Monday, 24 March 2008
Kcal 525 Fat 28.8g Fat(sats) 18.6g (per 100g)
Despite claiming I had no time for tasting/reviewing the giant chocolate egg that came with my Smarties pack this Easter I didnt forsee the mid afternoon Easter Mondays hitting quite so hard than they did today. In light of this and a reccomendation from a Chocolate Mission reader, I endulged in one half of the egg this afternoon.
My cynicism regarding this egg stems from the sheer amount of variations of Easter Eggs these generic eggs appear in. In almost every branded giant Easter Egg/bars combo, regardless of the manufacture it is verly likely it will come with one of these giant eggs with the same pattern as shown above; which for me just seems a bit boring and uninspired.
Anyway forgetting all that - judging the egg by its merits and not its reputation I have had far worse chocolate. The Shell of the egg was suprisingly thick - alot thicker than I was expecting anyway. Despite its etched in random sectioned pattern as shown above the egg when bashed agaisnt my kitchen table split perfectly down the middle - nice!
Tastewise it was what I expected really. It was neither the worst or best chocolate I have ever tasted, no where near the quality of the better chocolate brands but far from your supermarket own label sugar overloaded stuff. The texture wasnt overly bad either it had a slight melt in the mouth feel which though dosent slightly reach the smoothness of say Galaxy but is still quite nice.
Overall I guess im glad I didnt quite get round to throwing this out before I tasted it. Despite my negative attitude towards it because of the nature of it being generic, tastewise it isnt at all bad and I have to admit that the half I set aside to eat this afternoon was devoured rather quickly. Its definately not going to win any awards for 'best chocolate....well anything' but for a product that I guess alot of us will recieve this Easter period one way or another it isnt all that bad.
7.0 out of 10
Rounding up the mini eggs reviews for Easter 2008 is the last egg from the Nestle Easter range this year. This Heaven egg is nearly exactly the same as the Dark variant I reviewed a week or so ago however as you can probably guess the Dark chocolate is replaced with Milk Chocolate.
As with the dark variant size wise it is lightly smaller than the Cadburys eggs this year, however it is actually the same weight due to it being layered rather than hollow and with a filling. The egg is formed of two layers - one layer of solid milk chocolate about a third or so deep with the rest of the egg filled with a truffle like centre.
Biting into the egg sideways the egg immediatelly split into the two sections. This again although not looking the best is rather handy for eating it and due to the truffle layer also being split down the centre it meant the egg was equally proportioned in each half.
Smell wise the egg offered a small hint of chocolate though not nearly as strong as you would expect given the concentration of the ingredients.
The two layers gave the egg a nice combination of textures with the outer shell providing a nice solid feeling whilst the truffle centre was more melt on the tongue. Unfortunately there wasnt that bigger differential in terms of flavour between the two layers, imagine biting into a layer of solid Cadburys Dairy Milk placed ontop of a Cadburys Wispa (but just replace the aforementioned with standard Nestle chocolate): what you will get it is a nice combination of textures but at the end of it exactly the same taste...its hardly the most exciting or innovative.
Overall this egg was pleasent enough - as I have said above it does have a rather monotomous taste when you consider what they could have done with both the layers. That said the egg is pleasent in blending a nice variation of textures and one of these eggs is certainly enough to cure hunger - if you see these hanging around some bargain bins post Easter its well worth picking a few up.
7.4 out of 10
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Nestle certainly have been busy this Easter pumping out the different variations of mini eggs with several different branded variations. The Rolo egg is very similar to the Cadburys Dairy Milk with Caramel offering - both are 38g and both are packed full to the brim with their respected flavoured centres...in this case packed full of toffee.
Again I slightly chilled the egg so the toffee would solidify and be less messy; unfortunately upon opening I was greeted with a situation of toffee overspill and the toffee was literally bursting out a small gap in the top; I guess this gives you an idea of how packed this egg was. One thing to note is that although having more toffee in it than its Cadburys Caramel counterpart the shell was notably thinner.
The mess aside the smell of the toffee was quite alluring though the chocolate was rather scentless and offered very little.
Biting into the egg and the situation got an awful lot more messy. As I have said above the chocolate was quite thin and immediately cracked all over the place. Due to its slightly chilled nature the toffee remained firm and quite viscuous in texture.
Despite the sheer plentifulness of the toffee it does avoid being sickly and is very smooth in taste. Its flavour is rather unique and despite not quite reaching the heights of Cadburys/Galaxy caramel is a rather good alternative and is one that im sure any will enjoy. The chocolate due to its thin nature is rather lost in the flavour of the toffee - its not thick enough to really stamp its flavour on the tastebuds.
Overall this is one of the better Nestle mini eggs out this year. The toffee is plentiful and pleasent in taste though the chocolate is slightly lacking in constituants and flavour which is why it dosent quite hit the score of the better Easter products - a solid yet unspectacular choice for this Easter.
8.3 out of 10
Having reviewed Smarties yesterday I chose today to sample the 'shakers' version of the Smarties range this Easter.
Similar to the Milkybar 'Shakers' egg I had the other day this unique little offering replaced the traditional creme/fondant centre with a helping of solid loose mini smarties...now I say mini and I mean minature.
The Smarties inside were about a quarter of the size of a traditional Smartie and unfortunately this was to their detriment. One thing I liked about the Smarties yesterday was that the sugar shells were not overpowering; unfortunately this was not the case here as the sugar shells made up over half of each of their individual constituants making them in taste to be nothing more than litte sugar lumps - disappointing. Yesterday I also praised Smarties for including an orangey flavour to the orange coloured smarties; sadly this was not a flavour I could detect in the mini orange smarties...saying that though I could hardly taste the chocolate in them anyway regardless the colour.
The egg itself was a rather standard in flavour being neither unappealing or overly pleasent - just average really. The egg was decorated rather nicely with a few patterns etched into the side aswell as the Nestle logo. Also despite their unpleasent taste the mini Smarties at least looked nice adding a bit of colour to the product.
In size it was neither the biggest or the smallest - the mini Smarties were quite plentiful and the shell was of standard thickness compared to other Easter offerings.
Overall this seems to me to be a bit of a missed oppertunity by Nestle. The idea concept is unique and the inclusion of Smarties in the shell is at least original and a nice break from the usual creme/fondant/truffle concept. Unfortunately due to the average tasting chocolate and disappointing make up of the mini Smarties the experience is rather underwhelming. There is better out there this Easter.
6.4 out of 10
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Kcal 175 Fat 6.5g Fat(sats) 3.7
The Easter bunny isnt supposed to be making his official visit until tommorow but I was a lucky boy and was the reciever of a Smarties Easter Egg today from a kind relative.
Included in this Easter Egg pack were the standard chocolate egg that is included with all Cadburys Eggs this Easter and also two hexatube packs of Nestle Smarties. Tossing the chocolate egg to the side (no time for generic chocolate eggs this year round people!) I opened my first tube of Smarties for a good ten years :) smell??...distinctly lacking - no aroma worth mentioning aside from a slightly sweet smell.
One quick note is that the packaging claims that there is no artifical colourings or flavors...honestly thats a tad puzzling considering the colours these come in!? The blue colour is back!? does anyone care lol not me. Despite the meaningless package claim theres no doubting that they look great, natraul - no? appertising - kinda...intresting and different - definately.
Anyone whose been reading Chocolate Mission thus far will know that sugary shelled products havent been amongst the most highgly rated. I generally find them very artifical tasting (they genereally are!) and many of these products have been too dominated by these overpowering sweet flavours - not a good omen for a product that describes itself as 'milk chocolate in a crisp sugar shell'.
Smarties come in seven colours - all of which are the same in taste with the orange colour aside which has a slight orangey twang to it. Plently of nostalgic feelings quickly filled me as I emptied the contents of one the hexatubes into a bowl - the colours look amazing and although you know they all generally taste the same you cant help but match up your favourite colours and pick out the orange ones - great fun :D
After finally finishing fiddling around playing around matching up the colours (oh come on I cant be the only one) I finally got round to eating them :) Although slightly wary of the sugary shells I really quite enjoyed their presence in the product. The shells are far thinner than their M&M counterparts but still added a nice crispy bite to the product. Their thiness meant that they did not dominate the flavour and the milk chocolate quickly presented itself to the tastebuds and established itself as the dominant ingredient.
Chocolatewise Smarties are rather indifferent, their small size nature meant that whilst the chocolate is not overpowered its not a particularly strong flavour - that being said the blend of the shells and chocolate is overly pleasent and a single tube (38g) is a more than adequete serving size.
The orange Smarties although not plentiful in number (I only got two in a whole pack grrr!) are pleasent and the orange taste is a nice element to throw into the mix - why arent there tubes with just Orange smarties!? I guess this must have been done in some Limited edition capacity already??
Overall theres no doubting Smarties look great in appearance and im sure they probably bring back tons of great childhood memories for many a person. This aside though Smarties are a product that are never going to win any prizes in terms of taste. They are one of those products that are never going to offer an overly differential flavour extravaganza but if its a great looking nostalgic bringing chocolate experience your after, you can go little wrong with Smarties.
7.9 out of 10
Friday, 21 March 2008
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???
For those of you who were lucky enough to be viewing the site the other day when I posted up a link for a free Thorntons Easter egg and signed up for one you may want to read on as your going to enjoy reading this.
Before stumbling across the Thorntons offer the other day I had already purchased a few of these from my local shop for the grand total of 59p each; I couldnt resist as these looked great in their snazzy foil wrappers.
This Thorntons egg seemed almost identical in size to the Cadburys Eggs...dont hold me to this precisely but to me it seemed neither bigger or smaller. Unwrapping the egg from its foil wrapper I was immediately greeted with a nutty praline smell; it smelt absolutely stunning and it sort of brought a sense that this product was quite fresh and hadnt been lieing around a warehouse for months like maybe some of the other Easter products I have reviewed.
The egg is formed of two layers, a thick shell of milk chocolate with chopped nuts thrown in surrounding a plentiful centre of praline truffle.
The shell was glorious in taste - the chocolate was smooth and very creamy; the added chopped nuts to the mix was a pleasent suprise I wasnt expecting it added a slight crunch to the smoothness and in terms of flavour just a small subtle hint of nut. The Centre was equally as tasty - it had a full flavoured nuttyness to it however avoided being overpowering; very nice indeed. In texture it was firm yet velvety and had a real luxurious feel to it. As the truffle filling filled most of the egg there was no problem in proportioning and each mouthful was a nice balance of shell and truffle filling.
Overall if you were lucky enough to have signed up for a free on of these (which im guessing will be delivered to us all after Easter) your in for a real treat. This is an extremely tasty egg and definately an option worth considering if your neither a fan of the Cadburys or Mars eggs this Easter. Good work from the master of Choclatiering ;) It will be great to hear all your thoughts on it when yours come through the post.
8.7 out of 10
Kcal 120 Fat 7.0g
Anyone who had any form of childhood must have come across a Kinder Suprise at some point. For those of you that missed out altogether I can tell you that this chocolate egg is not only avalible at Easter but all year round. This is not your average chocolate egg..oh no...heres the hook...inside this hollow 20g treat lies a self assembly toy which will entertain anyone under the age of 5 for all a matter of minutes.
The egg is formed of two very thin layers, one of milk chocolate (outer layer as seen above) and one lighter coloured inside layer that is decribed as 'milk flavoured'.
As described above the egg is particularly thin and not in anyway substantial enough to cure any sort of hunger; because of this relatve thinness it means the egg offers very little in terms of texture and despite the smooth nature of the chocolate its particularly unexciting in terms of an eating experience.
Tastewise there really isnt much to shout about. Theres no actual distinguishable taste difference between the two layers which is overly worrying considering the differences in colour. The taste is sweet in flavour and lacks any sort of depth or distinguishable aspect.
Overall this really is a product that should be well left alone unless your under the age of ten years old. I can see why this is such a popular product with kids...I mean why wouldnt it be...its a toy and chocolate...sadly for those of us who have passed these precious years its best we stay we clear.
5.3 out of 10
*Credit www.chocablog.com for the picture
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Aside from your Cadburys offerings this is pretty much the most readily avalible mini egg on the market this Easter.
This delightful little offering promised the prospect of a Mars bar all encompassed in one nice seasonal egg - this had all the promisings of being a real challenger for the creme egg crown.
The egg in size is slightly smaller than the Cadburys offerings this easter coming in at a pretty standard 33g. I am told this is slightly smaller than last years which used to at least be the equivalent size of the Cadburys Eggs.
I chilled the egg again slightly hoping that the caramel would solidify somewhat and not make a mess when I was eating it; after removing from the fridge and peeling off the nice looking foil I was pleased to be hit with a sweet smelling chocolatey caramel aroma - a good start. One thing I must again mention is the same familiar patterned oval shapes etched into the egg...exactly the same as the Cadburys egg..surely these eggs cant all be being producded in the same place!!?...someone care to clear this up?
Biting into the egg I was met with a whole host of different layers of filling. The Chocolate being from the fridge was crunchy and a equally delicous to the creamy chocolate that is synonomous with the original Mars bar...ok granted its not the greatest chocolate in the world but it is rather pleasent to say the least. The next flavour that was evident was the caramel - even though the egg was slightly chilled it wa still suprisingly runny and left a long trail coming from the egg with my initial bite...ohh the mess :D....the mess is insignificant though as the taste more than makes up for it smooth and full of flavour DE-LISH!
The last component of the egg is the nougat. The nougat found in this egg is brilliantly managed in both proportion and taste. It occupied one half of the inside of the egg . Although this meant it wasnt best spread it was correct in measure. The texture was far less chewy than the nougat found in the original Mars bars and was much smoother; I must say that I preffered this texture to the one found in the original bar as it meant it dominated the other flavours less.
Overall the only letdown with this bar is the unfortunate size change it has undergone. Why Mars have made the egg smaller I do not know- rather puzzling to say the least. In terms of taste this is definately on the same level as the Cadburys Creme Egg, its combination of good tasting chocolate, chewy caramel and smoother than normal nougat makes for a delicous balance of flavours. If it wernt for the fact I was left wanting another straight away I would rate this at least on the same level as the Creme egg; I would reccomend picking up some of these this Easter especially if your a fan of Mars bars.
8.7 out of 10
*Credit www.chocablog.com for the picture
Kcal 115 Fat 4.6g Fat(sats) 2.5g Carbs 18.0g
Having previously reviewed the Cadburys Curly Wurly Squrleys you may be asking yourself why I would write a review on the Curly Wurly...well they are packaged and presented differenly so why not :D
No suprise that in taste at least there is absolutely no discrepencies between the two products - I would even hazard a guess that the Curly Wurly Squrleys are off cuts of the Curly Wurly as they have absoluely no different in formula whatsoever - chewy caramel encased in Dairy Milk Chocolate...fair enough.
The only actual tangible differences in the two products are they way they are presented. The Curly Wurly is in a bar form of 26g whilst a bag of 'CWS' offers you are far more hunger fufilling 46g in small bite sized chunks. Personally I prefer the bar form and its certainly fun seeing how far you can stretch the caramel after each bite (come on I cant be the only one to do this!!).
Overall im left with the sense that theres no real need for both of these products to be on the market - and thats not even considering the Cadburys Chomp which is exactly the same product in a more boring shaped bar. In terms of flavours the Curly Wurly/Squrley is pleasent and whilst not being the most innovative or exciting is distinctive enough to merit some form of existance, just not in two different forms! A halfway house of a 40g bar of this would be great! If your after a fun looking, ok tasting snack you cant really go wrong - just dont expect this to be more than that.
6.6 out of 10
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Im yet to find a better white chocolate than Milkybar, so given the opportunity to review this Easters Milkybar egg offering from Neslte I was hardly going to be turning it down.
The egg is part of Neslte's unique 'Shaker' range which sees the traditional creme like filling found in most mini Easter products replaced with mini flavoured solid pieces - in this instance white chocoate flavoured rice puffs. The name is obviously dervied from the rattling noise that these small pieces cause as they shaken agaisnt the solid chocolate shell.
The egg had a sweet smelling vanilla like flavour typically found in most Milkybar products. I decided to eat this particular product by biting off the top of the egg empyting the contents and eating the rest of the shell whislt nibbling away at the rice pieces.
Tastewise this egg was delicous, The shell was thick and thoroughly enjoyable. The change of format did not have a profound change in the taste and it was much the same sweet vanilla type flavour I found with the Milkybar Chunky I reviewed in January. The puffed rice particles also added a nice texture to the mix, they were similar to rice crispies in density but had far more flavour and subsequently added a nice variaton in texture to the thick dense shell.
Overall this was a nice concept that was executed well by Nestle. Milkybar is a very popular product and it would have been all too easy to just release a Milkybar egg with some form of white chocolate creme, Nestle have introducded a new concept to the egg market by going agaisnt the grain and bringing something new to the table with the 'Shaker' concept. Tastewise your never going to go wrong withMilkybar and if your after something a little different this Easter I would recommend you give this a try.
8.0 out of 10
Previously produced by Duncans these have been manafactured since 1910 - thats one hell of a history; surely this must mean this product is something special!? Walnut Whips have come in many different flavours over the years, it was to my great suprise I learnt that this vanilla flavour is currently the only variant in production.
The build of the Walnut Whip is unique yet simple: a very light fluffy whipped centre is encased in a cone shaped milk chocolate shell - topped off with a single walnut. Despite its rich heritage this actually came in a rather modern snazzy blue foil wrapper - personally I think they are missing a trick here and more a more traditional wrapper would suite the product more.
Overall I cannot understand how this product has survived so long with other quality products readily available on the market. The Nestle website claims that a Walnut Whip in the UK is eaten every two minutes which is really quite remarkable considering I have had one and would probably never consider buying one again. This dosent come with a recommendation from the Chocolate Mission though I guess on balance I have had worse.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Kcal 146 Fat 9.0g Fats(sats) 5.5g Carbs 14.6g
Easter is fast approaching and todays offering from Nestle comes in the form of a spin off from the Nestle Heaven range.
Im not too familiar with the range but to my knowledge it is based around chocolate truffles which are avalible in bars and of course packs of individual truffles. This egg is billed as a 'Dark chocolate shell with a rich dark truffle centre'..sounds good in theory.
In size the egg was significantly smaller than the Cadburys/Galaxy eggs I have reviewed over the last couple of days weighing in at a rather small 28g. In design the egg had no pattern work at all and to my suprise rather easily straight down the centre of the egg from top to bottom with very little force - it was more than apparent that this egg is built fusing two halfs together rather than a egg shell filled -despite its relative unattractivness this did have its advantages though. A problem with the previously reviewed eggs was that the filling inside was ill proportioned and sunk to one end of the egg; this was not the case with this Black Heaven egg as the filling was half filled in one side and half in the other, this ensured a perfect balance of filling and shell with every bite.
Unfortunately despite its slightly fortunate design success its taste was rather disappointing. Despite the differences in texture in the shell and centre (one being crunchy and the other slightly smooth) there was no distinctive change in taste. The Dark chocolate was altogether rather sweet and sugary and did not have the slight bitterness you would expect and want from an egg offering a dark alternative to the rest of the market. This sweet taste although not overly disatisfying came across quite monotomous and paled in comparison to other Dark chocolate offerings I have had of late.
Overall the taste of this egg was ultimately disappointing in due to its small size really unfufilling. Although Nestle seemed to have solved the problem of the ill proportioned filling, this has been at cost to not only the asthetic appeal of the egg but also to the whole eating experience itself. The difficulty of eating the creme egg and equivalents is actually half the fun of the egg format itself - taking this away does indeed proportion the feeling and cause less mess but in all it does take something away from the fun of this format. The flavour with this egg was also quite monotomous and unless your a fan of the Nestle Heaven range I generally reccommend you look elsewhere this Easter - not overly disatisfying, just I think there's better out there.
6.9 out of 10
Kcal 150 Fat 5g Fat(sats) 3.5g Carbs 26g
Not wanting to deviate from my recent habit, I again indulged in another mid afternoon treat; this time I turned my attention to across the pond and helped myself to this little imported snack from the US - the 3 Musketeers with Mint and Dark Chocolate.
The 3 Musketeers with Mint came in a 35g serving split into two familiar shaped bars as shown above. The bar is relatively different to the original 3 Musketeers bar which I reviewed a few weeks back - not only in size but in build aswell.
The Milk chocolate coating has been replaced with a far darker more bitter Dark Chocolate alternative, its flavour was strong yet avoided being overpowering and definately suited the bar more due to charateristics of the centre im about to describe.
The centre of mint flavoured nougat retained the whippy soft texture of the original 3 Musketeers yet was certainly different in flavour. The mint flavour is an intresting concept and is certainly original interms of Im currently unaware of any other mint flavoured soft nougat bars on the market at present. Not only was the flavour original but it was actually quite refreshing and was sweet enough to finely balance agaisnt the slight bitterness of the chocolate. The mint flavour also provided a fantastic smell upon opening the bar and certainly gave a clear indication of what to expect interms of the taste.
Overall if your a fan of mint chocolate like I am, you can go very little wrong with this offering form Mars. The only slightly puzzling nature of the bar is natrually its size; it is only half the size of the original 3 Musketeers and if you are wanting something more substantial than just a tasty light bite you will be left disappointed (and hungry lol!). This small grumble aside this is one heck of a tasty bar and is a perfect cure for the mid afternoon/morning munchies. This bar comes highly reccommended.
8.2 out of 10
Monday, 17 March 2008
The Easter Etravaganza continues with the egg version of Galaxy Caramel. The first thing that struck me about this egg was the pattern that was etched into the side of the egg - it was absolutely identical to the pattern on the Dairy Milk with Caramel egg, quite puzzling considering the obvious different manufactures - hmmm puzzling can anyone shed any light on this?
The similarities didn't end there, as this Galaxy egg was surprisingly exactly the same size and weight of its Cadburys equivalent. I ate the egg exactly the same method as the previously reviewed eggs - chilled, hollowed out and then the shell. The aroma of the egg was glorious and had the same sweet smell that was instantly recognisable from the ever so brilliant Galaxy Caramel bar (that currently jointly leads the Chocolate Mission table!!).
Biting into the egg it was quickly apparent that the caramel had become far thicker due to its chilled nature. It was actually rather solid and had sunk right to the bottom of the egg meaning that the top third was completely chocolate. It was also quite apparent that the amount of caramel in this egg was significantly less than in the Dairy Milk product. I couldn't help but feel a little let down by this - and that disappointment was compounded even more after eating it. Of course the egg tasted absolutely glorious - the chocolate was full of all Galaxy goodness and the caramel was smooth and full of flavour - spectacular and I can fault it little in this department. Unfortunately the egg also suffered from the same proportioning problems as the Dairy Milk with Caramel egg. The caramel sunk to one end of the egg meaning that one end had significantly more filling than the other - this wasn't unexpected but it still effected the overall product quality.
Overall there is no doubt this is one tasty egg that will certainly be enjoyed by who ever is lucky enough to indulge in one (or more :D) over Easter. Similarly to the Cadburys equivalent, in comparison with the bar format it is also available in, it does fall short as the proportioning is imbalanced due to its egg shape and its hunger fulfilment potential is not as great because of its size. The Cadburys Creme egg is still leading the way in the Easter Mission, but if you after a tasty caramel easter treat you can go little wrong with this Galaxy offering.
8.4 out of 10