Monday, 6 July 2015

July 6th: Booja-Booja Almond & Sea Salt Caramel Truffles

Did you guys miss our post last week when we told you that we had been send a big sampling package from our pals at Booja-Booja? Well fear not ... you can read up on our first Booja-Booja Chilled Chocolate Truffles post HERE ... 

Well today we are going to give you our ruling over our second flavour from the new range - the Booja-Booja Almond & Sea Salt Caramel Truffles. Now unlike the first selection pack we tried these were came in a single-flavour box, featuring six chocolates and weighing a total of 69.0g. 

Aesthetically the packaging and presentation was again impeccable. The outer box was fantastically decorated and exuded an aire of premiumness fitting for these handcrafted truffles. The truffles themselves on the outside looked no different to other Booja-Booja truffles but when we cut into them we could see small particles of nut and golden caramel.

Aroma wise these smelt a joy. Rich cocoa and burnt sugar scents sent out anticipation through the roof and we weren't to be disappointed. Texturally these were a triumph. Everything from the cocoa dust melt, to the silky truffle centre and touch of chewy caramel set the flavour delivery up expertly. The taste transitioned from rich cocoa and epic chocolatyness to buttery nut and sweet, toffee caramel. The hint of salt in the after taste was a fitting end to an epically rich chocolate caramel truffle experience. 

Overall I think we will be surprised if we try a better flavour in this new Booja-Booja Chilled Chocolate Truffle range. These were simply outstanding and struck the balance between sweet and salty chocolate expertly. Chilled from the fridge the mouthfeel these generate as they melt is out of this world. If you can't hang on to to see what we make of the rest of the range before buying some we suggest you head in the direction of these first. 

9.0 out of 10

Friday, 3 July 2015

July 3rd: Green & Blacks Thins Milk Chocolate

Kcal 565 Fat 36.0g Fat(sats) 21.5g Carbs 48.0g (per 100.0g)

Following on from our review of the Green & Blacks Thins Milk Chocolate & Caramel a few weeks ago we thought we couldn't possibly just ignore the other two bars in the range (especially when they were being sold off for next to nothing in Tesco). This firstly led us in the direction of the Green & Blacks Thins Milk Chocolate bar. It's not often the team buy a non-flavoured chocolate unless we are experimenting with different cocoa quantities in the higher end of the market. This bar in that regard was a bit of a nice change, you have to dive every deep into the archives to find the last plain milk chocolate bar we last reviewed.

As we said we bought this in our local Tesco where for some reason or other the 100.0g bar was being sold at a seriously cut price of £0.57 (surely not a delisting already?). Suffice to say we were pretty happy with this purchase, especially considering the bar currently sells for twice as much in Ocado where you will be paying £2.29 per 100.0g. The packaging and presentation fell very much into the same category we thought the rest of the Green & Blacks range - somewhat stylish but a little on the dull side. The chocolate itself looked pleasant enough on the eye and smelt fresh unsealed from it's foil confines.

The whole @ChocMission team actually got the pleasure of trying this bar so we weren't short of feedback to utilise for the review. The bar was billed as a 37% cocoa milk chocolate, that's near amount double what you would find from any Cadbury, Mars or Nestle milk chocolate. We tasted it across a number of different occasions - with coffees, after meals, with soft drinks etc. and to be honest it really didn't strike as particularly fitting with any of them. Yes it was a good enough milk chocolate, but in small squares it provided nowhere near the amount of satisfaction as say a dark chocolate would. The taste did have greater depth of cocoa than say a cheaper brand however it lacked the finish and lasting after effect to really be considered a really high end chocolate.

Overall for the price we got this Green & Blacks Thins Milk Chocolate it was an absolute steal. Unfortunately it's highly likely it will ever be priced at this amount again, we are guessing that this was a 'one and done' price to just clear the shelf space ready for another product. We are sorry to say but it's hardly going to be considered a big loss to anyone. As we said in our comments on the taste it was a step up from your real average run of the mill chocolates, but still nothing overly special and certainly not worth the few extra pennies you are being asked to pay for full price. If these Green & Blacks Thins bars are just another range you never get around to trying you should by no means consider that a disaster.

6.4 out of 10

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

July 1st: Kellogg's Special K Chocolate Biscuit Moments

Kcal 99 Fat 2.3g Fat(sats) 1.0g Carbs 18.0g (per pack) 

Believe it or not one of the @ChocMission team has decided to go on a diet! Not ideal as a writer for a chocolate website huh!? Well actually it's not so bad, as this is the time of year we get e-mailed and tweeted alot (not counting January!) about our readers wanting healthier chocolate options than say a Snickers Duo. To make sure the member of our team wasn't totally outside of the usual ChocolateMission bubble we set her a task - find the best, diet friendly chocolate snack. The quest began this week with the Kellogg's Special K Chocolate Biscuit Moments.

You can find these Kellogg's Special K Chocolate Biscuit Moments in most UK Supermarkets in and among all the other 10,000 cereal bar products. You'll likely find them in a pack of 5 which should set you back around about £1.00 if you find then on a promotion. The box is instantly recognisable as belonging to the Special K family and the product is displayed relatively accurately on the front and inner foil wrappers.

In hand our immediate thought to these was that they felt very light. A quick check of the back of the wrapper signified these were only 25.0g each and trust us they looked it! The wafer thin biscuits snapped apart easily and were like a halfway house between proper biscuit and airy wafer. Inside the dark coloured filling looked and smelt chocolatey so not all hope was lost that these might be a little hopeless. Unfortunately taste wise they were a little pants. Chocolate flavours were almost non-existent with by far the most dominant aspect of the taste an odd sugary syrup. The biscuit outer portion offered a little more but to be honest we felt very short changed by the whole snack.

Overall this wasn't the best of starts to the new @ChocMission Chocolate Summer Slimmers challenge. Yes we have named it that now :) These simply didn't tick any of the boxes we wanted them to. They neither looked amazing, tasted good or fulfilled our rumbling tummies - unfortunately a pure fail all round. With diet friendly chocolate snacks you tend to give a relative amount of slack but these we simply cannot recommend on any basis. Disappointing start to our challenge here but there are better ones to come ... right!?

4.3 out of 10

Monday, 29 June 2015

June 29th: Lindt Excellence Cherry Intense

Kcal 527 Fat 32.0g Fat(sats) 18.0g Carbs 49.0g (per 100.0g)

Last week we got an e-mail from one of our readers who effectively asked us 'why don't you ever review Lindt chocolate anymore?' Well to be honest with you guys we are massive fans of Lindt - but we've come across a little problem in that we've reviewed most of their products, the one's we have immediate access to anyway. That e-mail sent us on a challenge to find something of their's we hadn't reviewed yet. Luckily after a quick check of the ChocolateMission archives we realised we hadn't reviewed this Lindt Excellence Cherry Intense bar.

We found this bar on sale in our local Tesco where it was on sale at it's RRP of £1.89. This bought us a 100.0g bar - we've been reviewing Lindt Excellence chocolate for at least 8 years now and it's rarely been a range to see any price increase or worse shrinkage - we can't say that about many chocolate ranges these days. Something else that hasn't changed much down the years is the Lindt Excellence packaging. You would of thought it would of become a little old fashioned but we still think it looks as good and as premium as ever.

On the pack this chocolate came described as 'Dark chocolate with cherry and almond slivers'. Cherry isn't a flavour of chocolate you see utilised all that much in the higher quality chocolates on the market. We have pointed out at Hotel Chocolat have been experimenting with it a bit recently, but outside of that there aren't that many examples were it has been utilised all that well. To the credit of Lindt here we are pleased to say it was really well integrated into their 48% dark chocolate. The chocolate was just about right in terms of it's non-bitter cocoa strength. It had good flavour depth but it didn't overawe the sweeter cherry and mild almond elements which really came to the party as the melt developed. The texture was a little on the grainy side which some of the team picked up, but that aside this was a chocolate well liked all round.

Overall we are so happy we got a prod to head back over to the Lindt product range as we aren't sure we would have ever gotten around to trying out this Lindt Excellence Cherry Intense bar. As we said cherry isn't all that popular in the better quality chocolates, however both Hotel Chocolat and Lindt have proven of late that it can be done really well in the right hands. Lindt got the balance in the intensity of the dark chocolate used here. We are fans of their stronger recipes but this was just right to allow expression of both the cherry and almond flavours. This is a bar certainly worth looking at if you are a Lindt fan.

7.9 out of 10    

Friday, 26 June 2015

June 26th: McVitie's Deli Choc White Chocolate

Kcal 62 Fat 2.8g Fat(sats) 1.6g Carbs 8.1g (per biscuit) 

Only A few week ago you might remember we brought you a few reviews looking at the new McVitie's Deli Choc range reviewing their Milk Chocolate variant (See HERE) and then then their Dark Chocolate flavour (See HERE). Well if you read those reviews you will be well aware that out of the two we only really like the dark chocolate, and we hands-up said that they were the only two flavours. Well we were a little wrong, and thankfully one of our readers pointed out you can actually get these McVitie's Deli Choc White Chocolate - so we went out and got some.

We found these finally in a local Tesco store. Again they were very cheap, on the same introductory half price offer setting us back only £0.84 - a steal considering their 150.0g size and 12 biscuits portioning. Looking at the packaging and presentation it looked quite different from the other two flavours.  Whilst there was little to tell the difference from the other two these were vastly different with a lighter coloured box that made it stand out from the darker shades of the milk and dark chocolate.

We were a little surprised to see these again described on the box as 'biscuits topped with Belgian chocolate'. We thought they might have just kept it simpler with the white chocolate theme. Anyhow comparing these to the milk chocolate flavour and the dark chocolate they held up pretty well. The white chocolate was more understated than we were expecting. Rather being very sugary and sweet it had a more controlled lighter, milkier vanilla noted taste. It was anything particularly flavour full but it was nice paired with the biscuit and exceeded our expectations. 2-3 were nice alongside a coffee.

Overall McVitie's had again a far better showing here with these McVitie's Deli Choc White Chocolate than was expected. Comparing them to Lebniz biscuits or the posher varieties we will reiterate that we would consider these a worthwhile replacement should they not been in stock which isn't bad coming from our biscuit obsessed @ChocMission team! As far as white chocolate biscuits go (and they can be mega bad trust us!!), these are pretty good and worth a look at if you fancy trying something new.

7.5 out of 10

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

June 24th: Aero Mousse

Kcal 97 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 3.2g Carbs 9.8g (per 1/2 bar)

After talking about a really cool limited edition last week in the form of the Snickers Hazelnut we this week get to start of by telling you all about a not so great one. Introducing the new 'Aero Mousse' bar. This bar hasn't actually been stated as a 'limited edition' but trust us - we will be amazed if this bar is still available in 3 months time! Now before we get way too negative you should check out the archives where you will see the Aero Mint bar is actually one of our favoured everyday chocolate mint offerings out there. If you are a superfan of the Aero brand it's probably best you stop reading right here - this is going to get a little harsh.

The NEW Aero Mousse should be on sale right now - so far it's been spotted in the smaller independent shops though it shouldn't take you too long to hunt one down. The bar will set you back as much as any other standard chocolate bar despite it's measly 34.0g weight. The wrapper stating the nutritional information by the half bar did get a few laughs from the team given it's underweight sizing anyway. Probably the nicest thing we can say about the product as a whole was the wrapper which looked cool with it's shiny gold trim around the usual brown Aero branding.

Thankfully we all bought are own one of these to taste test as sharing it out among ourselves would have just have been stupid. The prospect of smooth milk chocolate filled with bubbly milk chocolate and a layer of aerated chocolate mousse kinda had us scratching our heads at the different between bubbly, aerated and mousse chocolate though we decided to hold our opinions on that and just give it a try. Well as expected those three different presentations of milk chocolate were totally the same. This tasted every bit like a normal Aero but just with a quicker melting centre. The flavour and taste were the same though shorter lived. It was both disappointing and unsatisfying.

Overall well we did warn you didn't we. Sorry to be the Debbie Downer for you all but this Aero Mousse bar really did suck. We were confused by what the bar actually entailed to begin with and we had good cause for concern given just how little difference there was between each of the layers. The texture of the bar was still pleasant, though the taste and sizing of it was underwhelming to say the least. Aero is a brand you could do so many things with but for the minute Nestle seem content on feeding us boring limited edition bars like this Aero Mousse. Have a different opinion!? Let us know what you think @ChocMission.

4.8 out of 10

Monday, 22 June 2015

June 22nd: Hotel Chocolat Caramel Custard Blondie

Kcal ? Fat ? Fat(sats) ? Carbs ? 

Ladies and Gentlemen the Summer is upon and that means many things to us here @ChocMission. Most importantly of course it means Sun, Sea, Holidays and of course Summer Themed chocolate ranges. Summer to the average person doesn't like the best season to be creating chocolate given all the hot weather but Hotel Chocolat like to defy the norm and they always produce some outstanding new additions to their usual line up. This year they have added these amazing looking Hotel Chocolat Caramel Custard Blondie truffles to their range and boy did this get our team excited. These were a must-try for us when we saw the Hotel Chocolat Summer 2015 brochure - luckily enough we got to get our lips around them today.

These were sent to us a in a selector pack that contained 6 truffles weighing 70.0g. Luckily for us we got sent a few packs for us to divide among the team - just the sight of these in the office drew many a squeal - especially with the big white chocolate fans amongst us. Looks wise it has to be said they were impressive. Out of their rather ropey cellophane packet sleeve the chocolates looked exquisite and were nicely decorated with caramel streaks running right down the centres of the pale coloured chocolate. The chocolate were very flat however there was still enough room for a clear definition to be visible between the two sections.

We were told to imagine a 'love child between a creme brulee and a white chocolate chocolate' - this not only sounded utterly insane but also pretty damn delicious and the team were licking their lips just at the sight of them. In construct the truffles were dual layered with one layer of custard-white, packed with crispy caramel and another with a pecan praline and crunchy wafer. The taste of the two combined was every bit as dreamy as we could of expected. The taste was sweet of course, but it had many different depths to it's sweetness with elements of cream, caramel, nut and biscuit all coming to the fore as the melt progressed. Texturally elements of smooth creme and crispy wafer came interest at a real high which also added a pleasurable extra element to the overall experience.

Overall who could of guessed it but hats of here to Hotel Chocolat for creating a truly wonderful new white chocolate truffle. It is one that sees them combine several different elements that they do superbly from the creamy white chocolate, praline the two that really stand out at the end of the day in the taste. If you are yet to go check out the new Hotel Chocolat Summer range for 2015 we strongly suggest you go take to familiarise yourself with some of the new products they have to offer. They rarely let us down those guys and this is a final example of their excellence once again. White chocolate fans these are a must try for you guys.

8.8 out of 10


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