Friday, December 26, 2014

Lemon Lavender Bar, Giraudi Nugatelli - Dec. 26, 2014

Chocolates of the Day:

(Homemade bar)
Lemon Lavender chocolate bar
Good +
Weight: 3 oz. (84.9 g.) (estimate) in 1 bar
Calories: 450 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $ N/A - various
Purchased from: N/A - various

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Lemon Theme Week.

This homemade, lemon lavender bar was made from 4 chocolate sources (3 dark + 1 milk) and poured into a Christmas holiday mold (thus the Season's Greetings and other word imprints).

The bar contained small chunks of gluten-free lemon cookie crumbs, lemon infused sugar, lemon zest, and crushed lavender buds -- lemon products recently made using a friend's giant lemons. (Thank you Elisa!)

Interestingly enough, the sugar crystals stayed intact and sunk to the bottom (or top) depending on your view/preference. I developed a respect for the ability to evenly distributed inclusions with this bar. It is not as easy as it looks.

I really liked the lemon and lavender flavor, but the texture left something to be desired. Very edible, but might have been smoother if precise tempering rules had been applied.

Because this bar was composed of chocolates I'd already tried recently, I also chose two pieces of Giraudi (Italy) Nugatelli chocolate that I had not tasted yet.

Cioccolatini Nugatelli
1.) Gold foil - Good ++
2.) Red foil - Good ++ - Very Good

These gold and red-foil wrapped Giraudi (Italian) Cioccolatini Nugatelli come in 4 different flavors: torroncino (nougat), gianduja (gianduja), nocciola (nutty), and croccantino al rhum (crunchy rum). Covered with dark chocolate, the creamy-crumbly centers contained bits of hazelnut and/or cookie and other flavorings.

I took only small bites, as it was unclear which flavor was which, and whether the "crispy" portion contained wheat (which I can't eat) or not. However, I enjoyed flavorful bites of both flavors very much.

Consumption of these items was followed by a walk, to help compensate for lots of great holiday food this week.

Ritter Sport - Coffee and Hazelnuts bar - Dec. 25, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritter Sport
Coffee and Hazelnuts bar
Good ++
Weight: .875 oz. (25 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 131 calories (estimate) in 1/4 bar
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Crossroads Specialty Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate this festive Winter holiday.

Today was the last of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week, and as I transitioned to Day #2 of Chocolate and Lemon Theme Week.

I enjoy a small shot of decaf espresso with lemon peel now and then. Lemon + Chocolate + Coffee can be great together in the right proportions. I tested that theory with today's holiday "Winter Edition" Coffee and Hazelnuts bar from Ritter Sport (Germany), with the picture of the white sugar cube "snowman" on the front.

No snow here in California where I live, but we do have lemon trees and access to gluten free lemon baked goods. So I paired this bar with a tasty, gluten-free Limoncello cupcake (from Ginger and Fox Bake Shop, Valencia, CA), and some hot lemon leaf tea.

One could also try melting part of this smooth, coffee infused chocolate bar with chopped hazelnut bits into cup shapes and fill said cups with lemon different fillings (lemon curd, lemon panna cotta, lemon zest, etc.).
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