Saturday, April 27, 2013

Skinny Cow, Skinny You?

We received one of these Skinny Cow brand sample via your Chocolate Priestess's connections as a Amazon Vine Program reviewer and the other via a promotional offer in the form of a coupon.  One box of either "Divine Filled Chocolates" has 6 1oz pouches in it and each piece is over an inch wide though as you'll see in the next photo they aren't square in shape.  Made with real chocolate and cocoa butter they also have dairy and soy if those are an allergen for you, Sisters and Brothers.  Obviously the peanut butter variety has peanuts so don't buy those if you have a peanut allergy.

With 130 per pouch these seem like a decent snack in place of another candy bar or higher calorie treat.  So the question then becomes: are these as good as a caramel or peanut butter chocolate treat that has more calories?

We'll start with the Caramel variety we got via Amazon Vine.  Once a pouch is opened the scent of milk chocolate with a hint of sweet, tangy caramel filled my nose; the caramel fragrance grew stronger over time.  They make a soft sound when you take a bite but be careful because the caramel will try to ooze out.  The initial flavor and the final flavor is creamy milk chocolate but in the middle the caramel goes from tangy to more sweet before fading.  Three is more than enough frankly so share them if you like and still feel satisfied for both sweet and chocolate.

The peanut butter creme version I got with a coupon at our local Kroger store.  It is identical to the other in terms of what it looks like.  The milk chocolate is the only scent I get from these even when I take a bite.  The peanut butter inside is very much like the caramel, it is more sticky than I had expected and has a roasted flavor not a sweet one.  I think this blended very well together, both peanut butter and milk chocolate equal in representation.

If you are looking for a way to portion control but often feel you just aren't getting enough to satisfy your desires, the Skinny Cow brand is doing a fairly good job of giving us enough while helping us execute our plan to consume less (or more); it really is up to you, Sisters and Brothers.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sensa Chocolate Chews

Another product we've received curtesy of the Vine Program on are these Sensa Chews in chocolate variety.  You may have seen the Sensa ads where everyone is dancing around shaking this little bottle of whatever the heck Sensa is on their food.  Now the brand offers products that you use like candy or foods.  Let's see if this is chocolatey enough to be useful to you if you are trying to lose weight before summer comes.

This bag has 30 pieces, each as you can see in this photo about 1 X 1 X 0.5
inches in dimensions. Each is individually wrapped in simple white paper.  When you unwrap one there is a definite fudge scent that is very like a Tootsie Roll. Much like that it is chewy and tries to stick on my teeth when I pop on into my mouth. It has a very cocoay flavor a lot more than a mere Tootsie Roll and that might be because there is cocoa and chocolate liquor listed on the ingredients. Unfortunately there are also added oils that could be avoided all together by using cocoa butter or if for some reason the manufacturer didn't want that, you could add in very little.  It also has a gritty texture as you chew it so not smooth like the candy I mentioned above.  For some reason one piece just didn't satisfy my chocolate craving but two more did.  *smile*

This does have sugar alcohols so be careful how many you eat at a time even though they are only 15 calories each.  The special Sensa ingredient may or may not have side effects but I didn't experience anything unpleasant.  They do have a long shelf life, well over a year and a quarter according to the best by date on the bag I received.

I was very surprised by Sensa Chocolate Fudge Chews.  They are made with chocolate, they satisfying with a few pieces, and that small amount didn't cause any internal problems.  Normally I don't give "diet" or "low cal" products a sacrament status because they have terrible flavor, poor texture, or side effects.  This had a good flavor and no side effects but the texture could be improved.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Clear Discussion of Chocolate Health Benefits

Companies, no matter how big or how small, need to make money.  Sometimes they will resort to outright lies or manipulation of information to convenience you to buy their products. When we are sent a product to review we speak out when companies make false claims.  Companies are not happy with us when we do this.

But discussing health benefits and chocolate can be confusing with all the different studies from over the yeas.

I found this link to a highly visual article about the health issues.  It doesn't pull punches and you should check it out, Sisters and Brothers.

So while we here review and discuss anything related to cacao or chocolate, it doesn't mean everything is good for us or you. Does any of the information in the linked article change your mind about your favorite chocolate?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Lot of Sugar Free Toffee

One of the new companies to join the 153 companies we've featured for you all here on The Chocolate Cult is bulk candy shop  We tried to get an Easter feature together for you all, Sisters and Brothers, but their candy sells were very good I'm told and thus they kept running out of what our contact was trying to send us to review.  So they sent us this collection of Asher's Sugar Free Toffees that we're going to look at along with other "diet" and reduced calories chocolate treats this month.  We won't say much about the candy itself because this feature is more about the shop than the products and we will apply the same criteria we've used for other shops both online and brick and mortar that we've featured.

When you go online to their website you can search for candy in a variety of ways -- brand name, color, type of candy (tab "Bulk Candy"), and even for special events you can search for candy buffet or favors.  Go under "Bulk Candy" to "Chocolate Candy" and then you find six other categories.  Trying to find the Asher's product is very challenging this way so I looked under "Brands" next.

From "Brands" go to "See more brands" on the right hand side and Asher's is in the second row found here .  This product is on the third page of their products, second to last actually.  Opening the bag I get a light chocolate scent.  The pieces take a bit of effort to bite into and the primary flavor is almond, then chocolate and a light butter and sweetness.  This is not nearby as buttery as I'd expect from toffee and that is odd because given that this is sugar free I'd expect even more buttery, almond, and chocolate flavors to make up for the missing processed sugar.  Be forewarned that as you chew it is going to stick to your teeth... a lot, it will stick a lot so have fund working at those sticky areas in your mouth.  Actually that is good because it means that you  need to eat this more slowly because as the package warns "Excess consumption may have a laxative effect" and you might now want that.

There you have it, sugar free toffee from Asher's available in bulk from  You get a lot of product and a flat shipping fee of around $10 or less depending on a variety of factors.  Shopping here is great if you are planning a big event but plan early since I learned even their own market teams can run out of products when they are too popular.  Plan ahead and you should do fine.  Use their links in this review or along the side and second page and you help us as well and that allows us to bring you more articles and features in the future.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Slim-Fast! Trio of Chocolate Meals

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter... the stream of eat, eat, eat holidays has finally come to a end and we have a period of less pressure to make the tastiest and most decadent food and drink we can come up with.  Some of you may be thinking about the summer and worried about how your body looks.  Or perhaps you are more worried about your health instead of simply what you look like or the size of your clothes. I old enough that I remember when Slim-Fast! came out and let me tell you that Your Chocolate Priestess was not impressed with the products.  But I try to have an open now when it comes to many things, chocolate is what you most know about here, so when I was offered three different "meal" products from them, I wanted to give them a try and share those results with you.

Let's start with this Chocolate Royale shake since the company started off with shakes.  The first thing I notice is how much more feminine the shape of the bottles have become but the question is why.  Perhaps they think it will appeal to women who want to look like that or to men who want to look at that.  But for us we are most interested in what is inside the bottle.  The first ingredient is fat free milk so you know this has dairy in it but also soy if either of those are allergens for you.    Cocoa processed with alkali is fourth on the ingredient list after water and sugar.  There are a lot of minerals and vitamins on the nutrition facts list but look closely at the ingredients -- there a lot of added ingredients, most of them are difficult to pronounce chemicals, this is highly artificial.  But maybe you don't carea about that so let's talk about our five senses and this drink.  It looks just like a rich chocolate milk and has a light cocoa scent with a hint of sweetness.  When I start to drink I'm careful because I remember the flavor was not something I liked but I'm surprised.  It is slightly thicker than plain skim milk, exactly like chocolate skim milk would be, and it has a sweet chocolate flavor.  Obviously as a drink it makes no sound, I'd be frightened if it did.  This is better than the previous incarnation of Slim-Fast! shakes but I am concerned about the ingredients list.

The other two products we'll review today are meal bars, these are meant to be used in place of another meal like breakfast or lunch, ideally both.  The first of these that I tried was the Chocolate Cookie Dough bar seen here in this photo.  Like the shake the number of added and artificial ingredients is simply overwhelming on the nutrition facts.  Again it has cocoa processed with alkali but this is very far down on the list.

This bar does not have a strong scent of anything but oddly it smells a bit plasticity to me.  Inside you can see that it has a chocolate chip cookie dough nature but the taste is a bit too sickly sweet for me.  It is chewy and the chips which you can see doesn't crunch but seem either very tiny or very moist. There isn't any cocoa or chocolate flavor at all.  If the box didn't claim it had any chocolate I wouldn't guess that from taking a bite.

The Chocolate Fudge Brownie meal bar lists cocoa processed with alkali higher up on the ingredients list but still much further down than the shake.  Once more while the nutritional values are good over all the amount of chemicals concerns me personally. On the box and wrapper it looks like it should have more chocolate ingredients inside, yes?  It does; several ingredients layer is cocoa and then after a few more chocolate is listed.  This should at least taste like chocolate I hope.

The scent is very odd, a very strong artificially sweet scent, not chocolate scent whatsoever.  This has tiny chocolate chips in it, too, if you can make them out in the photo.  The texture is indeed fudgy but this is the only fudgy thing about this bar. The flavor is difficult to describe it has an odd burnt quality to it but a bit of cocoa as well.  I didn't think it was possible but this is worse than the previous bar.

Over all these products are better than previous incarnations but I'm still not a fan of the flavor of any of them.  They could have more chocolate in them and it should be higher up on the ingredients list. What really kills this for me though is the quantity of artificial ingredients and long chemical names.  I think any of us, Sisters and Brothers, could find better foods to control our calorie intact and improve our health or body shape.

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