Friday, 21 November 2014

Did you know that is only 5 WEEKS until Christmas day!!

We hope we haven’t panicked you, after all there are all there are some great times and treats to be had in the upcoming weeks.

Whether it’s the long winter walks through your local park, seeing your local town Christmas lights being switched on or just generally having fun with the friends and family; the month of December brings great times for us all.

But let’s be honest, for most of us there is always something nagging thing at the back of all of our minds isn’t there – yep ….buying presents is no stress-free activity!

Here @ChocMission we are just like all of you guys. All of us in the team finding buying presents a hard thing to do – especially in our line of work where pretty much all our friends and family expect us to give them the BEST confectionery gifts ever.

Luckily for us we kinda like to think we know what we are talking about, especially when it comes to advising you on picking out your presents for the people you know with a sweet tooth.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be informing you all of some of the best chocolate related Christmas gifts that we have had the pleasure of checking out over the past few weeks.

We are going to be bringing you all our thoughts on some of the best Christmas Hampers, advent calendars, chocolate stocking gifts and of course the seasonal chocolate selection boxes that will be doing the rounds in some of the best chocolate brands in the UK and beyond.

Make sure you stay tuned to ChocolateMission for the next few weeks – we are taking requests so drop us a note with any requests you might have.

Get ready for a great Christmas 2014

November 21st: Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Baubles

Christmas is sooner than you think folks! Before you know it the tinsel will be out and we will all be doing that last minute dash down the shops for that one present we've forgotten to buy. Luckily for you folks we've got it all in hand for you! As is the case every Christmas time we are going to be giving you the most thorough reporting possible on the great and the good of Hotel Chocolat's Christmas range for 2014. The product taking the spotlight today are the Hotel Chocolat Christmas Baubles.

This pack of seven chocolates comes described as a 'selection of milk, white and dark chocolate truffles' and weighs in at a total of 75.0g. We are going to be finding ourselves saying this a lot over the coming weeks but we were massively impressed by the packaging. The silver and white coloured theme gave a premium look and feel and the bauble chocolates themselves looked similarly impressive on the eye.

With the @ChocMission team containing aficionados of all three chocolate types we left each of the different kinds to the respective 'experts'. As suspected they played back nothing but positive things with the textural mouth feel of all three a commonality in their feedback. The white chocolate was lauded for it's vanilla noted creamyness, whilst the milk and dark received equally positive comments regarding their finely balanced cocoa strength and prowess. The ganache centres could of perhaps been a little more adventurous however there were no comments from the team demanding anything more.

Overall your going to have to start getting used to this for next few weeks but we can only give these Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Baubles the big thumbs up. The whole team enjoyed the different flavour experiences on offer from the sweet white chocolate to the more acquired tasting dark chocolate. Whilst this my not be one of the more adventurous flavoured Christmas chocolate selections on offer this year if it is for a plainer tasting experience you are after we would suggest you head in the direction of these Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Baubles.

8.1 out of 10

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sainsbury's Belgian Milk Chocolate - Royal British Legion

We wanted you use our post today to raise awareness to all of our readers of this Sainsbury's Belgian Milk Chocolate which they are currently selling on behalf of the Royal British Legion. 

The Royal British Legion provides practical, emotional and financial support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present, and their famalie's.

Sainsburys's have been supporters of the Royal British Legion for 20 years and all profits from the sale of these £1.00 chocolate bars will go to the UK's leading armed forces charity. 

The chocolate isn't the best but the thought behind it certainly is ....

Kcal 92 Fat 5.9g Fat(sats) 3.7g Carbs 8.0g 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bidvest 3663 Search for the Ultimate Bacon Butty

This week our cooking challenge was supplied to us by the folks at Bidvest3663 - could we here @ChocMission make the Ultimate Bacon Butty??

...well of course we could! We had the power of chocolate on our side :-) Take a look below for our special recipe:

Bacon Sarnie with chilli-choc ketchup on homemade garlic and rosemary focaccia

1 Bread - homemade garlic and rosemary focaccia

2. Bacon - dry cured unsmoked back bacon

3. Method of cooking - grilling

4. Sauce - homemade chilli-choc ketchup made with Lindt dark chilli chocolate (review See HERE)

5. Salad - no chance!

6. Special tips - Bread cook it first thing in the morning or the night before so it has time to cool before you cut it. Bacon - it needs to be ultra crispy or if not then the fat removed as it will be slimy and soggy

and here is the master piece ......

What do you think? Do you think we are in with a shot of winning this Bidvest3663 challenge?

Friday, 14 November 2014

November 14th: Yorkie Peanut

Kcal 248 Fat 16.5g Fat(sats) 7.2g Carbs 19.5g (per bar)

Review number 1,900 and guess what!? Yep it's a new LIMITED EDITION taking the ChocolateMission spotlight. The brand recieing and all new variant this time around is Nestle's Yorkie bar. For awhile now this is a brand that has been operating with just three different flavours - the commonly found Original, a Fruit & Nut variant and lastly the lesser distributed Honeycomb flavour. Well making it's way to all good UK confectionery stockists soon will be this Nestle Yorkie Peanut bar.

Although Yorkie bars are definitely smaller than they used to be, the 43.0g Limited Edition bar still felt like a bigger than average sized chocolate. The wrapper was distinctly Yorkie - the same bold branded letters remained as per the other variants though the black background colour and clear peanut wording placed below were a clear differentiator. Out of it's wrapper we were hoping for a stronger nutty aroma though visibly we could see the bar was crammed full of nuts.

The on-pack description described the bar simply as 'chunky milk chocolate with peanuts (25%)'. It was simple in construct but decent enough in taste with the two core components of chocolate and peanuts offering a nice contrast in flavours. The milk chocolate was basic - typical mass consumer friendly chocolate from Nestle - sweet, with the underlying cocoa flavours very toned down with a mass of sugary milkiness. On it's own this would have been pretty boring but the sugar roasted peanuts were a great addition bringing a savoury nutty saltiness to the party. All five blocks felt like a very decent sized snack - most the team felt it was just about the right amount.

Overall the ChocolateMission team didn't have the highest expectations for this Yorkie Peanut bar but it proved itself to be a decent enough chocolate bar and one that many in the team might well end up buying again. It isn't the most dynamic of concepts or chocolates but for what it is, which is simply just a plain milk chocolate bar with peanuts in, it's a decent enough option for any chocolate nut fan to consider. We don't think it will be a bar greatly missed once it's gone but it may be worth you checking out before it does.

7.6 out of 10

Schwartz Flavour Your Way

Last week we got sent a challenge by our friends over at Schwartz - how good are the ChocolateMission team in the kitchen? Well feeling confident in our culinary skills we took on the Schwartz Flavour Your Way challenge and went about making one of our very favourite dishes using some of their very own herbs and spices to give our dish an added kick. If you want some more ideas and recipes head to the Schwartz site here. Make sure you tweet us pictures of your creations using the hashtag #FlavourYourWay ... enjoy our meatball recipe 

Dish: Venison Meatballs served with spaghetti, a zingy tomato sauce and homemade garlic bread

Zingy Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp Yorkshire Drizzle rapeseed oil
1 red pepper (roughly chopped)
1 tsp Schwatz minced garlic
250ml chicken stock
50ml red wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Schwartz basil
1 tsp Schwatz cayenne chilli powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400g/14oz cans tomatoes

1. Heat the oil in a stainless steel saucepan.

2. Add the chopped red pepper, cayenne pepper and minced garlic,
 toss until coated, cover, and sweat on a gentle heat until soft. 

3. Slice the canned tomatoes and add, with all the juice, to the mixture.

4. Add in the chicken stock, tomato puree, and red wine (and a splash of worcester sauce if you like a bit of extra zing!)

5. Season the contents with salt, freshly ground pepper and add the basil.

6. Cook the sauce uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened

Homemade Garlic Bread

1 heaped tbsp Schwatz minced garlic 
100g softened salted butter
2 english muffins (sliced in half)
1 tsp Schwartz basil

1. Using a pestle and mortar grind the minced garlic into a fine powder

2. Mix the garlic powder with the softened part and spread onto the sliced muffins. Sprinkle the basil on top of the muffin

3. Cook the muffins in the oven for approximately 7-9 minutes at 180oC

4. Serve………..

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

November 12th: Ritter Sport Schokowurfel Weiss

Kcal 594 Fat 41.0g Fat(sats) 23.0g Carbs 51.0g (per 100.0g)

Ritter Sport are a brand who are constantly innovating and releasing at minimum twelve seasonal varieties each year. In addition to all these seasonal flavours they also have some other lines that they add new variants to every now and then. One of these is their Schokowurfel range - that's the 'Chocolate Cube' range to us Brits. The Schokowurfel are Ritter's take on a selection box and contain single cube chocolates of a number of different flavours. The latest addition to the Schokowurfel range is the Weiss variety - a collection of three different Ritter Sport white chocolates.

The Ritter Sport Schokowurfel Weiss is a 176.0g box containing approximately 22 chocolate pieces. The selection contains 3 different flavours Latte Macchiato, Nuss-Mandel Krokant and Karamell Nuss.

Latte Macchiato is a coffee flavoured white chocolate. The filling is very smooth and melts with a lovely softness and at a nice pace. The initial white chocolate flavours work well with the creamy, mild coffee flavours. The coffee was a little mild for our liking but it was still a very tasty chocolate.

Nuss-Mandel Krokant is an almond and hazelnut cream flavoured white chocolate. The filling had small bits of nut in it so it wasn't as smooth as the coffee piece. The mouthfeel wasn't as pleasurable however the buttery nut flavours were lovely and the woodyness of the hazelnut made for a taste none to dissimilar to that of Kinder Bueno.

Karamell Nuss is caramel cream flavoured white chocolate with small hazelnut pieces. The team absolutely adored these. The toffee, buttery flavours of the caramel cream and extra nutty flavours worked very well with the white chocolate. These were the first of three to be finished.

Overall this new Ritter Sport Schokowurfel Weiss selection is one that will be loved be all white chocolate fans. The variety is limited for people that don't like nuts however if like us you love them then you will be loving all three of the flavours on offer if you also like coffee. I'm sure you will all agree the whole 'Chocolate Cube' presentation is also very endearing so adding that also into consideration we can do nothing else than whole heartily recommending this new Ritter Sport Schokowurfel Wiess selection.

8.4 out of 10


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