Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slitti Selection of Pralines Part 2

This is our second featured review of the Slitti Selection of Praline's box from PastaCheese.  We looked at 8 pieces on Saturday and so we'll finish the final 8 today with a bit of help from some of our Acolytes.  Five of the reminding eight pieces have something added to them that your Chocolate Priestess doesn't really love -- coconut, coffee, tea -- rather than just tell you that each piece has that flavor in it, we have volunteers who help me out for nothing more than chocolate.  But then I also don't get paid for our work here on The Chocolate Cult so we're all volunteers trying to help of you spend your money and treat your body more wisely.  With Valentine's Day approaching you want to offer your loved one, or yourself, something really worth the money but also something a little different or lovely. Let's see if the second half of the collection is as good as the first half we wrote about on Saturday.

I'll start off then turn things over to our Acolytes.  This time we'll begin then with three darker chocolate pieces.  This is a fairly original treat, Banana (says so on the writing in light yellow on the top).  In fact, as I think over the past two years, I can't think of more than one other banana chocolate I've reviewed for you all, other than a banana smoothie giveaway we did last year.  Bananas are one of those foods that people seem to love or hate but when used with chocolate it can either enhance the cocoa or cover it up. Let's see if which is the case for this 1 X 1 X 0.5 inch praline.  I smell dark cocoa when I take a whiff of this.  A bite makes a soft soft and inside is a very firm bittersweet center with a light banana flavor.  The banana is sweet and that helps offset the bitterness of the chocolate just a touch.  Since the fruit flavor is light I don't you would need to be a big banana fan to enjoy this but you must love darker chocolate.

Sticking with fruit, Passionate Fruit has also been relatively rare in our experience here so far.  I can think of two chocolatiers who used it in their truffles in the past.  Like the previous flavor this is easily identified by the writing on it though this time it is in purple.  This is the same measurements as the banana one and the same dark chocolate.  However there is a little edge to the cocoa fragrance here, a hint of sweetness.  I do note that the top of this piece is also shinier though I don't think you can see it in the photo.  When I get extra money, Sisters and Brothers, I promise I will look into getting a better camera for up close shots; than you all for dealing with my photos until then.  Back to the Passion Fruit chocolate. This makes a solid snap when I take a bite and immediately I can taste the tart sweetness of the passion fruit building up; in fact, the texture inside is a bit springy as well compared to the others with this sort of firm bittersweet center, in a few chews I think I actually feel pieces of the fruit itself on my tongue.  The tart sweetness does not completely overwhelm the bitter edge of the chocolate but it comes very close to it.

I'll finish my share of this feature with the Pepe di Penja, a 1.1 X 0.8 X 0.6 inch piece that isn't quite a square and isn't quite a rectangle either but it has this pretty scrolling on top of it.  Penja refers to where the pepper is grown but I don't know if this is white, black, or green variety; I don't think I can tell the difference by tasting this piece though it reminds me of simple black pepper in flavor.  The dark chocolate shell is thick and makes a loud snap when I take a bite.  The heat and flavor of the pepper does not appear at first in the firm bittersweet center but it builds up with each bite to become the lingering flavor.  It isn't as hot though as many pepper chocolates I've had so if spicy frightens you a bit in your chocolate, this might be a good starter variety.

Two volunteers, a regular Mocha Acolyte of about two years now and a new volunteer willing to give it a go, helped with the remaining pieces from this half of the box.  Cocco is actually actually a coconut treat but our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte wasn't available so our new person described this piece of chocolate as pleasantly sweet but with various elements that did not blend well such as coconut not spread evenly over the chocolate and leaving an odd but persistent aftertaste in her mouth.  The outer shell was also much harder than the inner filling.  She didn't seemed thrilled by this one but without out expert we have to do what we can for you, Sisters and Brothers.

Tim, one of our regular Mocha Acolytes tried the other coconut sample, the Caffè Cocco which did not have the shredded coconut on top as the photo indicated.  He ate this piece in quarters, slowly, letting each piece stand on it's own but only gave me a few sentences.  The milk chocolate taste is the most powerful, then coconut, then a hint of coffee.  The coffee flavor lingers in the background nicely but the chocolate was the principle ingredient.  Over all Tim seemed pleased by this one.

Our new volunteer also tried the Thè, or tea chocolate that she describes thusly.  Very dry, but only mildly bitter. Tasted hints of the tea filling but it was overwhelmed by dryness. Inside looked powdery but was actually quite smooth.  Flavors blended reasonably well, but overall tasted very much like dark chocolate without any additional fillings.  Good for fans of dark chocolate but fans of other types might find it too dry/bitter.  Sounds like fans of tea flavors may also be disappointed as well, doesn't it?

Our final two coffee chocolates were also sampled by Tim.  Caffè Turco has the name inked right on it so you can easily identify it.  This balanced well, the spices mingling nicely.  He told me it reminded him of our 2011 Chocolate of the Year winner in terms of the spices because he thought he tasted anise. The coffee flavor is the after flavor of the darker chocolate.  Not being a big fan of our historical chocolate we had last year, he didn't seem terribly pleased by this though I'd say he liked it more.

Finally Tim tried the Caffè Sambuca that looks almost identical to the Caffè Cocco though darker all around.  This has both espresso and Sambuca liqueur in it so we were curious to how strong those flavors would be.  He wrote: Sweet, no alcoholic aftertaste. Flavor similar to the Caffè Turco but still very chocolatey.  From his expressions I'd say he liked this one best of the three he tried.

Now that you've had a chance to check out this entire 16 piece collection in two posts, what do you think of it, Sisters and Brothers? How many of you went and check out the website for PastaCheese? What other chocolate goodies did you find there? Don't forget the special offer they have for The Chocolate Cult.

286891_$10 off $75 Order - Chocolate Cult


Free Spirit Eater said...

If I wasn't dieting I would totally take advantage of the special offer. I'm really curious to try the passion fruit and banana flavors, and would completely devour the coconut Cocco flavor. Thanks for sharing your reviews. Have a good one! =]

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Dieting does not mean you have to cut out all chocolate. If you received or bought something like this, you could have one once a day or every other day and I think that would fit nicely in with any lifestyle. Better to enjoy high quality chocolate than the candybars at the check out lines I say at times when we want to limit chocolate intake more.

Free Spirit Eater said...

I agree that it's better to have fine chocolate rather than supermarket checkout line brands, but my diet is very strict bc I entered a fitness competition and my trainer has me on a specific diet plan, which does not include chocolate, at least until after the competition is over.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

*hug* Not even chocolate milk (skim of course)? I've heard that is pretty good post workouts.

Christine's Pantry said...

I would love to have some of these right now. :-)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I'd sure they'd be happy to send soem to you, Christine. Just please use our links in the post and you'll help support The Chocolat Cult, too.

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