Friday, June 28, 2013

Chocolate, Chai and Ube - June 28, 2013

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Rick's (Rather Rich) Ice Cream
Ice Cream Sundae (with Chocolate Ice Cream + Ube Ice Cream)
Good - Good +
Calories: 525 calories (estimate) in 1 sundae
Cost: $4.49 for 1 single size sundae in a cup
Purchased from: Rick's Ice Cream, Charleston Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA

Chocolate and Surprise Me Theme Week technically ended last night, with a bubble gum bar. However, it was a hot day today, and during a walk with a neighbor (thanks Margaret and Albert!), I couldn't resist stopping at the local ice cream shop, Rick's Ice Cream (Palo Alto, CA), to enjoy one last fun flavor.

I picked up an ice cream sundae. Underneath the whipped cream, nuts, cherry and chocolate sauce were small scoops of Ube ice cream and "plain" chocolate ice cream. The Ube ice cream, a popular Filipino dessert, was made with purple yam, and had a very slight yam-like texture. However, the added purple color brightened up the sundae.*

*Also, I can now say I've mixed chocolate with a food starting with a "U." Now I have only to find a food starting with "X" and I will have covered the whole alphabet.

The "plain" chocolate ice cream (one of several chocolate ice creams offered at Rick's) was anything but plain. It was all that I'm generally hoping for in a chocolate ice cream -- rich, authentic, creamy chocolate flavor and texture.

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Peet's Coffee and Tea
Iced Chai Latte with a shot of mocha/chocolate syrup
Good - Good +
Weight: 12 oz. in 1 small Iced Chai Latte
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) for 1 latte + shot
Cost: $3.49 + shot
Purchased from: Peet's Coffee and Tea, Charleston Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA

Today's Iced Chai Latte from Peet's Coffee and Tea was a variation on a traditional Indian spiced milky tea. It was constructed with a blend of Peet's teas and spices (don't forget the cardamom), and 2% fat chilled milk. No whipped cream today; it was too hot. This flavorful, satisfying cold tea latte kept me from over-heating on the walk back home.

Askinosie CollaBARation #5 - June 27, 2013

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Askinosie Chocolate
Dark Milk Chocolate + Ancho Chile and Pistachio bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .75 oz. (21.2 g.) in 1/4 bar/ 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 110 calories in 1/4 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, in Palo Alto, CA

Today's Dark (goat) milk chocolate bar was a lively mixture of Maldon sea salt flakes, ancho chile and pistachio nut pieces. The single origin 62% bar was made using cacao beans sourced from the Davao region in the Philippines. There was a lot going on in this bar; a veritable fiesta of interesting and high-quality flavors. Perhaps a bit too much. But, it was fun to try.

The 5th bar in Askinosie Chocolate's CollaBARation series, this bar was a collaboration with Cafe Pascual's (Santa Fe, NM) -- a restaurant that serves savory dishes that echo flavors from New Mexico, Old Mexico, the Mediterranean and Asia. (I hope to visit there one day; their menu looks great.)

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Today was the last day of Chocolate and Surprise Me Theme Week. But, there was one more bar in my chocolate vault that deserved an honorable mention, a Bubble Gum bar from Hagensborg Chocolate (British Columbia, Canada) -- see below.

The bar was shaped like 3 pigs, stuck together in a white chocolate conga line. This creative offering was surprisingly good. (Note: I don't count white chocolate as "real" chocolate, but I do appreciate tasting good white chocolate now and then.)

Honorable Mention:

Hagensborg Chocolate
Bubble Gum bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 300 calories for 1 bar
Cost: $4.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Hagensborg Chocolate, online order

Surprise! We're having a heat wave in the San Francisco Bay Area. This bar started to melt in my hand, so I had to lick white chocolate off my fingers almost immediately. (What a shame.) Inside the bar a sweet, pink filling held another surprise -- three tiny, pink pillows of natural bubble gum.

This bar may have been sweet, and it melted easily in the hot weather we had today; but it was also surprisingly good. My advice, do as the packaging advises: "Wallow in European white chocolate truffle heaven," if this sounds tempting to you.
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