Choxie Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection

April 7, 2008

As you might guess by the heart shaped box, this is Valentine’s Day candy. I picked it up a few days after the holiday — at 75% off I couldn’t really resist. I’ve only just gotten around to reviewing it, but I think it’s sold year-round in a non-heart-shaped box. That’s how I’ll justify this being about two months late, anyway.

I was disappointed to find that the chocolate were slightly ashy. I guess they weren’t stored properly. Aside from that, they’re attractive pieces. That flavors include, caramel, honey, lemon, tea, chocolate, and coffee. Each piece is surrounded by the same bitter dark chocolate shell. It’s rather bland, so the chocolates really rely on their fillings, which also turned out to be rather bland, unfortunately.

Dark Chocolate Caramel: I didn’t eat this one — I shared!

Dark Chocolate Honey: This one is filled with a milk chocolate ganache with a small reservoir of honey at the top. The ganache is very light — almost mousse-like — but it’s really lacking in flavor. However, the sweet honey offsets the bitter chocolate shell nicely, so it works in the end.

Dark Chocolate Lemon: The one is filled with a white chocolate lemon ganache, which is light and refreshing. It tends toward sweet lemonade more than zesty lemon, which contrasts well with the bitter dark chocolate. I liked this one.

Dark Chocolate Tea: Yikes. It’s acidic and medicinal. I might expect something bitter and slightly acidic, but the medicinal edge is more reminiscent of cough syrup than tea. This one went into the trash.

Double Dark Chocolate: While the other pieces in this box tend toward a light, almost mousse-like ganache, the dark chocolate ganache is very thick. The filling is actually rather tasteless — it’s slightly sweet but not really chocolate-ty at all. Another bust.

Dark Chocolate Coffee: When I bit into this, I was surprised to find that it was crunchy. Then I checked the description — there are cacao nibs in here. It’s a nice touch. The filling is light in both texture in flavor. It has a mild mocha flavor, which is fine, but isn’t the “full-bodied coffee” flavor promised.

Overall, you can see that I found most of the chocolates to be pretty bland. Even the pieces that I liked were uninteresting. If I had paid the full $7 for this, I’d feel ripped off. It’s more than overpriced. But it was under $2, so it’s okay — worth the try anyway. I’ve been pleased with some of Choxie’s other products, but I’ll definitely steer clear of their boxed chocolates from now on.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 4 pieces. There are 210 calories, 14g of fat (9g saturated), 12g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Overall Rating: 4/10

Name: Belgian Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $1.75 (regular $7.00)
Weight: 1.9 oz.

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Elmer’s Easter Eggs I

March 6, 2008

(Part II of the Elmer’s roundup will be up tomorrow — there is only so much candy that I can eat at once!)

Elmer’s is a candy company located in Ponchatoula, LA, which is only about 75 miles from me. I’ve always been aware of their products, but didn’t realize they were a local company until a few months ago.

Elmer’s makes a lot of boxed Valentine’s chocolate. I’ve haven’t tried these — they’ve never appealed to me — but I think they’re pretty widely distributed. I’m much more familiar with their Easter products, which include Gold Brick Eggs, Pecan Eggs, and several other products. I think distribution of the Easter fare may be limited to the South.

When I was a kid, I would inevitably get several Elmer’s products in my Easter baskets. This was always a disappointment. I had nothing against Elmer’s, but most of their products featured nuts — and I didn’t like nuts. I know, I know… I was young and naïve, give me a break.

While I devoured Robin’s Eggs, chocolate rabbits, and Peeps, Elmer’s candy sat behind. (Well, not really, I think my parents ate it.) I figured it was about time I gave Elmer’s a chance.

Eggceptionals: This product looks familiar to me, but I don’t remember receiving these. I probably would have eaten them. It’s peanuts and caramel enrobed in milk chocolate The idea is comparable to the Snickers Crème products, which have no nougat. However, unlike the Snickers products, which have a fairly soft caramel, the caramel here is firm. I mean seriously firm; I think it could pull a filling out. I can appreciate a firm caramel on its own, but in a candy bar… not so much.

I like a buttery or salty caramel, but this here is pretty bland. It’s not even super sweet, which could be a good thing. The chocolate is pleasant, and the peanuts are fresh. They give the whole thing a nice, nutty flavor, but the caramel kind of kills this one for me. It’s not bad, but I’ll stick to the Snickers Crème Eggs.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. There are 130 calories, 5g of fat (2g saturated), 14g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 5/10

Pecan Egg: My mom would always eat these. I always thought the Pecan Egg was a lump of pecans. It’s actually nougat covered with caramel and chopped pecans.

How does it taste? Think butter pecan ice cream, and you’re pretty much there. The nougat is soft, but firm enough to hold it’s shape. It’s very sweet and tastes strongly of vanilla. The caramel is very buttery, lending to that somewhat fake butter flavor that I associate with butter pecan ice cream. The pecans could be crunchier, but they are adhered with sticky caramel, so they’re going to absorb some of that moisture.

In all, the flavors blend well together, and this is pretty good. I’d like to give it a try frozen.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. There are 130 calories, 6g of fat (0.5g saturated), 14g of sugar, and 1g of protein per serving.

Rating: 6 /10

Name: Eggceptionals/Pecan Egg
Brand: Elmer’s
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.34/$0.50
Weight: 1 oz. each


Nestle Easter Eggs

March 5, 2008

Here are more molded, filled eggs, this time by Nestle. I know that the Wonka Egg has been around the past couple seasons, but I’m not sure about the other two.

Butterfinger Crème Egg: I almost passed this up because I thought it was a solid chocolate egg studded with Butterfinger pieces, ala the Nestle Christmas fare. But no, it’s filled with “Butterfinger pieces and peanut butter crème.” The filling is grainy and, well, a bit too solid to be called a crème, I think. The peanut butter crisps add a nice touch.

For as much peanut butter filling as there is, this didn’t have a super-strong peanut butter taste. I think my taste buds may have been whacked, as I did eat this just after recovering from a bug. In the end, I don’t care for Nestle chocolate, and I’d rather have a Reese’s Egg. Rating: 5/10

Nestle Crunch Crème Egg: This one contains chocolate crème, caramel, and of course, crisped rice — that’s what makes it a Nestle Crunch! Again, I think the crème is too solid to be called so. It’s like a light, maybe aerated, chocolate that doesn’t differentiate itself much from the shell. It‘s quite sweet, and the pocket of caramel adds to that. The caramel is salty and buttery, and I quite like it. However, it’s not enough to save this for me, I’m just not a fan of Nestle chocolate. Rating: 6/10

Wonka Golden Crème Egg: This piece has a little more novelty. It’s a tie in with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in which Veruca Salt demands the goose that lays the golden eggs… and subsequently takes a trip down the garbage chute.

It contains chocolate crème, caramel, and graham cracker bits. Hmm. Wait a minute. It’s the Nestle Crunch Egg all over again! Disappointing chocolate shell? Check. Not-so-crème-like chocolate crème? Check. Butter, salty caramel? Check. The only difference is that the crisped rice is replaced by graham cracker bits, and to be fair, there is a noticeable graham flavor. I love graham crackers, so I like this change, but it’s not enough to really change my opinion. (Though I do wish more candy would use graham..) Rating: 6/10

Name: … more eggs!
Brand: Nestle
Store: Walgreens and Target
Price: $0.50 each
Weight: about 1.1 oz each


A Russell Stover Easter

March 4, 2008

When I first saw these I thought, ‘Russell Stover duped the Cadbury Crème Egg!’ I should have given them a little more credit, as these are bit different.

However, these do bear some resemblance to the Cadbury Crème, so I’ll preface this roundup with this statement: I’ve never liked Cadbury Crème Eggs. They’re too sweet for me. While I enjoy sweet chocolate, I’m not one for straight up sugary-sweetness. So, if you like the Cadburies, you’ll probably disagree with my assessment of these.

(I do, however, love that clucking bunny.)


Vanilla and Chocolate Crème: This is a milk chocolate shell filled with a sticky, liquefied vanilla fondant and a chocolate “yolk.” The filling is sugary-sweet — so much that it burns my throat. It doesn’t scream vanilla to me; it just sort of whispers it after assaulting me with sweetness. The chocolate yolk blended with the vanilla so that I couldn’t discern any distinct flavor.

The chocolate shell is good, and not too sweet, but is really overpowered by the filling. If you like Cadbury Crème Eggs, this might be for you, but it’s a bit too sweet for me! Rating: 4/10


Chocolate Crème: I hoped that the chocolate crème would be less sweet, but it’s still throat-searing. It’s not particularly chocolate-ty, just slightly fudgy. It reminds me a bit of chocolate syrup.

The texture of the filling is nice and thick. It’s quite viscous, so you don’t have to worry about it dripping all over you — unless it’s hot, I guess. It’s also very shiny, and I like shiny things. :P Rating: 5/10


Dark Chocolate Crème: This contains the same chocolate crème, but with a dark chocolate shell and a vanilla yolk plopped inside. The chocolate shell is good — not too sweet or bitter — and has a nice snap. Still, it’s not enough to tone down the sweetness of the filling. I think this would benefit from thicker sides. I ended up scooping a bit of the filling out with my fingers and eating the remains — it was pretty good that way, but my fingers were all sticky. Rating: 5/10

Marshmallow and Caramel: Don‘t worry, I’m actually quite fond of this one! The marshmallow filling is, surprisingly, not very sweet. It’s quite moist; in fact, it feared it would be greasy, but the mouth-feel was just fine. The yolk is a dollop of sweet, buttery caramel. All of the flavors — the marshmallow, caramel, and chocolate — work very well together.

Russell Stover also makes an enrobed Marshmallow and Caramel Egg, but this is very different — I like it better! Rating: 7/10

Cybele at Candy Blog also reviewed these.

Name: …Eggs.
Brand: Russell Stover
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50 each
Weight: 0.9 oz (marshmallow) and 1.2 oz. (the others)


Nestle Turtles

February 25, 2008

When I was younger, I never understood why these were called turtles. Actually, scratch that. I’m still not sure why they are called turtles. I assume it’s because if you squint hard enough, they kind of resemble a turtle with little pecan-feet and a pecan-head sticking out of a chocolate-shell.

The mascot for these is a turtle decked out in a suit complete with a top hat and monocle. If his fashion choices are supposed to indicate a more upscale treat, it’s not really working. He’s too cute, and, well, these just aren’t anything special.

The dark chocolate turtle is sweet and chewy. The caramel is semi-soft, stretchy, and – well, pretty bland. It’s just sweet. There are no buttery, salty, or burnt sugar notes. The chocolate is bland also. It’s not particularly chocolatety, but again, just sweet. The nuts were the last hope for these, and they aren’t doing a good job either. They taste plasticy and stale.

The same things can be said for the milk chocolate turtle. It’s a bit sweeter than it’s dark chocolate sibling, but is otherwise the same. It’s just a little blob of sweetness, nothing deeper than that.

These aren’t truly bad, but I wouldn’t have them again. I have, however, decided that ‘turtle’ is a fun word to say.

Nutrition Breakdown: The serving size for the milk chocolate turtles is 2 pieces. There are 160 calories, 9g of fat (4g saturated), 15g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving. Serving size for the dark chocolate turtles is 2 pieces. There are 160 calories, 10g of fat (4.5g saturated), 13g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 5/10

Name: Turtles
Brand: Nestle
Store: Unknown
Price: Unknown


Twix Java

February 21, 2008

The Twix is a tease. It offers a perfect combination of ingredients — shortbread cookie, caramel, and chocolate — but each ingredient shirks it’s job. This doesn’t make for bad candy, but it’s displeasing when you think about what the bar could be. I feel cheated every time I bite into one. Somehow, I always forget that I find them rather bland. (Maybe I’ll remember next time.)

Still, I was pretty excited when I heard about the limited edition Twix Java a few months back. I love coffee and chocolate together, as you might gather from some of my past reviews.

I was apprehensive when I saw that this utilized a chocolate cookie, especially after the greasy bit that was the Twix PB. Fortunately, the cookie here is much better, though lacking in flavor. It does lend a pleasing crisp, sandy texture. The caramel is where we get the flavor. It’s not your typical sweet, buttery caramel; instead it holds a surprisingly authentic coffee flavor. These coffee notes come with a welcome note of maple, and the milk chocolate coating sweetens it up just a bit more.

I first spotted it at the end of January, but I’m not sure how much longer they’ll be around, so you might want to grab it while you can. I prefer this to the regular Twix, and wouldn’t mind seeing it added to the regular line… and maybe as a fun size or a mini?

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one package (two cookies). Each serving contains 280 calories, 15g of fat (11g saturated), 27g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Twix Java
Brand: Mars (USA)
Store: Walmart
Price: $0.59
Weight: 2.0 oz.


Snickers Nutcracker

December 17, 2007

I picked this up with the Snickers Crème Pumpkin in mind. This is labeled Snickers Nutcracker, with no trace of the word crème in sight. Would it contain nougat or not? I figured that the odds were 75% in favor of there being no nougat and… there was no nougat. As with the Crème Pumpkin, this is a nougat-less, extra sweet Snickers. Yummy!

Ingredient Watch: Partially hydrogenated soybean oil in the caramel.

Nutrition Breakdown: Once again, there are no nutrition facts on the individual pieces. Boo. I did look at a multi-pack in the store to get the calorie count… but I forgot to write it down. I’m pretty sure it was 140 calories per Nutcracker, but don’t hold me on that.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Snickers Nutcracker
Brand: Mars
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50