Friday, 27 February 2015

February 27th: Mentos Choco & Mint

Kcal 406 Fat 7.8g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 80.0g (per 100.0g)

The brand Mentos is mostly known for it's hard shelled chewy mints sold throughout Europe and America. Well our world was turned upside down when we found these all NEW Mentos Choco & Mint packs on sale in one of our local supermarkets. Offering us the proposition of 'caramel chews with mint chocolate centres' we had no idea what to expect. This wasn't just the first time we had seen a chocolate product from Mentos, but it was also the first time we had seen them attempt a caramel one! Here is what we thought ...

We bought these Mentos Choco & Mint in a three pack multi-pack in our local Tesco supermarket - priced at £1.00 and on an introductory offer. Each of the three inner tubes weighed in at 38.0g and had around 12 pieces of hard caramel inside. We collectivelly liked the look of the packaging. The recognisable Mentos branding was surrounded by all new gold, green and black colours - they really stood out on the shelf.

The hard caramel pieces contained inside the tub were spherical in shape and easily edible whole. Aroma wise they didn't give much of the mint game away however they still smelt nice with obvious scents of creamy caramel on offer. Placing a single piece in the mouth drew instant toffee like flavours to the fore, they were incredibly sweet but they weren't overly so and had just enough butteryness to them. Inside the chocolate mint flavours acted as a nice end note to the taste and whilst they could have been both stronger they offered a nice variation in textures contrasting the chewy touch caramel with a nice softer filling element.

Overall although we thought these Mentos Choco & Mint were nothing all that special we still liked them and thought they were a vast improvement over many similar products we've had previously such as Paynes Poppets. One of team summed it up perfectly when they said there isn't any one single great thing about these, they are simply just nice across the board and the caramel, chocolate and mint elements combine well to make a sum greater than it's parts. I wouldn't go overboard in your efforts to track these down but they are worth a look at if you like this sort of thing.

7.8 out of 10

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

February 25th: Nestle Blue Riband Coffee Cream

Kcal 99 Fat 4.7g Fat(sats) 2.8g Carbs 12.8g (per wafer)

Like many an office coffee/tea room around the country we are always on the look out for new chocolate biscuit options to brighten up our day. Kit Kats, Cadbury biscuits, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, these are the most common things we buy week to week but this week things got changed up a bit and we've managed to find ourselves a new favourite in the form of these Nestle Blue Riband Coffee Cream wafer biscuits.

We found these on sale in our local Sainsbury's on an introductory £1.00 deal in the chocolate biscuits aisle. The £1.00 of hard earned cash bought us a multipack of 8 x 19.3g bars - enough to survive us just two days after we all worked how great they were :) To be honest it was lucky we picked them out on the shelf at all. We hadn't been subjected to any press releases or news they were coming out. Neither did we think the subtle change to the usual Blue Riband packaging was obvious enough for any casual shelf browser to pick them out. Luckily our beady eyes did and noticed the non-obvious beige coloured 'coffee cream' branding.

The bars came described as 'crisp coffee flavour wafer biscuits covered in milk chocolate'. In description these reminded us a lot of the American Nestle Coffee Crisp - See HERE. Luckily we thought these tasted a lot better. None of the separate elements would have stood out in isolation, but the combination of the sweet milk chocolate, crisp biscuity wafer and subtle creamy coffee filling really worked and complimented each other. Dipped straight into a coffee or hot chocolate before eating was a real treat, these just put a smile on the face of anyone that tried them and even one felt like more than enough to satisfy a rumbling stomach.

Overall we were really pleasantly surprised by how much we loved these Nestle Blue Riband Coffee Cream. As we said above even though these had no outstanding individual element to them they just proved to work really well all in the same bar. Neither the chocolate, wafer or filling were overly dominated in the taste and despite their meagre 19.3g size they were strangely very satisfying. All four of our team loved them and we've already bought another two packs since finishing off our first. Make sure you give these a try if you see them - let us know what you think of them @Chocmisssion.

7.8 out of 10

Monday, 23 February 2015

February 23rd: Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Sprinkles

Kcal 93 Fat 4.9g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 11.0g (per bar)

Much has been made over the lack of Dairy Milk flying around some Cadbury products this Easter *ahem - See HERE*, but one chap that isn't lacking on the Dairy Milk front is our dear friend Mr Freddo. Ahhh Mr Freddo, we've had a few run-ins down the year, we've mainly remained advocates of this chap but one thing we've never been impressed with is how his price has gone up over the years. We remember being able to buy a Cadbury Freddo for a meagre £0.10 in our local corner shops - well the game has changed now folks, he's likely to cost you more than double that these days.

You should be able to find these NEW Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Sprinkles in any decent UK chocolate stocking shop (try your local supermarkets if all is failing you!!). £1.00 should be enough to buy your 5, that's exactly what we did to go about our review today. Each Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Sprinkles weighs 18.0g. As usual it's highly unlikely one won't be enough to satisfy any consumer over the age of 10 to any great degree, that said we still see the role they play as a suitable smaller chocolate snack for kids.

These came described as milk chocolate with coloured sugar strands - this had as slightly unsettled that these 'sugar strands' might turn out to be popping candy but luckily this wasn't to be the case - phew. Taking the Freddo out of his purple foil packet we were disappointed to see that the inner sprinkles did little to add any sort of fun colours to the chocolate. Only when you looked up really close to the chocolate could you see them inside the Dairy Milk. Taste wise they were also a little anonymous, they made it sweeter but frankly that wasn't really desirable given the sweetness of the chocolate in the first place. Suffice to say the team weren't all that eager finishing off the few remaining we had.

Overall despite the team being big Cadbury Dairy Milk fans these really went down a little like a lead ballon. Perhaps this sounds silly but we all kind of expected more from the sprinkles. We thought they might add a cool colourful element to their look but frankly they did little but spoil the taste making it sweeter. We aren't the sort to buy Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddos anyway but if we were to again we would head for the plain ones instead of these. These are a gimmicky limited edition for Easter if ever we have seen one. We wouldn't recommend going near them.

4.0 out of 10

Friday, 20 February 2015

February 20th: Belvita Breakfast Choco-Hazelnuts Tops

Kcal 76 Fat 2.7g Fat(sats) 0.6g Carbs 11.5g (per biscuit) 

Here @ChocMission if you give anyone in our team the chance to have more time in bed clocking up the zzzzzz's or more time to have breakfast it's always the latter which we choose. Most the time this means we are massively pushed when it comes to having breakfast, arguably the most important meal of the day if you listen to some people. Well Belvita are on of those brands trying to offer us an easy out. They have several of breakfast biscuit options that we occasionally try from time to time to make sure that we are all well fed and ready to take on the day. This week we've been trying out these Belvita Breakfast Choco-Hazelnuts Tops.

These are new to the UK but you should be able to find them in the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury's and all other big UK supermarkets. We found them on an introductory half price offer - around the £1.30 price point if we recall correctly. This bought us 5 packs containing 3 biscuits, together weighing 250.0g. On the pack they came described as 'biscuits with wholegrain cereals and coated with a chocolate flavour and hazelnut topping' - they also promised 4 hour energy release carbohydrates woooo!

As we said most of the tea were trying these out this week and they ultimately got very mixed reviews. The biscuits, whilst substantial in terms of the sustenance they provided were described by many of our team as poor in taste. The chocolate hazelnut tops really failed to create a real expression on the biscuit base below in the taste, and it didn't help that the biscuit base wasn't all that flavoursome. Other complained that the texture and mouthfeel of the biscuits was also very dry, one of our team even went to the extent to say it was like having a vaccum on all their moisture in their mouth - ouch!!

Overall we think it's fair to say that these Belvita Breakfast Choco-Hazelnuts Tops mostly disappointed. It's been a while since the team pretty much all around agreed that a product was totally useless and that none of them would buy them again. Normally even when we disagree on a product there are at least a few in the team that get some pleasure from the product in question but I'm afraid to say that just wasn't the case here. Breakfast dodgers may want to try them out to see what they think of them themselves but we won't be recommending they any time soon.

5.1 out of 10

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

February 18th: Zotter Labooko Bolivia 90% & Peru 100% Dark Chocolates

It can be hard to remember sometimes that Zotter are a brand that take the quality of their chocolate very seriously. What with flavours such as 'Bacon Bits' and 'Peanuts and Ketchup' existing within their portfolio, it is all too easy to forget that at the heart of things, these guys are extremely capable when it comes to the standard of the chocolate they produce. Zotter's Labooko range is one that I think is meant to act as a timely reminder for just how prestigious their chocolate can be. You may recall that previously I have reviewed some fantastic offerings from this particular sub range already (See HERE & HERE).

In my latest sampling box from the guys in Austria, they included one their latest Labooko creations. This particular package included 35.0g helpings of their Bolivia 90% and Peru 100% dark chocolates, and came wrapped in the unique Labooko style. The wrapper opened like a book, revealing two thin gold foil wrapped bars which each had their own information and bean-to-bar story written on the inner paper sleeve. As I have written previously the whole experience felt very grandeur, and fitting of a top of the range chocolate brand.

Bolivia 90% - Although the Hotel Chocolat 85% dark chocolate is still my favourite chocolate of all time and not far off in terms of it's cocoa content levels, I was still pretty cautious at the 90% billing. Aroma wise the chocolate smelt delightful and emanated a complex set of roasted cocoa and dark treacle like scents. Placing the first piece in my mouth the melt was reasonably paced, though the flavour generation was surprisingly mild in it's initial sense. As the chocolate heated in the mouth the early brown sugar cocoa notes developed in to more complex flavours with suggestions of red wine, dark red fruits and coffee all leaving a lasting impression in the my mouth. The level of bitterness was manageable and the chocolate very rich, but the taste experience generated was just a little too intense for what could be regarded as totally pleasurable consumption.

Peru 100% - Having tried previous 100% bars to mix success I was even more wary that this may be one step to far for my taste. The on-pack blurb informed me that this bar had no other ingredients aside from 'pure cocoa paste' and would not have been affected in any manner by the conching process. Tasting the chocolate in little pieces, what surprised me the most about this chocolate was how radically the flavours varied from one piece to another. Although the texture wasn't particularly pleasurable throughout (too hard and grainy for my liking!), the taste swung from being managabley earthy and woody, to over bearingly bitter and frankly hard to consume. Unfortunately the vast majority of the bar was more the latter - there were more people on my mini tasting panel expressing negativity rather than positivity.

Overall these were extremely hard chocolates to rate on my scale and they have probably scored higher than you would have expected give my descriptions above. At the end of the day neither of these chocolates were particularly to my taste, I certainly wont be making any moves to buy them again having now reviewed them. Whilst I didn't enjoy either recipe for their flavour contribution, what I did really appreciate and get pleasure from was the experience that they offered taste wise. Both of these chocolates were so rich and full of flavour depth, it was absolute treat deconstructing the different influences as they came to the fore of the taste. Being totally frank, some mouthfuls of the Peru 100% bar tasted like ash cinders - horrible! At other times it offered a beautiful array of complex cocoa - in a perverse way it was oddly exciting not know what was coming next. On this basis I could recommend this offering as one to try for the experience rather than the end taste.

Bolivia 90% - 8.4 out of 10
Peru 100% - 7.6 out of 10

Monday, 16 February 2015

February 16th: Cadbury Mini Rolls Choc Orange

Kcal 125 Fat 6.2g Fat(sats) 3.1g Carbs 15.0g (per mini roll)

If you were to check the @ChocMission shopping baskets every week you would probably find that one of our most commonly bought items would be the famous Cadbury Mini Rolls. They frequent our office team room and have been a long time favourite of the team. We generally just head in the direction of the trusted original flavour (the ones with the white coloured vanilla creme!), though at times we live on the dangerous side and go for the chocolate creme variant :) daring huh!? Well to all of our surprise this week one of the team bought in these new Cadbury Mini Rolls Choc Orange flavour.

These were bought at our local Tesco store, and were found in the cakes aisle hosted alongside all of the other limited edition cakes for this time. Just £1.00 of our hard earned @ChocMission wages bought us a multipack of 5 x 27.0g cakes. On the pack they were described as 'chocolate flavoured sponge with an orange flavour creme, covered in milk chocolate' - no folks not Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate :) just Cadbury milk chocolate .... lets not start all that up again (See HERE).

The mini rolls took their usual form - they looked attractive on the eye and smelt delightful with chocolate orange scents and smells aplenty filling the air once they were unsealed from their plastic packet confines. The taste test went as well as we could have hoped. The outer chocolate yielded with a nice crunch, with the moist cake and creme below providing the usual sensual mouth feel. The flavour development was also a delight. The chocolatey outer portion and inner cake created the usual sweet Cadbury chocolate experience, and the creme added the desired orangey tangy fruit flavours. To our taste it was just about the right strength in it's intensity.

Overall these Cadbury Mini Rolls Choc Orange matched our expectations and delivered the Cadbury chocolate orange experience we all desired. To our knowledge we can't remember these being around before - I'm sure one of our dedicated readership will point us in the direction of them being out perviously, but anyways we really liked them and will likely intermittently buy them alongside our usual standard Cadbury Mini Rolls. If chocolate orange is your thing these certainly wont disappoint. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

8.3 out of 10

Friday, 13 February 2015

February 13th: Hotel Chocolat The Love Birds

We wouldn't suspect that any of our readers are silly enough to forget that it's VALENTINES DAY TOMORROW!!!! Bust just in case we thought we better give you guys a heads up on one last uber cool potential gift if you are yet to make that special purchase for your loved one! Surprise surprise it of course comes from our long time pals over @HotelChocolat, indeed ladies and gentlemen we are delighted today to give you are rundown on one of their latest mega slabs - the Hotel Chocolat The Love Birds.

This 650.0g beasts should be enough to satisfy the biggest chocolate lover this Valentines. It is a beautifully presented heart shaped slab - you only need look at the thickness to understand truley how much amazing Hotel Chocolat is on offer here, it's so thick it's almost a game in itself trying to break it apart. Well as you can see from the pictures this is one beautiful looking chocolate slab. The slab come presented in a marvellous, sleek looking transparent sleeve and the decorative pattern work on the chocolate really make it a sight to behold.

As we said breaking this slab apart was no easy task. The slab is made up of two different chocolate types - we are guessing to cater for bother partners tastes!? One side, the lighter one, is a beautiful milk chocolate salted caramel and it had just the most magical taste. It was sweet, salty, epically creamy and of course carried the usual Hotel Chocolat milk chocolate swagger - truly outstanding. The other half however wasn't to be outdone. The darker coloured 50% milk chocolate provided a more cocoa intense experience, and also had a nutty praline edge to it that enhanced the taste tremendously. The 650.0g was substantial but that didn't stop the team munching through this in less than a day.

Overall as we said at the top if you are still struggling for a Valentines Day gift then you need look no further than this Hotel Chocolat The Love Birds slab. It will both amaze and delight with it's wonderful look and delicious chocolate experience on offer. It's one of those chocolates your originally feel guilty about breaking apart it's aesthetic marvellousness but once the chocolate hits your tastebuds and ounce of guilty evaporates with the pleasure of the taste. Folks head to Hotel Chocolat if you are in a Valentines Day gift quandary! They wont let you down!

9.2 out of 10


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