At the same gas station that I found yesterday’s dark mint bar, I found this milk chocolate caramel bar.
While it was a pretty standard milk chocolate, this bar was good enough that I actually ate two pieces (and then I gave the rest to Robert, who loved it). The bar was ten pieces, each one with a soft, salty caramel center. It was better than 80% of the milk chocolate that I have eaten, and for a one-dollar gas station bar, that’s pretty incredible.
This was the next Austrian bar sent to me by my friend Tom D.
I know what you are thinking. I was thinking it too.
“What is this milk chocolate crap?”
But friends, this bar was AMAZING.
This bar is 80% cacao chocolate mixed with 20% whole milk (and a little vanilla). And that’s it. No sugar. No oil or nuts or stabilizers or anything. Chocolate. Milk. And it was fantastic.
It was super dark, super rich, super creamy and super good. It was slightly sweet, which I think was coming from the lactose in the whole milk. That just added to its greatness. I loved it. My co-workers loved it. One of my co-workers said, and I am quoting, “This is only technically milk chocolate. I think calling it that only confounds consumer expectations”. Well said.
I broke this bar into twelves pieces, and they were gone very quickly. I think if all milk chocolate was like this, I would be a milk chocolate fan.
Thank you Tom!
My friend Tom D. generously sent me more Austrian chocolate bars, so I started with this interesting-looking one.
This was an unusual bar. The center was a mix of marzipan (a sweet almond paste) and ground pumpkin seeds, and the whole thing was covered with a very dark milk chocolate (60% cacao). Flavored with apple brandy and cinnamon, the inside reminded me of poppy-walnut filling of Zotter’s Typically Austria bar, but the pumpkin seeds added their distinct flavor and reminded me of Halloween. I loved how dark the milk chocolate was (I would love milk chocolate if it was all like this), but its flavor was a little overpowered by the filling. I wondered why not go all the way and use a dark chocolate for a coating. Still, it was a pretty good bar, and one of the most unusual I have had lately.
My co-worker Charlie S. brought in this bag of snack cakes.
These were so much better than they had any right to be (and way better than Chocolate Cake Twinkies from the same company). They were “suspiciously delicious”, like the Ghirardelli bar a few days ago. We seem to be in an “odd but good” phase here on the chocolate blog.
Anyway, these treats were moist balls of chocolate cake, filled with chocolate creme and covered in more chocolate and finally some sprinkles. They had a great chocolate flavor from the cake, the inner filling and the outer coating. Say, shouldn’t these be called triple chocolate? Anyway, they were good, and there was none of that weird aftertaste like from the Twinkie.
My co-worker Sydney W. brought in this unusual bar from Romania.
This bar was unusual for several reasons. First, it was my first ever bar from Romania (wow, how have I missed that country in decades of chocolate eating?). Second, it was a milk chocolate bar (with a minimum of 19.7% cacao), but I really liked it. Third, it contained alcohol too, about 1.94% by volume, probably as part of its caramel filling. And fourth and finally, it tasted just like bubble gum!
This bar looked like two rectangles of milk chocolate covered caramel. When I cut it into pieces, there was a nice aroma, almost floral, coming from the soft caramel. When I bit into a piece, it tasted like chocolate and caramel for just a moment, and then it burst into a strong bubble gum flavor, which I absolutely loved. I ate a second piece, it was that good! And yes, this is milk chocolate!
This was the last Alcove bar from my sister-in-law Brittney L.
Wow, this chocolate was strongly flavored! Their web page says it is cheesecake flavor, but the ingredient list contains marshmallows. In any case, the flavor washed away most of the chocolate taste of the bar, making it taste more like a dessert than a chocolate bar. My co-workers really liked it, and all of them had seconds.
My co-worker Charlie S. brought these snacks in for our daily chocolate eating meeting. They are “New!”, as you can see.
These weren’t bad. I mean, they are not going to win any baking contests, but as a little snack, they were nice, kind of like a Ho-Ho or Ding-Dong without a chocolate coating. And speaking of coating, they did leave a little something on the roof of your mouth, but a little hot coffee washed that right away.
Fun fact: these snacks had an expiration date of about five weeks, so don’t let anyone tell you Twinkies don’t expire!