Sunday, October 25, 2015

Splendid Milk Chocolate Truffles: Pumpkin Spice Caramel & Candy Corn - Target

Splendid Milk Chocolate Truffles: Pumpkin Spice Caramel & Candy Corn - Target
Prep your skeletons, Halloween is right around the corner, so I'll be posting seasonal snacks all this week!

Today I've got another double review lined up for you guys, but first, Target, I've got a bone to pick with you.

Normally Target releases Halloween themed home goods like melamine dishware, glass soap dispensers, bath towels and all kinds of things that are not only spooky, but functional and sturdy. I love using spooky stuff year-round, but this year it's all disposable! Why, Target? Why?

I like the napkin patterns they've released this year, but there's no bathroom accessories, and all the dishware is paper or plastic for single use only. Where's all my spooky new home decor? The last few years they released Poison-themed products (which is kind of my thing), and I bought them like crazy. I was really looking forward to restocking them this year, or buying something better, but the aisles are severely lacking in all things poison-y and awesome. My little black heart is broken. I'll be checking out Home Goods to see if I can scrounge up anything new for this year, but as far as Target is concerned, I'm super disappointed in this year's offerings.

Instead of buying home decor (like I wanted!) I filled my handcart with candy to help soothe the pain.

These truffles come in adorable cardboard boxes with seasonal illustrations and flavor-related color schemes. The designs aren't terribly polished or high-end looking, but they look well put together and they're certainly eye catching. In particular, I think they did a really nice job with the typefaces and the text layouts. This imperfect swirly script they've used is reminiscent of Tim Burton, although it's much more polished, and it's used sparingly alongside a serif-styled font that's easy to read. It's a good combination, and I can see this appealing to older consumers (or Halloween-obsessed food bloggers) more than little kids. Plus, the packaging is just cute enough to make this a nice host/hostess (with the most) gift for any upcoming Halloween parties.

I opened up the boxes expecting round little truffles, or some kind of seasonal-related shapes, but there were these weird wrinkly looking mountains. It's kind of unappetizing looking, right? Is it supposed to be something in particular? It looks mountain-like, but it's weird and swirly. I kind of want to say that it reminds me of those chocolate butt-holes that were all the rage on the internet a few years ago (yes, those were really a thing), but these are a bit more appealing than that. Still, I can't say I'm a fan. Hopefully they'll taste better.

I'll start off with the pumpkin spiced caramel truffles.

I took a bite of the oddly shaped truffle...and it was mostly chocolate. The chocolate outside is incredibly sweet, but surprisingly not terrible quality. It's a bit better than a Russel Stover, and not as rich as Dove. I found the chocolate quality to be overly sweet, kind of like the Sky Bar Zombie Food parts I reviewed last week, but this smaller portion is easier to handle. Okay, there's chocolate, but where's all the caramel?

Instead of having one large hollow cavity with filling, like the picture on the box suggests, this has two thinner cavities with a layer of chocolate in-between. I've never seen layers like this in a truffle before, and this configuration gives you way less filling. For the most part the chocolate overpowers the caramel filling and you're left with a pumpkin-spice flavored chocolate. The spice blend is well balanced, and one of the better blends I've tasted in a chocolate candy, but almost all the buttery-ness of the caramel is lost due to the overwhelming amount of chocolate.

When you manage to get a bit of the caramel on it's own, it's amazing! The filling is thin and runny, but buttery, and their spice blend is absolutely perfect. It's not overly cinnamon-y, or candle-like, which is something that happens to a LOT of pumpkin spiced chocolates. After all the pumpkin spiced chocolates I've ever had, this is hands down the best spice blend. It's absolutely perfect, but you just don't get enough of it to make these truffles worthwhile. The chocolate easily overwhelms everything else when it's eaten together. What a pity! If they had used dark chocolate for this one, or a semi-sweet blend, it would have been much better.

Okay, next up are these Candy Corn truffles. Will they have the same weird chamber issues? Or did I just get some kinda weird box? Let's find out!

Okay the truffles have the same weird shape that I'm not a fan of, but what about the chamber inside?

I took a bite, and there's even less filling in these ones! This looks NOTHING like the truffle on the box. We have that same thin, but segmented, filling chamber issue, and instead of runny caramel, or a creamy fondant filling like the photo, we have some kind of solid creme inside.

I tried multiple times to get some of this creme filling on it's own to see if it really was "candy corn" flavored, but that was easier said than done. The creme layers were so thin! It took a few tries, and 2-3 truffles, but I managed to get a decent pile of the filling on it's own to try, and it tasted generically sweet and sugary, like a vanilla fondant. How is that candy corn flavored at all? It's just vanilla with a fancy name and a cute box.

When eaten normally, this truffle tastes like overly sweet milk chocolate with a hint of vanilla. So this one ended up being more Halloween-gimmick-y, which i kind of expected.

Of the two, I'd go for the Pumpkin Spice as a host/hostess gift this Halloween season, and skip the Candy Corn ones. They're both imperfect, but for what they are, the pumpkin spiced ones are much more enjoyable. I don't regret purchasing them, but I won't buy them again, unless they use less sweet chocolate and fix the candy molds to provide the proper amount of filling.
On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this truffle a 3! The spice blend inside is amazing, but the chocolate ratio is way off and it's very sweet. If they had used a semi-sweet chocolate, or dark chocolate instead, and fixed the inner chamber problem, this would easily be a 5. I hope they reformulate and come back next year, because this is one of the best pumpkin spiced confectionery blends I've ever had.
© Maria Smith
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