Monday, August 23, 2010

Soft and Smushy on the Inside

I am alive!!!!  I know I've been off the radar for the past month or so, but I have a great reason.

First, let me catch you all up.  Flower Man (the guy who I had a lunch date with and who sent me flowers the next day) disappeared.  He had said we might go out that weekend, but I heard nothing.  In the meantime, I had a date with someone else.  He and I have been going out ever since.  Flower Man e-mailed a week later, said he called and left a message on the wrong voice mail.  Seriously? 

The good news is the new guy does what he says he will and loves to eat almost as much as I do.  I feel I've found my soul mate when we're picking an ice cream flavor to share and he chooses Cake Batter.  He makes me laugh.  He even saw me speak before we went out so the dreaded Big Personality doesn't bother him.  He even took the time to read my book!  So things are good, but finding time to work, work out, date AND blog is tricky!  Thanks for not giving up on me!!!

In honor of my mutation into a big marshmallow, I thought I'd review this great new product:

As you all know, I've been railing that something like this should be made!  Those horrible chocolate "flavored" marshmallows are creepy.  Those marshmallows at Candy Expo with some dark chocolate drizzled on them (Zebras) didn't have enough chocolate.  Kraft finally got it together!!!  These are miniature marshmallows, which makes the chocolate to marshmallow ratio perfect.  They are addictive alone and would be great in trail mix, over ice cream, in popcorn - you name it!

Not only are they impossible to stop eating - I ate the whole bag today - but the whole bag has only 300 calories.  Yahoo!!!

One comment - Kraft has got to change the choking warning.  It says: Eat one at a time.  (HA!) For children under 6, cut marshmallows into bite-sized pieces.  Children should always be seated and supervised while eating. 

For God's sake, Kraft, lighten up!  These are MINIATURE marshmallows, after all!  And who wants to sit down and be supervised while eating marshmallows?  I want to eat them while running with scissors!

And speaking of marshmallows, the new guy and I went to a fondue place this weekend - ordered the Triple Play - peanut butter, caramel and chocolate in the fondue pot with pretzels, fruit and marshmallows to dip in.  He let me have almost all the peanut butter.  Is he a good man or what?

Monday, August 2, 2010

JTruffles - Amazing New Truffle Line

I've raved bout the folks at Seattle Chocolates before.  But now - well - I have to tell you - they have completely blown me away.  They've developed a new, amazing truffle line ( they told me about at the Fancy Food Show.  They said they would send me some samples.  Now it has been in the 100's in North Carolina, and chocolate truffles are fragile, very fragile. 

The first set of eight they sent me contained two melted ones.  When Kirsty (their Marketing Maven) heard that, she said - "No way - melted is unacceptable" and sent out more.  All of those were melted.  But I told Kirsty it was okay, I could work with the first ones.  Oh, no - she sent a third set!!!  These people are not only passionate about chocolate, but passionate about customer service and getting it right.  I am very, very impressed!!!

I love architecture, so these designs really appeal to me - look at how cool they are!  Pyramids, deco skyscrapers - I LOVE these creative designs.  I got to meet their chocolatier at the Fancy Food show - and he's so creative and awesome!!  And excited about delicious chocolate creations.  My kinda guy!

Think Mayan and Aztec temples - where chocolate originated - and gorgeous Art Deco skyscrapers as you look at these chocolate works of art.

This is Pura Vida Cafe:

I'm usually not a big fan of coffee and chocolate, but this truffle is the perfect blend.  The milk chocolate is creamy and delish and the strong coffee flavor (actually Turkish ground espresso beans - oh la la!) is offset by the cream it's mixed with.  I loved it - that's how slight, but definitely there, the coffee taste was.  YUM!

This is Limoncello:

Wow!  If you like lemon - this is for you!  It contains a white chocolate ganache with lemon zest and fresh cream in a dark chocolate shell.  This is a super creamy lemon filling - think lemon tart - offset by dark chocolate.  Lemon lovers - this is your nirvana.

See the influence?

The Chrysler Building - one of my favorite buildings in all the world.

This is Cherry Praline:

I think this one could use a stronger cherry and pecan flavor - they were awfully subtle (the chocolate was stronger).  I really love the idea of those two flavors together!!

This is Savory Hazelnut:
Now I really like hazelnut and chocolate, so I was pretty excited about this truffle.  And it did not let me down!  It's almost like eating a hazelnut brownie.  It has tiny hazelnut pieces and a great texture.  I honestly can't think of a better way to describe it - think of the best chocolate brownie you've ever had and add hazelnuts.  That's what this is like - not as sweet as Nutella, a bit more on the salty side.  A+++ 

This is the Magma 65 Dark:

Billed as the line's signature truffle.  It is pretty damn amazing.  A flavorful, smooth dark chocolate with fruity notes.  It's fantastic and dark chocolate lovers will do back flips.  I usually am drawn to milk chocolate, but this one was so good it won me over.

This is my favorite of the shapes - so detailed and so deco!  It's Creme Brulee:

This truffle is filled with vanilla custard ganache and has a layer (at the base of the cream) of carmelized sugar.  And I thought I was going to love it more than I did.  The mixture of textures was awesome, but the slightly burnt taste of the sugar and the bitterness of the dark chocolate took away too much of the sweetness for me.  I bet I would have liked it better in milk chocolate.  But I have a crazy sweet tooth (I like frosting out of the can).  I loved the way the sugar was handled - just like on a real creme brulee (if it's done right!).

This one is Creme 40 Milk:

This is a delicious creamy milk chocolate truffle.  A great basic.  But I actually prefer a truffle with nuts or caramel or some other flavor infusion.  But for a plain milk chocolate - this is delicious.

Another art deco influence:

This is salt water caramel and it's the one I was most excited about:

HOLY SMOKES!!!!  This truffle is a world rocker!!  Chewy caramel - so so fresh and delicious with a dash of salt coated in delicious milk chocolate.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Overall I adore this new line - creative shapes - unlike any I've ever seen and delicious accessible flavors.  Not that crazy weird stuff like lavender or bacon. Glacck!  Think elegance and deliciousness.  And passion - for chocolate and for people.