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Candy Review: Kohler Chocolates Garden Ganache Chocolates

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Kohler Garden Ganache Chocolates

If you’ve ever shopped for a new car or had to hang around a dealership while your mom or dad or granny or Uncle Ned argued with a car salesman with hair as slick as motor oil about the supposed need for rust proofing, then you’ve probably thumbed through a glossy automobile brochure or two. Maybe you wanted to check on your model’s options, or just pass the time. But I don’t care if it’s a Bentley or a Yugo, the brochure’s text and pictures always make it sound like this car will revolutionize the way you slice through the wind! Yeah, sure.

Recently I received a well-insulated box of 10 gourmet “Garden Ganache” chocolates from Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates for review. Aside from the bubble wrap, a press release about a nice mention in Oprah’s magazine, a CD ROM full of photos and a flavor guide, Kohler included a twenty-two page, 8 x 11 ultra-glossy candy brochure that made me think I was back in a new car showroom. I mean, the blurbs and full page photos had me wondering which delectable-looking candies came with leather upholstery. And of course, these treats were “acknowledged unparalleled” by early tasters, while Kohler “seeks to explore the limitless opportunity in taste and texture with natural raw materials.” Do they mean they try different ingredients… ?

So, yeah, these things look good in the brochure. But are they Bentleys, Yugos, or something in between?

The Garden Ganache box is 7 oz, $25. It contains one each of the following medium-sized, domed and striped chocolates: Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Chai Tea, Creme Fraiche, Macadamia, Asian Spice, Hazelnut Coffee, Earl Grey, Coconut, and Pear. Each is encased in milk chocolate.

Raspberry: I tried this one first because I often enjoy the chocolate raspberry combination. But this candy is in a new category of deliciousness. The raspberry filling was substantive but not heavy, a dark natural red, and tasted like the sweet essence of real raspberry fruit – because it is. It was encased by top quality milk chocolate for a very rich and decadent piece of goodness. I call this new category: Mmmmm.

Passion Fruit: Wow, these are great, too. If you’ve eaten a real passion fruit, you know there’s no substitute – they’re a nifty combination of lush tropical fragrance with sharper citrus notes, sort of like guava meets grapefruit. Now imagine that flavor as a perfectly-textured sweet ganache filling, surrounded by a high-quality chocolate shell. I repeat: wow.

Earl Grey: What makes Earl Grey tea a perennial favorite? Who knows, but the hint of orange has a lot to do it with as far as I’m concerned. Mix a flavorful black tea and that bit of orange with cream and sugar in a chocolate cup. Again I can’t help saying that this candy is excellent. I’d love another. But there’s only one flavor per box. Drat.

So that’s the end of day one tasting. These Kohler Chocolates are so rich that I’ve got to come back to the box tomorrow so I can savor some more.

Creme Fraiche: Day two of my esculent escapade begins, I’m afraid, with a little less excitement. This garden ganache flavor is good. Only good. I was hoping for something more from creme fraiche in a ganache, but it’s just a little bit boring. I think yesterday’s super cool flavors set my expectations quite high. Now, there is nothing wrong with this candy at all, and you might really like it, but it just comes across as a little flat. Quality ingredients to be sure, but something’s missing. Maybe I can bounce back with…

Asian Spice: Have you ever had German pfeffernesse cookies around the holidays? The ganache in this chocolate reminds me of those cookies. They have a “pepper nut” flavor that’s kind of like a spicier version of nutmeg. These chocolates also taste like they have ginger and some other things happening. Overall, pretty darn tasty.

Macadamia: Oh now we’re back on track all the way. I’m a big macadamia fan, and this nutty chocolate ganache is wonderful. I especially like that they’ve left mini-slivers of macadamia in the perfectly sweetened (but not overly-sweetened) filling. Excellent freshness and a real good match to the chocolate shell.

Chai Tea: If you’re a chai tea aficionado, you know the great variety that falls under this umbrella term. Chai teas can be smooth and mellow with just a touch of background cinnamon or some such, or full-on flavor craziness that feels like you’re drinking a liquid spice cabinet. This candy ganache version from Kohler Chocolates is about 2/3 of the way toward the spice cabinet version, I’d say. These are great.

Okay, that’s day two. I need another break from these rich little wonders.

Hazelnut Coffee: Whoa! These are strong! And super, super good. That’s really the flavor of coffee I’m experiencing here, and hazelnuts have been ground into the rich ganache mix. If all hazelnut coffee tasted like this amazing candy version, I’d be drinking it every day. Some artificial trumped up sorry excuse for “coffee hazelnut” this ain’t. This has genuine coffee and genuine hazelnuts in it, not synthetic fakery.

Coconut: I wondered if this little striped gem would have coconut flakes or coconut quiddity inside. Take a slow bite and savor the creamy quality. No flakes. Just smooth coconut pleasure in a ganache. These also stand out for the depth of flavor and what tastes almost like a liquor. Think Puerto Rican coconut rum as a chocolate ganache. Fantastic.

Pear: Alas, we come to the final ride in the toothsome amusement park that’s been Kohler Chocolates Garden Ganache collection of gourmet candy. So have I saved the best for last? Anyone who has drizzled chocolate sauce on a fresh ripe pear knows the potential splendor of combining these two flavors, so I’m ready and eager. I admire the fine chocolate gloss, the overlapping green body stripes. Then… a nibble. Oh yes this is pear with chocolate, and it’s spectacular. This tastes like a real pear! In a creamy sweet ganache. With chocolate. Wow. Wow. Wow.


Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates are superb. They cost a healthy bit more than your average box of candy, but they’re so far above average that I think they’re well worth a little knock to your wallet. I’d be happy to give these as a very special chocolate gift, and the lucky recipient would be twice as happy once they got a taste. They feel in the mouth like they’re made from the very freshest and finest ingredients, and with remarkable expertise. I notice that these chocolates hail from Kohler, Wisconsin. Put a star on your map right now.

So what makes these chocolates so good? Well, look on the back of your average box of mediocre chocolates with ten flavors and you’ll see a list of ingredients as long as your arm, with plenty of multisyllabic words that only a chemist could love. Not here. Despite the great variety and complexity of the ten chocolate candies described above, I understand all of the ingredients listed on the Kohler box immediately (starting with “fresh cream”), and I learn anew that simpler is better. No one does it like nature. And Kohler’s candy makers.

Overall, I give Kohler Chocolates’ Garden Ganache variety box its own candy category: Wonder Yum. Yes, they even live up to their glossy brochure – the one that still looks like it could sell a car. And to answer the question of whether that car would be a Bentley or Yugo, let me just say this: Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates are one sweet ride.

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4 Responses to “Candy Review: Kohler Chocolates Garden Ganache Chocolates”

  1. 1
    Cindy says:

    I grew up in Sheboygan, WI which is right outside of Kohler so I have visited all the Kohler “sights” but had never tried any of the chocolates. Kohler Company is a lot more than just high-quality plumbing fixtures. Your descriptions made this candy sound very appealing although very pricey–yikes!

  2. 2
    Pomegranate says:

    I have to admit that their chocolate tastes great yet I also agree that its a bit pricey. Anyway, the taste is worth the price :)

  3. 3
    ButterflyKyss says:

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    Those sound incredible. I want some!

  4. 4
    Cocoazilla says:

    Those are beautiful and based on the fact that those are unique flavors and all, I think well worth the price. I’ve been seeing plain old dark chocolate going for more, just because it’s labeled “organic” or something.

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