Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bixby Birdie bar with hazelnuts - March 15, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Bixby and Co.
Birdie Chocolate Bar
Weight: .5 oz. (14.2 g.) / 1.5 oz. (43 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 70 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $ N/A - sample
Purchased from: N/A - sample

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

The Birdie Chocolate Bar from Bixby and Co. (Belfast, ME) was made with 72% dark chocolate (from Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa) and packed with hazelnuts, black currants, and a touch of sea salt.

The sepia-toned wrapper was adorned with an image of a woman in historic sportswoman attire about to putt in a golf ball into a hole for, presumably, a birdie -- a shot that earns the scorer one under par (a good thing).

This small, chunky, gluten-free, No GMO bar was also a good thing. It could be gently cut into slices and shared with friends or golf partners. 

Trader Joe's - Hazelnut chocolates - March 14, 2014

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Trader Joe's
Belgian Chocolate Shoppe assortment box
1.) Vanilla Mousse in White Chocolate with Chopped Hazelnuts
2.) Milk Chocolate with Crunchy Hazelnut Cream
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) (estimate) in 2 pieces
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 2 pieces
Cost: $ N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift

Welcome to the first day of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

Nuts add fat and flavor to chocolates. Hazelnuts have a natural sweetness that can complement milk chocolate nicely.

Ground hazelnuts and hazelnut butter added both texture and a creamy sweetness to today's chocolate confections made in Belgium. I associate a traditional "Belgian style" with longer conch times and very smooth creamy chocolate. The "American style" has often meant adding more sugar.

The white and milk chocolates from this Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA) Belgian Chocolate Shoppe assortment box were creamy and fairly high in sugar content, and the hazelnut helped contribute to both the smoothness and balance out the sweetness from the sugar.

The chopped hazelnuts added a hint of crunchy texture to the Vanilla Mousse in the first piece.

And, ground hazelnuts added a smooth richness to the second piece, a Milk Chocolate with Crunchy Hazelnut Cream. Tiny hazelnut flecks gave the center an almost wafer-like crunch.
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