Thursday, December 4, 2014

Espresso Brownies Kick the Holidays into High Gear

"National Brownie Day" is on Monday December 8, 2014, but to mark it a bit early we're going to look at the Espresso Brownie from XOXO Chocolates. Since Your Chocolate Priestess is not a coffee fan our Mocha Acolyte, Tim, and a group of five others who do drink coffee regularly gave these brownies a try.  Our descriptions below are a combination of their opinions and I've made sure to note differences of opinions. This sort of feature is a great example of why I try to get help with our testing and how the full sensory approach reveals subtle difference not only in chocolate but in the individual using our Sacred Substance.

The brownies came in a tin baking pan and we were surprised by the thick, nearly one inch layer, of chocolate frosting that was on top of it, the frosting everyone agreed had the bulk of coffee flavor in it and was very sweet.  It also tended to separate from the brownie itself easily but that only allowed everyone to sample both brownie and frosting together and apart as well.  It was a bit o a challenge to cut out pieces from the pan but that is always the case when you bake brownies or cakes in my experience.  Both the tin baking pan and the plastic lid are recyclable in our area and I always recycle to save this chocolate producing planet from changing too much so that we don't lose our dear cacao.

The brownie part was soft while the fudge icing on top was relatively hard.  The edges of both the topping and the brownie were harder than the inside but that commonly happens with baked goods and suggests it was baked in the tin pan it came in.  The fudge topping made a soft crunch for most testers while the brownie itself was so moist that it made no sound at all.  Everyone agreed that the fudge part had only a coffee scent but the brownie had a chocolate scent.  In terms of taste opinions varied widely along with the recommendations of whether or not you should try this, Sisters and Brothers.  All agreed it was very sweet and several testers compared it to a heavily sweetened coffee from a brand name coffee shop I won't repeat here (they can send us products to test if they want to get their name on The Chocolate Cult).  Some testers felt the sweet fudge and the brownie created a balanced coffee and chocolate flavor while others felt the coffee was stronger. Everyone said this really was a treat for adults who like sweetened coffee.

XOXO Chocolates Espresso Brownie were not as good as some of the other creations we tested from them.  Yes, we did indeed test everything before the "Best by" date on each item and brownies did not come in a damaged box at all.  However as I hope you noted the range of opinions varied from not liking it at all to merely saying it was a bit sweeter than they would like ideally.  To check out their full range of products you should check out their store or if you are in the Las Vegas area look them up.

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