June 29th: Lily O'Briens Sticky Toffee

Kcal 232 Fat 12.0g Fat(sats) 8.0g (per 47.0g)

Before I go into todays review I just want to quickly acknowledge the mention that this website got in this weekends Guardian newspaper!! Yes indeed ChocolateMission was mentioned in the supplementry 'GUIDE' magazine - now thats recognition for you :D :D anyway enough blowing my own trumpet onto the review :D

The kind people at Lily O'Briens are the latest lovely bunch of people to send some of their range my way and today saw me sampling their 'Sticky Toffee' selection... read on to see how they matched up on the Chocolate Mission rating.

Lily O'Briens describe these as 'sweet smooth caramel encased in milk & dark chocolate'. Looking at the ingredients it looked a pretty clean list..the usual suspects were present..sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass - the milk chocolate contained 30% and dark 55% solids respectively.

The chocolates came in a box of eight which weighed 110g - I ate these in two sittings and found four at a time a perfect amount. My opinion was split on the aesthetic appeal of this product...the packaging I didnt feel looked the greatest - I dont know what it was but to me it just didnt have the classiest of appearances. The box design was ok but the inside plastic bag and gold coloured wrappers just all looked a bit 'Cadbury Roses' to me...by that I mean not really as sophisticated as maybe other crafted chocolates are...they looked more mainstream and less specialised. Out their wrappers the chocolates had a nice dairy creamy aroma with just a little sweet scent that reminded me of honey...the chocolates themselves looked impressive and as you can see in the cross section above had a nice smooth appearance and good use of distinguishable colours for the different elements...the caramel especially had a nice golden appearance.

The chocolate that coated the caramel insides was comprised of both dark and milk chocolate. My method of eating these was biting off the dark chocolate top and eating it, then licking out the caramel centre before munching on the rest of the milk chocolate.

The dark chocolate had a rich taste that I found suprisingly darker and more cocoa rooted than I was expecting. Though strong in flavour it avoided being overly bitter and provided an initial nice deep taste that balanced nicely agaisnt a very sweet centre. The milk chocolate was also equally as good. It reminded me alot of milka chocolate in that it was sweet and milky without the cocoa edge thats more alike Dairy Milk...the taste was smooth and very moreish.

The caramel on pack is described as smooth but to be honest this couldnt have been further from the truth. Its texture was grainy and thick - a bit like a more fluid fudge...this is not a criticism! I believe the texture cotrasted nicely with the smoothness of both the chocolate elements, it gave a nice distinctive feel in the mouth. Flavourwise the caramel centres were very sweet but balanced nicely with a salty aftertaste; the taste was very different to most caramel and was more buttery than sugary...different but equally as tasty as any caramel out there.

Overall these are a pretty decent first offering from Lily O'Briens and I must admit im impressed. In my opinion the packaging dosent quite match the quality of the product and that slightly lets its appearance rating down. Besides that the combination of different chocolate types and unique tasting buttery caramel filling make for a rich but enjoyable experience. Definately a product for fans of caramel to try - a good score and a Chocolate Mission thumbs up.

8.4 out of 10