Saturday, August 14, 2010

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee 72%

3oz (85g) bar
Ingredients: Bittersweet chocolate (chocolate liquor, beet sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), hazelnut toffee (butter [cream, salt], beet sugar, roasted hazelnuts, tapioca syrup, soy lecithin)
13g sugar/43g serving (30.2& by wt.)

My favorite candies pre-sugar restriction were Sour Patch Kids and the like, super-sour chewy wads of sugar that I frequently craved and often purchased en masse from pay-by-weight mall candy stores. In the long run, though, the sugar, corn derivatives, and artificial colors and flavors were tangibly empty calories: I would scarf them mechanically until I realized I'd eaten the whole bag, and then I'd feel a bit ill. On the other hand, caramels and toffees, while not my treats of choice, actually satisfied. One or two pieces provided buttery richness and gave my teeth a workout, and I would think, “That was tasty, and I've had enough candy.” Now imagine me in my current state, deprived of creamy sweets, and you're sure to understand why I occasionally pick up Endangered Species' toffee bar. It's usually not expensive and sometimes even on sale, and it slides below my 1/3 sugar limit despite including candy as an ingredient. I appreciate that it's an option.

The inevitable downside of this bar is that it's not all that good. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible or I'd stop buying it, but it doesn't live up to the name. The chocolate is Endangered Species' usual simple sweetness (I'm starting to wonder if using exclusively beet sugar affects the taste in some way); I keep detecting an odd cooling sensation, like a very subtle mint or menthol; and the toffee is undetectable as fragrance or flavor, its presence limited to the texture of a few small crunchy crystals. And I won't even touch on the promise of hazelnuts.

Conclusion: Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee 72% conforms to my restrictions and is seductively named, but to my taste it's really just another mediocre Endangered Species bar.

2 comments:

  1. We fellow chocolate-lovers appreicate peeking into your chocolate diary. Thank you for sharing your personal chocolate escapades. :)

    The toffee studded throughout this bar cuts the bitterness of the 72% dark chocolate, making a savory bitter-sweet experience. We hear ya, though - the dimensions of our depositing machine limit us a tad when it comes to including large inclusions.

    Knowing your 1/3 sugar rule, I hesitate to mention an alternate taste experience...but feel I must because it would SO be right up your chocolate alley. Coexist Dark Chocolate Covered Toffee is our newest creation (17g sugar in 43g serving size). Here, the toffee is the star - a bite-sized block of crisp/chewy buttery toffee blanketed by a thick coating of 72% dark chocolate. Should you find yourself in a naughty, indulgent mood this would be a treat I think you would totally relish. http://www.chocolatebar.com/products.php?product=Coexist-Dark-Chocolate-Covered-Hazelnut-Toffee

    Thank you for including us in the pages of your blog.

    Sweet Regards,

    Monica Erskine
    Chocolate Goddess
    Endangered Species Chocolate

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Monica. Whether or not a particular bar is a favorite, it's always enlightening to hear the reasoning behind what goes into it, and it's even better if the company aims to be socially responsible. Perhaps one day I'll give that toffee a try!

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