Seems like baked chocolate is one of those Japanese trends that came and (probably) went, but to my knowledge it's not something that has caught on here in the US. I've seen several flavors of Morinaga BAKE online, as well as KitKats intended for baking. I'm not sure if there's anything special about the chocolate, because I can't imagine anything stopping someone from sticking any old KitKat in the toaster oven, but it's a neat idea. All food trends are a little gimmicky,
Since I automatically gravitate towards matcha, this flavor was a natural choice for my first foray into baked chocolate. This pack came from my usual source for Japanese sweets, napaJapan. As you can see below, the trip overseas was a little rough on these chocolates, but at least baked chocolate is resistant to melting.
These had a powerful matcha aroma, even by my standards! Most of the pieces were falling apart, but the hard top layer was so delicate, I think this would have happened anyway. The outermost layer was slightly crunchy and stuck in my teeth sort of like a cookie when I chewed. The center was softer and melted away smoothly, but the texture contrast made for a messy, crumbly experience. They reminded me a bit of Collon (or sweet Combos), only not as tasty.
On a positive note, I liked that the matcha flavor was so intense. Unfortunately, the dry texture coupled with the bitterness made it feel almost like I was just eating plain matcha, and I am not that hardcore. Furthermore, these weren't very sweet; they were even a little salty (maybe that's why they reminded me of Combos). BAKE was interesting, but I found myself wishing these were cookies rather than just really dry chocolates.
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