Saturday, November 6, 2010

LUXE Chocolate Revelations & Giveaway

Back for Valentine's Day 2010, the generous folks from Ghiradelli sent us samples of several of the holidays gifts you could get from them to give to your loved ones.  At that time the new LUXE like, a milk chocolate variety, was very new.  Later they contacted me about doing a review and hosting a contest to help them promote this LUXE line and since they didn't have anything specific for Halloween, I wanted to get to them as soon a possible so today is the best I can do.  This also continues our November Giveaways because one person is going to win two coupons for free Ghiradelli LUXE and two $1 coupons as well.  We'll get to the giveaway in a little bit.

I received several coupons for free LUXE bars or bags of individually wrapped chocolates as well as a few $1 off coupons.  I went to their website and looked up this new product and found I had enough to get four of the flavors for free as well as a bar for $1 off. Now I had to find them.  Hint: Use the $1 coupons for the bars because they cost less, save the FREE coupons for the bags.

Now I see Ghiradelli chocolates all the time at our grocery stores, our discount stores, and pharmacies.  They are located with the other higher quality but still mass produced chocolates usually at the ends of aisles or in their own section of the candy aisles.  You are ready, Sisters and Brothers, because this was an adventure.  

First I went to my everyday grocery store, Kroger, because I have to make a trip there anyway.  I find one variety of LUXE, the hazelnut in the green title.  OK, I turn to our nearby Target and find that one plus almond in the red title.  I don't find this flavor at all in another grocery or discount store so I turn to our nearest CVS.  I find those two flavors again plus the plain milk chocolate in the blue titles. I go back online and look for retailers and find that the only other one in my town is Walmart which to be honest, something I am with you all 100% of the time, I try to avoid for variety of reasons.  A friend who is far more familiar with their layout, takes me and we find the three previous flavors plus a trio bag that has the crisp variety and a bar of the toffee version of LUXE.

Wow!  That was an adventure for October when I had the time to look in stores.  But you know what, it was also fun because I got to hang out with various friends, look through stores, and when I found a flavor I felt like I'd accomplished so much.  But now I know you are asking: How are they? What do they taste like?  Were they worth it?  The short answer: Excellent, wonderful, and yes.

All of these LUXE flavors are a very creamy, but not sweet milk chocolate.  Each one makes a light snap when you take a bite but not even the nuts really crunch after that though as we'll see that is not the case with the newest flavor.  They all have a light cocoa scent with just hints of the added nuts or toffee; the milk and crisp ones merely merely are the cocoa essence when you take a deep breath of them.  None of these have trans fats but they vary in terms of other nutritional information.  They also have milk and soy added for those Sisters and Brothers with allergies; for severe peanut allergies, these were made on machines that process nuts.  Four of the flavors were previously detailed in a February 13, 2010, review so I won't repeat that information here so we can get to the giveaway faster.

Let's start with the Almond variety in the red label.  The almond flavor was distinctive but the chocolate was definitely the primary essence.

Next we'll look at the green labeled Hazelnut variety.  Often chocolate and hazelnut together results in a heavier hazelnut flavor but that's not the case here where the chocolate is again the dominant component.

Let's say you don't like nuts or like our Milk Chocolate Acolyte you are allergic to tree nuts.  There is the Milk variety which is plain, simple milk chocolate marked with a blue label.  This is creamy and cocoay, not sweet at all and thus easy to enjoy without feeling guilty.

A yellow label marks the Crisp variety that has crispy rice pieces in it.  I don't actually find that chocolate covered crispy rice tastes like much other than chocolate, the rice gives more a bit of crunch and texture really.  I could only find this flavor in a bag of milk, almond, and crisp varieties.  Let me know if you find it bars or as a solo bag please, Sisters and Brothers.

Finally, the newest member of the LUXE family is Toffee in a goldenrod label.  Now toffee can be (should be according to purists) made with almonds but this is not made with tree nuts to get that toffee flavor. In fact it has no nuts at all. Because this is a new flavor and has not been previously reviewed here on The Chocolate Cult, let me reveal more about it.  The flavor here is very buttery and sugary in the toffee pieces and this balances well with the milk chocolate though this is the only LUXE product that is really sweet at all in terms of taste.  The tiny pieces of toffee are visible in the squares when you break them off or after  you bite into them.  This one does make a slight crunchy sound as I chewed it.  This one bar has 4 servings or two squares per serving at 230 calories made up of 9g saturated fat (whoa), 15mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, less than 1g fiber, 24g sugars, 2g protein with 4% iron and 6% calcium an adult need daily.  This is a treat not a daily bar you want to eat on a regular basis.

Sisters and Brothers, you ready to go hunting for LUXE in your area?  If you are, enter this Giveway and you'll get a few coupons of your own.   First, you need to be living in the USA or Canada so I'm sorry to my readers in India, the UK, Australia, and other places.  Then follow these three simple steps to enter the giveaway.

1.  To enter you must be a public Follower of The Chocolate Cult either through blogspot, Facebook, or Networked Blogs.  I do check this each time so if you joined for the last contest then left us you must rejoin -- honestly why would you leave your Sisters and Brothers in Cocoa behind?  You can join in either of those three ways linked to on the left hand side of this blog.  Make certain that your listing as a follower includes a way for me to contact you directly by private email. If you win and I can't contact you, I'll move on to the next person in line.

2.  Go to the Ghiradelli website and look at their LUXE line. Then, in a comment, tell me which flavor you prefer.

3.  You must leave a comment below by Midnight, Friday, November 12, 2010.  Make sure I can email directly so I can contact winner. If can't email you, I'll redo the drawing until I get someone I can directly email. 

The order of your comments will determine your number for the random drawing so the first person to comment will be #1, the fourth person will be #4 and so forth.  The winner will be chosen using this random number generator.


Meghan Rae said...

I just stumbled on this blog! It's so cute.

I prefer the LUXE Milk Hazelnut! I go crazy for hazelnuts and chocolate.

The Fashionista Foodie!

Anonymous said...

I have only gotten to try the Milk Chocolate piece, and it was very delicious. So by default, it's my favorite.

Ghiradelli, you should devise a way to make a LUXE Caramel bar. Those are my regular Ghiradelli indulgence.

Donna said...

Love Ghiradelli! Can't wait to try the new toffee chocolate.

jarnizzl said...

I love the milk hazelnut chocolate!

Anonymous said...


Kimberly Peterson said...

Wowww... I feel like I've just stepped into a chocolate factory with unlimited chocolate to taste. Only this time it's a blog where I can see chocolate EVERYWHERE and get my cravings started. Love it!! And thanks for stopping by my blog, I've added your site to my Google Reader so I will pop in regularly :)

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping to find & try the Luxe Toffee. Sounds yummy!

mavido79 said...

I hope they add a coconut version to this line... but I'm prejudiced. Otherwise I'll have to say that toffee is my favorite.

mully said...

I LOVE the Toffee one.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

If I don't see you on the followers list (there are three ways) or if you don't have an email on you profile I can easily use, you won't be entered into giveaways on The Chocolate Cult.

patronqueen said...

The Toffee sounds great.

IS there a way to enter the contests from Facebook?

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I really don't like responding to the giveaways because it risks throwing my count off for the random selection.

However, a couple of people on here do not have an email set with their handle and I don't see them on any of the three ways you can follow.

I do want to keep all comments here on the blog not spread out over on the Facebook page. If someone knows how to link them, that would be cool but I do want a running record here since chocolatiers do look at this forum before sending things often, they want to see a level of interaction without having to look in multiple places.

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