Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moser Roth 70%

We were surprised to find nice chocolate at discount grocer Aldi, of all places. They actually have two "store brands" - Moser Roth and Choceur. Moser Roth is definitely the better of the two, and is made in Germany.

The 70% has a lot going for it, though not everyone will like it. The flavors are very subtle, none of the obvious fruitiness that a lot of better dark chocolates have. Because of that, some people will probably find it bland. I quite liked it, though - it's not as bitter as many 70%s while also not being sweeter than you'd expect, and the predominant flavor seems to be pure cocoa. It's nice and crisp, a lovely texture.

After just eating it, we also tried baking with it. We tried making a flourless chocolate cake using this recipe, and the massive amounts of butter and egg just totally overpowered the subtle flavor of the chocolate. The recipe needs something bolder and a bit lower-percentage, while the chocolate needs to be used only in recipes that really let it shine rather than burying it. Perhaps in Alice Medrich's "Albert's Mousse" from Bittersweet.

Overall, at $1.30 for a 4.4-oz bar, this is a great deal for good 70% chocolate. It's clearly not as good as bars that cost 4 times that, but it's at least as good as many that cost twice that. There is also an 85% available, milk chocolate with toffee, and a few other varieties.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Caramel egg battle: Cadbury vs Walgreens

My husband's favorite Easter treat is Cadbury caramel eggs. This year, we found that Walgreen's has also started selling a store brand version. Since neither of us are huge fans of Cadbury's overly-sweet milk chocolate to begin with, and the ingredients list looked reasonable (ie, real chocolate and in fact less sugar in the chocolate than Cadbury's), we decided to buy a couple and do a taste test.

We both tried both eggs blindly, and could both easily identify which was which. The chocolate in the Walgreen's egg was not as creamy/milky as Cadbury's (it's a tiny bit grainy in comparison), but also not as sweet. It tasted a lot like Hershey's Special Dark to me - trying to be dark chocolate, but still quite sweet. Visually it was also darker. If we were just eating plain chocolate, the Walgreen's would win, although it still wasn't the greatest stuff out there.

However, at least half the point of a caramel egg is the caramel. The caramel in both tasted about the same - BUT the Cadbury's egg had a lot more of it. The Cadbury egg had a shell that was uniformly about 1/4" thick all over the egg. The Walgreen's egg was about the same size, but the shell was very thick on the top and bottom of the egg, leaving only about a 1" sphere in the middle to fill with caramel. It's possible they were going for something that mimicks a real hard-boiled egg, with the caramel being the size of the "yolk." But unfortunately, this led to simply not having enough caramel. The amount of the caramel in the Cadbury egg makes the chocolate hard to taste in the first place, and when you're dealing with chocolate that's kinda mediocre to begin with, that's a good thing.

Overall, we both preferred the Cadbury caramel egg. While the chocolate in the Walgreen's egg was a bit better, it wasn't good enough to make up for the lack of caramel. The masses of ooey-gooey caramel easily hid the drawbacks of the Cadbury chocolate.

I'd post pictures, but unfortunately my camera is still broken. :(