Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Gift Giving Guide -- Gifts for Chocolate Lovers -- Bonbons and Potato Chips in Chocolate Bar From Chuao Chocolatier (Review)


I just love Valentine's Day!  Not just because of the romance factor, but because I have an excuse to indulge in all things chocolate.  That being said, I recently had the opportunity to try out chocolate from Chuao Chocolatier.  I happened to stumble upon their website looking for a chocolate bar that contained potato chips.  Since the Jimmy Fallon show and his new flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream, my husband has been obsessed with the salty and sweet mixture of chocolate and potato chips.  Usually not a junk food time --minus his love for chocolate, too, he is not one to grab a bag of chips or indulge in excess amounts of ice cream.  But, if you hand him a pint of this ice cream, he will finish it in one sitting.  So, for Valentine's Day, I was on the hunt for a company that makes chocolate bars with potato chips.  There were a handful out there that I saw, but I was not convinced by their websites that they used premium chocolate, or that the quality of the overall product would be good.  That was, until I stumbled across the Chuao Chocolatier website, and saw that one of their new products was Potato Chips in Chocolate bar.  I knew, based on the description, images of their chocolate products, and reviews I found online regarding their product, that this was just what I was looking for.  

So, when I received out to them to inquire about this and their other chocolate products, I was delighted when they said they would sent along samples for me to try.  How could I resists? Within a couple of days, I was in receipt of the samples, and last night after dinner, I surprised my husband with yet again another taste test project.  This time, I didn't tell him what he was sampling, as I wanted to get his honest opinion.  As I handed him a piece from the chocolate bar, I saw him smell it and then look at it, before popping it in his mouth.  In an instant, a smile appeared on his face.  "Wow!," he said.  "You found a chocolate bar that contained potato chips."  As I handed him another piece to try, I also took a bite of the chocolate bar.  We couldn't get over how the potato chips complimented the rich and creamy chocolate so well.  What a great pairing -- salty and sweet!  Within minutes, we had both consumed this chocolate bar with delight.  

Even thought we were full from eating the Potato Chips in Chocolate  Bar, I still had two truffles that were sent, which are apart of the Chuao Chocolatier limited edition Red Box, made especially for Valentine's Day.  What is so special about these two bonbons you ask?  Where do I begin?  To start, these two bonbons have fun names: "Love Child" and "Firecracker." The "Love Child" bonbon is an aphrodisiac blend of a port wine drenched dried strawberry in a chocolate ganache, while the Firecracker truffle is guaranteed to blow your mind with chipotle caramel fudge, popping candy and sea salt in dark chocolate.  "Yum!," you say...and yes, you are right.  Even though I wanted to sneak away and indulge in these two bonbons myself, I knew I had to share. So, I cut each in half and together my husband and I sampled each of these delectable chocolates.  We both like hot and spicy foods, and took a likely immediately to the "Firecracker" truffle, as the chipotle really gave it a kick.  At first, I thought it was pepper, but as the dark chocolate melted in my mouth, I could taste the chipotle mixed with the caramel fudge.  And, the addition of popping candy and sea salt were genius.  You would think with all the components that go into this one little truffle that it would be overpowering, or one would cancel the other flavors out, but it wasn't like that.  Each of the ingredients played off each other to create a delicious and pleasing treat.  As for the "Love Child" bonbon, I loved the strawberry and chocolate ganache mix.  It made the bonbon melt instantly in your mouth.  The chocolate was so smooth and inviting.  Again, the components in this bonbon worked beautifully together.  Out of the two chocolates, though, both my husband and I were fans of the "Firecracker" truffle.  

In addition to bonbons, chocolate bars, artisan treats and baking chocolates, Chuao Chocolatier also offers their own line of hot chocolate.  If you have been following my blog, you know that I am a big hot chocolate fan.  So, when I was sent a sample of their Abuela Hot Chocolate, which uses their premium blend of chocolate and Grandma' recipe, I couldn't wait to see how it compared to some of favorite hot chocolate products.  I ended up making a cup of hot chocolate this morning, before the girls woke for the day.  The directions called for water, whereas I am a fan of using hot milk.  Because I didn't know how it would taste if I used mil instead of water, I played it safe and used the water.  Overall, I loved the flavor of the premium chocolate, and even saw that they used little chunks of chocolate in their mix, which I love.  But, I will have to buy some of this hot chocolate mix and see how it would taste with milk.  Warm milk always seems to make the chocolate taste creamier, while water just seems to water it down a bit.  I am not saying that it wasn't tasty -- it was.  I guess I am just spoiled and used to warm milk with my hot chocolates.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, why not surprise that special someone with premium chocolate bars and bonbons from Chuao Chocolatier.  I was just looking at their holiday selection, and noticed many of their products are selling out.  So, head on over today to place your order, in time for Valentine's Day.  They even have a selection of chocolates that you can pair with wines.  This is always a fun night that my husband and I enjoy.  Trying out new chocolates, while sipping on a nice glass of wine, after a crazy day!

---BUY NOW---

You can order directly from the Chuao Chocolatier website, and they will ship your order to you, just in time for Valentine's Day.  Make sure you use coupon code "blogger" at checkout to receive 20% off your total order (offer good until February 14th). 

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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