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The Great Chocolate Experiment (Part 4)

Categories: Candy,Candy Recipes,Chocolate Candy,Gummi/Gummy Candy,Weird Candy

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Experiment 4 Ingredients
Welcome, fair readers, to the fourth installment of the Great Chocolate Experiment, in which I and my Research Assistant attempt to further the cause of Science by determining which ingredients taste good coated in chocolate, and which do not. In The Great Chocolate Experiment Part 3, we botched chocolate-coated ham, discovered that chocolate-covered rice cakes still taste like cardboard, and had our tongues twisted by the unspeakable combination of chocolate and pickles. What new surprises await in Part 4? (The astute reader will notice that we are using more of the reader suggestions from The Great Chocolate Experiment Part 2. Thanks, everybody!)

The following ingredients will be tested in today’s experiment:

Sweet potato: The Great Chocolate Experiment researchers have been put off of eating their greens by The Great Chocolate Experiment Part 1’s chocolate-covered broccoli experiment. Will nutritious and delicious sweet potatoes, often served with brown sugar and marshmallows, restore our faith in a veggie-chocolate pairing?

Dried mango: These sugared strips of dried mango are so sweet and delicious that they may as well be candy. And as everyone knows, many candies benefit greatly from a good coating of chocolate.

Cheddar cheese: Cheddar is definitely not this researcher’s favorite cheese. But because you asked for it, we will be dunking chunks of Hickory Farms into chocolate and tasting them. Will we live to tell the tale?

Gummy cola bottles: A while ago, I reviewed Nativa Organic Gummy Soda Bottles. And they were pretty good. But one burning question remained in this researcher’s mind: How would gummy cola bottles taste dipped in chocolate?

Procedure:

Step 1: Peel a chunk of sweet potato (the orange kind, not the yellow) and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put the pieces into a microwave-safe bowl with a little water. Microwave on High for about two and a half minutes or until the sweet potato pieces are softened. Drain the water and dry the potato pieces gently with a paper towel.

Step 2: Cut a few pieces of dried mango and some Cheddar cheese into bite-sized pieces

Step 3: Melt some Callebaut dark chocolate in the microwave, following the directions in The Great Chocolate Experiment Part 1). (For easier dipping, use a narrow vessel like a mug.)

Step 4: Use chopsticks or a fork to coat the sweet potato, cheese, mango and a handful of gummy cola bottles in the chocolate. (The chocolate won’t stick to the cheese and wet sweet potato very well, so you may have to spoon some more on afterward.) Arrange on a plastic-wrap- or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for one to two hours until chocolate is firm to the touch.

Step 5: Taste all items, preferably with the aid of a Research Assistant and/or Tasting Panel.

Observations:

Chocolate-coated sweet potatoSweet potato: Despite receiving a thorough drying after the microwave steaming process, the potato pieces were rather wet – getting the chocolate to stick was a bit difficult, resulting in incomplete coverage of the potato pieces. When pulled out of the freezer, the pieces had a great deal of condensation, which you can see in the photo due to my unfortunate decision to use the camera’s flash to take the shot. (Sorry for the bad photos– I really need to invest in a more consistent light source than the sun.)

Overall, the taste of the pieces was mushy (if a little frozen) and bland. No sweet potato flavor was evident – it could almost have been a regular potato. However, sweet potatoes have been proven to go with sweet things, so another experiment may be in order – perhaps by whipping the potatoes with brown sugar and cinnamon and making a truffle. Milk chocolate might also be a better match for the potato’s relatively mild flavor.

Experiment status: Retest Recommended


Chocolate-coated mangoesDried mango: Perhaps because we used a fresh cup of chocolate for the mangoes, the chocolate layer turned out rather heavy. The chocolate flavor covered up the subtleties of the mango flavor and most of the sweetness as well. The distinctive piney notes of the mango were completely lost, leaving only a sort of generic, rather sour fruit flavor.

It actually made an interesting contrast to The Great Chocolate Experiment Part 2’s sun-dried tomatoes, which benefited from the more salty/savory aspects of the tomato flavor being masked by the chocolate, leaving something sweeter and fruitier. Here, though, it just turned delicious mangoes into generic blah. A thinner layer of chocolate would definitely be recommended for future tests.

Experiment status: Failure


chocolate-coated cheddarCheddar cheese: As you can probably tell from reading the Chocolate Experiments, I’m pretty fearless when it comes to odd food combinations. But I hesitated before biting into the chocolate-coated Cheddar chunk. Perhaps it was a premonition, or maybe just the sheer number of disgusting things I had to put into my mouth today (doing two installments’ worth of tastings in one shot was a bad idea), but I elected to take only a small bite rather than popping the whole thing in my mouth.

The cheese and chocolate almost immediately turned into a creamy, homogeneous mass in my mouth, coating every inch of the inside of my mouth in a thick, greasy layer. The flavor clung to the taste buds and refused to be gotten rid of. And that flavor was vile. Utterly, indescribably vile. There was, in fact, something almost Lovecraftian about the combination of cheese and chocolate sliding down one’s throat in a hideous mockery of fudge, like some kind of eldritch candy horror, utterly alien to and unknowable by human beings. This, my friends, is what candy tastes like in Hell.

Experiment status: Epic Failure


Chocolate-coated cola bottlesGummy cola bottles: I thought that the tart flavor and firm texture of the gummy was a decent match for the dark bitterness and crisp texture of the dark chocolate shell. However, my Research Assistant disagreed, declaring the gummies “too sour” to go with the chocolate. “I’d rate them two out of five stars,” she said.

So is there a Choco-Cola in our future? If our mixed results were anything to go by, the answer is a definite “maybe.”

Experiment status: Moderate success


Conclusion:
Unfortunately, today’s experiment failed to produce any standout successes. Though only so-so, the best item we tasted was the gummy cola bottles, and the horrific Cheddar-chocolate combo was definitely the worst. But we were undaunted. Our quest to discover the perfect partner for chocolate will continue. In the interests of Science, we will continue to forge ahead into the unknown!

(You may have noticed that in the last few posts, I’ve been recommending certain items for retest. As to the implications of this… well, stay tuned. And, as always, your ingredient suggestions are greatly appreciated.)

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11 Responses to “The Great Chocolate Experiment (Part 4)”

  1. 1
    Jelly Belly Gummy Yummy Wanter says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmm, cola bottles dipped in chocolate….

    I think Coke made Chocolate Coke… or at least it is/was avaialble in their factory tours.

  2. 2
    Robby says:

    your sweet potato truffle idea sounds devine! hmm… i’d be interested to see how well it does with jelly beans, raw cookie dough balls, biscuits, and sunflower seeds.

  3. 3
    Dragon-chan says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at “a definite maybe.”

    You are a lot braver than I. My hat goes off to you, ma’am.

  4. 4
    Shin says:

    Actually, sunflower seeds are a common thing to be covered in chocolate in my country. They taste like tinier chocolate covered nuts.

    I’m curious as to how chocolate and red adzuki bean would taste!

  5. 5
    maryA says:

    chocolate covered baked beans would be interesting for you to try!

  6. 6
    Cadence says:

    I love reading these and am always impressed by how dauntless you are. The chocolate cheddar cheese had me wincing in sympathy!

  7. 7
    Jeni says:

    Hmm… how about… maybe… Jelly Bellies? Craisins? Lemon peel?

  8. 8
    alex says:

    You should try Kabang Energy Candy its all no natural and contains no caffine

  9. 9
    Anna says:

    I actually was expecting the cheddar/chocolate combo to be a success! I discovered a while ago that dark chocolate coffee truffles are complemented nicely by a bite of sharp cheddar. Perhaps it’s just me.

  10. 10
    Ikay says:

    Did you try shrimp? Haha, so random.

  11. 11
    mage says:

    hmmm if you did sweet potatos, why not try regular (there is a potato truffle out there I think…) and bbq potato chips, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, onions, shallots, leeks, beef, chicken, a different cheese, peppers, saltines, turkey, cucumbers, squash

    that give you some ideas

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