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Monday, October 15, 2018

Trader Joe's Chocolate Salted Caramel Mug Mix

"I didn't choose the mug life. The mug life chose me." It's kinda true. This product has been out for at least a month or so, I'm pretty sure. It's not particularly fall-ish. I'm just reviewing it by default since we don't have any spectacular new pumpkin things to check out and we're between TJ's runs at the moment in our household. But we do have a microwave and mugs, so chocolate salted caramel mug mix, here we come.

I'm a fan of substituting water with milk any time something cake or brownie-ish comes along. But in this case, I didn't have any milk on hand, so water it was. The product still came out fairly rich and creamy, despite the absence of actual cow juice. I guess there's a bit of condensed milk in the caramels, but you know what I mean. No milk was added. I actually followed the instructions for once.

First impressions: I'm really surprised at how easy the product was to make. If I had been handed a dessert like this at a fancy restaurant, I'd have marveled at what wizardry might have been responsible for getting actual salted caramel into the middle of a brownie in the middle of a coffee mug. I never would have guessed in a million years that it could be as simple as plopping two unwrapped caramels into the mix during a 40 second microwaving process. And yet that's it. Stir water into the mix, heat, drop caramels, heat again. Done.


My foodie-hack prowess is responsible for the odd streaking marks on the sides of the mug. I'm sure with a little patience and care, one could spiff the presentation up a bit more than I did. Also, for some reason, the colors of the brownie turned out a bit redder in this picture than they appeared to my naked eye. Not sure what I can attribute that to. I either need to white balance my camera again or get my eyes checked or both. Or neither. It's not a big deal, is it?

Flavor-wise, this product is quite sweet. I've mentioned many times before that I do have a sweet tooth, but I'm craving sugary stuff less and less in my old age. This, surprisingly, was one of the most cloyingly sweet items from Trader Joe's in recent memory. There's a bit of richness to the chocolate, and you can definitely taste the sea salt of the salted caramel, but the dominant essence was very sweet to my tongue. We've seen the Fleur de Sel Caramel on this blog once or twice before, and it's a quality product for sure, but it is quite sweet, as well as salty and creamy. This time, it comes in the form of cellophane-wrapped, bite-size chewy candies—four of them, two for each of the two suggested servings. I should also note that there are two individual packages for the cake mix, too. All the measuring is already done for you.

The flavors of the brownie and caramel come together nicely, despite the sweetness. I can't complain about this product too much in the end. It's very convenient and fun to make. The texture is everything you'd want and expect from a fresh-made brownie filled with gooey caramel, and the price is right at $1.99. I probably wouldn't purchase again just because it's rare I crave chocolate and salted caramel these days, but if you do, this would definitely be a product you should reach for.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. I hope they do a funfetti flavor next. Birthday cake flavor!

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  2. There are tons of mug cake recipes out there (including some semi terrifying “healthy” ones) which are probably a good alternative for anyone worried about that 45g sugar (?!)
    I’ll probably stick to straight up chocolate for my treat calories
    Ttrockwood

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    Replies
    1. 45g sugar...that's where all that sweetness comes from!

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