Ferrero Rocher. Ferrero Rondnoir. Ferrero Garden Coco. They just sound fancy, don’t they? And make no mistake: they certainly are.
The Mercedes-Benz of drugstore candy, the Ferrero Rocher is a dreamy ball of chocolate-hazelnut bliss; a porcupine of deliciousness with a crunchy hazelnut heart and a gooey chocolate center, all wrapped up in a golden wrapper that says, “I am something very special.”
The golden wrapper signifies something very special, indeed. You have to be special to rock a golden wrapper. In fact, you can’t get away with wearing a golden wrapper unless you are:
b. In a dance recital
c. Someone’s wacky Great-Aunt Helen on Christmas Eve
d. Ferrero Rocher
That’s just the way it is. And Ferrero Rocher has earned the right to rock its golden coating, as it is truly a beacon of excellence in the candy aisle. Two new Ferrero candies, Ferrero Rondnoir and Ferrero Garden Coco, have recently entered the market as a part of the Ferrero Prestige collection, each with a shiny metallic wrapper of their own.
Strangely enough, while I was eating the new Ferreros (and admiring their general fanciness), I noticed a theme emerging from their wrappers. Ferrero Prestige is a collection of winners, my friends, but in the Ferrero Olympics, the Ferrero folks wrapped these bad boys up just right, handing out wrappers that matched my personal rankings of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winners.
The Gold Medal, of course, goes to the Ferrero Rocher. The original Ferrero treat, the Rocher has long been a favorite of mine. Michelle G wrote a stellar review of Ferrero Rocher last year which details the glorious combination of sweet chocolate, crispy wafer, and crunchy hazelnut that makes up the star of the Prestige collection.
The Silver Medal goes to the Ferrero Garden Coco, a confection that is quite similar to the Ferrero Raffaello. The Garden Coco is a nice alternative for those who (gasp!) don’t enjoy chocolate, as it is comprised of a sweet almond, surrounded by a thick glob of coconut cream.
The cream is held in place by a thin layer of wafer, which is coated by another layer of coconut cream and flecks of shredded coconut. The entire confection is topped with a piece of merengue and a drizzle of what I believe is caramel, but I couldn’t tell for sure.
The Garden Coco is quite good – very, very creamy and sweet. The coconut cream flavor is more akin to that of a Pina Colada than that of a Mounds bar, and alone would be very overwhelming; the inclusion of the sweet, crunchy almond at the center of the candy provides a nice and welcome balance to the treat.
I wished that the almond was a bit bigger, as at times I felt the cream was overpowering the rest of the candy – part of Ferrero’s appeal is the wonderful balance of textures they employ (cream/wafer/cream/nut), and a stronger center would have given the candy that extra textural power I was looking for.
The Bronze Medal is awarded to the Ferrero Rondnoir, which, while tasty, is the weakest Ferrero of the Prestige collection. The Rondnoir is constructed like any other Ferrero, with a gooey center, a wafer shell, and a nice crunchy coating. In the Rondnoir’s case, the center is a “black pearl” of dark chocolate – and a lovely pearl at that. The chocolate is rich and bitter and has the snap of a good dark chocolate.
Rondnoir’s outer coating is also made of dark chocolate, with crunchy bits to give the candy texture. It is a dark chocolate lover’s dream. However, the Rondnoir loses a few points for textural reasons. Like the Garden Coco, the Rondnoir doesn’t seem to have enough of a crunch at the center.
I suppose I have been spoiled all of these years by the greatness of Ferrero Rocher, but I found myself missing the hazelnut crunch of the original. It would have been nice to see a dark chocolate version of the original Rocher, but I suppose the Rondnoir is a step in the right direction.
And really, there can only be one Ferrero Prestige member that takes the gold. Those golden wrappers aren’t for everybody. Except for you, Aunt Helen. You keep right on rockin’.
Buy Ferrero Prestige Online:
- at Amazon.com