As good a holiday as any. These are SUPPOSED to last me all year. We shall see how my rationing pans out.
I am surprised to discover I never posted about my go to Starbucks drink: Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino. Not being a coffee drinker, I have found the alternatives, and the DCC is a staple for me in the summer, as the Hot Chocolate (especially with added Peppermint) is my staple in the colder weather. However, Starbucks does put out new drinks, and occasionally they are heavy in the chocolate department. This summer is a great example. Among all the crazy rainbow drinks they have been putting out, there is the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino.
“We’ve paired the dynamic duo of dark cocoa and refreshing mint with milk and ice. Next we infuse the blended chocolatey beverage with cooling mint sugar crystals, cut in a layer of whipped cream, then top it with more whipped cream and a dusting of dark cocoa. Don’t wait to dig in: This chocolate-lovers dream is only here for a limited time.”
I was told a couple of years ago that any frappuccino could be made in a creme version vs. the coffee version (found this out with the S’Mores frappuccino), but for the first time ever (at least the first time I had noticed), they specifically offered this frappuccino in both coffee and creme versions (the first time I ordered I did so on the app and saw the option…usually you have to modify, but you cannot actually remove the coffee in the app), granted the first time I ordered they accidentally made me the coffee version, so beware.
This drink has become my staple for the time being. It is no secret that I love the chocolate and mint combo, and this has it, and is a much stronger chocolate flavor that the double chocolaty chip. I will be sad when the “limited time” this is offered is over.
Part of my Canadian Chocolate haul from DragonCon last month (holy damn, it has been a month already‽‽‽) My friends know how much I love mint chocolate, and this bar is super minty. There was something else that my British friend had brought to the con that was full on mint, and he made a comment about American’s not being big on strong mint flavors, and for a moment, I thought he may be correct, but I think it is more that we are just not used to it. The first few bits of this bar, I did not really like it, the mint was too strong, but it has grown on me.
I noticed a strong smell of peppermint the moment I opened up the black wrapper. I have to say, the black wrapper did appeal to my goth side. 😉 The first taste threatens to be overwhelming, but it is not bad at all.
The thing that is hardest to adjust to with stronger mint flavors, I think, is the slightly bitter aftertaste that it leaves. Mint chocolate in the US is usually overpowered by sugar, so you do not really experience that taste.
Packaging: 4/5 – Standard, but appealing
Chocolate Presentation: 4/5 – I like the symbols on the chocolate, and I like the bite sized pieces.
Taste: 3/5 – Still strong, but still growing on me.
Extra Points: 0
Afterthought: Hey, Nico, that is three posts since DragonCon, I want my Truffle Pig. 😉
cake, Canadian Chocolate, candy, caramel, Cereal, cheesecake, chocolate, chocolate bar, cookies, Count Chocula, Crepes, Cupcakes, Frosting, ice cream, mint, Oatmeal, peanut butter, Swedish Chocolate, Sweet Steam, Toblerone
I know, I know, I have not posted a lot lately. That does not mean I have not been taking pictures and intending to post, and it most definitely does not mean I have not been eating chocolate. My dropbox is full of pictures waiting to be posted to here, and rather than try to go back and cover everything, I am posting a collage of the pictures, and I will go back and cover the standouts eventually, but this way I can start fresh for the new year. For now, enjoy some of the chocolate I have been over the last few months.
The pigs…did not entirely survive transport to the US. The chocolate comes as one long bar with a raised interlocked pig design. The chocolate itself was dark chocolate (which was likely in a percentage between 30-50%), but the bitterness of the chocolate and the subtle hint of mint were a perfect pairing. I think I ate the whole thing in one sitting and I was still craving more. Definitely the favorite of the Care Package.
Of course, they also have other flavors on their website.
Packaging: 3/5 – Nothing spectacular.
Chocolate Presentation: 5/5 – I liked the interlocking pigs…even if I do not understand why they chose pigs.
Taste: 5/5 – AWESOME!
Extra Points: 3 – Bonus 3 points for being the favorite. 😀
I know I missed last weeks post, but I am working on two posts that should go live tomorrow. Last week was sort of insane (first time back at circus on Thursday, overnight television shoot on Friday, web series read through on Saturday, Garrison dinner on Sunday…yeah…I was not even home from Friday through Monday), and I was behind on my scheduled posts. I should not miss another week for a little while though. 🙂
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Today, I received a package in the mail. My second Canadian Care Package from my friend Nico up in Toronto. She feels bad about me being unemployed most of last year, so she sent me some chocolate to cheer me up….because she is awesome. After weeks of hearing updates about it, she shipped it out Monday and it arrived today.
This past weekend was TeslaCon, a full immersion Steampunk convention in Wisconsin. If you were around for last year, TeslaCon means: Steampunk themed chocolate!
I was slightly disappointed this year, because War Pony did not return, but Sweet Steam was back and with several new products! The guys at Sweet Steam were incredible and friendly as ever. I stopped by their booth several times, as I kept bringing more and more people over there. They were in the same spot as last year, which meant that they were outside of the dealers hall, so some people where surprised when I told them there was a chocolate vendor. As they did last year, they were giving out samples of their chocolate, both their Spicy Cogs, and their Clockwork Orange Pocket Watches.
I finally decided to try the Clockwork Orange Pocket Watch and I was pleasantly surprised. Generally, I do not like citrus flavor with my chocolate, it is usually far too overpowering, but this was a subtle flavor. Just enough to be a bit invigorating though. I ended up purchasing a full one.
Next, they had two new Cog flavors: Peanut Butter and Mint (I died). While peanut butter is not one of my favorites, these were very good. Peanut Butter is the only flavor of cog other than the White Chocolate that does not seem to receive the metallic paint treatment. They taste like a Reese’s cup, only rather than chocolate encasing the peanut butter, they are blended together to give a much more even flavor (rather than one bite of super chocolate, and the next being super peanut butter).
The Mint…oh the Mint. I have probably mentioned before that mint is my absolute favorite flavor to pair with chocolate, and these did not disappoint. I ended up purchasing two of these, and I opened the first right away. I ate one cog on the way to the tea room and then gave the second to the ladies working the table. After that moment, the women in the tea room were exceptionally nice to me. I ended up eating the final cog in the package that evening. I have not opened the second package yet, I am afraid I will eat them all in one go.
I think last year they divided the cogs into five per package with each being smaller, whereas this year they were three larger cogs per package. I am sure it is easier to mold them in larger sizes, but it was nice when they were smaller to have a small treat of chocolate. Still, it is easy enough to break one in half, so there is no real issue there.
Last year the bags simply folded over, and were affixed to the label cards with staples to keep them closed until the buyer first opened them. I prefer to seal my chocolate for freshness, so I am glad to see this year they used zip-lock style bags. Now I do not have to worry about my chocolate going bad too quickly if I do not eat all of the contents of one bag right away (I unfortunately left the spicy ones sit too long last year 😦 ).
Finally, to my surprise, there were THREE new flavors of Hot Chocolate mix: plain Hot Chocolate, Mint Chocolate (dying, again), and Pumpkin Pie. I purchased a bag of the plain Hot Chocolate and the Mint Chocolate, but opted out of the Pumpkin Pie, as I already spent most of my money at this booth and I do not usually like Pumpkin Pie. HOWEVER, my friend ended up purchasing a package, and he agreed to give me some of his at a later date, so I will eventually be able to try this flavor as well.
Both hot chocolate mixes were very good, my favorite of the three (including the Spicy Hot Chocolate which I reviewed last year) is definitely the Mint. My only complaint with the hot chocolates is how much of the mix it takes to have a full flavored hot chocolate: 1/3 cup. It seems like it would be too much, and I do not use the full amount. For the plain Hot Chocolate I used four heaping teaspoons, for the mint I used five. Still, I could tell they could be stronger. Granted, I use large mugs, so perhaps I should switch to just drinking smaller amounts at one time.
Overall, I am so very happy with Sweet Steam once again. I cannot wait until next year to spend most of my con money on them once again, and to see what new items they come up with in the future. Now excuse me while I go munch on a Dark Chocolate Cog.
It is a joke with some of my friends, that no matter where I am or what I am doing, I manage to find “The Chocolate District.” I think I proved that true last weekend, when I went to Six Flags with friends of mine from Gotham’s Finest (DC Costuming group). We all met up at a nearby IHOP for breakfast, and to gather outside the park so that we did not all have to pay the $22 parking fee at the park. What did I eat?
A stack of chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes and a hot chocolate (it was rainy that morning). I did not even know they made them with chocolate batter, you should have seen my eyes when it was offered. I only ended up eating one or two, but that was because I just do not eat a lot in general.
I did not take pictures of the rest of my chocolate indulgences, but it continued. After our first two rides, we stopped for Dippin’ Dots, I had Mint Chocolate. I was disappointed by the small size of them (especially for the price), but it gave me a fix until lunch.
For lunch, we had Johnny Rockets. Everyone was going to have soda, but then I was going to have a Chocolate Shake…somehow, everyone ended up ordering Chocolate Shakes. I made a huge Chocolate Foul at one point, however, when I accidentally knocked my shake on the ground after only a few sips. Luckily, Johnny Rockets refilled my shake for me, and I polished it off.
We did not really eat dinner in the park, we stopped for pretzels, and then I forced everyone to make a stop in the sweet shop where I purchased a huge bag of cotton candy (that I still have), and two cubes of fudge: Dark Chocolate and Mint Chocolate. I was not too impressed with the Dark Chocolate, but the Mint Chocolate was delicious.
I am sure there were more chocolate options within the park, but I will seek those out another time.