Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Jacquot Truffes (Truffle chocolate) Hazelnut Flavor

I basically found these by accident, but a happy accident indeed.  My brother and sister-in-law were in town, so I took them to this store to do some shopping.  I spotted these chocolates in the chocolate and sweets section.  You should know this by now, chocolate and hazelnut are a match made in heavenSo, there was no way that I was going to walk out of the store without this seductive confection in hands
So apparently, "Truffes" is French for "Truffles", which I did not realize until after I bought it.  I actually thought that it might have been a typo...how silly of me.  So obviously, this was made in France, which was another incentive for me.  It is not easy to find new and unique European chocolates in the regular American supermarkets.  Anyway, let's get right to the point.  
Imagine yourself tasting Ferrero Rocher, without all that unnecessary hazelnuts pieces.  This truffle was literally my dream come true.  Rich and silky truffle chocolate with the delicate hazelnut flavor without all that textures.  I am not saying that the textures from the nuts is a bad thing, but I personally enjoy chocolate the way it meant to be, sweet, rich, and silky smooth.  If you can find this, I highly recommended.  If you want to enjoy this, do not pass it around at a dinner party.

I give it a 9 out of 10. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding

Sinfully delicious dessert...
Deliciously chocolaty...
Should not be consumed on a regular basis.  

Unfortunately, I did not write down the recipe as I was making it.  I basically invented the recipe on the spot, so bear with me.  

5 medium croissants
3 large eggs
3 1/2 cups of milk or half and half
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
400g Nutella spread
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Preheat oven at 350F. 

Slice the croissants horizontally in half.  Place the bottom half in the bottom of a 11 x 7 in baking dish.  

Mix milk, eggs, and Nutella together until well blended.  Add sugar if needed.  Add the salt.  

Pour half of the mixture over the croissants, then put the rest of the croissants over.  Pour the rest of the mixture in the pan.  

Press down with a spatula or your hands to make sure the croissants have absorbed all the custard mixtures.  

Let it soak for 10 minutes.  

Place the dish in a large pan filled with hot tab water.  Cover the entire pan with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil, and bake for another 25-30 minutes.  

Remove from the oven to chill.  

The bread pudding can be served both warm and cold.  Warm is best in my opinion, with a cup of coffee.  


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Macarons review

These French cookies are quite popular anywhere.  And no, it does not pronounce "Ma-ka-roon", it is pronounced "Ma-ka-hon".  Macaroon is a something completely different, and taste like sweetened paper glue. 
Macaron is quite a delicate item, and it is definitely not easy to make.  I came across three places that sells these wonderful little cookies.  
First one that I tried is Paulette Macarons, or known as 'lette Macarons.  It has a store in Little Tokyo in Downtown L.A.  
Paulette Macaron are small in size, very delicate, with lots of flavors.  Some of my favorites are salted caramel, coffee, passionfruit, and earl grey.  Paulette's macarons are also one of the few that has delicate designs on the cookies, which many others don't have.  Next time, when you are in Little Tokyo, definitely stop by the place and try it out!!!

Bon Epi was discovered by me by accident.  I was in the plaza dining, and just glanced at one of their posters.  It is an Asian style bakery, with mainly pastries and cakes.  They have a decent selection on macarons.  The macarons are also slightly cheaper than Paulette's, and bigger.  But somehow, the "bigness" makes the maracons look cheap...strange.  Bon Epi's macarons are OK flavor-wise, but not comparable to Paulette's.  But I will let you be the judge. 

Last, but not least, XT patisserie macarons.  XT is by far my favorite of them all.  It is about the same size as Paulette's, price is about the same.  However, the flavors are incredible.  I've ordered the box of 12, and each one is a different flavor, and each is so unique on its own.  The outside of the cookies has a nice crust, with the soft and chewy inside.  The fillings in the middle are rich, yet not too sweet.  Macarons are made with a lot of sugar, but XT's are not overpoweringly sweet at all.  They are the perfect companion with a cup of tea or coffee. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Haagen Dazs 2012 Limited Edition: Salted Caramel Truffle

Last, but definitely not least, salted caramel truffle.  If you thought "spiced caramel biscuit" was unique, salted caramel truffle is definitely way more intriguing.  "Salted" was not usually a word that you will see with desserts. 
This flavor reminded me of a flavor that I loved from a discontinued product line of Haagen Dazs called Haagen Dazs Reserved.  Reserved were ice creams made with unique, sometimes unheard-of ingredients, and very limited.  There was a flavor in the Reserved called Fleur de Sel, which was a caramel ice cream with fleur de sel caramel ribbons and chocolate throughout.  What is fleur de sel?  Fleur de sel is a special French seasalt.  It is not as sharp as regular sea salt, but has a milder and gentle saltiness.  Fleur de sel ice cream was one of my all-time favorite ice cream from Haagen Dazs.  I was quite depressed when it was discontinued.  
I am so pleased to see another ice cream marrying caramel and fleur de sel together.  Salt and caramel are made for each other.  Salt and chocolate also worked beautifully together.  The truffles in the ice cream are chocolate truffles, which have a rich, soft and velvety texture.  With the salted caramel, and creamy truffle with rich and silky ice cream in every bite, it is hard to stop.  This ice cream is like a love triangle, with no conflicts and all three parties love each other with perfect harmony.  This sort of harmony does not exist in human relationships, but certain in foods.

I give it a 10 out of 10

Haagen Dazs 2012 Limited Edition: Spiced Caramel Biscuit

Spiced caramel biscuit...what does it sound like to you?  It makes you go "Huh...".  This flavor sounds so interesting and different that makes me want to try it badly.  
The base is velvety caramel ice cream with the sweet caramel aroma.  Like the coconut macaroon, the ice cream has this buttery, crunchy biscuits throughout.  The biscuits have a nice crunch, and not soft or soggy at all.  The cinnamon in the biscuits compliment very well with the caramel ice cream base, and also created textures contrast.  Creamy smooth caramel ice cream with crunchy buttery biscuits are definitely match made in heavens, and definitely worth the try.  

I give it a 8 out of 10

Haagen Dazs 2012 Limited Edition: Vanilla Bean Espresso

The second limited edition flavor: Vanilla bean espresso.  Just from the name, I can tell that this one will be a winner.  Vanilla and coffee?  What can go wrong?
When looking at the ice cream, it has black dots throughout the ice cream, which I can't tell if they are vanilla beans or espresso grinds.  The base is vanilla bean ice cream, which everyone loves.  The espresso is presented in a very interesting way.  It is espresso syrup ribbons laced throughout the ice cream, which create this gorgeous color contrasts against the pale beige ice cream.  The combination of the espresso and vanilla mingled in my mouth as the ice cream melts, which transformed into the best iced vanilla latte that you won't get at any coffee shops.  

I give it a 8 out of 10.

Haagen Dazs 2012 Limited Edition: Coconut Macaroon

The first flavor is Coconut Macaroon, which is definitely unique.  Honestly, I am not a big fan of coconut.  It is OK in certain things, and coconut itself is great as an ice cream flavor.  Coconut has  high amount of saturated fats, which make the ice cream very smooth and creamy.  However, I am usually not a fan of coconut desserts with coconut shavings.  
Haagen Dazs' Coconut Macaroon ice cream is actually not too bad.  The ice cream itself was rich, creamy, with a strong coconut aroma, and actually very tasty.  The part I did not like, however, was the coconut macaroons throughout the ice cream.   The texture of the coconut macaroons just wasn't pleasant to me.  It was almost like eating coconut shavings with that weird texture.  It would be great if I can get around the pieces of macaroons, but the pieces were so small it was impossible to pick them out.  I only took a few bites, and never went back.  
I don't see this one coming back to be a regular flavor...but who knows.

I give it a 5 out of 10.


So for those of you that have been reading my blog, you know that I am a Haagen Dazs fanatic.  And I am very happy to announce to you that I have finally tasted all four of the newest limited edition flavors, and I will be posting reviews for them.  YAY!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

*New Product* Haagen Dazs Raspberry & Vanilla Milk Chocolate Bars

Haagen Dazs' ice cream bars are definitely a treat.  The outstanding tradition of delicious ice cream morphed into a easily portable ice cream bar, it is like happiness on a stick.  The new flavor, Raspberry & Vanilla milk chocolate is definitely lived up to the standards, and is delicious in every bite.  The outside is covered with milk chocolate shells, which instantaneously melts in your mouth, with the creamy and smooth mouth feel.  The vanilla ice cream is rich and dense, which is exactly what you expect from Haagen Dazs.  The vanilla ice cream is swirled with fruity raspberry swirls, and you get the slightly tangy, sweet, and aromatic raspberry in every bite.  Raspberry in sweets just works out perfectly, especially with chocolate.  This sweet frozen treat will keep you going back for more. 

I give it a 8.5 out of 10

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Haagen-Dazs 2012 Limited Editions ARE HERE!!!!!

OMG!!!  Finally!!!  The time has come.  As you may know, I am a Haagen-Dazs fanatic, and I pride myself for having sampled all of their flavors(which many have been discontinued...*sop*).  This year, maybe because the world is coming to an end, Haagen-Dazs released four...FOUR new flavors.  They are coconut macaroons, salted caramel truffles, spiced caramel biscuit, and vanilla espresso beans.  You can get a preview of the flavors hereI will have reviews for these flavors up soon.  They can be hard to find, because sometimes the store doesn't always carry all of them at once.  

Stay tuned!!!! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Milka ChocoMinis review

This is one of many Milka's products that is not a chocolate bar.  This one looks like something kids will love.  The box contains five packages of cookies, and each package contains six cookies, so the cookies are fairly small.  
The cookie on the package suggested that the cookie has a milk chocolate topping, with a creamy filling inside, and a crust-like cookie.  The crust-like cookie tastes just like a nice buttery shortbread cookie.  The milk chocolate is creamy and sweet, which fully expected from Milka.  However, the interior white filling was nearly non-existent.  The layer of the white filling was so thin, you will not see it unless you look close enough.  You cannot quite taste it either, because it does not have a distinguished taste, and is easily covered up by the milk chocolate.  But overall, it is tasty.  

I give it a 6 out of 10.