Part of an occasional series about chocolates I have loved (or not)…
It has been a couple of months since my last Chocomania post and I have several goodies to share with you. Interestingly, they’re all by Vosges, which is the maker of my favorite drool-worthy bacon chocolate. (And having eaten both the milk and the dark chocolate versions of bacon chocolate several times, I have finally concluded that the milk version is my favorite.)
Vosges bars are expensive — usually $7-8 each* — however, these are oversized bars of around 3 oz. (85g), so you should be getting at least two servings out of each one anyway, lest you snort down 400-500 calories in one go. Since the bars have eight squares each, I usually eat two squares and call it good.
(*Local friends, you can find them in the $5-6 range at Rebecca’s.)
Marzipan Bar – This confection contains Sicilian almond marzipan, amaretto, and dark chocolate (62% cacao) and is hands-down the best marzipan bar I’ve ever eaten, which is saying a lot. The marzipan is moist and the amaretto adds greatly to the flavor. The dark chocolate is smooth and not at all bitter, which is a complaint I’ve had about other dark chocolate bars. I’m glad that I always eat the Vosges bars over several sittings, because I’ve found this marzipan bar one time only, so at least I made that one bar last, because it might be a while before I can replenish my supply. (I promise I won’t stockpile, like we do with other items.)
Gingerbread Toffee Bar – Oh my holy hell, y’all. This baby is GOOOOOOOOD. This is a dark chocolate (65% cacao) bar with bits of gingerbread spiced toffee flecked throughout. You don’t get a mouth full of gingerbread so much as you get the essence of it — there are hints of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice that leave a pleasant after-taste. Again, the dark chocolate is smooth and not too strong. Get this one soon, because it’s a limited edition.
Black Salt Caramel Bar – Another winner. Dark chocolate (70% cacao) is filled with burnt sugar caramel and flecked with black Hawaiian sea salt. The caramel is rich and buttery and will ooze down your chin if you’re not careful, so have a napkin handy.
Bapchi’s Caramel Toffee Bar – I was initially dubious about this one, as it contains bits of walnuts and pecans, which are not my favorite nuts, but I decided to give it a try since it also contains sweet butter toffee. The chocolate this time is a deep milk (45% cacao), which is nice because it’s not too sweet and doesn’t make you crave more. Overall, this bar is very nice and tastes more of toffee than it does nuts. It doesn’t make my top five faves by Vosges, but that’s only because there are so many other amazing bars.
Going through the Vosges website, I now realize that there are plenty of other yummies that I will need to try — caramel marshmallows, Pink Himalayan Salt Caramel Bar*,Woolloomooloo Candy Bar, and possibly the Smoke and Stout Caramel Bar.
(* Since my blog post about salts, I have sampled pink Himalayan salt and have learned that it is indeed delicious.)
Moving on to my one miss: Another chocolate I tried recently was the Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt by Equal Exchange. I am a big fan of Equal Exchange because they only offer Fair Trade products and I want to do what I can to support their mission. This particular bar is 55% cacao and is flecked with crunchy caramel bits and flavored with a hint of salt. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. The chocolate had a slightly unusual flavor that I didn’t care for and I simply wasn’t wild about the caramel crunch. I think it’s probably a good bar overall, but it just didn’t appeal to my particular tastebuds. Since I didn’t love it, I ended up using the rest of the chocolate in a baking project. Pete thought that was a waste of a good chocolate bar, but the girls and I looked at it as an excellent use of resources.
So that’s the latest chocolate report. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these bars and what you thought and if there are others we all should know about.
Disclaimer: I’m not employed by any of the companies mentioned here, nor was I asked to review their products, which is a damn shame because I would be all over that gig.