Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fairytale Start to 2011

Your Chocolate Priestess and her team of Acolytes have revealed candy bars, ice cream, cookies, cake, fancy and mainstream chocolates to you for the past 21 months.  But rarely have we discussed brownies.  Today that changes as we look at a huge sample we were sent by Fairytale Brownies. We learned that not only do they make generous brownies but they support the development of playgrounds for kids.  Getting every one of us up and on our feet for some part of the day is healthier for all of us but especially for children when our lifetime habits may be set.

I had five of our six Acolytes help me with this review because there were a dozen 3oz brownies in this sample.  Each brownie was approximately 5/8 inch thick and 2 7/8 inches square.  Each was individually wrapped with their flavor on the front and clear nutritional values and ingredients lists on the back.  These are made on machines that process peanuts and tree nuts which may be important of those of you with more severe allergies, Sisters and Brothers.  Each brownie is actually two servings so keep that in mind when we reveal the nutritional information.  The brownies varied from very fudgy to more cake like.  We're going to reveal them in the order we sampled them over the course of about two weeks.  Remember that Moderation is very important here on The Chocolate Cult.

The Original brownie had a crisp top with a very fudgy brownie making up about 95% of it.  It has a solid cocoa scent and feels very heavy in my hand.  The first bite is a burst of smooth yet sweet chocolate that lingers on my tongue for some time.  The next bite reveals a buttery essence as well but the chocolate remains the primary component in this simple brownie.  One serving, or half of it, remember to keep this in mind for every paragraph, has 200 calories, 7g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 1g fiber, 17g sugars, 2g protein. In terms of allergens this has eggs, wheat and dairy.

The next brownie was Caramel which also had a crisp top, a fudgy layer, a caramel layer and finally a cake-like layer.  Four texture in one brownie!  It has the same allergens as the Original but with soy as well.  It also has more to think about when you want to snack at 240 calories, 8g saturated fat, 53mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 24g sugars, and 2g protein.  Apparently I didn't note the sodium but I'm 100% sure it must have some.  This Caramel brownie has a sweet cocoa scent but a mixture of flavors starting with a sweet chocolate, a tangy caramel, and a more smooth chocolate.  The caramel is sticky and even adheres to my teeth a bit.

Mint Chocolate was the next variety next, identified by chocolate drizzle on the top and a light mint scent with the cocoa.  This has wheat, eggs, soy and dairy if you have allergies.  This also has two types of chocolate in it -- the Belgian chocolate that makes up the bulk of every flavor plus a semi-sweet chocolate which is likely the drizzle on top.  At 220 calories per serving you'll get 7g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 95mg sodium, 1g fiber, 19g sugars, and 2g protein.  When you take a bite, the mint essence increases, tickling your nose as the crisp top and fudgy bulk provide you with a sweet chocolate edged with the coolness of the mint.  Eventually the mint overpowers the cocoa and lingers on your tongue for some time.

The Raspberry Swirl as you can see had these sort of chevrons of a raspberry jelly like mixture on the crispy top.    The raspberry scent was very light and the raspberry taste was very mild at first, turning more tart with each bite.  If you focus on a raspberry section you'll get the tartness at a concentrated level but it works well with the sweet chocolate of the brownie.  Our Chocolate Fruity Acolyte thought it tasted a bit artificial and the ingredients say that both artificial and natural flavors were used in the swirl part.  This has wheat, eggs and dairy again and has 200 calories made of 7g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 95mg sodium, 1g fiber, 17g sugars, and 2g protein.

The Cream Cheese brownie obviously has dairy in it but also eggs and wheat.  Surprisingly this was not the most calories intense weighing in at 225 calories made of 9g saturated fat, 60mg cholesterol, 105mg sodium, 1g fiber, 20g sugars, and 3g protein.  You can see the swirls of the cream cheese on the less crisp top and it goes a bit deeper than the raspberry did.  The chocolate is both sweet and very deeply cocoa but the cream cheese sections have a tartness to them which you should expect if you've had cream cheese before.

I had to try the Pecan brownie by myself since the timing of trying it meant that Acolytes available don't like or can't have tree nuts.  Beyond tree nuts, your allergy concerns include dairy, eggs, and wheat.  I counted 7 entire pecan halves on this brownie, mostly on the crisp top layer but some sunk into the cake-like layer.  This has a very smooth chocolate essence that blends well with the pecans.  The pecans are still quite crunchy even though these are created, packed and shipped out.  Refrigerate your brownies for up to a month to preserve their quality by the way, Sisters and Brothers. The nuts are also very tender as well as crunchy, I have to say these are some of the best pecans I've had in a year.  Sadly I ended up eating the entire thing over the course of a day which means I had 460 calories, 14g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 1g fiber (I would expect more with these nuts), 32g sugars, and 6g protein.  EEK!  No wonder I put on weight over the winter holiday season.

After that I made sure I shared these with one to three other people but still this was a lot for me to eat.  The Chocolate Chip brownie has both Belgian and semi-sweet chocolate in it as the Mint variety did.  It has eggs, dairy, soy and wheat as well as 210 calories per serving (1/2 brownie) made of 7g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 95mg sodium, 18g sugars, and 2g protein.  You can see that the chocolate chips clustered in areas on top of the brownie.  This had the strongest chocolate scent of all the brownies.  The bitterness of the chips set off the mild chocolate of the cake-like brownie.  The chips did crunch a bit as I expect when morsels cool down.

The Walnut I shared with another Acolyte so I wasn't overwhelmed as I felt I was by the Pecan variety.  Obviously this has tree nuts but also dairy, eggs, and wheat.  It also has 230 calories per serving made of 7g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 95mg sodium, 1g fiber, 16g sugars, and 3g protein.   This has a balance of chocolate and walnut scent when I open the package.  The walnuts are broken up more than the pecan were but the pieces are still very sizable.  The nuts are crunchy and meaty but they fade into the background making the mild, sweet chocolate essence primary in this cake-like brownie.

The Toffee Crunch was indeed crunchy but also buttery if you bite directly into one of the sections of toffee.  The scent was also very buttery but the cocoa balanced it well. This brownie was more fudgy than the previous few brownies I've revealed.  The cocoa had a difficult time competing with the tangy butteryness of the toffee which stuck to my teeth a bit.  The toffee was not made from nuts so I could share this with Acolytes without worry.  Because the toffee pieces are so big, as you should be able to see in the photo, you could eat around them and get the nice mild chocolate of the brownie itself.  Regardless you'll get 240 calories for 1/2 this brownie made of 8g saturated fat, 60mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 1g fiber, 21g sugars, and 2g protein.

One of out two Mocha Acolytes came over and tried the Espresso Nib brownie which has dairy, wheat, and eggs in it.  I sent him on with the entire brownie so eventually he consumed 450 calories, 16g saturated fat, 120mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 1g fiber, 36g sugars, and 6g protein.  The brownie was very smooth but the nibs were a bit chewy as well as adding a touch of crunch.  The more you chew, the more the coffee flavor came out.  The nibs added texture almost distracted our Mocha Acolyte from the flavors blending but over all he found it a nicely balanced brownie that was better than he suspected it might be after the first bite.

The Peanut Butter brownie obviously has peanuts but also dairy, eggs and wheat.  One serving of it has 220 calories containing 7g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 110mg sodium, 1g fiber, 16g sugars, and 3g protein.  Are you seeing the trend, Sisters and Bothers?  Added tree nuts or peanuts increases the protein by 50% but oddly does not seem to affect the fiber.    You can see the ribbons of peanut butter on the top crispy layer are thinner than the other swirled or ribboned varieties.  The principle scent when I opened this was the peanut essence.  In terms of the brownie itself, the chocolate is the dominant flavor and the peanut butter has a sweet and slightly salty taste buried in the more cake-like bulk of the treat.

Finally we get to the 12th flavor, White Chocolate, which I obviously shared with our White Chocolate Acolyte. This has actual white chocolate as well as Belgian chocolate in it.  For you who have allergy concerns this has dairy, eggs, soy and wheat.  Half of it has 220 calories composed of 8g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 1g fiber, 19g sugars, and 2g protein.  You can see that the white chocolate drizzle covers most of the top but that isn't the only place we found it.  Inside the fudgy brownie were crunchy little bits of white chocolate as well. The white chocolate is very smooth and creamy which our Acolyte really enjoyed a lot.  It blended well with the mild chocolate of the brownie hiding most of the bitterness even milk chocolate can have.  So this is for the white chocolate lover in particular.

The great thing about brownies is that they can cross that border between cake lovers and cookie lovers by being a bit of both.  So if you know someone who loves brownies but doesn't have the time to bake or who lives too far from you to sample your homemade treats, check out Fairytale Brownies.  As you treat them you are also helping children have more playgrounds since part of their profits go toward building such areas for kids.  For for their flavors, texture and forethought, Fairytale Brownies are a worthy Sacrament.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yummy! Who doesn't love a good brownie!

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