Direct selling has come a long way from the days of Tupperware and makeup parties. Dove Chocolates has taken this home-based business plan and combined it with everyone’s favorite indulgence–chocolate.offers chocolate enthusiasts the opportunity to sell Dove-brand chocolate products from their homes. The products range from snacks like chocolate-covered almonds to baking and drink mixes. I recently taste-tested three offerings from Dove Chocolate Discoveries: the white chocolate smoothie mix, the chocolate-covered graham crackers, and the chocolate cupcake baking mix.
One box of White Chocolate Smoothie Mix contains six pouches, enough to make 12 generous smoothies. To make the smoothies, one packet is blended with a half-cup of milk or water, and 12 ounces of ice. The mix can also be used to make white hot chocolate, by mixing one packet with 12 ounces of hot milk, coffee, or water.
I first tried the basic smoothie recipe, using milk and ice. The final product did taste like white chocolate, and had a pleasant creamy texture, with just a hint of graininess. The flavor was a little too sweet for me, though, and I think I would have preferred a stronger vanilla taste. However, my husband (taste tester #2) loved it and thought it tasted exactly like melted vanilla ice cream–which is a big endorsement. Inspired by a recipe for Creamy Peppermint white chocolate smoothies (provided in an accompanying entertaining guide), I added a small amount of peppermint extract to my smoothie, to make a minty white chocolate smoothie. This was delicious! The mint helped cut the sweetness
and the frozen texture made the mint flavor even more refreshing.
Overall, these mixes produce good smoothies that can be made into great smoothies by adding a few extra touches. I am looking forward to experimenting with adding fresh fruit like berries to make white chocolate-berry smoothies, and using these in milk shakes with different flavors of ice cream.
I am a chocolate-dipped graham cracker addict, so I was very excited to try Dove’s milk and dark chocolate versions. Each box includes 8 milk chocolate and 8 dark chocolate-dipped crackers, individually packaged. The crackers are about 2.5 inches square (similar to the size of a regular graham cracker half), so each square is a substantial snack. The chocolate coating has a nice drizzled design on top, a good shine to it, and a nice snap when the cracker is broken in half.
I thought these chocolate-covered graham crackers were excellent. Perhaps because of the individual wrapping, the crackers stayed crisp after weeks, and the chocolate retained its fresh taste. The coating of chocolate was generous, but not overwhelming, and I thought the balance of cracker to chocolate was good. I’m more of a dark chocolate lover so I preferred the dark version, but even the milk chocolate variety wasn’t too sweet or bland for me. These are one treat I would be happy to give (or receive!) as a gift.
The Dove Chocolate Cupcake Kit gives you almost everything you need to bake a batch of cupcakes. In addition to the cake mix, it includes a dry frosting mix, chocolate baking bars, foil cupcake liners, and blue sprinkles to top your cupcake. The recipe includes instructions for making 12 large cupcakes, 24 medium cupcakes, or 36 miniature cupcakes. The recipe requires the user to add eggs and butter to the cake mix, and butter and milk to the frosting mix.
Overall, the cupcakes turned out well. The batter baked into a dark, moist cake with a decent, but not amazing, chocolate flavor. I thought that they still tasted as if they were from a mix, as opposed to made from scratch, but they were significantly better than many mixes, which too often have an overpowering artificial taste. The texture was also an improvement over many mixes, which produce a spongy, airy cake. On their own, without additional chocolate or frosting, the cupcakes are fine but not too exciting. They won’t be confused for home-made cupcakes, but they could be a good compromise if you’re looking to make quality cupcakes but are short on time.
I made most of my cupcakes according to the standard recipe, but for three of them, I followed the “molten chocolate” variation and put a ?-ounce chunk of the Dove baking chocolate in the center of the cupcake batter. These cupcakes turned out to be my favorite, and if I were to make them again, I would do them all using this method. The chocolate in the center really boosted the chocolate flavor of the entire cupcake, and produced a moist, rich, chocolatey cake.
The cake mix was on the high side of average, but I thought the frosting mix was fantastic. In addition to the cocoa that comes in the dry frosting mix, the recipe calls for 6 ounces of melted Dove milk chocolate (provided with the kit), so the resulting frosting has an intense milk chocolate flavor. It had the perfect balance of milky sweetness and rich chocolate, and a lovely creamy texture. My only complaint is that it began to set soon after the chocolate was mixed in, so all of the cupcakes had to be frosted quickly. But this is a small nitpick of an otherwise delicious product.