I discovered KamAlive during a very real life Easter Egg hunt. Specifically a hunt for gluten free, dairy free and vegan chocolate eggs. I claimed this was for the purpose of being able to prepare a guide to the Best Gluten Free and Vegan Easter Eggs. Selfless work for the benefit of others. I continue to make this claim.
During this Easter Egg hunt I scoured the internet, asked for suggestions on social medias, and visited actual physical bricks and mortar shops! During a visit to a Planet Organic I came across a lone KamAlive Cream Egg. I hesitated, then checked the ingredients and label claims. Gluten and dairy free? Add to Basket.
Happy fortune because that that lone KamAlive Cream Egg was enough to convince me that KamAlive offered the best Easter Egg of all AND that I needed to sample the rest of the KamAlive range.
So as relief and reward for my tireless and demanding work to taste test lots of chocolate eggs I ordered a basket of KamAlive cream eggs, truffles and bars and made contact with Daniella, one of the founders and owners, to learn a bit more about KamAlive. Onward to a full taste test review and interview with Daniella.
KamAlive Taste Test Review
Spoiler right here. I absolutely adored the KamAlive range of cashew cream filled Chocolate Eggs, Truffles & Bars. In addition to tasting simply fantastic they are free from gluten, dairy, egg, soy and low in sugar. They will definitely appear as gifts to friends & relatives. They will become a beloved and favoured treat for my own indulgence.
However my love for KamAlive Eggs, Truffles and Bars was matched by surprise. I really did not expect to find them so absolutely lovely. Why? Well because they are what I think of as chocolate confectionery.
I love chocolate. I *really* love chocolate. I love chocolate enough that I have an entire kitchen cupboard shelf constantly stocked with fine chocolate & chocolate flavor wheels to help me explore flavors. I love chocolate so much that if you give me just a slim window of opportunity and interest I will delight in explaining *how* to best experience the flavor of chocolate. Being aware that my evangelism might sometimes border on the insufferable I will offer you chocolate to accompany this! I love chocolate enough that I do not have much love left over for chocolate confectionery. I just prefer to experience the flavor of the chocolate rather than anything else. My all time favourite just might be Le Pralus 100% chocolate.
Let me caveat that I can absolutely appreciate the many different ways that chocolate and chocolate confectionery can be enjoyed. My way is not the only way. My way might be totally different to your way. I do have nostalgic fondness for popular favourites like Yorkie Bars, Snickers and Dairy Milk Buttons. Still, given my current preferences, how is it that KamAlive wowed me so?
Chocolate versus Chocolate Confectionery
People that make chocolate are called chocolate makers. They work with basic ingredients and focus on the qualities of the cacao and how it is prepared to deliver flavor. People that make chocolate confectionery are called chocolatiers. Chocolate confectionery rarely uses very high quality chocolate. Confectionery can call upon added sugar, salt and other flavourings to make something taste lovely. Why use great chocolate if the flavour is going to be dominated by other ingredients?
KamAlive Eggs, Truffles and Bars are very different. To illustrate how different lets look at the ingredients for KamAlive Cream Eggs and Cadbury Creme Eggs.
KamAlive Cream Eggs – Raw Cacao Butter, Raw Cacao Powder, Lucuma, Cashew Nuts, Coconut Oil, Date Nectar, Coconut Nectar, Tumeric, Himalayan Rock Salt
Cadbury Creme Eggs – Sugar, Milk, Glucose Syrup, Cocoa Butter, Invert Sugar Syrup, Dried Whey (from Milk), Cocoa Mass, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Shea), Emulsifier (E442), Dried Egg White, Flavourings, Colour (Paprika Extract), Milk Chocolate: Milk Solids 14% minimum
Sugar is the first and third and fifth ingredient in the Cadbury Creme Eggs! In contrast sugars are only sixth and seventh within KamAlive. Date Sugar is literally ground up dates rather than a highly processed extract and is probably the most nutritious sugar of all. Not a match for broccoli though!
The differences do not stop at the headlines. KamAlive make their own chocolate and keep it as raw as they can. They use fine Criollo cacao beans rather than the cheaper alternatives. This premium quality approach is reflected in every other ingredient used. This I can appreciate.
KamAlive Chocolate Cream Eggs
Here are my thoughts about the KamAlive Cashew Cream Egg when sampled within my Chocolate Egg round up review.
“Fantastic. Deep, dark and mature. 80% Criollo Cacao solids deliver premium quality chocolate complimented wonderfully well with Lucuma, Date Nectar, Tumeric & Rock Salt flavours. This luxury cream filled egg effortlessly banishes any lingering regret about the tragic murder of the previously beloved Cadbury Creme Eggs. Mint and Orange varieties concentrate their flavours in the rich cashew cream. Not cheap but worthy of indulgence. Eat slowly with a teeny tiny spoon”
Shortly after I happily discovered the KamAlive original Cashew Cream Egg they began offering Orange and Mint Crunch Cream flavors. Also, possibly demonstrating anticipation of my intent to launch a “Cream Eggs all year round not just for Easter!” campaign, KamAlive actually do offer their Cream Eggs all year round. Job done. Next on my list to banish unreasonable seasonal restriction? Mince Pies.
Britain somehow consumes over 300 million Cadbury Creme Eggs each year. That is an average of 4 or 5 per person. I have not had one for over 10 years so I reckon I must be in credit to the tune of a least a few dozen eggs. Upgraded Eggs. KamAlive Eggs. I am calling in my credit!
KamAlive Chocolate Truffles
KamAlive Truffles show off the full range of flavors. Chocolate Delight, Mint Cream Crunch, Wild Orange and Tropical Passion. They come in an assortment box of a dozen inside simple but elegant packaging. Great as a gift. Great even if you gift them only by accident. When I first ordered a big bundle of KamAlive via Yumbles I sent it, quite by mistake, to my mother. This because my last Yumbles order actually had been an Xmas gift sent direct and I forgot to switch the address. This was a happy story however as my mother was delighted by the unplanned and unexpected gift! She too now loves KamAlive.
The Mint, Orange and Passion fruit flavors are subtle rather than striking. Hints rather than bold explosions with gorgeous aroma which is stronger than their flavour. As a fan of bold flavours I initially thought I might prefer more, more, more. But then I realized that the subtlety enables enjoyment of the very fine chocolate. The gentle added flavours compliment rather than overwhelm the chocolate.
So let me tell you about my favourite truffle, the ‘Tropical Passion’. These delight with a bright burst of unmistakable tangy passion fruit. There is just enough, golidlocks just enough, flavour to tantalise at the beginning of the truffle flavor journey. As the truffle melts in the mouth the initial fruity flavour concedes to the rich, dark chocolate whilst the cashew cream adds butteriness and mouthfeel. The combination is deliciously creamy and persists so longer than chocolate alone.
This is instead confectionary ideal for lovers of fine chocolate. Consider me a convert. I now place KamAlive alongside Booja Booja and a tiny handful of others offering something just as gorgeous as great chocolate itself. It may fill a special niche for those yet to be converted to fine dark chocolate.
KamAlive Chocolate Cream Bars
The Chocolate Bars are available in the same flavours as the Truffles and with the same ingredients. Difference is limited to the form factor. Do you prefer a truffle, and egg, or a bar?
Personally, as lovely as the bars are, I prefer the eggs and truffles despite the flavor being identical. Why? The Eggs invoke nostalgia for fond childhood memories of Cadbury Creme Eggs before the ruination. They also invite the challenge of trying to eat all the soft creamy cashew centre from within before progressing onto the rich, dark chocolate. I accept that kind of challenge gladly.
The bars are 40 grams and just over 200 calories each. That makes them nicely dessert or treat sized. However the same is true for several truffles and the truffle option allows enjoyment of several different flavours. Is this better? I think so because of flavor specific satiety. No matter how amazing the flavor at first bite the second bite will not be quite as good. The third even less so. This is why that second cup of tea is not so good as the first. It is why some chefs offer tasting menus comprised of lots of very small courses.
I dare say too that the bars do not work quite as well as gifts. The eggs are clearly very special and the truffles are classy. The bars suffer the indignity of being great chocolate confectionery in a conventional form factor. Lest I mislead, let me end on this, the bars are lovely!
Interview with KamAlive
KamAlive is a family business started up in 2014. It is mainly run by sisters Daniella and Ariel with help from others. Danielle has the job title of Director & Chief Chocolate Creator. Darn, that is a job title to envy! I got in touch with Danielle in order to learn and share a bit of backstory to the brand.
Benjamin – It would be tyranny, absolutely tyranny, to have your Cashew Cream Eggs be restricted to Easter availability. They are simply too lovely to hold back. Do I need to kick off a petition? What will it take to make them available year round?
Daniella – We are very happy to hear you think they should be available all year! In the past they have mainly been available for Easter but this year we received such an abundance of requests to bring them back in stock we just had to.
Benjamin – KamAlive goodies have excellent free from credentials. No gluten, soy, or dairy. No emulsifiers or preservatives. Why are these things important?
Daniella – It is very important for us to have every food we create to be made only with ingredients that we ourselves feel good eating. Ariel and I have both cut out Gluten, Soy, Dairy, Sugar as well as additives and preservatives for several years now and feel so much better for it.
Benjamin – Yippee, keep them forever free from! Now, many and most makers of chocolate confectionery use relatively poor quality chocolate and rely on sugars and flavourings to make something tasty. You use premium chocolate made from Criollo beans instead. Do you make it yourself? Where is it from? Why have you chosen to use such high quality chocolate?
Daniella – When we first started making chocolate we tried all the different types of raw cacao we could get our hands on. We chose the Criollo Cacao from Peru as we felt this had the absolute richest and most delicious flavour. We make the chocolate ourselves. It is a very high quality 80% chocolate with a reduced sweetness as we think that the natural flavours of the cacao beans are so delicious we do not want to dull or cover them up with sweeteners. We use only just enough dates to blend and bring out the natural flavours of the chocolate.
With all the products we create we choose not to make them overly sweet. We like to keep things as pure as possible and allow the true natural flavour of the cacao beans, fruits, nuts or seeds to be able to come through in the final taste.
Benjamin – Must have been hard work to try all that different chocolate. But let us talk about nuts. Is there any chance that creamy macadamias might get some KamAlive love? If you make a limited edition batch of macadamia cream eggs . . . . no I must stop dreaming about it. What new products do *you* dream about launching?
Daniella – Our last new product idea was a double chocolate supreme cream egg which we launched this year at Easter. Being a small company we are able to try out limited batches of our dream products on our website to see customers reactions. Macadamias could work really well and you will be the first to know if they will be making a feature.
Benjamin – Whatever it is, I want to be in the focus group for it! Much of your range is available online via Yumbles which looks like a terrific site for foodies and especially free from foodies. What it is like to sell via Yumbles?
Daniella – We have been selling on Yumbles for several years and we have found it to be a great platform. Their advertising and customer reach is great.
Love for KamAlive?
Convinced? Go on, try them! Go for the Truffle selection to experience all the flavours. Go for the Eggs if you have nostalgia for Creme Eggs or know someone that might be absolutely delighted by them as a surprise gift. Order via the wonderful online market for artisan fine foods Yumbles. You can also order direct from KamAlive or in store from the KamAlive stockists including Planet Organic, As Nature Intended and other good stores.
Follow KamAlive on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Well, maybe only follow on Instagram if you have the kind of iron willpower necessary to look at lots of pictures of gorgeous chocolate and not halt anything else you are doing to satiate an appetite for chocolate. Your call.
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