Sunday, November 29, 2015

Recalls Notice for Iowa Chocolate Cult Readers

My readers from Iowa may have already seen this but in case you haven't, here is a recall specific to those of you in Orange City, Hartley, Hawarden and Sioux Center. I have family in Iowa so this really caught my attention. For further information go here.

Casey's Bakery Inc. of Sioux Center, Iowa is voluntarily recalling all Snickers 8x8 cakes produced prior November 14, 2015, because the cakes contain undeclared peanuts. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Snickers 8x8 cake was distributed to stores in Orange City, Hartley and Hawarden by delivery to grocery stores. The cakes were also sold out of the Casey's Bakery retail store in Sioux Center. The cakes were only distributed within the state of Iowa.

All cakes with date codes prior to 696 or purchased before Nov. 14, 2015 are being recalled. The code may be found on the back of the product package. Cakes come in individual foil trays with clear plastic lids and are sold frozen. Net weight is 23 oz.

No Illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was voluntarily initiated after a label inspection was performed and it was discovered the label did not properly claim peanuts in the toppings as an ingredient. The labeling has been updated and all current Snickers 8x8 cakes properly declare the peanuts in the toppings on the Ingredient List.

This recall does not apply to any other Casey's Bakery Products.

Consumers may return the product to Casey's Bakery Inc. for a full refund. For more information, contact Kathy De Groot at 712-722-2551 9 am to 5 pm CST Monday through Friday.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Marzipan and Nougat for Holiday Chocolate

Here in the USA, marzipan is often a holiday food most commonly associated with Christmas so I decided to look at four more bars from Chocion that use marzipan (three bars) or nougat (one bar) in them. Two of these are milk chocolate and two are dark chocolate, we'll began as we normally do with the milk and work up to the darker. Chocion sent us these bars to test and write about but no other fees in exchange for an honest review for all of you to read.

We'll start with the Nougat Waffel or Milk Chocolate with Waffle Nougat. These have hazelnuts, wheat, dairy, and soy if those are allergen concerns for you. This is 38% cacao so darker than most milk chocolate Americans will be used to. This has a light brown look to it and a buttery cocoa scent like I expect from German chocolate. It cuts into two parts fairly easily with a very sharp knife and inside is a light, nearly tan center with a light hazelnut fragrance. There is a snap when I take a bite to discover crunchy pieces of hazelnut. The first flavor my mouth registers is sweet, buttery chocolate then the hazelnut creaminess that blends together very well. This is definitely one of the best milk chocolate hazelnut bars I've tested in the past seven years and I have tested a lot of them!

The next three bars are marzipan but what is marzipan? Basically it is almond meal (yes you can make a flour or meal out of most nuts and grains) combined with sugar (in this case) or honey to make a paste that can be molded or used in various treats. It can also be flavored but the almond flavor, in my experience, is always there.

The other 38% cacao bar is called Marzipan Pistazien or Milk Chocolate filled with Marzipan Pistachios. Obviously these have tree nuts as well as dairy and soy ingredients. These have a marzipan and light pistachio as well as a light chocolate fragrance. Cutting a bar in half revealed the marzipan as well as greenish pieces of pistachio. This has a much softer center and it makes no sound when I cut it or bite into it. It has a mealy sort of texture that I is fairly common with marzipan that I've had before. The first flavor is a light chocolate but that is quickly overwhelmed by the marzipan; the pistachio is really only there when I bite into a piece. I really wanted more of the chocolate to come out in this bar and less of the marzipan. The next two darker chocolate bars are also marzipan so I'll see if it is a matter of took much marzipan or too little cacao content to really compete.

The first darker chocolate bar is a 62% Marzipan Pur or Dark Chocolate with Marzipan. This has almonds, dairy and soy ingredients You can see in our photos that the difference between 38% and 63% in terms of color is very stark. This has a very powerful chocolate scent and barely any marzipan at all before I cut it open; even then the chocolate stays strong. The inside is not as soft as the previous bar and it breaks with a soft soft but it is not crunchy. The marzipan here is less mealy feeling as well. The almond essence is there but it blends with the darker chocolate, bringing out a touch of sweetness that balances the slightly bitter chocolate. This one I really loved. I would be thrilled to get this bar as a gift.

Another 62% cacao bar is the Marzipan Gehackete NĂ¼sse or Dark Chocolate with Marzipan and Chopped Nuts with almonds, hazelnuts, soy, and dairy ingredients -- yes the only other nuts are hazelnuts and since I really loved the milk chocolate bar with these same nuts I'm hoping I'll love this one as well. This bar makes the same sound as the pure marzipan bar did and no crunchy when I chewed a bit. The dark chocolate scent is stronger than the previous bar and I didn't really get a marzipan or hazelnut fragrance. I noticed the initial flavor of dark chocolate with the almond was quickly matched by the hazelnuts came out more with each bite. The marzipan and the hazelnut are two distinctive flavors and they start to dampen the dark chocolate so I liked this bar a lot but I can't say that I loved it.

These four bars that we received from Chocion are only a very small number of the wide range of nougat and marzipan filled bars that Chocion makes. Please do go check them out if you have a buttery chocolate or German chocolate lover on your holiday gift list. I highly recommend the first and the third bar that we looked at but the fourth was also good as well. They will be so happy with your gift if you get them one of these.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Get Ready for National French Toast Day

Saturday, November 28th, is National French Toast Day and in honor of that, I'm sharing a recipe for Baked Chocolate Chip French Toast. This recipe was inspired by and modelled upon the one here at Pepperidge Farms website. I've changed the steps and five ingredients so this is a new recipe. I hope you try it out and let me know what you thought in comments. Some of the ingredients I used were given to me by companies to experiment with and these are marked in the ingredients list; no other compensation was received for this post.

Baked Chocolate Chip French Toast
By: TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

Ingredients:
1 14 oz loaf of Pepperidge Farms Chocolatey Chip Swirl Bread
1.5 oz dried goji berries (Viva Labs sent me these)
1 oz raw cacao nibs (Viva Labs sent me these)
6 servings of egg substitute
2 cups skim milk
2 tsp homemade vanilla (vanilla beans from Max Foods)

Directions:

1) Let your loaf of bread dry out over a couple of days or put the loaf into a freezer for a week. Check to make sure the bread is a little dry even in the center of the loaf before you use it for this recipe.

2) Measure out your goji berries and cacao nibs using a kitchen scale then set these aside.

3) Cut up 8 slices of the bread. Each slice should be cut into 16 pieces. I found that cutting them 2 slices at a time kept the bread fluffier while saving a bit of time.

4) Toss the pieces into a greased or non-stick spray 3 quart, rectangular baking pan.

5) Sprinkle the berry and nibs over this layer attempting to spread them evenly.

6) Cut up the rest of the loaf in the same way then toss over the berry nibs layer.

7) With a whisk, beat together the eggs, skim milk, and vanilla.

8) Pour the liquids as evenly as you can over the bread, berries, and nibs. The stir gently to try and get every piece of bread coated then press the mixture down evenly.

9) Place in the refrigerator for 1-10 hours. I did for only an hour. If you intend to let it set longer in your refrigerator make sure you cover it up.

10) Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

11) Place the pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

12) Serve it as you would any French toast you'd enjoy.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gift Box of Milk Chocolate from Cailler

I received a box of Cailler Milk Chocolate Pralines via the Amazon Vine program last month. Boxes of chocolate are fairly common gifts to consider giving during the fall and winter holidays so let's see if this box has what it takes to please milk chocolate lovers in your life. While this box does not have a holiday theme at first glance as you'll see, the inside wrapping is red so you could always dress it up. This box of Cailler Milk Chocolate was sent for me to test and write about honestly on Amazon.com but I wanted to share it with you all here on The Chocolate Cult as well. No other compensation was received. All links go to the Amazon page where these are sold and if you buy it through our links, you'll also be helping out The Chocolate cult with your clicks!

Let's start with the chocolate you'll find inside the packaging (we'll get to that at the end of this article). This is Cailler's "small box" of milk chocolate that they have on sale through Amazon.com.  It has 16 pieces, as you can see. we'll go through each type of chocolate here, you'll note there are some types of pralines that are represented a couple of times but in total there are 8 varieties we'll examine in depth, starting with the upper left hand side and working our way across before moving to the next row of chocolates. If Cailler sounds familiar to you, it should. Fancois-Louis Cailler created the oldest currently existing Swiss chocolate brands and his son-in-law, Daniel Peter, invited milk chocolate. Ready to learn more about this specific chocolate box? Keep reading.



The 1st variety is Creamy Caramel praline, this is just one of several caramel varieties in this milk chocolate Cailler box. This looks a lot like a later piece but completely milk chocolate and covered in chocolate jimmies. This has a light cocoa scent with a tangy sweet edge to it even before I take a bite. The bottom of this measures about 7/8th of an inch across while the top is 1.25 inches across; it is 13/16th inch tall. I bite it and it makes a soft pop as the bottom caves in. Slightly salty but very buttery caramel floods over my tongue and into my mouth. The chocolate is very creamy and melts rapidly, coating my tongue so that the flavors all blend together. The jimmies provide a little bit of texture that makes it an interesting treat to just focus my sense of touch onto.



Avelotte Caramel is the 2nd type of praline in this box and the only one wrapped in silver foil. This is the lightest colored of the entire box and I wonder why it is wrapped up since it seems solid in my fingers. This is 15/16th of an inch across and a good 3/4th inch high. This is the first of many pralines with hazelnut in this box; tree nut allergy sufferers should NOT be given this box as a gift. I could smell the hazelnut and taste it when I took a bite into the semi-soft praline. There is a hint of sweetness that may indeed be caramel but it is mixed into the entire chocolate making it a creamy blended affair. Letting it melt in your mouth brings out the caramel tones and a roasted hazelnut essence but decreases the chocolate flavor.




The 3rd variety comes in the form of a cocoa pod called Velvet Bliss and it, too, has hazelnut. These are 1.5 inches long, 7/8th inches wide and 0.5 inches thick so a nice big praline. I take a bite and it makes a very soft crunch. Inside the milk chocolate shell is a more hazelnut butter like center that has a very roasted flavor that adds to the milk chocolate's intensity without curbing the creaminess. So far this is my favorite because the chocolate is strongest but I think I'd really like to try out darker Cailler creations to see if they can do those as well.


The fan shaped Triangle Crisps, are the 4th variety; they have crispy wafer and almonds in them but no hazelnuts, finally! There have an art deco feel to them from the etching on the top, don't you think? The top of the fan is 1.5 inches across and the praline is about 0.5 inches thick. These have a good milk chocolate fragrance to them. They make a crunch when I take a bite and continue to crunch with each chew. Inside pieces of almond and pieces of wafer can be seen though I can't take a clear photo of it. The almonds taste slightly roasted but the primarily flavor is the creamy milk chocolate displacing the previous praline from the top spot in my mouth. At this point, along with four pralines I've also drank 12 ounces of water to help clean my palate between pieces and take a break, continuing the testing another day. MODERATION, remember?


The 5th variety, Gianduja is shaped a bit like a steepled building to me; what do you think? It is 1.25 inches long, 5/8th inch wide, and 0.75 inches tall. This has a spicy hazelnut scent to it which is interesting because Gianduja generally means a chocolate spread made of 30% hazelnut. No sound is heard when I take a bite yet this is not as soft as some of the previous pieces. There is a harder outside milk chocolate shell and a semi-soft center. No spice in the flavor at all but it does does have a stronger hazelnut flavor that isn't roasted, it just blends into the milk chocolate. Letting half the praline melt in my mouth makes this chocolate even creamier and the hazelnut less noticeable. Again this is what I personally look for any chocolate -- more chocolate -- so I really liked these.



The 6th variety is the Creamy Cup praline which looks like it has white chocolate inside of a milk chocolate cup. These are the same size as the Creamy Caramel so I won't repeat that information here. Interestingly the white chocolate does not add to the creamy scent, nope, this is mostly the milk chocolate of the other pralines and I suspect there might be more hazelnut but I'll have to take a bite to find out. This makes a sound when I take a bite into a very solid chocolate make almost entirely of white chocolate with only the cup part made of milk chocolate. The white chocolate has a hint of vanilla and it creamy as I'd expect, a touch sweet as well, The milk chocolate is easily covered up by the white chocolate so consider this for your white chocolate lover.



The 7th type of praline is in the same of a nutty log called Milk Hazelnut Crush is 1.25 inches long, a touch more than 0.5 inches thick, and 5/8th inch tall. You can see that this is full of hazelnuts even on the surface and yet it barely makes a sound when I bite it in half. Inside it is smooth, semi-soft and has a strong hazelnut scent and flavor. The tiny pieces of hazelnuts make a very soft crunch as I chew but mostly this adds an interesting texture; the hazelnuts actually try to stick to my teeth a bit! The milk chocolate and the hazelnut blend very well but not as smoothly as with the Gianduja praline.



The 8th and final variety is along in the box, the Swiss Praline, with a white chocolate on top of a caramelized hazelnut body. This raises to 1 1/8th inch high and the bottom has a diameter of 1 1/8th inches. The milk chocolate part has a hazelnut scent to it but the white chocolate is merely a slightly creamier milk chocolate fragrance. I bite off the top and discover and very intensely hazelnut cream inside that the white chocolate tempers but the milk chocolate is barely present. Eating the bottom half lets more of the milk chocolate through but i also realize that the center had a nougat like texture, a touch chewy, almost like a marshmallow cream. This was not what I was expecting yet in hindsight the white chocolate topping does give a visual hint of this sort of flavor and texture. It was very interesting and I wonder why there is only praline of this time.

In terms of chocolate, if you love milk chocolate, white chocolate, and hazelnuts, this Cailler Milk Chocolate Pralines is a wonderful gift. I give it Sacramental Status for the quality of ingredients and for the Cailler traditions that embody Swiss chocolate.

Note: The external package from Cailler (not the oversized box from Amazon) says the packaging is "Certified Frustration-Free" so let's test that out. Basically cut the one seam on the external box and you can open it up. The slide the light blue fabric ribbon off (It has a strip of elastic making it easy to remove from and replace onto the box), tear the small piece of tape along the seam, use the side hole to push, and out comes another box.

Actually this is red wrapping paper over a box that does not have a lip so much as a soft black paper top like you often find just under the lid of boxes of chocolate. The paper unwraps easily and is fairly easy to rewrap around the box if you want to save chocolate.... Moderation, folks, Moderation. Under the black padded paper top the box is wrapped in clear plastic with a gold seam that you should be able to pull to open up the plastic... I had to start mine with scissors then it worked.

"Frustration Free"... certainly not as difficult as some boxes of chocolate I've opened but still if we include the Amazon packaging, it takes five steps to get to the pralines. Below are the four steps beyond the Amazon packaging.

Actually Cailler Shipping Box
Cailler Gift Box inside Shipping Box
Slip Top Box and Ribbon to Reveal Red Wrapping Paper
Push on the opening you can see on the dark cover and it pushes the red wrapped inner box out. The ribbon also has elastic if you want to slip it on. It is relatively easy to also repack the box just to help store it. The little blue label is actually a tiny booklet listing 

Unwrap Paper to Find Plastic and Soft Black Covers
I had to cut off the plastic wrap; that gold line you see, should have been a lift-and-pull opening but it wasn't started at all. Under that were the chocolates you saw in the second photo but here it is again in case you forgot.


Other than the packaging, this small, 16 piece, box of Cailler Milk Chocolate would be good for milk chocolate lovers unless they are allergic to tree nuts, coconut, milk, or wheat. Do you think this is the sort of gift someone in your life would appreciate for the holidays? Who? leave us a comment and let us know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dark Chocolate Malted Balls for the Holidays

Askinosie is one of our favorite brands here on The Chocolate Cult. We were thrilled when they sent us this 150g canister of their new Chocolate Covered Malt Balls but don't let the title fool you; these are dark chocolate. They came in this silver tin can with very simple label that proclaims the chocolate and cocoa butter are from Mababu, Tanzania cocoa beans. I was sent this product to test and write about in as objective and honest way as possible for you all; no other compensation was received in exchange for this article.


The first thing I notice when I break the paper strip over the lid and open the container is that there is a very strong dark cocoa fragrance. As you can see the jar is packed with these dark chocolate balls. It is not cocoa on the top nor it is shiny chocolate. The chocolate itself is very simple -- the chocolate, the cocoa butter, and organic cane-sugar. The malt balls are where we get a longer list of ingredients that include wheat, milk, and coconut oil which are potential allergens. Luckily I do not have any of these allergens so I can try these and I am eager to do so.

In this photo you see one serving worth of the chocolate covered malt balls, there should be four servings per container. Even one ball has that strong cocoa scent. It makes a very loud cracking sound when I bite one in half. Inside is a pale grainy center and I can see that the chocolate coating is fairly thick. I'll try to take a photo and show you below. The dark chocolate flavor is intense yet smooth, it is not sweet and the malt ball is also not sweet, it has a moderate malt flavor that quickly dissipates so that the dark chocolate flavor can return. If you let one of these set in your mouth you can slow work the chocolate layer off, it will be more intense but still smooth, the malted essence does not come out stronger but the ball disintegrates quickly.

How do these Chocolate Covered Malt Balls sound to all of you reading today? Leave a comment and let us and Askinosie know! I am not a huge malted milk balls fan though I have enjoyed some malted milks every now and then; I really loved these! I have a soft spot for dark chocolate and I'm been very pleased with dark Askinosie chocolate bars before so this does not surprise me. This earns Sacrament Status! I shared these with a malted milk ball fan and he is not a dark chocolate fan but the malted quality was enough to please him. If they sound good you might also like their Collaboration Bar of the same flavor. The good thing about shopping online for Askinosie products is that least in the USA if you buy $35 worth of products shipping is free and so you can get a lot of wonderful gifts with no shipping costs!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Celebrate National Homemade Bread Day 2015!

Talk about timely ideas. Over a week back I had an awesome coupon and savingstar deal for bananas. This turned into a desire to make bread nut chocolate chip bread. My husband is allergic to tree nuts but he also hates bananas. My other partner loves bananas but he doesn't like tree nuts and claims he doesn't like chocolate (he does!). I decided to bake for myself for a change. And while waiting for the bananas to over ripen I found out that today, Tuesday, November 17th, is National Homemade Bread Day!  To celebrate I'm sharing my recipe with all of you.

Lighter Chocolatey Banana Nut Bread
by TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

Ingredients:
8 oz softened Fat Free Cream Cheese
1/4 C egg substitute
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 T skim milk
1/2 T baking soda
3/4 C Splenda granulated sugar substitute
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 C whole grain flour
3 overripe bananas
6 oz mini chocolate chips
5 oz shelled and broken up walnut pieces

Instructions:

1) Let cream cheese get to room temperature and preheat oven to 350°F. Coat loaf pan with non-stick baking spray or grease and flour the pan.

2)Measure out the rest of your ingredients. Peel and then cut bananas into one inch size chunks.


3) Milk together all the wet ingredients and the cream cheese until evenly blended.


4) Add in bananas, baking soda, sugar substitute, baking powder, and salt. Beat well for at least one minute.


5) Slowly add in flour until the entire mixture is smooth and doughy. Add in more skim milk if it seems too dry to pour easily but only 1 T at a time.


6) Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.


7) Pour batter into loaf pan and place in oven for at least 1 hour. Use toothpick method to see if it is done.


8) Remove pan from oven and lay it on its side on a baking rack for 5 minutes before turning out the entire loaf.

9) Allow to cool for another 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices.

10) Store completely cooled leftovers in tightly sealed containers. Place in refrigerator to keep for up to a week.

There you have it. The finished slices!

I shared this with a few others and we all really liked it. It was very moist but you do need to really like walnuts to like this bread.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

5 Chocolate Related Recalls for November 15, 2015

You may have thought you were safe eating all of the chocolate and chocolatey because we haven't had one of these recall posts since September 27, 2015!

Ethereal Confections Issues Allergy Alert On Undeclared Amounts Of Milk In Chocolates

Ethereal Confections of Woodstock, IL is recalling all Inclusion Bars & Mendiants with expiration dates of 10/22/2015 through 04/15/2016 and all Meltaway Bars & Meltaways with expiration dates of 10/22/2015 through 01/15/2016, because they may contain undeclared amounts of milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Product was distributed by Ethereal Confections to retail stores throughout the United States, sold at Ethereal Confections in Woodstock, IL, and sold online at www.etherealconfections.com. Product was distributed from 4/22/2015 through 10/15/2015.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
The recall was initiated due to FDA testing that found the presence of milk. The product, labeled as "dairy free", contains levels of milk protein that can elicit lifethreatening reactions in milk-allergic individuals.

Consumers and wholesale customers who have purchased product from Ethereal Confections meeting the above criteria are urged to contact Ethereal Confections at 8156870320 or email orders@etherealconfections.com.

Please contact Ethereal Confections 7 days a week between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm, Central Time Zone.

Here are the chocolate related products that are part of this recall. To learn more, read the FDA site article. I am NOT including photos of every bar, you can also find those on the FDA site.

Inclusion Bar - Macadamia Nuts + Raspberries + Kaffir Lime; SKU: CB1021: UPC: 857234003006; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Pistachios + Cranberries + Sea Salt; SKU: CB1022; UPC: 857234003013; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Candied Ginger + Candied Orange Peel + Coriander; SKU: CB1023; UPC: 857234003020; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Strawberries + Rose Petals + Pink Peppercorns; SKU: CB1024; UPC: 857234003051; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Blueberries+ Cherries + Blackberries; SKU: CB1025; UPC:857234003037; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Strawberries + Mangoes + Chiles; SKU: CB1027; UPC: 857234003310; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Espresso + Cherries + Hazelnuts; SKU: CB1028; UPC: 857234003327; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Scorpion Pepper + Bourbon + Smoked Sea Salt + Caramel Pecans; SKU: CB1029; UPC: 857234003358; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Cherries + Cocoa Nibs + Cayenne ; SKU: CB1026; UPC: 857234003068; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Inclusion Bar - Cocao Nibs + Caramel Almonds + Sea Salt; SKU: CB1030; UPC: 857234003334; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-4/15/2016

Meltaways - ­ 3 Piece Peppermint Meltaways; SKU: ML1031; UPC: 857234003112; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-1/15/2016

Meltaways - 3 Piece Vanilla Sea Salt Meltaways; SKU: ML1032; UPC: 857234003136; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-1/15/2016

Meltaways - 3 Piece Blood Orange Meltaways; SKU: ML1033; UPC: 857234003105; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-1/15/2016

Meltaways - Piece Tahitian Vanilla Lemon Meltaways; SKU: ML1034; UPC: 857234003082; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-1/15/2016

Meltaways - Piece Meltaways Assorted; SKU: ML1035; UPC: 857234003129; Expiration Dates: 10/21/2015-1/15/2016

I know this is a long post already but you MUST keep reading, this is only the first recall today.

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David Trail Mix Sweet & Salty Voluntarily Recalled Due To Undeclared Dairy Allergen

DAVID® Trail Mix Sweet & Salty flavor is being voluntarily recalled by ConAgra Foods of Omaha, Nebraska, due to the presence of an ingredient in the trail mix that contains milk protein, which is not declared on the packaging.

The finished product is made for ConAgra Foods by a third party supplier who is conducting a separate recall for similar, impacted products.

This food is a concern for people who are allergic to milk. People who have allergies to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the product. ConAgra Foods was made aware of this issue through a consumer contact. ConAgra Foods is aware of one consumer allergic reaction associated with consumption of this product.

ConAgra Foods is advising consumers who have purchased this item to discard it or return it to the store where originally purchased. For further information consult the FDA site about this recall.

This recall includes the following DAVID Trail Mix Sweet & Salty products sold as part of multi variety packages that also contain DAVID Trail Mix Classic. DAVID Trail Mix Classic is not impacted by this recall.

The DAVID Trail Mix Sweet & Salty UPC is: 26200 23885, 5oz. bags/149g.

The product was shipped to retail food stores and distributors in the U.S. and Mexico. ConAgra Foods is working with retail customers and distributors to ensure the packages are removed from store shelves.

This recall is limited to DAVID Trail Mix Sweet & Salty flavor only and does not impact other flavors of DAVID Trail Mix or any DAVID Seeds products.

Consumers with questions should call our Consumer Affairs hotline at: (800) 881-3989, open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

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Kanan Enterprises Conducts Nationwide Voluntary Recall of Certain Products Containing Candy Buttons

I couldn't find any images of these particular products that I am completely certain are the recalled items.

Solon, OH - Kanan Enterprises announces the voluntary recall of multiple products that contain candy buttons due to the presence of an ingredient that contains milk protein, which is not declared on the packaging. This candy button came from an outside ingredient supplier. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. Kanan Enterprises was made aware of this issue through notification by a customer that we co-pack for. Kanan Enterprises is aware of one consumer allergic reaction associated with consumption of this product..

A list of affected products and code dates is listed below:

Better Valu Mountain Mix; 10 oz.  Stand Up Pouch; All date codes; UPC: 0 79801 24706 8

Favorites Mountain Mix; 7 oz. Stand Up Pouch; Date codes earlier than Best Before 06 Aug 2016; UPC: 0 38445 12280 3

Clear Value Mountain Mix; 10 oz. Stand Up Pouch; Date codes earlier than Best By 06 May 16: UPC: 0 36800 36285 7

King's Mountain Trail Mix; 25 lbs. Bulk Case; All date codes; Item # 00440

King's Mountain Mix; 2 oz. Pillow Bag; All date codes; UPC: 0 38445 00224 2

King's Mountain Mix; 28 oz. Stand Up Pouch; All date codes; UPC: 0 38445 43431 9

King's Sweet & Salty Mix; 25 lbs. Case; All date codes; Item #00389

King's Sweet & Salty Mix; 16 oz. Plastic Jar; All date codes; UPC: 0 38445 13192 8

King's Sweet & Salty Mix; 6.5 oz. Pillow Bag; Date codes earlier than Best By May 21 16; UPC: 0 38445 54309 7

King's Sweet & Salty Mix; 5 oz. Pillow Bag; Date codes earlier than Best By May 21 16; UPC: 0 38445 54309 7

King's Penguin Tin Mountain Trail Mix ; 17 oz. Tin; All date codes; UPC: Item # 7463017

Speedy Choice Trail Mix Salty & Sweet; 8 oz. Stand Up Pouch; All date codes; UPC: 0 52894 12056 2

Speedy Choice Trail Mix Salty & Sweet; 2.75 oz. Tube Bag; Date codes earlier than Best By 19 Aug 2016; UPC: 0 52894 12062 3

Valu Time Mountain Mix; 10 oz. Stand Up Pouch; All date codes; UPC: 0 11225 09157

King’s Cashews & Sweeties; 14 oz. Stand Up Pouch; All date codes; UPC: 0 38445 49999 8

Consumers with this reported product should not consume this product. They should destroy it or return it to the point of purchase. Consumers with questions should call 1-800-860-5464, 8:15 am - 5:00pm EST, Monday - Friday

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Kar's Nuts Recalling Certain Packages of Sweet 'N Salty Mix

Kar’s Nuts, Inc. announces it has recalled a limited number of packages of their Sweet n Salty Mix products with best by dates between August 25, 2016 and September 2, 2016.
The recall is being initiated due to consumer reports of hard, clear foreign material (approximately one half the size of a sunflower kernel) being found in several packages. There are no reports of injury.

All recalled product is being removed from store shelves.

Consumers who have purchased the product with the best by dates in question can return it to its place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with any questions may contact the company at 800-527-6887.

The list of specific items and their UPC codes will appear on the company’s website at karsnuts.com and also on the FDA website. I do not have this information for nor does the FDA so click on the brand website please.

We value and appreciate the many consumers who purchase our products on a daily basis and consider us a favorite. We are committed to maintaining your trust and doing whatever it takes to ensure that our snacks are safe and enjoyable.

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Tate's Bake Shop Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Walnut Allergen in Tate's 7oz Chocolate Chip Cookies And Tate's 7oz Ginger Zinger Cookies.

Oh, this one makes me extra sad because we've tested and written about Tate's Bake Shop products in the past right here on The Chocolate Cult.

Tate's Bake Shop of Southampton, NY is recalling Tate's 7 oz Chocolate Chip Cookies with Best By date of Mar 20, 2016 and Tate's 7 oz Gluten Free Ginger Zinger Cookies with Best By date of Jan 04, 2016 because they may contain undeclared walnut allergen. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to walnuts run the risk of serious or allergic reaction if they consume these products.
Tate's 7 oz Chocolate Chip cookies and Tate's 7 oz Gluten Free Ginger Zinger cookies are distributed nationwide through retail stores.

The product can be identified by a Best by date of March 20, 2016 for the Chocolate Chip cookies and Jan 04, 2016 for the Ginger Zinger cookies, ink jetted on the bottom of the outer package.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that a product containing walnuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of walnuts.

Consumers who have purchased Tate's 7 oz Chocolate chip cookies with a best by date of Mar 20, 2016 or Tate's 7 oz Gluten Free Ginger Zinger with a best by date of Jan 04 2016 are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-631-780-6511 between the hours of 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.

And that's it!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Taste of Vermont for the Holidays

Looking for a small chocolate box to give for the holidays? Know someone who was originally from Vermont and perhaps moved and would appreciate a taste of home? Do you like the flavors of honey, caramel, mint, nuts, fruits, and maple? Then this 8 piece box of Chocolates of Vermont from Lake Champlain Chocolates might be the gift you are looking for. I got this box from Lake Champlain through the FoodieBlogRoll program that we are part of here on The Chocolate Cult. Let's take a look at what is inside, shall we?

As you can see the box contains fairly large pieces of chocolate in four flavors that we'll look at separately in a moment. The ingredients are relatively pure, I only see rice syrup and coconut oil as potentially questionable to include. Some of the ingredients are organic -- rice syrup, and soybean lecithin are listed as organic.  It does have potential allergens as well -- milk, soybean, and tree nuts are mentioned specifically. Three pieces = 1 serving of 200 calories so really not bad at all for the size of these but like most chocolate it has a lot of sugar so be wary of that if you are cutting back.

Unwrapping the chocolates we can see that they vary not just in terms of color of foil wrapper shape but also images on them help identify each one. Inside the lid as I hope you notice, they show each variety so if you have a tree nut allergy like my husband, you can simply avoid piece that have that in them and enjoy the rest. I really wish all boxes of chocolate made it so easy to figure out what each piece is simply for the sake of food allergies, don't you? Now let's look at each variety in greater depth. Remember I take my time and rinse my mouth with water between flavors. Focus on each one and enjoy, don't rush your chocolate experiences.

We'll start with the Honey Caramel has a beehive and a couple of flowers on the top of it as well as a few drops of what looks like honey that must have come out of it that nearly matches the gold foil wrapper. This is a shiny dark chocolate and has a strong honey and caramel scent with the dark cocoa essence. It makes a loud snap when I take a bite. Inside the honey caramel is thick and not sticky but also only on one side of the chocolate. Where the caramel is, it adds a smooth sweetness, not overpowering or intense, that blends very well with the dark chocolate. The dark chocolate on its own is clearly dark but not bitter, I'm guessing 60% perhaps. I liked it a lot.

Next we have the oval shaped, gold foil wrapped, Evergreen Mint that has a mountain lake or stream scene including an evergreen tree and a crescent moon. This has a dark cocoa scent with a very herbal mint undercurrent when I breathe in a whiff of it. It makes a loud snap then a crunching sound when I take a bite and I discover little white, crunchy pieces that offer tiny bursts of more intense, cool mint that intensifies the dark cocoa. This seem darker than the previous Honey Caramel but I'm betting it is the same cacao content whatever that might be. I often find that mint intensifies cocoa for me. The little white pieces are spread throughout, not many of them at all, just enough to add more variation in texture, sound, and a flavors. The cool sensation lives in my mouth along with the cocoa flavor for several minutes and I can feel my mind feel more open and less stressed after eating. I love this one!

The Green Mountain looks like a mountain, doesn't it? Can you see the detail along the sides in our photo once I unwrapped it from the dark bronze foil? I notice that this does not seem to be as dark of a chocolate as the other three. This is the one chocolate that has tree nuts and fruit -- almonds and currants to be precise. I get a hint of the currants when I take a deep sniff of the piece but primarily it is a creamy milk chocolate fragrance. The uniqueness of this shape makes it a challenge to eat so I bit off the top of the mountain with difficulty to find it primarily this creamy milk chocolate. Under that were some fairly large pieces of almonds, unsweetened, just simple almonds that added a good crunch to it but didn't distract from the milk chocolate. The currants are in between two layers of the almonds and they add a burst of sweetness and chewiness that blends well with the almonds and milk chocolate. The result is a eating experiences that blends well in terms of flavors and has three distinctive textural levels as well. Very interesting and tasty.

Finally we have the Maple Crunch which is round like the first one but wrapped in a copper foil and with a maple branch and leaf on the top. This has a strong maple and dark chocolate fragrance when I take a bit sniff of it. From the bottom I can see a lump of what is inside so I'm betting this like the Honey Caramel will not have an evenly spread out filling under the dark chocolate shell but I won't know until I take a bite. The chocolate shell makes a loud snap when I take a bit and inside, yup, I guessed right, the hard almost brittle or toffee like center is really off to one side. It makes a very loud snap when I bite into it and continues to crunch with each chew though it also gets sticky with each chew and adheres to my teeth! The flavor of this maple crunch is more buttery than maple really and it blends fairly well with the dark chocolate. The biggest issue is that the crunch part easily separates from the chocolate so you are really left with two different flavor experiences.

There you have it, Sisters and Brothers in Chocolate, a potential gift for the Vermont lover in your life this holiday season. Have you had the Vermont collection from Lake Champlain Chocolates? If so, leave a comment and let us know what you thought about it and if you'd give this as a gift or would love to get one as a gift.