Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just In Time for Valentines: Woodhouse Chocolate Review + Giveaway

Valentines is just around the corner...the most romantic day of the year! If you're like me, you like to celebrate Valentines Day with chocolate. I'm going to share some of my favorite chocolates with you today. But first? A little story...Michael and I took a belated 5th anniversary trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley in Spring 2009. Along the way, we had some amazing foodie adventures. We fell head-over-heels in love with the area...such great food, amazing wine, and wonderful scenery!! In fact, when the trip was over...we didn't want to leave. One of the places we visited while in Napa Valley was Woodhouse Chocolate, located in St. Helena. This amazing gourmet chocolate shop is family run and features some of the most amazing hand-made chocolate that I've ever tasted. 

I was lucky enough to receive a sampler of the Woodhouse Chocolate Valentine line to try at home! When I returned home from Indianapolis on Monday, the package was waiting for me. I expected to receive a few sample pieces to try, but they very generously sent me nearly all of their Valentines line to taste...and share my thoughts with you. My box contained all sorts of chocolatey goodies!! First up was the 12-piece Hearts & Domes Box. Inside a round, red box are 12 pieces of gorgeous chocolate shaped in hearts and domes. They're almost to pretty to eat! 

The flavors in this collection include 85% dark ganache, coffee-toffee and cocoa nib, Spanish Rose (saffron, cinnamon, and rose water), and white ganache flavored with passion fruit. This is a really nice collection that runs the gamut of flavors and textures. My two favorites in this group are the tangy passion fruit dome and the coffee-toffee cocoa nib. The passion fruit is bursting with fruity flavor that contrasts especially well with the very intense 85% dark ganache. The coffee-toffee cocoa nib has a creamy coffee-infused center with crunchy bits of toffee and cocoa nibs. The flavors work really well together, and the texture is crunchy without being hard.

The next item in my box was the 18-piece Pink Heart Box. This is a traditional Valentine heart-shaped box of chocolates: a pink heart with cheerful brown polka dots. Inside is 18 pieces of chocolate that are heart shaped, squares with Valentine designs, or domes. The flavors in this box are Heart of Darkness, Milk Chocolate Caramel Mousse, milk and dark chocolate caramels with sea salt, elderflower-orange blossom, and jasmine-green tea.

My favorite flavor in this collection is hands down the caramels. The caramel is buttery and luscious...not at all hard or sticky...that little sprinkle of sea salt on top is the perfect accompaniment to the sweet caramel inside. I also really liked the jasmine-green's slightly citrusy, with a floral undertone. The light-green color was a very pretty contrast to the chocolate shell. But wait...that wasn't all! My sampler box also contained two fun Valentine-themed filled items.

The first one was a Kiss Me Lips. These sassy dark-chocolate lips say Kiss Me on them, and they're filled with crispy toffee peanut. The top of the lips is decorated with a sheer hot pink color that reminds me of lip gloss. I'm saving this one for our Valentines celebration next week...I can't wait to try it!! This one is fun, sassy, and romantic. The size of this item is perfect for sharing with that special someone for dessert after a dinner!!  

The last item in my package was a four-pack of Cupid's Arrow. These are so pretty and romantic...each piece is embossed with a cupid on top. Inside each white chocolate shell is two layers of champagne truffle: one dark, one white. I LOVED these...the combo of white and dark chocolate pairs very nicely together. The dark chocolate doesn't overwhelm the white. Actually, I think the white chocolate helps soften the bite of the dark chocolate just a bit. These truffle would be perfect served with some sweet champagne as part of any romantic Valentine celebration!

Woodhouse offers all of these items via mail order, and there's still time to order for Valentine delivery if you're quick! But? One of you is going to receive a 12-piece Hearts & Domes box just like the one pictured above courtesy of Woodhouse Chocolate...and they'll even make sure it arrives in time for Valentines!! To enter, leave me a comment telling me which flavor in this collection you're most excited to try. Make sure to leave your e-mail so I can get in touch with you if you're the lucky winner. I will accept entries until noon on Saturday. I'll pick the winner Saturday afternoon and notify them via e-mail. In order to receive your chocolate in time for Valentine's, I will need the winner to reply with their shipping info no later than noon on Sunday. Good luck!!

Woodhouse Chocolate sent me their products to review. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

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