Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Food I'd Like to Eat: Chocolate Edition

Living here in the UK, I do feel that we get a fair share of chocolate treats. Like very rarely do I think, "Man, I wish we had that over here." It does happen though, and here are a few things that have me wishing I could trade in some crummy new-style Creme Eggs for something from further afield.

This is kind of a cheat because I've had this one before, from France - although I guess this brand is Swiss. It was so amazing, stiff & nutty praline cream surrounded by blonde chocolate. Blonde chocolate, if you're not sure, is like Valrhona Dulcey or an upmarket Caramac. Kind of white chocolate flavored with caramel. These were really just amazing - very satisfying, quite sweet, with a lot of nutty flavor from the center.

I loved Cherry M&Ms when I was younger when they first came out, and I hadn't seen them in ages! So when I saw they were back, I was like - oh yeah, how romantic. Unfortunately, duh, they're only in America. They've also released a Strawberry version, but to me that one seems like it would be a bit too sweet and not have the tangy edge of a cherry chocolate.

Another cherry chocolate! This combo doesn't get a ton of play here in the UK, except in cake form. This one would obviously be way better than the M&Ms, it's dark chocolate and a much higher quality brand.

I found two different varieties of peanut butter & jelly chocolate bars on this US small-batch producer website, Mouth. Uhhh I'd try both. I love peanut butter, I love jelly, I love chocolate - I just know this combination would work really well. Salty, sweet, and tangy!

This one is passion fruit jelly, and it seems super tall. Looks...good. Like, what's not to like? Unless you're allergic to peanuts. This one is by Fixx Chocolates.

This one is 'peanut praline' and raspberry pate de fruit. Also, apparently, described as 'crispy'. Reckon it's like crunchy peanut butter, then? This one is by Tumbador Chocolates.

Finally, these strange 'chocolates' called Il Morso are made of coffee beans & cocoa butter, so it's not really coffee flavored chocolate, it's a coffee based confection. Like, an entirely new thing. Cool though, I'd love to try it! There are a few flavors; Americano (plain), Coffee & Cream (well...creamier, I'm sure), Mocha (added chocolate) and Matcha Green Tea (no coffee, matcha instead!). I'm down to try them all. Unfortunately they're only in the USA for now, but this more than the rest seems like the sort of thing that would take off in the UK!

Well, that's about it for now - any chocolates you've seen overseas that you wish would make the journey to the UK?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Paul A Young, Golden Sugar Coated Caramel Bombs

Happy 2016!
Long time no see, readers! Let's just say one of my 2016 resolutions should be to update my blog more frequently. Unfortunately, January 2016 comes in with your classic dieting proviso, so I can't promise tons of reviews. I'll definitely try & make more time for the blog, regardless. Maybe more round-ups of interesting foods of the world?

Hope everyone had an awesome holiday with lots of good food & drinks going around. One of the snacking highlights of Christmas for me this year was these Paul A Young x Billington's Sugar Truffles.

This is the second time in my memory that Paul A Young has paired with Billington's for a sugar-based truffle - the first time around that I tried it was a triple sugar truffle that was just extra sweet. Shouldn't have shocked me, right? Anyway, I also recall they were presented alongside the regular Paul A Young truffle selection - I don't remember a box this adorable, that's for sure.

See, looks like a box of sugar. Except instead of a bunch of boring old sugar, it's 9 truffles made out of sugar! Oh, and chocolate, and probably a little salt or...I'll cut to the chase.

These are extremely delicious. If you have any kind of sweet tooth whatsoever, you will like these. Where I remember the sugar collaboration truffles in the past being just a bit too sweet, these are just the right level. That awesome Paul A Young dark chocolate, just a bit fruity & tart, topped with a wee bit of crispy sugar, and on the inside...A caramel with a ganache texture & a true brown sugar edge. You know the taste difference between baked goods made with brown sugar & those made with white sugar - think that, but through the medium of caramel and probably using one of the nicest & most flavoursome brown sugars in the world.

 I think there must be a bit of salt included as well, because these really stay on the right side of sweet for something that hinges on it's use of a specific kind of sugar.

These may not have been the most esoteric of Paul A Young truffles available at any given time, but I'll be damned if they weren't tasty in spite of their relative tameness. That's a true master chocolatier, indeed! Are they still available? I'm not sure, if someone wants to enlighten me I may just go pick up another box, haha.