Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vanilla Espresso Caramels - March 17, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Her Coconess Confections
Vanilla Espresso Caramels
Good - Good +
Weight: .375 oz. (10.6 g.) in 1 piece / 1.5 oz. (42.45 g.) total package of 4
Calories: 56 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $not available
Purchased from: Serendipity, San Carlos, CA

There was a lot going on today, Sunday, March 17th. It was a sunny, St. Patrick's Day* with green grass and flowers on display. This beautiful day caused me to immediately postpone all other activities, in favor of taking a hike and searching for wildflowers.

A good hike starts with a good breakfast. Along with protein, fruit and vegetables, I included a (gluten free) Vanilla Espresso Caramel from Her Coconess Confections (Belmont, CA), to help kick-start the day.

This fairly intense vanilla bean salt caramel with just a hint of butter, was infused with Italian espresso and covered in 72% cacao dark chocolate. Each piece was topped with a mix of Australian pink flake salt crystals and caramelized cacao nibs. When bitten into, the caramel had just the right "gooey" factor.

Just like today, this caramel had a lot going on. You'd be forgiven if you missed the vanilla, but it did seem to help blend together this group of strong flavors. Sweet, mellow, tropical vanilla, ever the diplomat.

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Vanilla Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Espresso Theme Week. Vanilla, chocolate and coffee seem to play well together, although the vanilla is often relegated to a supporting role when these three are combined.

*St. Patrick's Day and Chocolate
Saint Patrick's Day is not one of the top chocolate holidays in the U.S. The holy chocolate trinity of Halloween, Easter and Valentines Day all rank ahead of this Irish- and emerald green-themed holiday in chocolate sales and consumption, as do Christmas holidays.

However, chocsimiles (chocolate facsimiles) of four-leafed clovers, pots-of-gold, and leprechauns do exist if you hunt for them -- along with St. Patrick's Day staples such as green beer and  corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

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