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.


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.

Choxie Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffle Bar

January 29, 2008

This is the last bar from the Choxie gift sets that I bought around Christmas. It’s a dark chocolate bar with “the intense, yet sweet flavor of espresso beans.” That’s an accurate description – a deep chocolate flavor with a kick of coffee. It’s pretty sweet for dark chocolate, but that makes for a nice contrast with the bitter coffee.

Like all the Choxie truffle bars, this has a lovely meltaway center. It’s slightly grainy, which I attribute to the ground espresso beans.

I think this is another hit with Choxie’s coffee bars. The three varieties offer a little something for everyone. Kona Coffee is very sweet and dessert-like. Coffee Toffee has a mocha thing going on. This Espresso bar is appealing for dark chocolate fans.

Ingredient Watch: Clear.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 1/2 a bar. There are 180 calories, 12g of fat, 15g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffle Bar
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $1.66 (in a set of 3 for $5.00)

Choxie Coffee Toffee Truffle Bar

January 28, 2008

Chocolate + Coffee = Happiness

I have many favorite combinations, but chocolate and coffee are high up. I’ve already had great luck with Frey’s Café and Cacao and Choxie’s Kona Coffee Bar. I’m pleased to report that this is another great coffee bar to add to the list. Yes, my preference for the flavor contributes to the high ratings, but that’s just the way it works!

This bar is milk chocolate with a creamy chocolate-espresso filling and bits of almond and toffee. Choxie’s other truffle bars have been seriously lacking the bits and pieces. This bar improves in that department, but is still inadequate. There are a few almond and toffee bits, though they are concentrated in the center of the bar. The almonds add a warm nutty flavor that compliments the chocolate and coffee very well. I only wish there were more.

I first described this as rich hot chocolate with a shot of coffee, but it’s more balanced than that. There’s little competition between the two flavors. Instead they enhance each other so that you get the full body of each. Like the other Choxie truffle bars, the creamy center lends a great melt-in-you-mouth texture.

More almonds and this would get a near perfect score.

Ingredient Watch: Clear.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 1/2 a bar. There are 200 calories, 15g of fat, 15g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Milk Chocolate Coffee Toffee Truffle Bar
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $1.66 (in a set of 3 for $5.00)

Choxie Kona Coffee Truffle Bar

January 21, 2008

Ah, coffee. The word means Starbucks for many, but for me it means a grinder and a French press. I have friends that find this impressive. That’s funny, because trust me, I am far from a coffee connoisseur. I can’t differentiate between different types of coffee, so I can’t tell you if this Kona coffee bar has a true Kona coffee flavor.

I can tell you that it’s very reminiscent of a Starbucks drink. It’s rich and dessert-like – indecently sweet, but very good. The white chocolate center is flecked with ground espresso beans and is surrounded by milk chocolate. It tastes like coffee loaded with yummy creamer – specifically, vanilla and hazelnut creamers.

Most of the Choxie truffle bars have quite good, if a bit sweet. My problem with them is that they’ve lacked promised ingredients: no pretzels in the Peanut Butter Pretzel bar, not enough gingerbread in the Gingerbread bar. This bar doesn’t promise any bits and pieces, so there is no disappointment! That’s good, because I really enjoyed this bar and want to give it a high rating. Note, however, that it may be too sweet for some.

This is first of three bars from the Coffee Lover’s Gift Collection that I picked up around Christmas. The others are Coffee Toffee and Dark Chocolate Espresso, which I’ll review in the coming weeks. I’m pretty sure that all these bars are available individually.

Ingredient Watch: Clear.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 1/2 a bar. There are 200 calories, 14g of fat, 18g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Milk Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffle Bar
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $1.66 (in a set of 3 for $5.00)

Choxie Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans

November 12, 2007

Choxie is Target’s brand of premium chocolate. I think the catchphrase when the brand arrived a couple years ago was ‘Chocolate with moxie.” …yeah. I’ve tried a couple things from Choxie before, and I think it’s good but overpriced. It has attractive packaging and interesting flavor combinations going for it.

I’ve never had chocolate covered espresso beans before, so I have nothing to compare these to. They are packaged in a round tin. The thick layer of chocolate and crunchy bean make for a nice texture. The coffee flavor is intense. These are best eating by just popping them into your mouth and munching down. If you don’t get the coffee and chocolate at the same time, the bean is rather bitter.

If you don’t love coffee, you probably won’t like these. I couldn’t eat several in a row. The tin lasted about a week; I kept it in my bag for that quick chocolate/coffee fix. I don’t think I’d buy these again, but I wouldn’t turn them down.

Rating: 6/10

Name: Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $1.40

Frey Cafe and Cacao

October 22, 2007

I noticed the Frey Supreme line of chocolate bars in the Target aisles a while back, but I’ve only just got around to trying them. They come in a wide range of flavors. I picked up the Cafe and Cacao, and I was going to get the Tiramisu, but decided to have some fun with the Hot Chili Pepper instead. I’ll have a review of that one later.

The bars are 100 gram tablets. They are rather thin, which I think gives them a nice snap. They are split into 10 pieces, so it’s easy to snap pieces off to share. A serving size is four squares (so 2.5 servings per tablet). One serving of the Cafe and Cacao is 210 calories.

The Cafe and Cacao is supposed to be “extra fine milk chocolate with coffee and crispy cocoa nibs.” That’s right up my alley; I love nibby bars and coffee flavor. So, naturally, I ripped this open as soon as I got into my car and ate half of it for lunch (healthy, I know). The rest of it disappeared over the course of the next day, so I’m writing this from memory. This also means that I don’t have any pictures, which I’ll try to include in the future.

The bar smells like a sweet hazelnut coffee, and upon checking the ingredients I see there are ground hazelnuts in there (another favorite of mine). The chocolate is sweet and milky with a fairly creamy texture. The coffee comes through, but not overwhelming so. It’s definitely sweetened by the hazelnuts. I really enjoyed the texture of this bar. While the chocolate is creamy, the cacao nibs (and I suppose the ground hazelnuts) give it a nice crunch and an extra chocolate punch.

Now, I am biased towards this bar because it combines some of my favorite flavors, especially coffee, which I don’t think is used enough in candy. So my final rating?

Rating: 8/10

Name: Cafe and Cacao
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: $1.66