Saturday, August 18, 2018

2nd Chocolate Library

Craft Chocolate Library
School sessions are approaching fast so in honor of the return to books even though I hope you've been reading all summer long, we are going to look at the second Chocolate Library foursome from Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate. This collection has 3 milk chocolate and one dark chocolate bar that we'll look at in their numerical order on the brand's website. By the end of this article we'll have looked at 8 of the 12 bars you could choose from if you decide to check out craft chocolate this way. I shared several of these bars with some of our Acolytes and when I'm using their words I will use the italic font. We were sent this 4 bar set for free in exchange for a fair and honest review of their product; no other form of compensation was received.

Here's a treat for all of you. When you open up the box look at the flaps for a special message that relates to the bar. I'm not going to ruin it for you by sharing them but this is a cute little detail.

Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Craft Bar
Craft Bar No. 4 Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Caramel is the one I'm looking forward to testing out most so I'm glad it is first in this set. Blood orange has a unique flavor that I've seen mixed with chocolate several times over the past couple of years. The Fair Trade Certified ingredients include cane sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and invert sugar. In terms of allergens there is milk and soy and, of course, orange just in case that's a concern for you. This is a very dark 54% bar and it has a hint of orange and sweetness when I take a whiff of it before breaking it in half, or as close as I can. The opened sections show the caramel inside and it has balsamic edge to the orange smell that is a common fragrance for blood orange. I suck a bit of the caramel out and it has a powerful blood orange flavor but also a lot more sweetness. Taking a bite makes a soft snapping sound. The first flavor is that chocolate but quickly the caramel with its unique hits my tongue before the two flavors blend wonderfully. Letting a bite melt on my tongue actually intensified the blood orange flavor until the caramel was completely gone leaving behind a sweet and creamy dark chocolate behind. I loved this bar! Thank goodness I had only one of them and I make myself practice moderation.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Craft Bar
Craft Bar No. 8 Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana reminds me of sandwiches that some twins in my grade school brought to lunch often; I've never had such a sandwich but I'm open minded when it comes to chocolate. This is a 34% milk chocolate so on the upper end for that types of chocolate. This has the same fair trade certified ingredients as the previous bars. In terms of allergens this has peanuts, milk, and soy; if you are allergic to bananas this might be a bar to stay away from since those are listed on the box. There are pieces of something on the back but they are not spread out evenly, is it peanut or banana? It doesn't look much like dried banana and when I take off a piece it isn't a banana taste. When I break open a piece I can see a layer of peanut butter inside, not pieces of banana are evident to my eyes. The bar has a strong chocolate and peanut butter scent to it. I take a bite and the bar makes a soft sound. The first flavor is creamy chocolate followed by roasted and lightly sweet peanut butter, there may be a hint of banana but it isn't strong at all; I'm not sure. The primary flavor is the peanut butter but it blends very well with the milk chocolate. If you love peanut butter and milk chocolate this is a good bar but banana... not so much.

Milk Chocolate Happy Birthday Truffle Bar
Craft Bar No. 11 Milk Chocolate Happy Birthday Truffle has a birthday cake on the front of the box. Same fair trade ingredients, allergens are milk and soy. This is supposed to be like having  milk chocolate covered cupcake complete with buttercream frosting so a lot of milk in this bar. As you can see the chocolate is light colored and the bottom is sprinkled with sugar confetti in an uneven fashion, sign again of the handmade nature of the bars versus controlled by machines. A couple of the confetti got onto the front but all of them were adhered in the chocolate, not loose and floating around in the plastic wrapper. Compared to other milk chocolate bars from this craft line, I can smell a hint of butter like I would in butter cream; the confetti doesn't change the fragrance from one side to the other and it shouldn't it. When I broke it apart it made a soft sound but when biting it the only sound was when I bit into a confetti. The confetti are crunchy but didn't really add to the flavor only the texture making this bar more interesting than simply a butter cream milk chocolate would be. The chocolate is very creamy and buttery. It reminded me of some German chocolate that I've had in the past. Was there a filling in this bar? I shared it with two Acolytes and both said "yes" but I didn't see any filling even though I looked. It was very thin, butter cream, definitely, one of the other testers explained. The bar is basically what I hoped it would be given the name of it. Great job!

Milk Chocolate Cannoli Truffle Craft Bar
Craft Bar No. 12 Milk Chocolate Cannoli Truffle has an image of chocolate chip cannoli on the front. If you meet me at an event ask me to tell you my Greek cannoli story, sure to make you laugh. This has cannoli shell and mini chocolate chips on the back of the 34% milk chocolate bar. If you have not had cannoli before it has a distinctive scent and taste, the fragrance is definitely here with a milk chocolate edge to it. When I broke it about a yellowish cream was revealed inside. Later when I tried it there was as sharp slightly sour cream with a bit of fruity flavor, a flavor much like ricotta cheese in an actual cannoli has. The milk chocolate is also very creamy so that flavor builds up with each bite. Letting a bite melt in my mouth, as much as it can, brings out more of the chocolate's flavor but it also leaves the shell and mini chips behind. I liked this best chewsing it and it really made me think of that cannoli I enjoyed back in Athens in 1990 minus the cough that sent cocoa powder everywhere including my face and white t-shirt. I love it because it tastes exactly as the name suggests it should.

If you'd like to check out the craft bar line from Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate just follow our links to do so.

Have you had one of these four flavors of bars? If so, please leave a comment and let us know what you thought about them.

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