Monday, 21 July 2014

July 21st: Hotel Chocolat Summer Cooler


Kcal 187 Fat 13.0g Fat(sats) 6.0g Carbs 19.0g (per 3 truffles)

Normally here @ChocMission when we review a product that multiple people in the team get to try we do generally come to some form of consensus. The product you see today however from Hotel Chocolat split the taste team of four totally down the middle - you could say they were the chocolate truffle equivalent of Marmite (Yum says Jim!). The truffles causing all the debate were these Hotel Chocolat Summer Cooler chocolates. Described as 'apple and cucumber ganache encased in a white chocolate shell with mint leaves' we should have foretold these had the potential for splitting opinions.

We were lucky enough to be sent a few packs of these in their Hotel Chocolat Selector Pack form. These were 75.0g trays containing 6 truffles - each sized similar to three £2 coins stacked on another. As we always say about these Selector Packs the presentation wasn't anything outstanding with the simple cellophane packet and sleeve combination. The truffles themselves however at least looked unique with the cream coloured speckled surfaces emanating scents of vanilla and mint.


We learnt after consuming our first pack that these were at the best once refrigerated and consumed alongside a cool drink *ahem Pimms!!!*. Enjoying them at a cooler temperature than normal meant they lasted a very long time in the mouth with their melting duration extended. This was advantageous because of the fact they had so many different flavours to offer. The white chocolate was rich with a lovely sweet, milky vanilla taste that was laden with epic amount of creamnyess. The soft inner ganache was where the part was at though with elements and hints of peppermint, fruity apple and cool cucumber all identifiable and forthcoming. As we said above some of the team this was all a little too much and ill fitting with the chocolate, however just as many of us enjoyed them and lauded them for their unique and diverse taste.

Overall there is only one way to score a product that splits the @ChocMission team and thats by awarding a score that sits us firmly on the fence :) As far as chocolates go as a summer themed chocolate these really work and provide the consumer with a chocolate truffle offering a refreshing and light flavour journey. It can't be lost however that this wasn't to the total liking of the team so recommending these as a 'must try' is something we simply can't do. If you fancy the proposition these are worth giving a try! It's not like you have much to lose with these smaller Selector Packs.

7.7 out of 10


Friday, 18 July 2014

July 18th: Dorset Cereals Chocolate Granola


Kcal 456 Fat 21.9g Fat(sats) 4.1g Carbs 53.9g (per 100.0g)

You know we love these little side quests we go on here @ChocMission - not only are we attempting to find the best chocolate in the world, we are also trying to find the best chocolate cereal ... we do work hard huh ;) Helping us on on our quest to do just this our friends @DorsetCereals offered us the chance to try one of their 'Glorious Granolas' - Dorset Cereals Chocolate Granola 'oats decadently baked with chocolate and macadamia nuts'.

Dorset Cereals were kind enough to send us a few of their 550.0g boxes so we shared them out amongst the team and all changed up our usual morning routines. For some of the team this simply involved eating this granola with milk - others ate it with yogurt whilst some just ate it dry out the packet. However it was consumed the team all remarked on the delicious smells they were greeted with every time they opened the plastic packet seal.


As you can see from our photo above the granola clusters were very large in sized with big chunks of oat flakes, barley flakes and sunflower seeds nicely fused together with a generous chocolate coating. Dispersed generously throughout these cereal pieces there were big whole nuts - buttery macadamias and sweet and savoury almonds made for a deliciously nutty chocolatey taste. Those who ate the granola wet remarked it made for the nicest chocolate milk ever! Forget your Coco Pops chocolate milk - this was a different class altogether.

Overall this Dorset Cereals Chocolate Granola got thumbs up all round from the whole team. What ever it was consumed with it got high praise - whether milk, yogurt or just on it's own it hit the mark with everyone. When we asked the team whether they would be swapping it for their usual breakfast options most remarked they wouldn't as they thought it was so special they would rather save it for special 'treat' occasions. On reflection this probably makes sense - as far as chocolate granolas go it's one of the best we've had! It's definitely worth a try if you a luxury chocolate breakfast cereal option.

8.5 out of 10

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

July 16th: Meridian Peanut & Almond Bars


Peanut Bar - Kcal 185 Fat 8.9g Fat(sats) 1.6g Carbs 15.9g (per 40.0g bar)
Almond Bar - Kcal 202 Fat 12.2g Fat(sats) 1.2g Carbs 14.1g (per 40.0g bar)

Here @ChocMission we are always on the look out for innovative and new snacking products that we think our readers would like to hear about. As big fans of peanut butter we constantly keep an eye on one of our favourite brands Meridian. These guys are a company 'based in the rolling welsh hills in Denbighshire, they've been making nut and seed butters for over 30 years'! We think they make some of the most scrummy nut butters (check out their almond butter if you are a fan!!) - it's an added bonus that all of their products contain no palm oil and are made with 'the finest, simplest ingredients so that you can enjoy nature’s energy' - marvellous :)


To our great delight @MeridianFoods dropped us a friendly line on Twitter and asked us if we wanted to review these new Peanut & Almond bars they've recently released. Needing no second invitation we gladly obliged so this week we've been munch our way through many a 40.0g bar.

Presentation wise the packaging is really impressive with the matted texture foil wrappers ensuring both aesthetic appeal and freshness. The bars themselves didn't look the most exciting things ever but they smelt amazing with fresh almond and peanut scents immediately apparent from their first unsealing.


So which of these two did we like better? Well unfortunately we are going to have to sit on the fence with this one. Out of the four taste testers two preferred the peanut variety and the other two the Almond. To be frank both were totally delicious. The peanut bar offered more of a stronger roasted salty nut flavour set whilst the Almond variant was more buttery with slightly more emphasis on the bran and rice cereal. Both the 40.0g bars felt like really sufficient snacks and did a great curbing the hunger pangs the team had.

Overall whether consuming as a breakfast option or snack these new Meridian Peanut & Almond bars are certainly worth checking out if you are fans of nutty snacks. With both packing over 7.0g of protein each they are suitable for consumers looking for snacks that offer something slightly different to your usual cereal or chocolate bars. These are definitely worth taking a look at and come with a both thumbs up @ChocMission recommendation.

8.2 out of 10 (both bars!)  


Monday, 14 July 2014

July 14th: Hotel Chocolat Summer Selector Chocolates


We've been reviewing summer themed chocolates for a few months already and it was with great delight that we today got to try another two of Hotel Chocolat's newest truffle flavours. Both of these chocolates were included in the amazing Hotel Chocolat Summer Fusions collection that we reviewed on the site just a few weeks ago.

The team enjoyed them so much they requested we get some of separate Selector Packs - these are the 75.0g, six piece truffle trays you can buy in their stores (and online of course!). Here were our thoughts on these exciting flavours:


Hotel Chocolat Peanut & Bananas
Kcal 201 Fat 14.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 16.0g (per 3 truffles)

'Salted peanut praline with a smooth banana ganache topped with a caramel cap' - boy did these go down well! No sooner had the packet been opened and the sweet, chocolatey fruity scents enjoyed the tray was empty of all six pieces. The team absolutely loved these. The combination of the sweet, viscous milk chocolate, salt noted peanuts and toffee banana made for a chocolate packing a real banoffee like taste experience. Highly regarded and very much recommended to chocolate banana fans.

8.5 out of 10



Hotel Chocolat Choc Fudge Sundae 
Kcal 216 Fat 16.0g Fat(sats) 8.0g Carbs 15.0g (per 3 truffles)

'Sticky toffee and fudge sauce, intense praline and a sprinkle of crunchy cereal'. This proposition again sounded fantastic and the reality of the chocolates didn't let us down. The layered effect of the praline, toffee sauce and crisp outer chocolate shell presented a real contrast of textures that was commented on by all. The fudge flavours weren't perhaps as pronounced as the nutty praline of creamy chocolate but nonetheless these still got full round acclaim.

8.2 out of 10




Have you been trying out any of Hotel Chocolat's summer chocolates? Let us know what you made of them @ChocMission.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Reese's Nut Bar 2014 - - - [2008 - Reese's Nutrageous UK/Canada]

UPDATE MAY 2014


You guys know we like to keep our eyes on the ball and we've done ourselves proud here noticing some subtle changes made to one of the few Reese's products we get here in the UK.

As you can see from our new photos the bar formerly known as the Reese's Nutrageous (full review below!) is now called the Reese's Nut Bar.

Offering the same delicious mixture of sweet and salty flavours the bar retained it's original form with crunchy peanuts, peanut butter, creamy caramel and a chocolate flavoured coating all in the offing.


One thing we do have to make you all aware of is that unfortunately like many other confectionery products that get these 'updates' the Nut Bar has fallen foul of shrinkage and is now only 47.0g. Don't get us wrong this is still a very tasty and satisfying snack, but when you consider it was once a 61.0g beast it is a little disappointing to see.

Have you seen the new Reese's Nut Bar yet? Let us know how you think it stacks up vs the Reese's Nutrageous on Twitter @Chocmission

(nutritional info - Kcal 530 Fat 30.03g Fat(sats) 9.9g Carbs 50.8g per 100.0g)

ORIGINAL REVIEW - May 10th 2008

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

A few months ago, last March I reviewed the Nutrageous bar that I imported from America and really quite enjoyed it. It scored a very respectable 8.3 out of 10 on the Chocolate Mission scale. Today I saw the UK version in my local newsagent...so I thought I would conduct some essential research into whether there are any differences between the two bars.

The first notable difference is the size - the UK version is 9g bigger at a whopping 60g. Hunger fufilment wise the US version was more than adequete already; but this UK version really did a job...I felt stuffed after eating it. Proposition wise the bar was exactly the same...'crunchy peanuts, a peanut butter centre, caramel and a chocolate coating'.

The UK wrapper was almost identical, though revealed that the bar was actually manufactured in Canada. The UK version sadly lacked nutritional information - something I find terribly annoying. Asthetically the bar looked no different...as you will see above it is a long knobbly finger - not the prettiest thing ever but when split the cross section does look quite appertising.

Tastewise the bar still retained the qualities of its US equivalent - and in some ways surpassed it. Frequent readers of this site will know that im not the biggest fan of the chocolate that Reese's use...i generally find it a little flavourless and to have a bit of a waxy texture. Though the chocolate was still slightly disappointing it did seem to have a little more flavour to it than the US bar. The chocolate tasted a little fresher if anything and had a less waxy texture to it which melted in the mouth a little easier.

The crunchy peanuts in the bar also seemed to have a bit more of a freshness to them. Their texture was far crisper and flavourwise they seemed to have a more fuller flavour. The peanut butter and caramel ingredients retained their amazing flavours and again made for a delightful chewy yet smooth centre filling - absoluely delicious.

Overall I was suprised to find that the version of the bar that is more widely avalible in the UK is actually the better of the two. The US version as far as Im aware is manufactured in Mexico, whislt our version in Canada...I dont know if the ingredients they use are actually different but the UK version definately had a far fresher taste. The chocolate aspect is still slightly disappointing and slightly holds back the score challenging the very top bars. Despite this though the other elements of the bar make for an amazing mix of textures of and flavours that make you savour every single bite of this huge bar. One of the best bars tried on Chocolate Mission - if you like peanuts or caramel try this now!

8.9 out of 10


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

July 9th: Thorntons Mini Chocolate Caramel Cake Bites


Kcal 77 Fat 4.5g Fat(sats) 2.1g Carbs 8.0g (per 16.5g bite)

No sooner had we published our review of Mondelez's Barny cakes we received over a dozen tweets to @ChocMission informing us that Thorntons had a few new additions to their mini cakes range. If you've read our reviews on their Mini Caramel Shortcakes and Mini Brownie Bites you will be well aware that the @ChocMission team are big fans of the range. The team certainly didn't need any second invitation to go hunt the new varieties down!

A short trip to Tesco later and we found these Thorntons Mini Chocolate Caramel Cake Bites on an introductory £1.00 offer. The 165.0.g pack contained 10 Bites - enough for 3 each and a big argument who got the last one :) We found them in the same ambient cakes aisle as the original variants - the red band and on pack pictures were just about enough for us to differentiate them from the others.


On pack these came described as 'chocolate sponge topped with a layer of caramel and covered in smooth milk chocolate'. Upon breaking the plastic packet seal we were instantly engulfed with lovely chocolate cake scents - you could literally taste the chocolate before even putting one of the bites in your mouth. Suffice to say these went down extremely well with the taste team. The outer chocolate was thick, crisp and nicely hid away the dense, gooey sponge below. The chocolate flavour hit was immense - sweet, epically creamy and friendly for all chocolate fans. The layer of caramel was the defining touch of these seriously rich cakes. The added buttery toffee element was a great finish and gave another dimension to the taste.

Overall these were another big Thorntons cakes success story! These Thorntons Mini Chocolate Caramel Cake Bites are as good as any of the other varieties in the Thorntons range. Here @ChocMission we are also big fans of Marks & Spencer's cakes so when we say these were on par, if not better, than most of theirs you have to know that we rate these extremely highly. We would love to hear your thoughts on them so don't hesitate to get in touch with us on Twitter with your feedback.

9.0 out of 10


 

Monday, 7 July 2014

July 7th: Hotel Chocolat Mojito Truffles


As much as we love seeing new ideas and products here @ChocMission we also love it equally as much when brands recognise they are on to something good already! Ritter Sport show us they do this all the time with their seasonal limited editions; they always bring at least one new flavour out, but at the same time they also keep the two most popular flavours from the year before! Well Hotel Chocolat appear to also go by this ethos, as this year their summer range sees the return of the highly popular Mojito truffles.

We first reviewed these back in 2012 when they first came about in Hotel Chocolat's Chocs to Chill range - See HERE. Back these 'Caribbean white rum, refreshing mint and zingy lime white chocolate truffles' got rave reviews from the team ....


'...the Mojito centres were nothing short of superb and exactly as described with the lime and mint coming through strongly before a big kick of rum left a long lasting impression'.

Well we are glad to say they are back this year in Hotel Chocolat's 2014 line up and they even have some groovy looking new packaging. The Hotel Chocolat Mojito truffles can be bought in a pack of 8 (85.0g).


If you are a fan of fine chocolates and the odd cocktail we strongly suggest you get involved with these. Be warned, the rum kick they have this year is still as powerful as it was two years ago so approach only if you think you can take the strong boozie hit!

Let us know what you make of these @ChocMission we always love to hear your thoughts.

8.6 out of 10

 

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