Tuesday, 10 March 2009

March 10th: See's Candy Chocolate Assortment Part 2

Carrying on from where I left off yesterday, today sees me review the last of See's Candies Chocolate Assortment:


Butterscotch Square:
Unlike its 'Buttercream' counterpart the butterscotch delivered far more in terms of actual flavours. The outer milk chocolate was yet again not to my liking, however the inner filling had a far more agreeable smokier fudge like taste. The milk chocolate still made the overall taste overly sweet, but the extra depth of flavour brought by the butterscotch meant this was somewhat forgivable. Standard.

Vanilla Nut Cream: 
Thankfully the milk chocolate was portioned rather thinly, which meant the vanilla cream had a large say in the taste. The centre was very pleasant indeed with strong floral tones of vanilla essence established early. The walnuts added a nice nuttiness to the aftertaste, whilst also adding interest in the texture. Good.

Milk Almonds: 
As you can see from the cross-section picture the almonds took a large portion of the total piece. They had a very fresh nature about them, and delivered well in both terms of flavours and textures. The almonds were hard and crunchy, and when bitten into delivered some fine roasted, buttery flavours. On the whole these contrasted nicely with the intermittent sweetness from the milk chocolate. Good.

Dark Almonds: 
Similarly to the Milk Almonds piece above this was again largely dominated by the nut pieces. The nuts delivered the same fine attributes, just placed in a dark chocolate context. Personally I preferred the dark chocolate, though its stronger flavours did detract somewhat from the roasted flavours of the nuts. Good.

Scotchmallow:
Frankly this piece was in a world of its own. It not only looked fantastic, but it tasted delicious as well. The outer dark chocolate substantiated a fine unsweetened cocoa context before the sweet honey flavours from the foam like mallow came through in the taste. Just to really top things off the stunningly flavoured caramel sitting at the bottom brought the buttery, sweet, salty flavours with its chewy long lasting texture. The best in the selection by far. Superb.

Milk Butterchew:
What a puzzling piece to rate! The outer milk chocolate was again sickeningly sweet, but the chewy caramel centre was wonderful. As you will be able to see above the milk chocolate was quite thinly portioned, which left a big centre of chewy caramel to savour in the mouth. Much as with the other hard caramels in the selection it delivered some fine contrasting sweet and salty flavours that were very enjoyable indeed - if only it was coated in dark chocolate. Good.

Cocoanut:
This piece was comprised of a milk chocolate coating and coconut buttercream centre. As you will likely have been able to guess by now the flavours were very sweet indeed with the combination of the milk chocolate and buttercream type centre. Like some of the other flavoured buttercreams though this one was partially bettered due to the added coconut element. The coconut brought additional milky influences, whilst adding a nice roughness to the texture. Standard

Marzipan:
The dark chocolate and almond marzipan was a really finely executed combination. The dark chocolate provided the nice initial unsweetened cocoa flavours, and melted at a nice rate to reveal the dense marzipan. Surprisingly the marzipan was very reserved in its sweetness, and had a very progressive taste. It started off with hints of flour and dough, though once warmed released some enjoyable butter and almond influences that made for a nice long lasting taste. Very Good.

Milk Walnut:
Its worth noting that all the walnut containing pieces in See's Candies contain 'English Walnuts' ... a bit random I thought - I never knew we were known for our walnuts!? Like the Milk/Dark Almonds pieces the proportion of nuts to chocolate was thankfully quite high. The walnuts didn't offer quite as much to the taste as the almonds, though they still brought some nice tasting salty, earthy elements to proceedings. The additional flavours however were quite short lived which was somewhat disappointing. Standard.

Mocha:
The final one! This Mocha piece was formed of coffee buttercream wrapped in milk chocolate. This was another that included chocolate sprinkles on top, which surprisingly really added interest in the texture. This was another I was really looking forward to, however was left disappointed. The milk chocolate yet again managed to completely dominate the taste and overpowered the quite enjoyable coffee flavours from very early on in the taste. Poor.

So...

Overall I have found it really quite hard gathering all my thoughts on See's Candy together. On one hand I saw brilliance in the Scotchmallow and Dark Nougat pieces ... but on the other hand the milk chocolate was consistently detrimental, whilst the buttercreams were often quite poor. It was surprising to find such a wide variance in quality, though I stand firm in my opinion that the milk chocolate needs some serious refinement. At times it tasted like the awfully cheap, sugary milk chocolate you get with cheap holiday products e.g. Easter Eggs. In my opinion the milk chocolate produced some consistently poor pieces. As I have said though, at the other end of the spectrum there were some truly wonderful chocolates - the Scotchmallow was a particular stand out and I would recommend this to any chocolate lover. If your going to be gifting Easter Candy, I would recommend picking a custom mix with some of the pieces I have highlighted over the last few days. In between some not so great milk chocolates there are some real diamonds to be had.

7.2 out of 10  


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