Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocomize creates edible works of art

Up until 2 years ago, I very rarely ventured outside of the "candy box" to explore new candy creations. I preferred to stick to my tried and true favorites, Milky Way, Starburst, Twix, just to name a few. That all changed when I opened my own candy business, and I am ever so glad that I did. Creating new and unique flavor combinations for my own business has expanded my tastes dramatically and I am now eager to try many of the unique flavor creations entering the candy scene. One such creation is the custom chocolate bar.

A custom chocolate bar allows the consumer to choose their favorite chocolate than add multiple ingredients to make a bar that is as unique as its creator. The chocolatier then makes and ships the bar to the consumer, who indulges in their chocolate fantasy bar. It is a red hot trend in American chocolate and Chocomize is poised to become the frontrunner with their 3 delicious chocolate blends and over 90 add-in ingredients.

Chocomize provided me with 4 vastly different chocolate bars for this review, and I must say that I am in a chocolate lover's paradise! I had them create a white chocolate bar with dried blueberries, pecans and crystallized violets and a dark chocolate bar with black peppercorns and beef jerky. They also included a milk chocolate bar with pretzel twists and M&Ms and a dark chocolate with walnuts, butter toffee peanuts and hazelnuts.

Chocomize uses premium Belgian chocolates for the base of their custom chocolate bars and the quality really shines through in the finished product. The bars have a glossy sheen and a satisfying "snap" when broken in two. All three flavors were rich and well rounded, with the white being my personal favorite. The chocolates have a smooth flavor with no funny aftertaste like some popular chocolate bars have. The additional ingredients vary wildly in flavor and texture and include:
  • seeds & nuts-sesame seeds, wasabi peas, corn nuts, whole and sliced almonds, pine nuts and more
  • fruits-dried strawberries, goji berries, pineapple dices, dice lemon peel and more
  • herbs & spices-cayenne pepper, basil, sea salt, lavender, mini chipotles and more
  • candy-gummi bears, peanut butter chips, pop rocks, good & plenty and more
  • decorations-23 karat gold flakes, dried flower mix, chocolate butterfly and mor
  • other-vegetarian bacon bits, ground coffee, potato chips, graham crackers and more
There are over 90 additional ingredients in total you can choose from, and as you can see, the selection is impressive. I found each of my bars included a nice mixture of add-ins in relation to the chocolate. The flavors work well together and do not overpower one another. My only complaint was on my dark chocolate with peppercorns and beef jerky. The beef jerky is finely ground and the flavor doesn't come through until the chocolate is nearly melted. This could be remedied by either using more jerky or larger pieces of it. The crystallized violets were larger than I was expecting and a very tasty surprise. I found the flavor sweet and a little fruity. It is not something I would normally associate with chocolate, but they paired together beautifully. All four sample bars were amazing. The white chocolate was my overall favorite while my kids clamored for the milk chocolate bar.

Chocomize custom chocolate bars start at $3.85 for 3.5 ounces of chocolate and the final price will be determined by the ingredients you choose to add to your bar. Ingredients start at 40 cents for sea salt and go to $3.90 for gold flakes. Most fall into the range of 65-95 cents. The price will keep these from becoming a weekly indulgence, but I will certainly splurge for special occasion and holidays.
In addition to their retail selection, Chocomize offers a bulk option with an extended menu, specialized packaging and more, a chocolate bar club and gift certificates. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter or read their blog for product and company updates. If this review has you craving a personalized chocolate bar of your own, Chocomize is offering a 10% discount to our readers. Please use coupon code "Examiner" during checkout to redeem your discount.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided courtesy of the manufacturer. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. This review contains my personal opinion of the products.

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