Monday, December 30, 2019

Jelina Chocolatier - Earl Grey 72% Dark and Matcha (white) bars - Dec. 24, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Jelina Chocolatier*
Earl Grey 72% Dark Chocolate bar
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 3.52 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1 oz. (28.3 g.) of bar
Cost: $8.99 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bookstar, San Diego, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Holiday Tea and Spirits Theme Week.

Today's Earl Grey 72% Dark Chocolate bar was from Jelina Chocolatier.* The company was founded in 1985 and has focused on bars made with fine Belgian chocolate, without added oils, emulsifiers, flavors or artificial ingredients.

Some Jelina bars (like today's Earl Grey dark bar) are made with organic chocolate.

This Earl Grey tea bar had nicely balanced, rich fruit, floral, herb-bergamot, and chocolate aroma and flavor notes.

And, while we were waiting for Santa Claus to arrive, we decided that one tea deserved another. So, the Earl Grey tea infused bar was paired with a Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate bar, also from Jelina Chocolatier.

The matcha bar was a well-executed implementation of a green tea bar. The notes of fresh grass and authentic Japanese matcha tea flavor were refreshing and pleasing. And the 29% white chocolate base was not overly sweet (thank you!).

*Note: In Canada, Jelina Chocolatier is known as Galerie au Chocolat.

Homemade Peppermint Bark + wine, port - Dec. 23, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Homemade Peppermint Bark
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) in 3 small pieces
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 3 small pieces
Cost: Approx. $10.00 for 1 large batch
Purchased from: Ingredients were from Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Holiday Tea and Spirits Theme Week.

I made this homemade peppermint bark from four ingredients: organic 70% bittersweet dark chocolate pieces; white chocolate bars (broken into pieces and melted) from Ghirardelli Chocolate (San Leandro, CA); broken up peppermint candy cane pieces; and peppermint extract.

A plateful of these bark pieces were shared at a holiday get-together with neighbors. (Thank you Margaret and all!). Some love this traditional holiday candy-sweet confection; and others consider it too sweet. But, its refreshing mint flavor was reminiscent of holidays past and matched the refreshing, cold night air on the walk over and back from the get-together this evening.

Pairing these with selected sips of spirits (red wine and port), surprisingly, seemed to work.*

*I am cautious with pairing chocolate and mint items with anything else. It must be lingering memories of brushing my teeth with mint toothpaste and then taking a sip of orange juice...and experiencing these two substances fighting each other on my palette. Not a great taste memory.

Chamisa Chocolate - Santa Fe Biscochito dark bar, Matcha white chocolate bar - Dec. 22, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Chamisa Chocolate
Santa Fe Biscochito dark bar
Good +
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: N/A - sample bar
Purchased from: N/A - from Chamisa Chocolate

Welcome to Day #1 of Holiday Tea and Spirits Theme Week.

Today's bars were from Chamisa Chocolate (Santa Fe, NM). Thank you to Amanda for sharing your wonderful "experimental" holiday cookie and tea chocolate bars.

A traditional biscochito is a butter cookie with spices (e.g. star anise) that you might find in the Southwestern U.S. These cookies are, I'm told, the state cookie of the State of New Mexico. Today's dark bar contained a gluten-free blend of almond flour and spices that was a great tribute to this Santa Fe favorite.

I also appreciated being able to sample an "experimental" Green Tea Matcha white chocolate bar with crisped rice.

This complex bar had both warming and cooling elements, with green tea, and a faint hint of mint/(menthol?) notes. The rice added a light crunch that complemented the smooth white chocolate base—that was not too sweet (thank you!).

Again, thank you to Amanda for sharing these chocolates. They brightened up our winter holiday season.

*Chamisa Chocolate offers a variety of vegan and gluten free chocolate bars, including many with flavor inclusions and a few single origin bars.

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