Thursday, September 19, 2013

Charles Salty-Sweet Cashew bar - Sept. 19, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Charles Chocolates
Salty-Sweet Cashew Bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1/3 bar - 1.3 oz. (37.3 g.) / 3.9 oz. (112 g.) total bar
Calories: 195 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Today was the first day of Chocolate and Cashew Theme Week. Frankly, it's about time that the cashew nut is being honored with its own theme week here on Almonds seem to hog the spotlight when it comes to nuts blended with chocolate.

This Salty-Sweet Cashew Bar from Charles Chocolates (San Francisco, CA) highlighted this special nut. First, rather than incorporate shards of nut (shrapnel bits) into their 41% milk chocolate bar base, chocolatier Chuck (Charles) Siegel used freshly roasted, whole cashew nuts that were coated in both salty and sweet flavors.

I found myself wanting more salt after the first few bites of this "salty-sweet" bar. However, when I re-tasted this chocolate later, I could taste more salt, which helped balance the sweetness of the milk chocolate.

One Planet Granola - Sept. 18, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

One Planet Granola
Chocolate Jubilee Organic Granola
Good - Good +
Weight: 1/4 cup / 12 oz. total bag/package
Calories: 120 calories in 1/4 cup serving
Cost: $6.98 (sale price)
Purchased from: Raley's supermarket, Incline Village, NV

I needed a breakfast this morning that would fuel my planned mountain hike. This called for... chocolate granola! -- paired with some strawberry rhubarb yogurt.

The Chocolate Jubilee organic granola mix was introduced by the mother-daughter team at One Planet Granola (Larkspur, CA) at their Ross, CA, cafe.  This chocolate flavor, one of several flavors in their granola line-up, contained dark chocolate; large, whole dried cherries; almond bits; oats; coconut; and other ingredients.

This crunchy, flavorful cereal paired well with the smooth, creamy strawberry rhubarb yogurt (also available in blueberry) from Noosa yogurt. I used this yogurt instead of milk. Happily this granola was not overly sweet, nor was it overly chocolatey -- making it easier to enjoy the individual constituents in the mix.

And, the granola-powered hike was a great success.

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

Note: This post was delayed (posted a day late) due to out-of-state travel and limited Internet access.

Super Red Chocolate Bar - Sept. 17, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

B.T. McElrath Chocolatier, Inc.
Super Red Chocolate Bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $5.49 in 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

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

This Super Red Chocolate Bar from B.T. McElrath Chocolatier (Minneapolis, MN) contained 15% fruit -- dried tart cherries, strawberries and raspberries -- in 70% dark chocolate.

There are several bars I've tasted that contain crystalline bits of berry fruit. These, often colorful, berry bits seem a bit sweeter and more concentrated than mere chewy shreds of dried fruit; and they are occasionally more crystalline in texture as well. In any case, the berry pieces were a bit sweet, but were just fine for this bar.

Note: This entry was posted late due to out-of-state travel, and lack of Internet access.

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