Nollaig Shona Duit! As the Irish say, “Happy Christmas to you”!
With a festive spring in my step, I headed back to Santa’s warehouse outside the North Pole (a.k.a. the shops) to pick up more Christmas bits. A trip to the shops resulted in yet another special chocolate discovery for the holidays. I was especially excited to grab this little bag of chocolates, because it arrived all the way from Ireland! And just like that, a pack of chocolates leaped out from the shelf and landed straight into my shopping basket. Seeing Irish chocolates isn’t a daily occurrence here on the island, so I couldn’t leave the supermarket before purchasing some to bring home. It isn’t any ordinary chocolate: it is milk chocolate truffles with a touch of Baileys Irish Cream!
One of the most iconic Irish creations that the world adores (especially at Christmastime) is Baileys Irish Cream. With its well-loved combination of a trio of Irish whiskey, cream, and cocoa, Baileys fits December to a ‘T’.
Baileys and chocolate is a beloved combo in wintertime by drink connoisseurs, particularly when snazzing up some hot choc. For dessert enthusiasts (like me!), Baileys shares the same category as brandy fruit cakes and rum puddings – where classic flavors shine brightly in bites. Baileys isn’t a stranger to the dessert realm by any means: they’ve been included in cakes and biscuits. Being a huge chocolate fan, I was game for tasting some Baileys chocolate!
As soon as I unsealed the packet (cool fact: it’s re-seal able!), a distinctive scent of Baileys greeted my nose. Medium-sized milk chocolate spheres – that are almost as round as Rudolph’s nose – peeked out, and I was eager to take a bite.
One bite into the mini bon bon-like treats unlocks a glossy butterscotch-looking filling, as it flows out to take its crown as the star. Bailey’s signature notes of Irish whiskey and cream stand out to me from the get-go, but they aren’t overwhelming to my taste buds as the flavor notes aren’t extremely intense. Following the Goldilocks scale of taste tests, it’s “just right”. The filling’s consistency hits the sweet spot too: it is smooth, thick and velvety. Anyone who loves liqueur chocolates will love this!
A decadent, melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate comes through at the end, hence lightly cleansing the palate with a pleasant cocoa touch. The effect emulates smelling coffee beans in intervals when you’re sampling perfumes’ fragrances – without a complete disappearance of the filling’s flavor notes. The milk chocolate reminds me of British-style chocolates, which feels like home to my taste buds.
To me, the chocolates have ‘Irish winter’ vibes – where a toasty duvet-style coat comes in handy when you’re out and about. They taste like a treat that chocolate fans would love to savor in a snowy winter. Although it doesn’t snow in the Lion City, the scene outside my window couldn’t have been more perfect for a complete experience: the heavens were about to open and here I was, eating chocolates in the warmth of my home!
While I was taking another bite, one of this year’s Christmas foodie trends popped into my mind: hot chocolate bombs (think of bath bombs but for hot chocolates instead)! These ‘bombs’ are the bomb: a chocolate shell encases powdered hot cocoa and marshmallows, and pouring hot milk results in a similar experience you’d expect from bath bombs.
I reckon it would be fun to incorporate this chocolate into hot chocolate bombs as a surprise. When prepping the hot chocolate bombs, halve the Baileys chocolate spheres before placing them inside, because it’ll be easier to melt in hot milk. And don’t forget to add some mini marshmallows!
Overall, I loved tasting this delightful Irish treat! The chocolates will make a great gift for a Baileys fan.