Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Milk Chocolate For Those Of Us Who Prefer Dark: Russell Stover's Mocha Ganache Satisfies!

The Good: Good taste, Generally natural ingredients, Aftertaste is delicious!
The Bad: Somewhat expensive vs. the serving size.
The Basics: Russell Stover Mocha Ganache Truffle chocolate squares are a bit pricey, but more than make up for it with their rich, chocolate taste!

As it appears I will not be going on my annual cross country trip to Las Vegas this year ("economic recovery," my ass!), I am taking comfort in enjoying some of the spoils of my last trip West and, more accurately, back home. On the return trip home, my wife and I stopped at the Russell Stover factories and we picked up some delightful chocolates. One of them, which I am just getting around to reviewing now, is the Russell Stover Mocha Ganache chocolate squares my wife gave me for Christmas. Despite the heat here, I've kept them cool and secure since then.

With the Mocha Ganache chocolate squares, Russell Stover has a real winner. Despite my love of dark chocolate and my general disappointment with milk chocolate, the Mocha Ganache with Silky Milk Chocolate squares satisfied my sweet tooth and have an aftertaste that pulls them up out of the completely average range!


Russell Stover Mocha Ganache chocolate squares are one and a half inch squares if chocolate that are about three-eighths inches thick. Each of the squares comes individually wrapped in a brown and gold plastic wrapper. It is worth noting that while I usually rail against the environmental impact of such things, it is hard to imagine these (and other) Russell Stover chocolate squares not wrapped. This keeps each one clean, unmelted and intact. The Mocha Ganache chocolate squares come in a 4.5 oz. bag and are part of the Private Reserve candy line.

Each chocolate square is a seamless square that is essentially a chocolate envelope sealing in a mocha ganache center which tastes a lot like the center of a 3 Musketeers bar. In this form, the 4.5 oz. bag, the individually-wrapped chocolate squares are packaged together in a thick paper bag with foil accents. The bag my wife picked up for me had only eight squares in it and the thick foil paper bag does, apparently, just enough protect the squares, mostly by virtue of being half empty. The bag is not resealable, though this matters very little considering that the chocolate squares do not go bad as they are individually wrapped.

One of these bags, with only the eight squares, tends to run in the $5.00 - $6.00 range, when they can be found. These are not cheap candies and I know she was glad she picked them up at about sixty percent off at the factory outlet store.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the bag and then opening one of the plastic wrappers around the actual chocolate square one wishes to eat. There is no grand secret to eating Russell Stover Mocha Ganache chocolate squares. This treat is a simple and direct confection, though one supposes they can be used to accent ice cream or baked into real good brownies for use outside the sit and devour standard nature of the candy.


Opening the brown plastic wrapper from around the Mocha Ganache candy, there is a pleasant and distinctive aroma of chocolate and coffee. The scent instantly reminded me of a melting Three Musketeers bar and I am not sure why, but the scent is enough to get one salivating and thinking chocolate and coffee thoughts!

Placing the Mocha Ganache chocolate square on one's tongue, the consumer is greeted by exactly what the bouquet insinuated. This chocolate is rich and as the light milk chocolate melts away, the taste is replaced by mocha flavor that is reminiscent of coffee. As the flavors melt together, the result is a taste that reminds one instantly of darker chocolate, as opposed to either coffee or milk chocolate. This makes it an ideal substitute for those who like milk chocolate and dark chocolate flavors but for some reason do not want to buy dark chocolate.

What I discovered was most pleasant in the taste department was not actually the confection's primary tastes. Instead, the Mocha Ganache succeeds in that the aftertaste is a delightful, coffee one that is the definition of mocha. The flavor is rich and lingers without any pretense of being subtle. Instead, the post-consumption flavor remains in the mouth with enough rich chocolate flavor to make one want another square!


The Mocha Ganache with Silky Milk Chocolate squares are candy, so it is tough to look at these for something nutritious and then blame them for not being healthy. The primary ingredients are milk chocolate, white chocolate and whole milk, which is better than a lot of mass-produced chocolates on the market. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies and outside the invertase and potassium sorbate, everything in them sounded pretty palatable!

A serving of the Russell Stover Mocha Ganache chocolate squares is considered two squares. From two squares, one takes in 160 calories, 80 of those calories being from fat. There is 2% of the RDA of cholesterol (5 mg), 1% (25 mg) sodium and no vitamins in these chocolate squares, but there is 4% of one's daily iron and 6% of the daily calcium in two squares. Still, I'd not recommend trying to live on them!

Honestly, these are candy and anyone looking to them for actual nutrition needs to get a reality check. These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on the same equipment that peanuts pass over. They are not marked as kosher, either, which might well be because they pass over the same machines as tree nuts, eggs and wheat, so there could be something there!


The bags of these Russell Stover Mocha Ganache chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. Purchased in August of 2010, our bag did not expire until July of 2011 and one assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment they will not melt or go bad. Given that they are individually wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing.

I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If these chocolate squares melt into most fabrics, they will stain. These will melt fairly easily in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep that in mind if you live in hotter climates.


After a disappointing Russell Stover experience, my faith in the company was renewed with the Mocha Ganache with Silky Milk Chocolate squares, which were good on their own but deeply addictive with their full-throated chocolate aftertaste!

For other Russell Stover chocolate reviews, please check out:
Private Reserve Mississippi Mud chocolate squares
Whitman's SoHo Assortment
Russell Stover Urban Collection
Russell Stover Private Reserve 70% Cacao Assortment


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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