Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pascha Chocolate Bars with A Twist

Every time we have tested Pascha Chocolate we have been thrilled. Today we are looking at five of their 3.5oz chocolate bars that they sent us to test and write about.  These five bars include several interesting flavors that we haven't tested yet on The Chocolate Cult. I was assisted in the testing by a group of volunteers. The following report is a combination of everyone's opinions. We looked at bars which included goldenberries, cocoa nibs, maca, Lucuma, and Arabica coffee.  Some of these we've had before in other chocolates specifically goldenberries and cocoa nibs but the other three were quite a new experience. Were they a good experience? Keep reading to find out.

We're going to start with the Organic Arabica Coffee Bar in 70% cacao in the golden designs on brown background wrapped partly around the black box. Three testers tried this bar with mixed results; all three testers are avid coffee drinkers who have experience with a fairly wide variety of coffee varieties. Two testers said the coffee flavor was unevenly split between squares, some squares had more coffee and some more chocolate; a third said it was evenly split. This made us wonder if it was a matter of individual taste or uneven bar. Given the quality of other Pascha products, it seems more like a matter of taste. There is actual coffee grounds in the chocolate yet these are not gritty but there it a texture there that provides bit of crunch. The coffee flavor is more intense when you chew the square versus just letting it melt which increases the chocolate flavor. Overall the chocolate seemed more bitter than the testers expected for 70% cacao. Since this is a very pure chocolate bar with only the basic ingredients, it was not surprising that it made a hard, sharp snaps when they took a bite. Over a very good bar but let's move on to the next flavor.

The next bar is another 70% cacao, the Dark Chocolate Lucuma Bar. Lucuma is a Latin American fruit that has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar. The black box is highlighted by green on green designs. This bar has a slight sweet scent but a fairly strong cocoa fragrance.  It is much nearly black in color like the Arabica Coffee bar was. Interestingly it does not make a loud snap when I take a bite. The first flavor is a sweetness that quickly fades into a fairly bitter chocolate that I like but I think it seems much darker than 70% perhaps because of the sweet spike right at the beginning of tasting. In fact, it dries out my mouth like an 90% chocolate would. I liked it in very small quantites but if you are not a big fan of more bitter chocolate, you probably will not. As an example of this, among my testers they all agreed that it started out sweet, grew very bitter and dried out their mouths. However, two testers did get a caramel note as well in the flavor particularly if they let it melt in their mouth. Definitely not recommended by anyone in our testing group.

The Dark Chocolate Maca Bar has 60% cacao content and is covered in the black box with the brighter yellow and light green designs on the back and sides. Maca is a root vegetable from the Andes mountains so let's see how that affects this bar. This bar has a cocoa but also a slight coffee-like scent to it. Biting into it makes a soft snap and immediately I'm hit but a very intense sweet flavor almost like a very sweet milk that turns a bit sour after a few chews. The chocolate flavor never really comes out with is a big disappointment to me. My other testers were split. Two really didn't like it, they thought it too earthy; two thought it was nicely sweet; one didn't taste anything other than the chocolate. This makes it a very hit and miss bar that you'll just have to test yourself to see where on our range of experiences you might fall.

Goldenberries also come from the Andes mountains and have been added to 55% cacao in this bar with orange on orange designs on the edges and back of the black casing. The berries are spread over the back of this bar but they are rather large and do not fall within each sectioned off piece making it a bit of a challenge to break off only one piece to try; I picked the biggest berry to test it myself before handing the bar off to others. The chocolate has a faint dark chocolate scent but nothing of the berries. Breaking off a section or taking a bite makes a very loud snap. If you bite this with the berry side down you get an initial sweetness with the slightly bitter but still smooth chocolate. With each chew into the berry, the fruit becomes more and more tart until it overpowers the chocolate flavor. The goldberries have a raisin like texture but also seem to have seeds or something in them; the fruit wanted to cling to the tops of my teeth. My other testers agreed with my assessment. They would not highly recommend this one but luckily they could avoid or pick out the berries. Our testers also think if you cut up the berries into smaller pieces and spread it out would allow the two flavors to blend better.

Finally the last bar is another 55% cacao this time with Cocoa Nibs. The browns designs around the black box highlights the double chocolatey nature of what is inside. As you can see, the nibs are spread over the back of the bar fairly well if not perfectly even so it was simple to break off one piece to try out. This chocolate has a strong cocoa but also a roasted, earthy fragrance. Breaking off a section or biting into it makes a loud snap and each chew is a bit crunchy when you have the nibs. The flavor is smooth chocolate with the nibs honestly only adding a bit of texture more than changing the flavor. Nibs do add more fats but also more fiber (a lot more) and more protein to the chocolate. The other testers agreed with my descriptions. Of the five bars this was hands down the favorite for everyone who helped me out. We all highly recommend it.

Even though I didn't include the "organic" title for each bar, all of Pascha Chocolates are organic and free from most common food allergens except for chocolate itself. These particulars are not as good as the pure chocolate chips that we've tested before from Pascha but we have three more just chocolate bars left to test with Pascha so hopefully those will be as good as their baking chips. Some of the combinations in these five bars, such as the Maca and the Goldenberries, overpowered the chocolate flavor and that never sits well with The Chocolate Cult for obvious reasons. I have now found the Pascha baking chips and the bars in my local Kroger so keep your eyes open for these wonderful products in a store need you. And if you can't find it, check out the website. You need to try these products if food allergies have interfered with your enjoyment of chocolate.

Monday, May 25, 2015

June 2015 Fun Food Holidays with Chocolate

You might think that in the summer the love for chocolate would decline as the temperatures go up in the Northern Hemisphere. Don't forget that many of your sister and brother readers are in the Southern Hemisphere, where the temps are dropping. Regardless of where you live, here are some fun food holidays that you could celebrate with Chocolate. If you know of any others, let us know in a comment, please. If you have an idea of how to celebrate a particular date on this list, let us know that in a comment, too.

June = National Dairy Month

1st Friday June = National Donut Day -- In 2015 that will fall on June 5th.

June 2 = National Rocky Road Day -- I think this applies mostly to ice cream but if you know if a non-ice cream rocky road recipe, let me know about it please.

June 7 = National Chocolate Ice Cream Day -- Luckily this is a Sunday this year so you could really celebrate if you have that day off of work or school.

June 11 = National German Chocolate Cake Day; birthday (1796) of Francois-Louis Cailler, first Swiss chocolatier -- Could you celebrate both of these at the same time? How?

June 12 = National Peanut Butter Cookie Day -- Yeah, yeah, not innately chocolate but you could dip them in chocolate or add chocolate chips, right?

June 14 = International Steampunk Day in honor of the birthday of H.G. Wells -- We do have a special review scheduled for this day!

June 15, 1790 = birthday of CHARLES-AMEDEE KOHLER, Swiss confectioner -- Second Swiss related fun food holiday this month. Who is getting Swiss chocolate to celebrate?

June 16 = National Fudge Day -- So many types of fudge are chocolate, aren't they?

June 22 = National Chocolate Éclair Day -- The chocolate here is usually just a frosting or coating but again I think we could work more chocolate into it if we just try a bit.

June 24 = National Pralines Day -- The word praline means different things depending on where you live. What does it mean where you are from?

June 26 = National Chocolate Pudding Day -- Remember this pudding cookbook review? No? Go read it NOW.

June 30, 1971 = Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory along with The Willy Wonka Candy Factory is released -- When is the last time you enjoyed Wonka candy?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Clean Up Your Kitchen with Chocolate

We cover anything related to chocolate here on The Chocolate Cult. Today we're going to look at chocolate decorative items that should or favorite treats but on functional items that you can use every day or only for special occasions. Today we're going to look at some chocolate themed kitchen towels from HollysHomeComforts, a shop on Etsy. If you are not familiar with Etsy, it is an online site for small businesses that generally operate out of an individuals home. I have friends who sell products on Etsy and I have purchased a few things from this site in the past. The owner of HollysHomeComforts gave us both towels to try out but in no other way compensated us for this review.

These kitchen towels come in two chocolate designs. First there are "Les Chocolats" with six different pieces of chocolate truffles (as we'd call them in the USA) shown. Here you can see it draped in half over my oven door so you can see the full run of chocolates. This is my favorite of the two simply because it is nothing but chocolates but then I'm a bit biased, aren't I?

The second chocolate themed design is of cherries dipped in chocolate that you see here also draped in half over my oven door. You see there are several cherry configurations shown include white, milk, and dark chocolate on them. The cherries had a pop of color so it seemed to be more eye-catching to my visitors the week I had this displayed.

You might think that the towels are white so here is a photo of them against a white tablecloth I have so show that they are actually a light cream or natural color. These are made from three pieces of fabric -- the bulk of the towel, the border fabric around the chocolate themed image, and the fabric that the image is on. The entire towel is well hemmed and cut evenly. They are well crafted and stood up to vigorous washing and drying by machine. These are called "kitchen" towels, not "dish" towels. These do not dry as quickly as terry cloth dish towels something my hubby (who is in charge of dishes) didn't like but they did work about as well as some other more decorative towels I have that my mother made me years ago. Unless you are really lazy, I think they work fine as dish towels though they simply look lovely too.

Not only are these two chocolate themes available in kitchen towels through HollysHomeComforts but she also has table runners with the same images if you want to decorate a bit more. There are also other designs as well so do check them all out when you visit her site. I really like that each product is described in terms of fabric used and how it was stitched. I think that demonstrates how much care is put into each one. If you have a chocolate lover in your life who also loves to decorate their kitchen, these are a lovely choice plus you'd be supporting a small woman-owned business.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

World Baking Day with Coconut and Almond Flours

Morning Pep Coconut & Almond Flours
The folks from Morning Pep contacted me about trying out some of their new products and they sent us the following samples: Morning Pep 100 Percent Organic Coconut Flour, 1 Pound
and Morning Pep 100 Percent All Natural Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 2 Pound. I couldn't try either flour in my own kitchen because my Hubby is allergic to tree nuts and flour can become airborne very easily.Did you know that tomorrow is "World Baking Day?" I didn't either until recently. This is a great chance to share the results of Lisa's (Coconut Acolyte) tests both of these flours.  She tried them both in one of her tried and true recipes to see if either coconut or almond flour could be directly substituted. Then she tried another recipe designed for these flours.  Let's check out her results.

Whole Wheat Cupcake Cut for Comparison
For the purpose of this review, I started with a chocolate cake recipe I’ve had for a number of years and have made dozens of times.  When used with all-purpose (wheat) flour it makes a dense moist cake that doesn’t really need frosting.  I checked the company’s website to see if any adaptations need to be made when using the alternate flour.  They listed none.  I made the cake exactly as the recipe calls for, only using the alternate flour instead of AP flour.
Coconut Flour Cupcake Cut

With the coconut flour, this recipe made a thicker than normal batter when made according to directions, the coconut flour made it even thicker and more dry.  Though the texture didn’t feel exceptionally grainy, it appeared to have the texture of wet sand.  Baking it didn’t change that.  The cupcakes came out looking very much like how then went in but slightly more brown due to the baking process.  When I tried to split one open for a taste test, it crumbled in my fingers.  The taste didn’t make up for the visual.  Dry, as expected and the flavor of chocolate was almost non-existent.  
Almond Flour Cupcake Explosion

With the almond flour, the batter appeared slightly more normal in thickness but still gritty.  However, when exposed to heat, they blew up like two dozen volcanos, spreading batter all over the pans and the oven floor.  Needless to say they weren’t fit to taste. It took some effort to clean this pan as well.

Almond Flour Cupcake Cut Open

So based on my findings and backed up by a recent episode of America’s Test Kitchen, one cannot simply substitute the flour.  You have to find recipes that are specifically designed for the alternates.  This search became rather frustrating.  All the recipes I found were on or attached to Paleo Diet sites.  They called for equipment I don’t have (namely a food processor) or expensive and sometimes exotic ingredients (coconut oil, walnut oil, Grade B maple syrup, celtic sea salt, paleo chocolate, raw honey, etc.)  that I wouldn’t normally keep in my kitchen.
Coconut Flour Muffin

I chose this (Paleo-Friendly Dark Chocolate Banana Brownie Muffins) recipe for two reasons.  First, it had only two ingredients I wouldn’t normally keep on hand; coconut oil and maple syrup.  Second it said it could be used with either coconut or almond flour and made one batch each.  Neither batch rose the way I expect cupcakes to and both came out at 15 minutes like they’d only half baked.  I put them back in for an additional 15 minutes which helped solidify them but didn’t improve the overall texture much.

In both batches the chocolate was very present but I could taste the coconut oil and the flavor was even more pronounced in the batch with the coconut flour. Also the coconut oil seeped through the paper liners into my muffin tin.  Perhaps foil liners would have yielded better results. 

In short, if you absolutely must use a non-wheat flour, by all means feel free to experiment with these two.  But because of all the extra work involved, I wouldn’t recommend these for baked goods.

Morning Pep offer the Coconut Flour in two sizes -- the one pound bag linked in our first paragrph and this four pound bag: Morning Pep 100 Percent Organic Coconut Flour, 4 Pound

Morning Pep's Almond Flour also comes in two sizes -- the 2 pound bag that we linked above and this 5 pound bag: Morning Pep 100 Percent All Natural Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 Pound

Morning Pep sent us all the flour to test but did not otherwise pay us anything for this honest review here on The Chocolate Cult and on If you clink on the clicks to their products, you will also be contributing to The Chocolate Cult via your payment to Amazon.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Poco Dolce Confections Recall

I was hoping Mother's Day 2015 might go by without a recall but sadly no. Just one though and I've never had this product so I'm very curious if any of you have. If you have, leave a comment and let me know.

Poco Dolce Confections Announces Recall of Individually Wrapped Tile Varieties: Almond, Aztec Chile, Burnt Caramel, Almond Coconut, Ginger, and Sesame Toffee

Consumer Contact: Albert Moriguchi
Phone: 415-255-1443

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 1, 2015 — San Francisco, CA — Poco Dolce Confections of San Francisco, CA is recalling all Almond, Aztec Chile, Burnt Caramel, Almond Coconut, Ginger, and Sesame Toffee Individually Wrapped Tiles. These varieties of individually wrapped Tiles are being recalled because of their label’s failure to identify the food allergen (Milk) in addition to the listing for “Butter” in the label’s ingredient statement. People who have allergy or severe sensitivity to specific type of allergen (e.g., peanuts, tree nuts {chestnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, cashews}, eggs, and sulfites) run the risk of life threatening allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, that requires immediate medical care if they consume these product.

Poco Dolce Confections immediately segregated its entire Individually Wrapped Tiles inventory and is notifying consumers and customers not to consume this product.

The Individually Wrapped Tiles are individually wrapped 2” square pieces of Bittersweet Chocolate in glassine envelopes which come in 18pc trays. They are available in seven varieties though only the following six flavors are subject to this recall: Almond, Aztec Chile, Burnt Caramel, Almond Coconut, Ginger, and Sesame Toffee.

Poco Dolce Confections wants to ensure its products are safe. Consequently, in addition to its ongoing cooperation with the California Department of Public Health, Poco Dolce Confections is voluntarily recalling all Individually Wrapped Tile Varieties (Almond, Aztec Chile, Burnt Caramel, Almond Coconut, Ginger, Sesame Toffee) from all of its customers. Consumers in possession of these Chocolates should not eat the product and should return the product to the place of purchase.

Poco Dolce Confections will be sending recall notices to all of its direct customers. Please call Albert Moriguchi at 415-255-1443 (8:30-5, M-F) for further information.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chocion Chocolate Truffle Bars

Today, in honor of "National Truffle Day," we are going to reveal four chocolate truffle bars from Chocion. This first photo is their old wrapper style; I'll show you the new wrapper style at the end of this post so please make sure you read this article all of the way through.  Since I received these samples at different times and some were the same flavors in different wrappers, a different number of people tested the bars; I'll noted how many people tested in the body of this article. Each bar is 70g and measures 2.5 X 4.5 inches so a great size of bar as well though not the standard candy bar size. We tested all of the bars well before their "best by" dates but I thought it was a good feature now near a fun food holiday. I also wanted to highlight how they had changed their wrappers because such changes to products does not mean the product itself changes as is the case here.

We'll start off with least cacao content and build in in our feature article today starting with the Chocion "Finest White Chocolate Bar with Raspberry Trufflefilling." This came in both original gold and new wrapper so a total of six people tried this bar. You want to start a fight about chocolate, the only thing you need is to say "white chocolate" --- people will argue that it is or is not chocolate and over the years I've discovered the people vary in terms of what they describe in their testing experiences the most with white chocolate. I think this is because white chocolate allows any extra filling or flavors to come out most strongly; you don't like that extra flavor, you won't like the bar. In fact of the five people who tested this for me, three would recommend it but two would not.

The "Champagner Trüffel" bar which is a milk chocolate of 38% was only sent to us in the new wrapper style. Four testers tried this bar and collectively they found it had a solid milk chocolate scent; two thought it also had a white wine like fragrance as well. The bar was much softer than they thought and the inside was very smooth, with a hint of almost bubbles. The flavors blended well with an uptick of more chocolate at the end. It melted well in their mouths and even onto fingertips if they held it for a few moments. All four testers would recommend this bar, one suggests that you pair it with Brut and it would bring out the champagne even more.

The "Premium Milk Chocolate Bar with Strawberry Trufflefilling" we sampled came in both the original gold and the new wrapper design meaning that six people tried this bar. We both liked this bar a good deal. It had a strong cocoa scent with a light strawberry fragrance. When we took a bite it made a soft crunch and we discovered a darker inside. It begins strong in chocolate flavor but over each chew gets sweeter then turns more chocolatey again making this a three level taste experience. I think we each would have been happy to have our own bar but we do practice Moderation here on The Chocolate Cult

The 62% "Finest Dark Chocolate with amarena-cherry-cream truffle" was sent with the new wrapper style so four testers examined this. This split our team of testers into 2 vs 2 in terms of recommending it. Two did not like it for the very reasons the other two did -- the cherry flavor is very strong and sweet. They did all like the darker chocolate flavor and found that it had a very strong cherry scent. Breaking off or biting off a piece made a loud snap. The external coat of 62% chocolate was over a lighter, softer center. The sweet cherry flavor reminded the group of cherry cordials complete with an alcohol burn to it that was missing in the other bars. If you like cherry cordials the groups says "give it a try" but if you don't, stay away.

Finally the "Premium Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar with Cherry Trufflefilling" in the original gold wrapper has 80% cacao so this is a very dark bar indeed. Two of us tested this bar and sadly I could not find this on the website any more. The fragrance is strongly chocolate and nothing else. Taking a bite made a fairly loud sound and we discovered a slightly lighter chocolate inside which had a light cherry flavor which built with each chew. Pieces melted quickly in our mouths blending the two flavors perfectly. Of the four bars the two of us tried that weekend, this was our favorite hands down. The good folks at Chocion explained why some flavors might not show up on their website: All chocolates are still available, the 80%Amarena Cherry as well. But sometimes we take some chocolates out of our onlinestore, because we produce every bar fresh. So if one customer orders 1 chocolate each, it makes it very hard for us. All flavours and mixings are possible. We even make 99%dark chocolate.
So a customer can choose any flavor and any chocolate type and we produce it fresh, starting with 5 bars. Its very difficult to show this in our shop. As soon as they get in contact with us, we explain exactly what we can do. its always good to write us. A lot is possible. So drop them an email or call them if you are interested in a flavor that you don't see on their website.

Chocion's chocolate -- white, milk, dark -- is made with basic ingredients (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter) for the outer shells. The truffle centers varied according to the flavor and amount of alcohol. These do have soy lecithin in case that is an allergen for you. If alcohol is something you don't like, you shouldn't try these even though I suspect the actual kick from alcohol is mostly gone after the processing for the truffle centers. The new bars are difficult to compare to the previous since they only overlapped in the case of the white chocolate raspberry but that one received the same split of opinions. Personally I really like Chocion's chocolates even though I'm not into alcohol very much.

More options from Chocion, a lovely German Chocolate company with a good philosophy to back up their quality chocolate. In this photo you can see the new white label with the mesoamerican designs. I recently learned that this new label design has a connection to famous contemporary Austrian artist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). The owner of Chocion told me: I am a big fan of his work and political liberal view. So I asked my designers to put a little hundertwasser in my packaging. This connection back to both mesoamerican history and contemporary art makes these labels seem even cooler, don't you agree?

The above review is our most complicated yet -- pulled from two separate testing periods with six people total. The Web makes it possible to combine these reviews in one single form for you all. I hope if you've had any of these trufflebars from Chocion that you leave a comment and let us know what you thought. Please do go and check out Chocion.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Trio of Darkness from Equal Exchange

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I want to look at three bars from Equal Exchange Chocolate that all come from Central and South American countries of Panama, Ecuador, and Peru.  Yes, yes, I know that Cinco de Mayo is really a very Mexican holiday but in the USA we tend to celebrate all south of the borders things. If you will recall, Equal Exchange focuses on fair trade, working with small farmers whom we learn about on their wrappers, and organic practices. These three bars are also certified Kosher as well. They are simple chocolate bars without additives -- organic chocolate liquor, organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, and organic vanilla beans not even a lecithin. We'll examine these bars in ascending order of cacao content from 65-80%.

We begin our journey of dark chocolate in South America with the west coast nation of Ecuador in this Dark Single Origin Chocolate at 65% cacao. This has a deep cocoa scent but also hints of nuts and sweetness that remind me of a floral fragrance.It makes a very loud snap when I take a bite and the first flavor I get is a surprisingly creamy chocolate with light sweetness that stays very level with each chew. I put another section in my mouth to melt and as it slowly does so I note that the cocoa and sweet flavors blend together even more. So it really is up to you -- want sharper difference between the flavors, chew it; want a thorough blend, let it melt in your mouth.

Next we move further along the South American west coast and the nation of Peru where the biographical focus on the wrapper discusses the Cacvra Co-op there.  This is the Very Dark Chocolate bar with 71% cacao content. The fragrance is so very intense that it borders on coffee-like yet all three of these bars are identical in terms of color.  Perhaps it is just me but the sections feel more difficult to break apart. I get a few broken off then and take a bite and am shocked to find it softer and less noisy than the previous bar. At first there is no flavor and then a burst of dark cocoa and intense sweetness that blend into a slightly coffee-like flavor that the scent suggested. Letting the second piece just melt in my mouth really tones down the intensity of the flavors, smoothing them out and blending them together but this is still clearly darker than the previous bar. Again it is a matter of what you want -- more intensity of flavors means chewing it but a blended dark chocolate will result from melting it in your mouth.

Finally we head a bit normal into the southern tip of Central America for the Panama Extra Dark Single Origin Chocolate bar that has 80% cacao content; don't be afraid, I'll walk you through my sensory experience. This has another strong cocoa scent but a hint of a deep, earthy fruit essence as well to my nose. This is as difficult to break into sections as the previous bar even though it is 9% darker. A bite makes a sharp crack sound and I get a bit of sweetness immediately followed by a dark cocoa that builds with each chew; for me personally, that is ideal for dark chocolate. But let's see what letting it in mouth changes about the flavor. The sweet kick at the start is replaced by a soften dark essence that remains very balanced as it continues to melt; if darker chocolate is a bit scary to you, try letting the pieces of this melt in your mouth first before chewing it.

Our final big chocolate bars from Equal Exchange have now been revealed, Sisters and Brothers.  The balance of the organic cane sugar and the darker chocolate was excellent but you have to like dark chocolate. Their social and economic policies are just a bonus for these Sacrament worthy bars. Buying from Equal Exchange isn't celebrating Cinco de Mayo with money and your mouth but supporting a company that cares about the farmers. And that, Sisters and Brothers, wrapped up our journey exploring the chocolate options from Equal Exchange. So now after everything we have revealed to you in around a dozen posts, which Equal Exchange chocolate have you tried?  Where you do find it?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

National Candied Orange Peel Day... with Chocolate!

Did you know that May 4th will be National Candied Orange Peel Day?  Well, you do now! To celebrate we are going to look at the contents of the little crate we were sent by Voila Chocolate.  he crate, by the way, is thin wood which adds an air of sophistication that you wouldn't get in a bag or a paper case. While the focus of the companies is on their chocolate creation parties, they do also sell some products which we have looked at before. Today we're going to look at their Orangettes which are dark chocolate covered candied orange peels. Let's take a look inside.

So cute! These are about 3 inches long and around 1/2 inch at their width but thin at around a quarter of an inch thick. They have a very dark chocolate fragrance with just a hint of orange. I cut one in half, it is soft but not gummy or sticky when I do that, and the orange scent is released. I tried to show you the inside in this photo but the orange center isn't bright and blends into the chocolate covering it. The chocolate makes a soft snap when I take a bite but the inside turns out to have a jelly like texture that isn't sticky or gooey. For a candied treat this isn't sugary, the orange flavor is very natural, the dark chocolate has the bitter edge I prefer.  I've never had candied orange peel with or without chocolate before but I really loved these as did the assistant I shared them with.

They are made with dark chocolate and candied orange peel; the only "chemical" listed is glucose-fructose syrup for candying the orange.  There is soy lecithin for those of you with soy allergies... oddly nothing orange is listed on the ingredients, not even an orange flavoring which is quite unexpected. So why did I get an orange flavor? I don't know if you could make these if you had a party at Voila Chocolate but if you can, you need to make them. If you can't make them there, buy some so you can try them, too. We really liked them a lot and if they had oranges in them, they would have earned our highest rating.

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