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Great milk chocolate?

I know, it's the proper 'hound thing to worship at the altar of dark chocolate, but darn it I like milk chocolate! Recommendations appreciated....

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  1. English chocolate of course - anything Cadbury's (must be made in England for the real taste) I especially recommend Flake. Can be bought online from British stores. Galaxy milk chocolate also from the British stores, ditto Aero.

    I also love Swiss chocolate - Lindt, Suchard etc

    Also Dutch - anything by Droste if you can get it.

    9 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      I agree with the Cadbury and Lindt but I would add Toblerone and Rittersport. It may not be gourmet but my daughter likes Ghirardelli milk chocolate.

      1. re: smartie

        The regular Cadbury's bars I can buy at a supermarket aren't made in England?

        1. re: aynrandgirl

          The Cadbury you buy at the grocery store in the US is made by Hershey's with special milk chocolate crumb imported from England.

          1. re: typetive

            typetive, what accounts for the hugely different flavor in cadbury's u.s., vs. u.k.? do we here inn u.s. add more junk -- emulsifiers, preservatives, rat poison (nah!), or what? is it the water? the moon phase?

            1. re: alkapal

              Last time I checked, Cadbury in UK adds vegetable oil to some of their chocolate.

              My best guess is it's the conching & tempering - the mixing of the chocolate that gives it that special texture and probably gets the cocoa butter to crystallize in a particular way.

              I did a taste test of the Cadbury Mini Eggs from the US and UK and found that personally the UK a bit maltier. The American was sweeter, maybe felt a bit stickier and even milkier.

              NotMartha did a taste test of the two as well:

              http://www.notmartha.org/archives/200...

              I'll see if I can dig up the ingredients list on the two Dairy Milk bars (US & UK) to see if there's any difference in the recipe.

              1. re: typetive

                this is perhaps a little more info on the differences between the cadbury's chocolate dairy bar in the u.s. vs. u.k.:
                http://www.hhhh.org/cloister/chocolat...

                some cadbury schweppes vs, mars/wrigley "inside baseball" kind of stuff from the "confectionary news": http://www.confectionerynews.com/sear...

                the chocolate / candy wars have interesting implications for us candy lovers, methinks: (from the cited confectionary news article of may 5): "Cadbury has itself recently moved to split its US-beverage arm from its confectionery operations, in a bid to better focus on the individual segments. But Mars' move could force it to further reconsider their strategy - or make it an open target for other multinationals with a confectionery craving.

                Popular thinking amongst analysts reads that Cadbury may now have to look to purchase beleaguered US rival Hershey if it is to regain its lost market share, particularly in the US market.

                A consequence of not making such a move could otherwise lead to other food multinationals themselves moving for Cadbury to bolster their own positions within confectionery. "

                hmmm, cadbury's to buy hershey's? wow! that will rock the american chocolate landscape. (or not?) would it change the products? i mean, those hershey's lovers are many in this fair land!

                1. re: alkapal

                  I doubt that anybody who bought Hershey's would change the basic Hershey's product, since, as you say, many people love it. I know that a lot of people think that Hershey's is just bad chocolate, but that's not really the issue -- it's chocolate made using a specific manufacturing process which results in a product with a very specific taste that some people like, especially if they grew up with it, and some people hate.

                  Hershey's bought Scharffenberger a few years ago, and also has its own "boutique" products.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    No, I don't think a merger of Cadbury & Hershey's would change the candy much, at least not in the near term. Hershey's is more likely to change their own candy with the way their going with moving their manufacturing of many of their subbrands to Mexico (which may mean a change in the ingredients, and a change in the taste).

                    Hershey's has been taking over small candy companies for years. Reese's, Peter Paul, Twizzlers (Y&S Licorice), Jolly Rancher, Ludens, Whoppers ... they pretty much leave the brands alone and operate them as is. (Eventually moving factories to consolidate & improve efficiency and all that, though.)

                    Cadbury has also bought small companies like Green & Blacks and like Hershey with Dagoba & Scharffen Berger, merely improved the operating capacity & marketing for them ... but didn't change the chocolate itself that much.

                    I happen to like Hershey's milk chocolate. I know other folks think it tastes spoiled or foul, I think it tastes like chocolate fudge yogurt. It's more on the candy side of chocolate, but it still fills a craving for me from time to time.

            2. re: aynrandgirl

              they are if you buy them in the British food section which we have in Publix in South Fl. Ok horribly expensive but when I am craving a Flake sometimes it just has to be done.

          2. Scharffen Berger makes a great milk chocolate.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              I will second that, it is wonderful! But I don't think they call it milk chocolate. Their chocolate is all dark, just the percentage of cocoa tells you the type.

              1. re: Janet

                They sell a milk chocolate, it's just tough to find. I'm luck enough to live near the factory store, so their obscure products are easy to come by.

                http://www.scharffenberger.com/prodin...

                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  Recently, I've seen it at all of the Andronico's, Monterey Market (they have it for the lowest price I've seen), and the Whole Foods in Oakland (specifically for Janet). It's the bar in the gold colored wrapper.

                  1. re: adrienne156

                    I found a couple of small bars at Grocery Outlet once. I think berkeley store. OMG fantastic, esp for the price.

                2. re: Janet

                  Percentage of cocoa solids is completely different from whether something is milk chocolate or not. Milk chocolate is chocolate that contains milk. It can have high cocoa solids or not, and chocolate can have lower percentages of cocoa solids without adding milk.

                  1. re: Janet

                    I took the tour at ScharffenBerger. They passed some out, called it milk chocolate, it was, and I loved it. And I too am a dark chocolate snob.

                  2. I've become a huge fan of Slitti, from Italy. http://www.slitti.it/indicenglish.html

                    Slitti's milk chocolate is unlike most other milk chocolates I have tried, and caused me to fall in love with milk chocolate again. I think it's the high cocoa percentage. (: The LatteNero is their milk chocolate line and comes in bars with 45%, 52%, 62% and 70% cocoa content.

                    I'm also a fan of Scharffen Berger, which is local to me (SF Bay area) and might be easier for you to find than Slitti.

                    1. Guittard makes a great 38% milk chocolate - I believe it's called Soleil d'Or.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: punkin712

                        I agree with punkin. My favorite chocolate candy is from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. They use E. Guittard chocolate.

                        1. re: punkin712

                          I've seen their baking chips, but I didn't know they made candy bars.

                          1. re: aynrandgirl

                            Oh geez...how could I forget about E. Guittard. And I just tasted some of their stuff at the SF Chocolate Salon...sheesh. Yes, they have excellent chocolate (dark and milk) as well. I know that around here (northern California) it can be found at Whole Foods. If you have one near you (you are in Florida, correct?) you should check it out...or ask them if they can order it if they don't have it. Guittard has a wide variety of bars, some single-origin, which are lovely. http://www.guittard.com

                        2. my fave is Vosges Barcelona Bar - i buy it at whole foods or world market.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: asiangirl

                            totally second this! Vosges milk chocolate is wonderful.

                          2. Valrhona Grand Cru Jivara from France - has 40% cocoa mass and a really lovely vanilla, malty flavour. I normally don't like milk chocolate, but this one is delicious

                            1. Green and blacks! REALLY good. Organic, fair trade, and it just has that real chocolate smell, you know? Melt it down and dip strawberries in it.

                              But I have to say, I think on the whole British chocolate is a different class to American stuff. Sorry guys :(

                              1. Milka & Kinder. I don't normally eat milk chocolate, but when I do, it's Milka bars and Kinder hippos. :)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Ali

                                  ohhhhh CROKI HIPPOS. now THAT is my favourite.

                                  1. re: Ali

                                    Milka is amazing! Best texture ever. I occasionally get a "care package" from my friend stationed in Germany... 10 lbs of Milka. The schoko & keks is my favorite, followed by the erdbeer (strawberry cream). Happy Hippos from kinder are also fabulous, but go way too quickly (into my belly!)

                                  2. Also, I like Hershey's Cacao Reserve

                                    1. I really like the milk chocolate that Callebaut makes. I think I have seen it in large chunks (1# ?) at WF. (it is Belgian).

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: johnmart11

                                        Callebaut and El Rey are the two best-tasting milk chocolate brands I've had.
                                        Creaminess and deep chocolate flavor. Especially the El Rey -- I liked its berry and caramel notes particularly. Unfortunately I haven't yet tasted the Sharffenberger milk chocolate.

                                      2. Without a doubt, See's. The milk/almond bar is amazing and the almonds are so fresh.

                                        www.sees.com

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Oh Robin

                                          The chocolate that See's (a northern California company) uses to make their products is actually supplied by Guittard (another northern California company). Both companies make yummy stuff. (:

                                          1. re: Oh Robin

                                            yup, maybe it's the california bias, but see's milk chocolate bordeauxs are just sumptuous.

                                          2. My favorite milk chocolate fix is Rapunzel, which is a swiss organic brand. I don't think it's anything particularly fancy. It has a wee bit of hazelnut in it, I think.

                                            I also really like Chocolove.

                                            1. I was totally surprised by Dove milk chocolate. I bought a mixed bag (dark, caramel and milk) at Costco for some gift bags and loved their milk chocolate pieces.

                                              1. I've always been partial to the the Swiss type of milk chocolate, and I don't find the best of that category here in the States. However, I recently discovered Scharffenberger rich milk chocolate with salted almonds... It's a good thing I bought the small bar- I knew right away that I had to eat the whole thing on the spot.

                                                1. One thing to keep in mind is that there are two distinct milk chocolate styles. In Europe, milk chocolate is traditionally made with fresh milk. In the U.S., milk chocolate is traditionally made with milk that's been slightly soured. I find European milk chocolate bland, and I gather that a lot of Europeans find American milk chocolate gag-worthy. You might want to start by doing a tasting and figuring out which style you prefer.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: jlafler

                                                    I though that the European tradition was to use powdered milk, that's how they solved the moisture issue. That was one of the reasons I didn't care for "dairy milk" chocolate for a long time, I associated it with those tight times in my life when I drank powdered milk.

                                                    1. re: typetive

                                                      Oops, you're right! No chocolate is made with fresh milk, which would be subject to quick spoilage. I was thinking of the difference between "fresh" and "sour" rather than which method is used to reduce moisture and stabilize the milk. The original Nestle formula used sweetened condensed milk, and a quick Google search tells me that milk chocolate can be made with powdered or condensed milk -- or, as in the Hershey process, soured milk.

                                                      1. re: jlafler

                                                        My understanding is that Nestle's original formula used dehydrated milk. Nestle's first milk chocolate wasn't even manufactured by Nestle, but by the milk chocolate company owned by Daniel Peter, who had combined dehydrated powdered milk solids with chocolate to make the first commercially successful milk chocolate. Peter's milk chocolate manufacturing company merged with Amedee Kohler, and used the brand name Societe Generale Suisse de Chocolat. It was this company that first made Nestle's milk chocolate, and merely labeled it as Nestle. Nestle was the marketer and distributor of the product but not its manufacturer. Peter's company then merged with the Callier chocolate manufacturing company owned by the family of Peter's wife. This company was later sold to Nestle, whose main product was baby food made with condensed milk. BTW, Henri Nestle and Daniel Peter had been friends and neighbors for many years. In Nestle's manufacture of milk chocolate today, I don't know -- and haven't been able to find out -- if their milk chocolate contains dry milk solids or condensed milk, or a combination.

                                                  2. First, let me ask some questions. What is it that you like about milk chocolate? What milk chocolates do you like?

                                                    For example, I was raised on Hershey's, and I don't like Cadbury at all -- it's too cloyingly sweet and caramelly/cooked milk for my taste. On the other hand, some people (especially people who didn't grow up with it), complain that Hershey's has a "sour milk" taste, which I actually prefer to the sweet-sweet European style. European milk chocolates have to meet minimum standards for the amount of milk the contain, and since milk has sugar (lactose) it adds to the sweetness of the chocolate.

                                                    Recently there has been a trend to "high cocoa solids" milk chocolate. Quite a few different manufacturers are making them, from Hershey's at the low end to very expensive, single origin, very high cocoa solids (50% and up) specialty chocolates. I bought one yesterday, in fact: a 62 percent cocoa solids milk chocolate made with Javanese chocolate by Coppeneur. More widely available is the delicious Maricaibo 55% cocoa solids by Hatchez.

                                                    On the low end, I rather like the Hershey's "whole bean" chocolate. While not marketed by percentage, it does have a higher cocoa content, and a smooth, rich flavor. It contains sucralose as well as sugar, but I don't find it to have any artificial taste. Hershey's also has a rather good 50% cocoa solids single origin (Arriba) chocolate in its Cacao Reserve line. Depending on where you live, you might find the Hershey products more easily than some of the imports.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      Milk chocolate is sweeter, and I don't like bitter. I like the smooth, velvety mouth feel of milk chocolate. I love Cadbury and don't like Hershey's. I don't think I've ever had a milk chocolate with more than ~35% cocoa solids. I've had good luck with milk chocolates purporting to be "Swiss", but I don't know what that means or if they're even from Switzerland. And I think the idea of replacing cocoa butter with vegetable oil is horrible.

                                                      1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                        I think a lot of people who like milk chocolate -- even if they also like dark chocolate -- like the mouthfeel. I like both, but the dark chocolates I like tend to have a smoother, more luxurious texture; I hate "dry" chocolate!

                                                        Anyway, I don't know what retail outlets are available in your area, but places like Whole Foods and Cost Plus World Market generally have more extensive selections of high-quality chocolate, including milk chocolate.

                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                          I may be the only person I know who likes both dark and milk equally. Most people tend to stand firmly in one camp or the other, as far as favorites go. I agree that WF tends to carry a good selection of either one.

                                                          1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                            You're not the only one! I love both, and my preference is affected by mood. Dark for luxurious indulgence, milk for comfort.

                                                      1. ritter sport seconded.

                                                        I like the hazelnut one, personally.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Halie

                                                          I got a sampler of Lake Champlain Chocolates as a gift and just treated myself (fortunately more expensive than I would engage in on a regular basis). I then checked out Teuscher, which these are as good as I remember Teuscher being, and Teuscher is $30. more for the same amount!!!

                                                          These are amazing:

                                                          http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.co...

                                                          If you open the box when they arrive, and like meltedy chocolates, and have no will power -- watch out.

                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                            I second the Lake Champlain and the Teuscher. If you like hazelnut, definitely try Lake Champlain's Hazelnut Five Star Bar. It's a hefty little brick... of deliciousness.

                                                            1. re: nayiri

                                                              Magnificent. That's the only word I can use to describe Lake Champlain milk chocolate truffles.

                                                              All this talk got me ordering another box, and it arrived in a winterized space suit, how verrrry clever.

                                                              Just one is a dance on the tongue.

                                                              All food and desserts and life should be that good.

                                                          2. re: Halie

                                                            I like the cookie Ritter Sport.

                                                            Also love British Cadburys.

                                                          3. Lindt, hands down. Milka can be nice, too. I used to like Côte d'Or, but haven't had it in forever and so don't know if my adult buds like it as much.

                                                            Mathez truffles from France. Oh. My. God.

                                                            Hershey's? To me, it tastes like previously decent chocolate that was left to sit in a moldy, dusty corner of an antique closet for a year or two. Whew. That stuff is nasty.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              you have hit the Hershey's taste description perfectly on the head. It's old and musty.

                                                            2. This probably isn't what you're looking for, since it's not plain milk chocolate, but I recently tasted the Scharffenberger Milk Chocolate Nibby Bar (41% cocoa solids milk chocolate, with cacao nibs), and it's extremely good. I like it better than their dark nibby bar or their plain milk chocolate bar.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: jlafler

                                                                I just ate one of those Milk Nibby bars. It wasn't easy to find (got it from the SB store at the Ferry Terminal). Like you, I don't care for the plain milk or the dark nibby ... but there's something about the dark caramel flavors of that bar that made me wolf the whole thing down last night (with help, of course).

                                                                1. re: typetive

                                                                  My husband and I just shared a Scharffen Berger milk chocolate bar that had bits of sea salt and roasted almond in it, and we both swooned throughout the experience. Don't know if it has a special name.

                                                                  1. re: kagoo

                                                                    I haven't tried that one Kagoo! Sounds pretty good. I had an almond w/sea salt milk bar from Choxie the week before last that was surprisingly good as well. A much darker milk chocolate so it was rather smokey tasting.

                                                                    1. re: typetive

                                                                      Can you compare the Choxie choc bar with almonds and sea salt that tasted a little smokey, as you say, to the Vosges Barcelona bar with the smoked almonds and sea salt? Have you had both, and if so, do you have a preference?

                                                                      typetive, you are a such a choco encyclo!

                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                        maria - it's been quite a while since I had the Vosges, but I'd call them very similar (so similar I'd wonder who was making the Vosges). Seeing how Choxie is about half the price and probably easier to find, it's worth the try.

                                                                        (I do eat a lot of chocolate, here are some of my reviews - www.typetive.com/candyblog/category/c...

                                                                        )

                                                                        In the category of "odd" milk chocolate, I'm working my way through a bar from MarieBelle (NYC) called Mayan Chocolate Bar that has no added sugar. It's 70% Columbian cacao but has milk in it as the "sweetener".

                                                                        1. re: typetive

                                                                          Re: milk as sweetener...how is this done?

                                                                          Is the milk cooked/caramelized in some way?
                                                                          Before the milk is dehyrdated, perhaps?
                                                                          (Assuming the manufacturer is using a milk solid, rather than
                                                                          liquid milk -- standard in milk choc manufacturing).

                                                                          1. re: typetive

                                                                            I've only ever seen Choxie at my local Target. Can you get it elsewhere?

                                                                            1. re: adrienne156

                                                                              Choxie is only sold at Target (though sometimes it shows up on eBay).

                                                                              Maria - I don't know how they use the milk to make the chocolate sweet (though I'd hesitate to call it "sweet" chocolate either). The bar itself tastes a little bit like toasted peanuts, so it may be caramelized in some fashion. The box says that it was made in Columbia by Eneh Compania Nacionale de Chocolates

                                                                              The entire ingredients list is this:
                                                                              MarieBelle Mayan Chocolate Bar 70% Single Origin Columbian Cacao Unsweetened
                                                                              Cocoa Mass, skim milk powder, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, soy lecithin, PGPR-90 polyglicerol poly ricinoleate (emulsifier), natural vanilla. (Kosher)

                                                                2. i enjoy el rey milk chocolate, i often find it at whole foods. http://www.chocolates-elrey.com/

                                                                  recchiuti confections makes some really amazing milk chocolate as well, if you want something special. http://www.recchiuti.com/

                                                                  i like callebaut for baking, it is very consistent.

                                                                  1. After eating so much "healthy" dark chocolate, I can barely stomach most milk chocolate because it's just too sweet

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. Toblerone, Lindt, ditto to Galaxy (it's far superior to Dove though made by the same company). And I love Cadbury but prefer Galaxy. And Nestle's chocolate from Europe. Ever tried a Kit Kat from France? Yum! :-)

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: FoodieKat

                                                                        Never heard of Galaxy. Where can I buy it? I didn't know Kit Kit (or other chocolate-based candy) used different formulas depending on where they're sold.

                                                                        1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                          I've picked up Galaxy at import shops. If you have Cost Plus World Market in your area, they have it sometimes.

                                                                          I think the milk chocolate is quite different from the Dove Milk, but the darks are rather similar.

                                                                          I really enjoy the Japanese KitKats, it might just be that their packaging keeps them super-fresh.

                                                                          1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                            You can usually find Galaxy at most shops that sell British imports, or you can try Cost Plus World Market as typetive mentions if you've got a location nearby. Yes, the formulas for European, UK and US chocolate vary greatly, though I am not an expert on how they differ (other posters seem to have a handle on this one). Think it might have something to do with the cocoa used (chocolate liquer vs. cocoa??)

                                                                        2. Not including 'boutique' brands..The Swiss reign supreme...have you tried Callier ( a Nestle brand)? Please try this brand as it will knock your socks off..so smooth, silky, creamy and not so sweet. I bought some before at Costco during Christmas but I haven't seen it lately. As for the previous post on Callebaut, it's sold under Trader Joes belgian chocolate..usually located by the registers in triple packs. When you open the chocolate bar wrapper, the Callebaut stamp is on the chocolate.
                                                                          For milk American commercial chocolate, Hershey's Symphony is pretty good.