smiling monk). This line may be expanding into the U.S. soon.

A few days ago, I stopped by the shokomonk booth at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, CA, and picked up a set of bars to try, including two with coconut. The first bar was a 50% zartbitterschokolade mit kokosflocken (plain chocolate with coconut); the second was a 31% weisse schokolade mit kokos (white chocolate with coconut).

The company's two founders are committed to creating a line of bars that are enjoyable and mobile, and the bars I've had so far were made with higher quality ingredients that many traditional bulk candy and chocolate manufacturers. Both coconut bars had a consistent sweet and crunchy texture. The company uses cacao from Ecuador, according to a company rep.

I don't count white chocolate in my "different chocolate every day" approach on this site; but this second bar was the perfect candy playmate for the plain chocolate version. And, happily, cocoa butter (and not cheaper, substitute fat) was the second ingredient, behind sugar, and ahead of coconut flakes (8%); the bar also contained bourbon vanilla.

Note: these two bars do not contain gluten ingredients, but some of their bars do incorporate glucose syrup that contains wheat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Heavenly Organics - Chocolate Coconut Honey Pattie - January 22, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Heavenly Organics
Honey Pattie - Chocolate Coconut
Good - Good +
Weight: .39 oz. (11 g.) in 1 pattie
Calories: 37 calories in 1 pattie
Cost: $ N/A - sample
Purchased from: N/A - Heavenly Organics booth at Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, CA

Hidden in the back of a massive exhibit hall at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, were a few reasons why I created this Chocolate Banquet site.

It was here that I had the opportunity to connect with the good people at Heavenly Organics (Fairfield, IA) to hear their story about how they help honor and support sustainable honey farming in rural India; and also Kelapo Coconut.

Heavenly Organics - Honey stories

I imagined a conversation with new or potential honey suppliers, or harvesters, in India that might go as follows: We will buy from you if you don't burn down the tree containing the bee hives; but rather just carefully slice off the top third of the honeycomb mass (during times of day or night when the bees may be less active), so that the queen bee remains in the hive and honey production will continue.

Every chocolate has a story. And, it's great to hear about "everyone wins" practices from half way around the world.

The Heavenly Organics Honey Pattie line comes in different flavors. (I previously tried mint and almond flavors.) Today, I sampled a small, round Chocolate Coconut pattie, similar in appearance to a dark chocolate covered after-dinner mint with a honey-flavored (no added sugar) coconut center. This dairy free, gluten free, organic chocolate came packaged in a single serving packet size, and was also available in a 1.2 oz. (33 g.) bar format.

Kelapo Coconut

Happily, the next booth over from Heavenly Organics at the show, was Kelapo Coconut/Beneficial Blends (Tampa, FL). I've enjoyed experimenting with adding their coconut sugar (and coconut oil), to make different chocolate truffles and cakes, with good results.

On display in their booth: some chocolate truffles, with a hint of coconut and peppermint with a very nice smooth melt, that had been specially created for the show as an example of treats that can be made with their product. Thank you to the chocolatier who made these for a special cause, and shared them here.

Today was Day #8 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week.

Taza Chocolate - Coco Besos - January 21, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Taza Chocolate
Coco Besos (Coconut Kisses) bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .375 oz. (10.6 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) total bar
Calories: 65 calories in 1/8 bar (2 small squares)
Cost: $ N/A - sample
Purchased from: N/A - Taza Chocolate, Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, CA

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

I was fortunate to find two limited edition, seasonal items from Taza Chocolate (Somerville, MA) today in the Taza booth, at the Fancy Foods Show in San Francisco, CA.

The first item was a Coco Besos (translated from Spanish: Coconut Kisses) bar made for Valentines Day. This organic, 70% stone ground dark bar was studded with tiny bits of organic coconut, and flavored with organic vanilla beans.

Taza is known for their stone ground and organic chocolates. The more rustic texture of stone ground chocolate (larger particle size) can help retain some flavor characteristics and "sparkle" that a heavily conched, very smooth chocolate (with smaller particle size) may no longer possess.

Stone ground chocolate also offers a more substantial texture when melted and used to make a drinking chocolate.

The coconut in this bar was a plus, and well balanced with the chocolate in terms of taste and texture.

The second Taza item was a winter holiday item -- a Spiked Eggnog flavored, stone ground chocolate disc (partitioned into wedges) with the taste of freshly grated nutmeg -- that I found very good. I look forward to featuring this item in the near future.

Thank you to Taza for the information and tasting samples.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Five Star - Ocho Coconut bar - January 20, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Five Star Organics LLC
Ocho Candy - Coconut Bar
Good +
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 210 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

Dark chocolate and coconut have long been paired together*. Today's Organic Coconut Bar covered in dark chocolate was slightly different than, but similar to, a Peter Paul Mounds bar (owned by Hershey's) -- a product that debuted around 1920.

In the last several years, chocolatiers such as Five Star Organics LLC, also known as Ocho Candy (Lafayette, CA), have been busy re-making the traditional chocolate candy bar, generally by leaving out artificial colors and flavoring agents, and favoring higher quality ingredients. This Coconut Bar is one of several different organic bars in the company's line-up.

This bar was sweet (from organic sugar), although the smooth, dark chocolate coating helped act as a counterweight to the sweetened coconut center.

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

*Regionally popular (in the Northeast U.S.), Maine Needhams may date back to the 1870s.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Scream Sorbet - Coconut Chocolate sorbet - January 19, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Scream Sorbet
Coconut Chocolate sorbet
Good +
Weight: .1 oz. (2.8 g.) (estimate)
Calories: 10 calories (estimate)
Cost: $N/A - taste
Purchased from: Scream Sorbet, San Francisco Ferry Building, SF, CA

What was better than attending the Good Food Award Winners marketplace tasting, at the SF Ferry Building, this morning?

...Seeing a sign for Scream Sorbet (Oakland, CA), a regular at the Saturday morning farmers market outside at this same location. I've visited the Scream Sorbet storefront in Oakland, with a two coolers in tow, to take various exotic, fresh flavors home. (Hazelnut Chocolate, Fennel Citrus, Lemon Beet, others). Happily, the company also sells (12 oz. containers and cups of sorbet) at farmers markets in the Bay Area.

Flavors listed on the chalkboard for today included Coconut Chocolate, a new one for me. Perfect for Day #5 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week.

Since I was on the go today (and far away from a refrigerator or freezer), I settled for a small tasting spoon's worth of lovely, creamy chocolat sorbet flavored with coconut.

As I was savoring this little lump of goodness on my tiny white spoon, others queued up for some cups of sorbet. Some were quite certain they'd received ice cream instead. Easy mistake to make. However, there were no dairy or eggs in this wonderful frozen line.

Friday, January 18, 2013

sweetriot - Dark Chocolate with Coconut bar - January 18, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

sweetriot, Inc.
Pure 70% Dark Chocolate with Kickin' Coconut bar
Weight: .7 oz. (20 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 126 calories in 1/5 bar
Cost: $5.50 total bar
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, CA

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

Sarah and the rioters, of sweetriot (New York, NY), wanted to create a company that would change the world. So, care was taken to support and source fair trade, organic chocolate from Latin America, as well as organic fair trade vanilla extract, and organic dried coconut - a veritable riot of little shreds in each bite of this dark (minimum 70% cocoa solids) bar.

This Kickin' Coconut bar was kosher, vegan, and contained no gluten or dairy ingredients. And, as an added mindful flourish -- bar packaging contained reproductions of original artwork from "emerging artists" (in this case a painting by artist, Claudia Capelle. (See also for additional colorful works of art by various artists.)

The bittersweet chocolate tasted much sweeter than 70% (cocoa solids) in part because of the high coconut content (18%). In many cases, dark chocolate will dominate other flavors and inclusions in bars or confections. However, in this case, the coconut riot was swirling around my taste buds.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Theo Chocolate - Toasted Coconut Dark bar - January 17, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Theo Chocolate
Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate bar
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (84 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $4.25 for 1 bar
Purchased from: SweetE Organics, Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week. I was delighted to find three different coconut bars at a new shop (SweetE Organic) in Marin County, while on a Bay Walk recently. I'm always happy to see more options for organic, fair trade and gluten-free treats.

Today's chocolate was a Toasted Coconut dark chocolate bar from Theo Chocolate (Seattle, WA). Theo helped pioneer organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar chocolate making in the U.S. and they offer a line of different bars with inclusions (like coconut, or cacao nibs), made with beans from Peru, Ecuador and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And, if you'd like to know more about their story and making chocolate -- and you live in the Seattle area -- you can sign up for Theo Chocolate University* courses.

*Note: Chocolate Universities are popping up all over, a sign of renewed, and increased interest in chocolate making and fine chocolate, over the past decade. Related sites include Chocolate University Online; the Hershey's sponsored  All Chocolate site; and Askinosie Chocolate University, (.org) designed to benefit children near the Askinosie factory.

I liked today's Toasted Coconut, dark (70% cacao) bar, but it had a slightly bitter aftertaste. The small pieces of toasted coconut in the bar were very pleasing (almost sesame seed-like in size, texture and flavor), and the bar was not heavily sweetened (which I generally prefer). Not wanting to add more sweetener (although I contemplated trying a bit of coconut palm sugar), I neutralized the "bitter" taste by eating this chocolate with a tiny pinch of sea salt -- and imagined myself on a sunny tropical white sand beach with salty sea air and coconut trees (instead of sitting in front of a digital hearth (laptop) on a cold winter day). Then, all was well. 

Digression about Taste Buds, Bitter Flavors
The tongue is like a painter's palette -- with our "colors" being our taste receptors for sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami, etc. The right mixture of colors and textures will create a painting that is pleasing to the eye; but just as preferences for art will vary, so will tastes in food, drink and chocolate.

Most people are sensitive to bitter flavors. Bitter substances such as tannins (in red wine), or hops (in beer), or certain compounds in chocolate, help balance out sweet or fruity flavors, or round out a tasting experience. Others, particularly "super tasters" may not care for bitter flavors in general. Does this help explain why some people don't like dark chocolate? Perhaps. But, I've had 90%+ cacao bars that were surprisingly mellow; so the cacao beans, and how beans are fermented, roasted and turned into chocolate play a role in the final product as well.

What one eats before or with chocolate can also affect the tasting experience. A garlic pasta, or strong cheese, can shift flavors of other foods, as could a wine. In this case, I sampled this bar with only water -- and, later, salt.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Indahphoria - Coconut Nectar bar - January 16, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Indahphoria Chocolate
Coconut Nectar bar
Very Good
Weight: .625 oz. (17.5 g.) / 1.25 oz. (35 g.) total bar
Calories: 93 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $N/A - part of a larger package
Purchased from: online

Today was the second day of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week.

This Coconut Nectar bar from Indahphoria Chocolate (Bend, OR) was vegan, gluten free, soy free and dairy free.

Anyone leery of a bar with so many "withouts?" No need for concern. Made of coconut milk chocolate (65% cacao), this organic and fair trade, smooth and rich dark bar had great flavor overall, with just the right amount of acidity (citrus fruit notes) to balance the sweet (coconut sugar). The coconut flavor was subtle; one side of the bar was sprinkled with coconut shreds; the other side was imprinted with the Indahphoria logo (a ship tethered to either a large kite sail or hot air ballon). I look forward to trying other Indahphoria bars in the future.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fiorello's - Coconut Almond Chip Gelato - January 15, 2013

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Coconut Almond Chip Gelato
Weight: 1/2 cup (115 g.) serving/ 1 Pint (473 mL) container
Calories: 330 calories in 1/2 cup serving
Cost: $7.99 for 1 Pint
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today marked Day #1 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week. While the popularity of the coconut seems to wax and wane in haute cuisine, there seemed to be a bounty of coconut and chocolate items available in bar, truffle and many other forms.

Cool coconut 

Today's first chocolate choice came straight from my freezer -- a scoop of Coconut Almond Chip gelato from Fiorello's (San Rafael, CA).

According to the label, 1/2 cup of this gelato clocked in at 330 calories, probably due to its dense cream base, coconut cream and egg yolks. It was rich enough that I left off the fudge topping, and opted for chopped, roasted, unsalted almonds instead. The chocolate chips/flakes embedded in this gelato added some subtle chocolate flavor that helped balance the cream and coconut.

And to warm things up...

Later in the evening I sampled two Coconut Rum truffles (pictured at right) with a chocolate ganache interior, and a white chocolate and tropical orange exterior, from Laderach's truffle and praline collection. I enjoyed their festive color and crescent shape, as well as just a hint of rum flavor. 
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