Friday, January 14, 2011

Shakolad: Milk and Dark Caramels

Caramel is tricky but serious business. If you’ve ever tried making it yourself, you’ve probably wound up with a pot of burned sugar.

It’s ok. It really is. If you’ve done this, it probably makes you appreciate well-made caramel even more. Since I’ve burned at least 4 pounds of sugar trying to make caramel in the past year, I am one who appreciates a good caramel, and was eager to see what the caramels from my Shakolad box had to offer. I started out with the dark, assuming that there would be a little more flavor contrast.

The dark chocolate that surrounds the caramel is earthy and offers a coffee undertone. It’s a good thing, because there’s no other flavor in this caramel.

The caramel itself is sugary and chewy, with absolutely no hint of salt, vanilla, cream, butter, or other very common caramel tastes. Aside from the sugar, there is absolutely no taste in the caramel. Though the dark chocolate offers some flavor to compliment the sugary caramel, I was not very impressed by this particular caramel and would likely bypass it if creating my own box.

After that disappointment, I had no choice but to see if the milk chocolate caramel offered anything better. The milk chocolate coating on that caramel has a bit of a caramel undertone itself, but it’s fairly weak, and the chocolate is creamy but otherwise flavorless.

The caramel inside was nearly identical to that in the dark chocolate: sugary, chewy, and flavorless. However, this particular caramel didn’t even have the benefit of dark chocolate to contrast the sugar, so while there is no offensive flavor here, that is essentially because there is no flavor. I’d certainly select another chocolate in place of this caramel, as It offered nothing but a blood sugar spike that I probably didn’t need.

What underlying flavors do you think a caramel should have?

8 comments:

  1. Oh, I hate it when caramel tastes like nothing but sugar! I like a really dark, almost-burnt, rich buttery burnt sugar almost-burnt flavour (Did I mention I like it to have an intense roasted flavour? :P ) I've never tried making it myself, though (well, apart from cooking condensed milk with golden syrup to make a caramel filling), so I probably shouldn't be too critical!

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  2. Those look mouthwatering!!!! I like the sweet melt in your mouth kind of caramel-throw in a nut for crunch and call it a day!

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  3. They look great, too bad they don't taste great!
    I like salted caramel that's almost burnt but not quite there yet!

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  4. Oh, hmm...that's a bummer. I'm a sucker for salted caramel, but also like when it's got a vanilla or buttery flavor. Ironically the first time I made caramel it was fine, then I burned toffee and undercooked my last batch of caramel. Oy.

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  5. @Hannah Burnt caramel is ESPECIALLY hard to make. I agree with you on the buttery part, though.

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  6. @fitchocoholic They didn't taste bad, just nothing outstanding. But they are pretty, that's for sure.

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  7. @Jessica @ bake me away! Butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Now that's what I'm talking about.

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