Saturday, December 12, 2020

Theo: Eggnog White Chocolate & Peppermint Mocha Milk Chocolate

Along with the Holiday Caramel Collection from Theo, I also have these two mini holiday chocolate bars. Whenever I come upon small chocolate bars (which, you know, isn't super often), I'm delighted. The one ounce or 25 gram size makes for an easy sampler portion if you're trying out lots of different chocolates at once (as I seem to be this Christmas). It also encourages savoring chocolate as something special. And small things are cute, yes? 

As I mentioned with the caramels, the flagship store confections that you can currently buy online have a slightly different look from Theo's grocery-store-available bars. Though the paper wrappers do have a Theo look to them, the bars inside are wrapped in sax paper with a clear stick seal. So there is definitely more of a handmade aspect here, which is especially welcome for a Christmasy collection.

Starting with the Eggnog White Chocolate, I found the tiny bar divided up into two halves. The style is consistent with Theo's standard bars, just shrunk down to the small size and therefore only broken up twice. You can get one bite or four out of each piece, depending on your bite size (I'm four). The white surface shows little speckles, which often in white chocolate will be vanilla but in this case there might be some cinnamon and nutmeg visible, too, perhaps. 

The aroma is creamy white chocolate and nutmeg. The flavor, too, develops with primarily nutmeg leading the spices; I don't notice the cinnamon as much. There is creamy richness from the white chocolate and the sugar. White chocolate uniquely out of any chocolate can give that thick flavor and texture of eggnog without too many added flavors. There is a warm spiced aftertaste, as well. So flavor-wise, this is a pleasant eggnog chocolate. Texture-wise, though, it is somewhat grainy, as white chocolate can sometimes be. That would be the one drawback. And I would of course prefer a little graininess to the texture than to have the, um, fake white chocolate that is made out of sugar and oil. 

Next we have the Peppermint Mocha, which is made with Theo's 45% milk chocolate. This time it's coffee that you can see within the chocolate. No surprises with the aroma here: it's coffee and peppermint and chocolate. The creaminess of the chocolate hits instantly on the tongue. Theo's 45% milk chocolate is, after all, one of the best milk chocolates out there. This is followed closely by peppermint and then by the coffee. There is a slight crunch from the coffee grounds but otherwise it's smooth. 

Because this is a milk chocolate, you easily have the cream/milk element as well as the sugar of a mixed coffee drink. The peppermint flavor here is slightly lighter than it was in the Peppermint Mocha Caramel because here there is more milk chocolate and that weighs more heavily on the flavor. So the peppermint stays dancing on the edges, enveloping your mouth rather than stays in the center of the attention. This is a latte with the tangy sweetness of peppermint added--or I should say a cafe mocha (because of the chocolate) with peppermint to it. On its own, I would probably have said it was a great peppermint mocha. But having tasted the caramel first, I would say that one made the imitation more closely. Coffee beverage effect aside, though, this is still pretty good. 

So once more, whether your plan is to give these as mini gifts, add them to a gift basket/box, have them as favors at a get-together, stick them in stockings, or eat them yourself, these are pretty little chocolate bars with classic winter flavors carried out with quality. 

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