Box Chocolate Review

Chuao

Info Details
Country USA   (Encinitas, CA)
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Pronounced ‘chew-WOW’, though occasionally producing ‘chew-WOE’
Presentation   3.3 / 5
stock molds
Aromas   4.5 / 5
good balance
Textures/Melt   7.8 / 10
Shells: medium gauge
Centers: basic cream fill
Flavor   41.2 / 50
deep variety, often in innovative pairings
Quality   21.4 / 30
Very uneven; a line in pursuit of maturation.
Selections
Couverture: El Rey, Guittard
CHOCO PODS - an iPod-like crossover hit between a bonbon & a bar
Banana – El Rey’s 41% Milk Choc base slathered w/ extra cream, sugar, corn syrup, butter, & banana purée for baby baboons whose mothers are having a hard time finding a public breast-feeding station
Passion – semi-dark 60%; juicy caramel, a little heavy on corn syrup but one of the most fun passions around
Picante – what starts out as a wine mess - cabernet buttressed by raisin - becomes warmed over in chili pepper & scrapes up a peanut-like caramel for cinemuck
Spicy Macadamia Praline – Halloween candy that Chipotle fast-food chain could pass out for trick or treat
Modena – strawberry / balsamic caramel; since when is ultra-aged corn syrup classified tradizionale?

MILK ASSORTMENTS
Cardamon – bracing; orange-inflected; overstated
Melao (soft caramel) – pure butter-scotched dynamite; excellent
Noccello (roasted hazelnut) – light; evanescent
Morocho – daily double: layer 1 - almond/hazelnut praline; layer 2 Dark Choc butter cream laced w/ Calvados; a dazzler; rich & warm; complex drama
Parchita – unusual combo of passion fruit blended caramel, & because of it, less piercing than the usual brassy citrus
Marzipan – typical marzipan, disowned & impoverished
Banana – warning to diabetics: sugar up

DARK ASSORTMENTS
Cacique – rum ganache w/ raisins; big miss, wide & far
Gran Cacao – 73% bittersweet ganache; never develops
Maraca – roasted macadamia, dark caramel & rum trifecta... the last hot &dominant in a turgid lurch toward flambé
Zen – ginger infused w/ green tea; radically off-point
Picante – raisin fondue & cabernet caramel racked w/ pasilla chili; what a mess; tar 1st draw leads to hotter than Georgia asphalt throat burn
Quatre Epices – traditional French 4-Spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, & pepper); confusion lingers well into afterglow
Modena – strawberry balsamic caramel; high & brassy w/ little dark counterpoint
Candela – a macadamian marzipan disaster tasting of candle wax, hence its name

TRUFFLES
Honey – no one home/nothing there
Almond – on-point; nice piece
Wild – neutral zone

BARS
Caracas – Carenero Superior Dark studded w/ bulging almond, hazelnut & pistachio; contusion confusion; overly caned nut-stew steeped somewhere in the dark
Spicy Maya – pepperilla; long trembler w/ cayenne-over-cinnamon wrapped by pasilla chili; fiery awakening evolves to medium heat; good bar
Praline Milk -Chocolate – another error from a favorite chocolatier who consistently steps up to the plate & misses
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