Friday, May 14, 2010

C for Chocolate Confessions (Giveaway Inside!)

I have a confession to make, lovely reader. I’ve been keeping a secret from you. I’m not going to try to make excuses for why, but I do want to apologize. I should’ve told you about this much sooner…

Back at the beginning of April, Jenny Mac at Let’s Have a Cocktail wrote a post that introduced me to Chocomize. Chocolate lover that I am, I was intrigued. Upon checking out the Chocomize website, I was blown away. I swear to you, lovely reader, I heard angels singing. If you love chocolate, or if you know someone who does, you simply must check out Chocomize.

The concept is simply genius: they sell chocolate bars that you can customize yourself. The process is simple and fun. First, you get to pick your chocolate base, and the whole spectrum is available: Dark (56.8% cocoa content), Milk (33.6% cocoa content), and White. After you’ve completed this step, the real fun begins. You get to choose the ingredients to create your dream candy bar, and you can select up to five decadent ingredients per bar.

The ingredients list is broken out into a few categories: Nuts & Seeds, Fruits, Herbs & Spices, Candy, Decorations, and Other. The options are nearly endless, guaranteeing that you will have a hard time making decisions. You will be amazed. There are, of course, the obvious ingredients one would think of combining with chocolate such as: almonds, peanuts, dried strawberries and cranberries, toffee pieces, and caramel pieces. Then, there are the more exotic ingredients: Edamame, Wasabi Peas, Goji Berries, Cayenne Pepper, Hot Curry Powder, and Beef Jerky to name just a few. The decorations are also fun and unique, ranging from edible plaques that have messages such as “Happy Birthday” to the more opulent 23-karat gold flakes and crystallized Violet petals.

Jenny Mac had a giveaway going on her blog, but I just couldn’t wait that long; especially considering the odds that I might not win. Music Man and I used the discount code she provided to order six bars of chocolate, four for me and two for him. I know; I sound like a complete glutton. When it comes to chocolate, I will freely admit that I am! I did it for you, lovely reader, in the name of research. I had to try each type of chocolate, and when I saw that they had an option for ordering from a menu of favorite popular flavors, I had to order at least one of those!

Also, did you know chocolate has health benefits? (I can justify anything. Oh yes, I can.) Well, it does. I’ve heard/read that fact in lots of places. I can’t think of any particular article or anything to link you to right this minute, but trust me on this. If you really don’t believe me, well: (1) why not?!?! I thought we had something, lovely reader! and (2) use your google-fu; you will find something about the health benefits of chocolate.

Oh, I almost completely forgot to mention another really cool thing! In addition to customizing your own chocolate, you get to pick a name for the bar. The creativity just doesn't quit! The name is actually printed on the candy bar packaging, which, by the way, is very cool. The bar is contained in a cellophane type bag that is resealable, which is inside a cardboard sheath with a large, enticing see through window that taunts you with the chocolately goodness inside. A label on the back lists ingredients and the name of your bar.

Now, the part you’ve been waiting for…I have to tell you about how the chocolate tasted! I have an obsession with the combination of dark chocolate, caramel, and sea salt lately, so that was the first bar I tried. (I named this one the Salty Dog.) It was incredible!!! The dark chocolate was everything dark chocolate should be: rich, sweet, and slightly bitter. Chocomize puts the selected ingredients on one side of the bar, and the other side is scored for easy portion control sharing. The caramel pieces and sea salt were spread generously, and fairly evenly, over the entire bar.

Music Man selected dark chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I named his bar Hot and Spicy Chocolate, and it was amazing! If you haven’t tried cinnamon with chocolate, you’re totally missing out, and the cayenne added the expected kick while also enhancing the flavor of the dark chocolate.

I tried the milk chocolate next. I chose two milk chocolate bars: (1) Smore (one of the popular favorites), which had mini marshmallows and graham teddies and (2) my creation called Double Chocolate Strawberry, which included dried strawberries and dark chocolate chips. I love Smores, so I simply couldn’t pass up this non-messy version of a smore, and I'm glad I didn' was absolutely delicious! The strawberry chunks in the Double Chocolate Strawberry bar were huge, and again generously covered the bar; they tasted incredibly delicious combined with the milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips. The milk chocolate was perfect—smooth and sweet.

Finally, we tried the white chocolate. The bar I named Tropic Explosion had pineapple dices, mango dices, coconut flakes, and Macadamia nuts. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate, but a true scientist sometimes has to make sacrifices in the name of research. The white chocolate is smooth and creamy; combined with the fruits and nuts I selected, it was very tasty. Music Man’s white chocolate with coconut flakes and diced lemon peel was also very good.

I enjoyed the chocolate and the experiences of customizing my own perfect candy bars so much that I will most definitely be ordering again. The four bars I had have lasted me over a month (see? I have self-restraint!), but they're now almost gone. I will be placing a new order as soon as I can decide which of the dozens of combinations I have floating around in my head I'd like to try next. Chocomize has definitely secured me as a repeat customer!

Have I made you hungry, lovely reader? Are you drooling?! If so, 
you’re going to be so excited about the news I’m about to share. In honor of my upcoming birthday, and to apologize for not revealing this secret sooner, I’m hosting my first blog giveaway! One lucky reader will win the chance to customize his or her own chocolate bars by winning a $10 gift card to Chocomize! The rules are simple:

1.     First Entry: You must be a follower of my blog. Let me know in the comment section that you are following.

2.    Next Entry: Go to Chocomize and take a look at the ingredient options, then come back and leave a comment telling me how you’d customize your bars if you won! (I have so many ideas for future orders already, but I’m nosey. Also, I think I can learn a lot about you, lovely reader, based on your chocolate preferences.)

The deadline is Sunday, May 23 (my twin brother’s birthday). I will use a random number generator to pick the winner. Good luck, lovely reader!!

Important Note: Chocomize did not compensate me in any way for this review. The gift certificate is coming out of my own pocket. I just get really excited when I fall in love with cool small businesses, and want to share the news of my discoveries with the world!

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  1. Yum! What a cool giveaway. I would probably spend way too long trying to decide what to put in my chocolate. But I'd definitely try something with pretzels in it. I love sweet and salty combos.

  2. Oh my gosh- this sounds AMAZING! You just made my day :) SO, I would make mine with milk chocolate, whole almonds, coconut flakes, and mini pretzels. Hmm? Hmm? Sound good?

    Vegetarian bacon?? I just saw that. WTF?

  3. You know I follow your blog avidly. I don't know that they would deliver to the UK so I would send it to a bloggy friend. For me, though, I would go for almonds & toffee.

  4. How sweet of you! I'm a follower :-)

  5. And here is how I would customize mine:

    milk chocolate with peanut butter drops, caramel pieces, mini pretzels and 23 karat gold flakes (for some bling). I have no idea what I would name it.

  6. I am a follower and would follow you anywhere if you gave me some chocolate.

  7. I love you Elle!!! Can I please win? Please????
    I am following you. Will double follow you now. You are on my blogroll,... must count for double points, uhm?

    What would I like? Salt and caramel sounds pretty damn good. Though I must say the spicy something something looks really damn good!


  8. Oh, Elle, I may be the only one to say this, but I am sooooo sorry I read this post on your blog. I love chocolate and you chose...and somebody likes chocolate and pretzels...I am so leaving now. But I can't promise I won't be back. (drool, drool)

  9. I'm a follower ... After much deliberation, I would go with milk chocolate, macademia nuts and strawberries ...or the milk chocolate with caramel and sea salt, sounds AMAZING!

    That site is a bit evil, as you very well know.:)

  10. I am already a follower of your blog and these chocolate bars sound awesome.

  11. Wow, so awesome. So far mine that I'm fake making is milk cocolate with macadamia nuts, cherries and dark choclate pieces.

  12. My mouth is seriously watering. Oh much to consider.

    First, I am already a follower.

    Second, that s'more bar is going in my car right away as is a dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt...because I don't have a problem being a follower. I think I have to do a milk chocolate bar with coconut, mango, cranberries and either pretzels or almonds. I might also go with a milk with raisns and pretzels. The choices are endles...I don't know how I'll ever choose. I'm going to place my first order right now.

    Thanks for the recommendation...and for the help in blowing my diet!

  13. This Chocomize website is going to do nothing for my weight loss goals! I am a follower of your blog and if I won, I am trying out the milk chocolate with corn nuts!

  14. The Princess and I just came back from the chocolate site. I'm leaning towards milk chocolate and potato chips, and she wants dark chocolate with marshmallow and graham cracker pieces (she said the Teddy Grahams weren't cool).

  15. I can't even tell you how lucky I am! I made it just in time for the contest. whew. Which, if you think about it, shows how sucky I've been with blogging the last two weeks. UGH, can't wait for M to get her very own license.

    I loved the site and building my own bar. Here's what I made:

    I started with a lovely dark chocolate bar. Added:

    1. pineapple
    2. bananas
    3. strawberries
    4. caramel bits
    5. marshmallow (b/c it looks like whipped cream:)

    and I am calling it:
    'Banana(no)Split, Baby'

    Mmmmmm.....I love it!

    Thanks for the fun time and opportunity, Elle:)
    P.S. Been following in heart, even when absent sometimes.


Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for taking the time to comment! Readers like you make me want to continue writing. I will do my best to reply to your comment by either commenting on your blog or by sending you an email. In order for me to send you an email, which I really really like to do, because it's a more personal response, you need to put your email address somewhere on your blog or in your blogger profile. Also, can you please make sure to leave me a link so that I can come and visit your lovely blog? Thanks a bunch!

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