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BonBon Bars

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: BonBon Bars Reply with quote

Have you guys in the US discovered BonBon Bars yet?

Gingerpale turned me onto Nina Wanat's site Sweet Napa http://www.sweetnapa.com/ I got interested because she's a young culinary school graduate just launching a new business. She settled on a company right here in LA that makes handmade candy bars from local (as much as possible) ingredients and is very thoughtful about reusable and recyclable packaging materials.

OK. So much for the big picture. Now for the yummy picture.

I just ordered some of her candy as an Easter treat. They are wonderful. A couple of them are based on familiar candy bar concepts: nougat, caramel, chocolate and she flat out and admittedly patterned one of them on a Twix bar. But the similarity is like the similarity of winter grocery store tomatoes to your homegrown summer ones. They are are exquisite. ...or can you use a word like "exquisite" for something as fun a unselfconscious as a candy bar? I dunno. I just know that, at about the price of a venti Starbucks, they are as close to perfection as you can get and a couple of them like the one made with a single malt scotch and the caramel with the candied orange peel add a sophistication and completely unique flavor to candy as well.

I hope she'll one day get staffed enough to consider mailing them in the rest of North America but right now, and deliciously so, it's a small, by hand operation. And freshness (each bar comes with it's own freshness date that suggests eating it within 3 weeks of production) is the defining characteristic of these luscious, indulgent treats.

Here's a pan of her Orange Caramel bars — outside:



and in:

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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the size of those photos. I borrowed the ones from the Sweet Napa website.

If anyone knows how to size them down, I'd be happy to follow some instructions to reduce them to a more suitable size.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey I've wanted to try some of her candy bars--I've admired her blog for so long. Just placed an order! Yes the orange looks wonderful, but I'm going for the single malt Scotch bar (I adore booze in desserts of all kinds).
These are NOT to be confused with her malt bars--malt as in malted milkshake--which I am *also* trying--malt ganache over shortbread.
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cybele



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 26
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved them. Absolutely loved them.

I haven't placed an order for the new orange nougat bars (I'm finishing up an order from LA Burdick right now), but soon, hopefully before it gets too warm.
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"I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It's my bar of chocolate." Veruca Salt, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
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Jennifer K



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those look absolutely gorgeous. I'll have to try some! That reminds me, over the weekend here in Berkeley CA, I found another decadent treat: Claire's squares. They are thick pieces of shortbread topped with caramel and chocolate, similar to various pieces of shortbread I tried in the U.K. and Ireland. Compared to the British goodies, the shortbread in my Claire's square was baked longer and was browner (which I prefer), and the caramel layer was thicker. Evidently, Claire herself is from Ireland, so I guess it's authentic!
http://www.clairesquares.com
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpale- I await info on the scotch bars. I am not fond of the taste of alcohol so I've hesitated even tho I am completely curious about the pairing with chocolate and caramel.
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cybele



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 26
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey - I hate to say it, but I felt that the Scotch bars definitely had an alcoholic kick.

Malt is fantastic, in both dark and milk (I preferred the milk). I didn't try the caramel bar since it has walnuts in it and I'm allergic.

Her marshmallows, too, are very vanilla.
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"I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It's my bar of chocolate." Veruca Salt, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
www.candyblog.net
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The claires Squares are sold at a tiny market by our house - Village Market. They ARE quite delicious - though I've only succumbed one time1 I felt they could become addictive Wink so I've managed to resist their siren call since then!

But these little puppies of Nina's look divine also! And even a little more decadent!
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, it feels like I've been staring at these things on my desktop longer than just a few days - I can't get them off my mind! I'm going to set a special date for ordering & enjoying them...maybe my b-day.
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mandysu



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Best Easter basker ever! Reply with quote

I ordered some BonBonBars for my mom for Valentine's Day (sweet, selfless daughter that I am... ok, I probably would have gotten some for myself if I wasn't a poor grad student living 1000mi away). But altruism is sometimes rewarded (especially when Moms are involved), because I unexpectedly got a box for Easter (Moms rule!) Smile

Based on the balance between the chocolate, ganache, caramel, and the little bit of salt on top of the scotch bar I had last night (*just* enough to tickle the tongue, as it should be), I'd say Nina is a total chocolate wizard. And I still have 5 more bars... Very Happy
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell me about how assertive the flavor of the scotch is. Aside from that element (and yet I'm intrigued by it as well) I'd say the scotch bars would be my #1 choice. ...if the orange bar could be my #1 1/2. Wink

I have to try some of the passion fruit marshmallow too. The reviews of people who have had it are pretty convincing.

Interestingly, the spot where they are available on site in LA is not very far from where Clotilde will be making her appearance at L'Alliance Française — perhaps a mile down Pico. I hope she'll take the opportunity to try them out.
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cybele



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 26
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
Tell me about how assertive the flavor of the scotch is. Aside from that element (and yet I'm intrigued by it as well) I'd say the scotch bars would be my #1 choice. ...if the orange bar could be my #1 1/2. Wink

I can't say how much would turn you off.

Here are my tasting notes from the time:
www.typetive.com/candyblog/item/bonbonbars_malt_ganache_scotch/

My neighbor, who is a huge single malt scotch fan (I don't drink it straight) was definitely impressed.

I don't think you can go wrong with getting everything else.
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"I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It's my bar of chocolate." Veruca Salt, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
www.candyblog.net
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