April 30th: Galaxy Roasted & Caramelised Hazelnuts

Kcal 249 Fat 14.5g Carbs 26.7g

Is it me or are Mars forever trying to out-do Cadburys in the namestakes....for your Cadburys 'Biscuit' you have the Galaxy 'Cookie Crumble'...for your 'Fruit & Nut' you have 'Raisin, Almond & Hazelnut'...and now for the 'Wholenut' equivalent we have 'Roasted & Caramelised Hazelnuts'..bit of of a mouthful eh!

This bar came in a 47g single portion serving - just the right amount if you ask me. Looking on the wrapper aside from the overly long name the bar described itself as 'smooth and creamy milk chocolate with roasted and caramelied hazelnuts'...these nuts which were supposedly comprimising 14% of the bar. If you take a look above those were the pieces that actually contained the relatively less amount of hazelnuts than the others...the bar was absolutely crammed full of them.

Despite the high nut content the blocks actually broke away relatively easily and with less mess than I expected. The bar offered a slight nutty aroma which was very pleasent but mostly the scent wasnt overly detectable which was slightly disappointing.

Tastewie the hazelnuts were neither the best nor the worst. They had that slightly woody nutty flavour but were relatively shallow in taste when considering the sheer volume. The chocolate was its usual dreamy smoothness that retained its normal Galaxy creamy flavour. There seriously isnt much better than Galaxy chocolate...unfortunately the overall flavour was hindered by the texture of the bar.

Due to the volume and nature of the chopped nuts the overall smoothness of the texture of the bar was disrupted. Of course its normal to expect not the smoothest of texture with a bar that contain nuts, but the silkyness is really the main strength of Galaxy chocolate and I just feel that this probably isnt the most suitable ingredient to combine with it - that appears to be the case anyway on evidence of this bar.

Overall this is no doubt a good tasting bar - the chocolate is the normal dreamy Galaxy delighfulness, and the hazelnuts although not as flavoursome as they could possibly be arent at all bad. Personally I just dont think the roughness of the chopped nuts really suits the super smooth chocolate and that stops this being one of the top bars in the Chocolate Mission table. If you enjoy trying different bars with nuts, this is definately worth you checking out.

7.9 out of 10

April 29th: Cadbury Dairy Milk

Kcal 255 Fat 14.6g Fat(sats) 9.0g Carbs 27.7g

The confectionery market is such a busy place with new and exciting products popping up all over the place, its sometimes easy to forget the classics that have been with us for decades. It came to my realisation yesterday despite having reviewed some of the more obscure products on the current market, I had somewhat neglected some of the older time classics.

Today for the first time in a long while I went to the shops and I bought a 49g bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk...no truffle centres...no peanut butter...no fancy biscuit elements in sight...just a plain old milk chocolate bar.

Cadburys have recently just changed their packaging too more subtle matted textured wrappers. Personally I don't care too much, but I must admit they do look a bit more appealing and classy than the previous slightly dated looking foil wrappers.

Opening the wrapper, the Dairy Milk aroma quickly became evident - I think anyone whose had a Dairy Milk bar before will be able to relate to that extremely distinctive Dairy Milk smell, a creamy cocoa scent...gorgeous.

I ate the bar block by block letting each melt in my mouth slowly. It had a silky texture that melted at just the right rate in the mouth, releasing its creamy flavour but avoiding being pro-longed in its presence - something that is often the case with more waxy textured bars that just seem to stay an unmelted lump in the mouth. The chocolate melted at such a nice rate that chewing was unnecessary and sucking on the block alone allowed it to release its full flavour.

Flavour wise I think its universally agreed that Dairy Milk has a distinct taste. Dairy Milk's big marketing claim is that there is "a glass and a half of full cream milk in every half pound"...and I'm not going to argue this is untrue. The taste...its simplicity in itself...Cocoa routed creamy goodness...and in every bite...in a word..Delicious.

Overall I cant say enough good things about this bar. Its easy to see why it gets overlooked so often by people like myself who are always chasing the new ideas in the confectionery market, but thats really to our own detriment. This is simplicity in itself - just a standard 49g bar of solid milk chocolate - a no frills, no nonsense great tasting chocolate bar. Its not the most exciting bars on the market but its up there with the best and probably will be for years and years to come. Next time your browsing the confectionery shelve why don't you ignore the 'triple nut, double caramel, nougat extravaganza bar' and just indulge in one of these; I can promise you wont regret it.

8.9 out of 10

April 28th: Montezuma's "Space Hopper"

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Today I delved further into the speciality gift set from Montezuma's and sampled the sprightly named "Space Hopper". The "Space Hopper" was yet another 45g bar from the range and combined 'Organic milk chocolate with juicy orange'.

From this description I was expecting a standard milk chocolate bar with the inclusion of bits of orange fruit...looking at the back of the pack though I was left pretty disappointed as it soon came to light that the bar actually only contained Orange Oil. Montezuma's claim this Orange oil is a 'cut above mere segments' but to be honest I disagree and I will explain why.

Montezuma's pride themselves on their organic credentials and although on the ingredients list the 'Orange Oil' claims to be a 'permitted GM free non-organic ingredient' it dosent strike me as in keeping with their whole ethos.

The lack of actual orange pieces effected the texture of the bar too - in that it made it rather boring. The chocolate wasnt the smoothest or most luxurious in terms of texture quality; it didnt reach the pinnacle of the melt in mouth dynamic of Dairy Milk whilst it wasnt as smooth as Galaxy or Lindt chocolate....with the absence of any other element other than the chocolate this made for a rather boring mediocre texture.

Despite my disappointment with the content and texture of the bar the overall taste wasnt bad. The flavour of the milk chocolate was actually really rather good - it had a nice milky cocoa flavour with a slight fragrance of vanilla. Looking at the ingredients again it included a good amount of cocoa and milk solids (24% & 22.5%) and generally just had a fresh tasting essence. The orange oil provided a strong orange flavour which although was far from spectacular was overly pleasent. What was notable however was the aroma that the orange ingredient created - it had a strong orangey fragrance which was superb and really quite appertising.

Overall although not bad tasting this is a bar that I just feel seems a bit out of place in the Montezuma's range. The concept of 'Orange Oil' to me seems agaisnt everything Montezuma's stands for which is all about Organicness and freshness...'Orange Oil' just feels like a bit of a contradiction. Its not only the concept of the orange element but also the execution - it delivers a nice taste but it offers very little of interest in the asthetic and texture departments. This is a bar I think is only for the chocolate orange fans...if your not fussed by the flavour this is a bar you can probably just let pass you by.

6.7 out of 10

April 27th: Trader Joe's Espresso Chocolates

Kcal 150 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 4.0g Carbs 22.0g (per 4 pieces 37g)

These single piece chocolates were another item to me sent to me by Esther in the US from the Trader Joe's outlet. On pack they are described as 'Rich dark chocolates filled with liquid espresso coffee' and came in a nifty pack of 12. Although distributed by Trader Joe's, as Cybele mentioned in her review over at Candy Blog these are actually made in Germany and although still having a very 'clean' ingreidents list (cocoa mass, wheat syrup, sugar, cocoa butter, espresso coffee) offered a slightly different proposition to the normal Trader Joe's products.

Unlike most the reviews on Chocolate Mission which are mostly based on single sitting portions I decided to review these by eating a few a day over the course of a week. I ate them at different times during the day: before my morning coffee, after lunch and after dinner and a conclusion I came to is that these were great to have half way through a morning or alernatively just after a large meal.

Asthetically the box looked nice, the wrappers were a rather boring plain brown with no pattern or designs..but for me sometimes simplicity suffices. Although a little unsure about the shape of the chocolates they did have a nice wooden design etched into the top of each which made the product look suitably stylish.

I ate these chocolates in a number of different ways - I tryed letting them slowly melt in my mouth, biting off one of the ends and eating the centre and also simply chewing them. By far and away the best method was letting them slowly melt on the tongue. It allowed for a nice smooth initial chocolate texture which was then followed by a cool slightly more liquid centre consistency.

The chocolate had a slightly different taste than the previous Trader Joe's dark chocolate products I had tasted before. Im putting the differences simply down to place of origin as I highlighted above. The chocolate itself had a flavour that was really quite sweet for dark chocolate. I personally would had preffered if the chocolate had a slightly less sugary taste which was more routed in the cocoa - it dosent actually say on the box the level of solids but I wouldnt expect it to be particularly high. This wasnt to say it was poor quality chocolate; it was actually rather good but it just didnt deliver the 'rich dark chocolate' it promised.

The liquid centre is obviously the focus of the product and it delivered a good quality flavour. The coffee flavour was a little more subtle than I was expecting, and its syrup like constituents made for a sweeter taste. I guess with the 'Espresso' billing I was expected quite an intense flavour routed in coffee but on reflection this really wasnt the case. Looking at the actual stated strength of the coffee ingredient, on the box it says that four of these chocolates contain less than 25% the strength of caffeine than a 6oz brewed coffee...so yeah...really quite low strength.

Overall these are a product that dont quite deliver on what they promise, though at heart are still rather good tasting. In both terms of dark chocolate and coffee flavours the product dosent deliver the intensity in flavours I was expecting; I would have preffered a richer darker chocolate with a more intense coffee flavour. That being said the standard of chocolate is still high and despite the chocolates being quite sweet in flavour eaten a few at a time and sparingly these are very good. If your looking for an intense coffee flavoured chocolate I wouldnt necessarily reccomend these on that basis, these are still pleasent chocolates though and if you get the chance to try them give them a go you could do far worse.

7.6 out 10

April 26th: Galaxy Cookie Crumble

*UPDATE 15/08/10 - NB. Original review written in April 2008 - since then the bar is now availble nationwide and in a smaller 50.0g bar (in photo above!)

Kcal 548 Fat 33.4g Fat(sats) 20.1g Carbs 55.4g

There's a good chance if you don't shop in Tesco that you will never heard of this bar. For some strange reason Mars have taken a rather odd decision and have made it a Tesco exclusive - why on earth? Reading Terry's take on this bar over at http://www.chocolatereview.net/ he seems to be of the opinion that Tesco, Sainsburys & Asda currently hold the rights to one exclusive bar each. If anyone can fill me in with what the other two are I would be most grateful as I have had trouble finding out myself.

Hiding amongst the vast selection of Chocolate at my local Tesco today I picked this 119g bar out and bought it despite the huge mountain of chocolate that I currently have sitting at house - I felt best to review it whilst it was widely available so it is more relevant to everyone ;)

The bar had the new 'smooth' shaped design that you can see in the picture above - I'm not too sure it actually adds extra smoothness though I must admit it does look nice to look at. Breaking the bar in half I could make out little specks of dark cookie placed in the chocolate - unfortunately due to the nature of the small cookie pieces the bar didn't break up that evenly and although the bar was split into blocks the cookie pieces stopped it from breaking cleanly. I guess there is nothing Mars can do about that but it does make it extra messy when breaking up the chunks.

The bar offered little aroma and in this sense the cookie element was anonymous. With Galaxy chocolate I particularly enjoy the smoothness and velvety nature of the chocolate that their products normally offer. It normally makes for a truly luxurious experience, this however was not the case here. Having chilled the bar slightly I placed the first few blocks in my mouth and waited - after a few seconds the chocolate started to melt and which point I began to chew. The chocolate was smooth but once the cookie element of this bar was exposed it acted like sandpaper and made for a distinctly rough grainy texture against the roof of my mouth. I ate about half a bar in one sitting but could eat no more due the roof of my mouth hurting - the cookie element was so coarse it actually made my mouth hurt! Ouchie...This wasn't Galaxy smoothness :( !!

Taste wise the bar wasn't too bad - the chocolate is your great standard Galaxy chocolate - smooth and distinctly creamy. The cookie element added very little in terms of flavour - despite its very distinctive texture it tasted of very little - a very slight biscuity note but nothing that added anything of relevance to the bar.

Overall this is really quite a disappointing bar from Mars. The Galaxy chocolate retains its usual great quality smooth creaminess and is luxurious in both taste and texture. The 'cookie crumble' aspect really REALLY lets this bar down though - shallow in flavour and horrible (even painful!) in texture. I really wouldn't recommend this bar to anyone other than Galaxy mad fans...suffice to say if your not at Tesco shopper I really wouldn't bother going out your way to get hold of one of these.

6.5 out of 10

April 25th: Lindt Lindor White Chocolate Truffles

Kcal 230 Fat 19.0g Fat 14.0g Carbs 14.0g (per 3 truffles)

I cant say I actually know of a white chocolate Lindt bar on the market at the momment so to see a 'blanco' version of the Lindor Truffles in Whittards I was a bit suprised.

No suprises though that the white variant was identical in size to the other varities, nor was there any change to the proposition of the Lindor truffle - simply a truffle centre surrounded by a thickish layer of chocolate...in this case both being white chocolate.

Unwrapping the first truffle I instantly detected an extremely sweet smell - so sweet infact I was really rather worried by the prospect of the product. It was so sweet I would describe it as artifical and overbearing - not the best of starts.

Fortuntely the aroma didnt translate into taste. The shell had the same thick properties that I found in the other variants I have tried in the past few weeks. Tastewise the outer chocolate had a deep creamy milky flavour with a slight fragrance of vanilla - extremely light and moreish.

The truffle centre as with the other variants was butter like in texture. It melted on the tongue almost instantly and had a slightly stronger vanilla taste than the outer chocolate. The texture worked alot better on this variant than the peanut butter and the lightness seemed to work better with the velvety creamy flavour.

Overall another good variant in the Lindor range. The truffle centre is again glorious and the cream like taste is further benefited by the lightness in texture - they are extremely moreish. I do have a few slight concerns though - looking at the fat content in just three truffles there is a whole 19.0g!!! 14.0g saturates!! Where did all that come from?! Another concern was the smell of the product - it was an extremely artifical aroma and certainly wasnt the most appertising. These slight grumbles aside these are definately worth getting hold of if your a fan of white chocolate - a nice variation but I still pefer the original milk chocolate version of Lindor...more on this range coming soon!

7.8 out of 10

April 24th: Terry's 3D

Kcal 225 Fat 12.5g Carbs 26.0g

If you havent tried this bar already theres a good chance your just going to have to take my word for this review as I very much doubt your going to be able to track down one of these. Fortunately my good friend Simon from Digital Spy Forums found some of these lurking in the bargain bin at his local newsagent and was kind enough to send me along two to review.... :) cheers again Simon.

Right so onto the review! So what is a Terry's 3D you ask? Well its a bar from Kraft comprised of three layers (hence the name). On wrapper the bar describes itself as 'Milk Chocolate, Golden Biscuit and a Creamy filling'.

Being the curious fella I am I was quite intrigued to see what was actually included in the 'Creamy filling'. The ingredients on the wrapper told me it included 'Skimmed milk powder, vegetable fat, vegetable oil, milk fat, lactose, flavourings & salt'..add in a list of 'E-numbers' as long as your arm and you soon reliase this isnt quite the organic simplicity you get with say Montezuma's chocolate and being honest it really dosent sound to appealing.

The bar asthetically looked quite good - it was split into four easily breakable chunks each decorated with a nice '3' logo. The bar didnt have too much of an aroma but had a slight biscuity smell which was quite standard and didnt do too much for me.

The chocolate at first it didnt offer too much of a taste but nibbling away at the chocolate coating at the bottom of the bar and tasting it in isolation to the biscuit and cream filling it had a very sweet but nonchalent flavour. The biscuit element of the bar had quite a pleasent taste - despite its contact with the thick moist cream filling placed above, it retained its crunchy texture and it provided a nice slightly savoury taste which worked well agaisnt the sweetness of the rest of the bar.

The cream filling was very thick and generous in its proportioning, unfortunately this didnt mean it had a particularly strong taste and agaisnt the flavour of the biscuit it provided little more than a slight milky taste.

Overall this is a bar that does absolutely nothing wrong or badly - it just dosent happen to do any of its elements amazinly well. The chocolate isnt the best and in honesty really quite shallow in flavour, its a similar story with the cream filling which despite its heavy presence offers very little taste. The best element of the bar is the biscuit which is done really quite well and has a nice crunchy texture. Due to its lack of depth in flavour it didnt really satisfy my hunger and it wasnt long after I was feeling peckish again. I very much doubt your going to be able to get hold of one of these bars but if im being honest I really wouldnt worry about it too much.

6.2 out of 10

April 23rd: Cadburys Caramello (Aus)

Kcal 265 Fat 12.5g Fat(sats) 7.7g Carbs 34.0g

Chocolate Mission's top spot currently is jointly held by the Cadburys Caramel, Galaxy Caramel and Snickers bar; when I came across this bar (at http://www.sanaza.co.uk/) curiosity got the better of me and I just had to see whether the Aussies' got such a good deal with the Cadburys Caramel as we do here in the UK.

The Aussie bar includes some differences to the UK version: firstly you will obviously notice the slight change in the name with the slightly less long winded 'Caramello'. Another slight difference comes in the size - the UK version one portion version weighs in at 50g whilst down under they get 55g.

The bar is also proportioned slightly differently, the UK bar is split into six blocks whilst the 'Caramello' is in eight. The blocks remain about the same thickness in term of chocolate, but in the Caramello there is less caramel placed in each. Aroma-wise the bar smelt almost identical to its UK twin, that ever so identifiable sweet Dairy Milk smelt was present - this was one of very few actual similarities.

There were a few differences; the chocolate although the same thickness felt lighter and less thick in texture once melted in the mouth. In flavour it wasnt too different from our UK Dairy Milk but it was ever so slightly more sweet and didnt have quite the rich creamy flavour of our UK Dairy Milk - it was still good...but just not as good as our UK equivalent.

It was a similar story with the flavour of the caramel - its was alot darker in colour relative to our golden coloured caramel and had more of a strong burnt flavour to it meaning it had less of a sweet edge. Personally this wasnt to my preference... again though when put in perspective this was still great tasting.

Overall I was quite suprised at the level of variation of flavours I could distinguish between the UK and Australian version. The Australian version dosent quite have the balance of flavours as well proportioned in comparison with the UK version. The flavours of the chocolate and caramel arent quite the same standard and im theorising this is solely just due to the obvious different sources of ingredients. Theres no doubting this is still a great chocolate bar - the flavours are still good and the texture of the chewy caramel is still luxurious. At 55g hunger is definately more than satisfied - if you ever get a chance to sample this I urge you to do so - its interesting see the differences but at the heart of it its still a great chocolate bar. Why not enter the Chocolate Mission competition to be in with the chance of winning this bar and many others!? :D

8.5 out of 10

April 23rd: Competition Time

Its finally time for the first ever Chocolate Mission Competition....
The prizes?.... Chocolate of course
Entry fee?...dont be silly its Free!

To have a chance of winning one of two boxes of chocolate goodies simply answer the two questions correctly below to be entered into the draw:

Q1. As of the 23.04.2008 what bar/s (bit of a hint there lol) currently hold the title of best chocolate bar i.e. Have the highest score?

Q2. As of the 23.04.2008 what bar is currently holding the Chocolate Mission Wooden Spoon i.e. The lowest score?

All answers to be sent to Chocomission@gmail.com

What Can you win?
By answering Correctly you will be placed in a random draw to win one of two of the following boxs

Box 1: US Mix -
Your chance to sample some of the best chocolate from America

1x Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1x Reese's White Peanut Butter Cups
1x Hersheys Watchmacallit
1 x 42g M&Ms Peanut Butter

Box 2: Cadburys Mix- Your chance to sample some of Cadburys finest from across the globe

1 x Cadburys Black Forest (South African)
1 x Cadburys Caramello (Australian)
1 x Cadburys Snack (South African)
1 x Cadburys Double Choc (UK)

Entries close at 10am 03.05.2008 - and the winners will be notified
Open to the UK & Ireland
GOOD LUCK and keep tuning in to Chocolate Mission :D

Small Print:
1. None of your contact Details will be used or sold on to any 3rd party companies - this is a competition solely for fun.
2. As the questions state the answers are to be given to reviews posted before 23.04.2008...any reviews posted after will not be taken into account.
3. Only one entry per person
4. Rules/Prizes of the competition may be changed at any time to my discrection..theres blatantly details I have forgotten
5. As it says above this is only open to the UK & Ireland
6. My say on anything to do with this competition is FINAL

April 22nd: Montezuma's "Gourmet Gorilla"

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Today I sampled yet another bar from the Montezuma's speciality gift box - The intriguingly named "Gourmet Gorilla" is a 45g bar of 'Organic Dark Chocolate with Almonds & Hazelnuts' - sounds 'the nuts' to me :) .... ok yes that was bad.

Again this bar as with the others in the giftset came in a swish looking box and plastic covering. Looking at the ingredients list on the back the bar includes a whole FIVE ingredients...yes five Oragnic Dark Chocolate 92% (Cocoa Solids 73%, sugar & vanilla), organic Almonds 4% & Organic Hazelnuts 4%. I know I say it everytime I review a Montezuma's bar but I think its amazing how simple they keep their bars and im sure this is why their bars always tatse so fresh due to their lack of preservatives and other rubbish - I definately commend them for this.

The bar although again lacking in real presentation finesse looked particularly appertising as I could make out the whole nuts that were dispersed in the chocolate. To me they looked really fresh and the fact they were whole and not chopped made me think that these were genuinely high quality natraul nuts. As with all dark chocolate I let the chocolate slowly melt on my tongue to let the flavour develop; the chocolate slowly melted away and developed a strong yet suprisingly creamy cocoa flavour that as you can imagine with the 73% cocoa solids was really quite rich. The chocolate tasted absolutely delicous and Montezuma's genuinely hold the crown for best dark chocolate I have tasted to date on Chocolate Mission.

Moving onto the nuts aspect of the bar I have a few slight issues. Due to their freshness they added a real genuine fresh crunch to most bites which agaisnt the smoothness of the melting chocolate was really quite good. However when it came to actual flavour they did little to enchance the experience. I genuinely could not taste the difference between two the different nuts. If I was to undertake a blind test I would have struggled; they simply didnt do enough for the taste of the bar and had very very little impact agaisnt the rich tasting chocolate.

Overall again its a struggle to score this bar - theres no doubting it tastes great but it simply dosentdeliver the nutty flavour to the extent you would expect. Simply put If you were wanting a good tasting chocolate bar you would be more than satisfied....if you wanted a great tasting nutty chocolate bar you would be left disappointed. I think its scores a fair one in that it dosent quite deliver on what it promises..but its still one of (if not 'the') best dark chocolate I have tasted.

7.5 out of 10

April 21st: Guylian Sea Shell Truffles

Kcal 546 Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ??? (per 100g)

Theres no doubting that these are great looking truffles. I have reviewed two of the Guylian truffle bars in the last few months and both were equally well presented. I dont quite know what it is but the marbled effect of the swirling mix of white and milk chocolate just makes these truffles look stunning and the pattern of the shells are equally as professionally etched into the surface. As I said with the Guylian bars, if Chocolate Mission was about finding the 'best looking' product then we could probably stop right now.

As we all know though Chocolate Mission is far more about just looking good - we are that vain now :) theres far more to it than that. I picked these up in a handy 65g pack which included six seashells. Six was a good number - more than enough to satisfy hunger though by the sixth the taste was a tad sickly.

For those of you who arent aware of the product, Guylian Sea Shells are chocolate coated (white and milk) praline truffles. These truffles didnt have a particulalry distinctive smell which was suprising due to the high praline content; their was a meager cocoa smell but nothing more on offer in that department.

Eating the truffles the first thing that I noticed was the thinness of the chocolate coating - though it differed from truffle to truffle due to the changes in shape, in most the layer was too thin and meant that the pure chocolate taste was quickly gone before it really registered on the tongue; saying that the chocolate was of a good standard and the blend of white and milk provided a nice mix of creamyness and flavor depth. As you can imagine with such a thin coating the overriding flavour is the paline centre.

Texture wise the filling was far more viscuous than the truffle centre of Lindt Lindor and had a slightly grainy texture in comparison. Personally for my liking the centre wasnt smooth enough for a truffle and was too thick - Tastewise the centre had a distinct nuttyness that was the right balance of being creamy but full of flavour. Unfortunately I found this flavour to get a bit monotomous nearing the end of the sixth truffle.

Overall theres no doubt these are nice truffles, though I think they suit a different purpose than your average chocolate bar. Personally I think these are the ideal chocolate to hand out after a meal with friends or to give as a gift - but not to sit down an eat six yourself; the flavour although pleasent does beomes a tad monotomous and they seem a product that seem more suiable for an occassion when their taste can be savoured and their appearance appreciated. These definately fit a need in the occasions I have described above, but I wouldnt describe them as filling the need state we are really looking for a Chocolate Mission - nice chocolates that are pretty to look at - why not treat a special someone to a box of these you could do alot worse ;)

7.9 out of 10

April 20th: Hershey's Take 5

Kcal 210 Fat 11.0g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 25.0g

Yet another goodie from the awesome people at Candy Pirate - The 'Take 5' name refers to its five main core ingredients: a salted Pretzel base, a layer of Peanut Butter, a layer of caramel, chopped peanuts all covered in a milk chocolate base.

Those of you may recall that I reviewed the 'Take 5 Peanut Butter' earlier this year...you also may recall I had a slight issue with the sweetness of the layers mixing with the salted pretzel. Luckily I can confirm that this wasnt such an issue with this bar for reasons I will go into.

In weight the bar was actually a few grams heavier than the peanut butter version - though not very noticeable in actual size I was definately a little more satisfied after eating this version than the Peanut Butter - though I still wanted more.As you can see above the bar is split into two funny pebble shaped pieces - as you can also see by the cross section the layering isnt quite as you would think. The bar actually blends the two layers of the peanut butter and caramel - this makes for a slighty salted nutty caramel flavour layer that I would aliken to the peanut butter caramel you get with the Twix PB. This blend actually works quite well and it makes for a nice slightly chewy texture agaisnt the crunchyness of the pretzel and its particularly the different textures featured in the bar that make it so intresting and unique.

Unlike the 'Peanut Butter' version the bar is coated in milk chocolate - the standard of the chocolate isnt half bad and though far from being the standard of say Lindt it does a nice job in providing a slightly sweet flavour that balances out the saltyness of the pretzel and nutty layers well.

Overall whether you like this bar or not really depends on if you enjoy the mixture of salty and sweet flavours. For me the bar actually does a good of balancing the two correctly - and the chocolate coating is far superior to peanut flavoured one in the 'Peanut Butter variant'. The only thing that stops this bar being a top runner is really the size, appearance and hunger fufilling factors that come along with it....simply put the bar could be bigger, look better and satisfy hunger more - if anything the saltyness just leaves you wanting more. I cannot fault it for taste though and its definately a product worth checking out though if you like the sound of it.

7.9 out of 10

Interested in buying a Hershey's Take 5? Find this bar and many more American candy & foods delivered directly from the UK at CandyPirate!!

April 19th: Lindt Lindor Peanut Butter Truffles

Kcal 210 Fat 17.0g Fat(sats) 10.0g Carbs 14.0g (Per 3 truffles)

I just couldnt help myself walking past Whittards today, the Lindt Lindor Pick-a-mix stand got the best of me and I nipped in and helped myself to a good selection of the varieties on offer.

Ever since my fellow chocolate blogger Terry over at http://www.thechocolatereview.net/ mentioned the existance of the Peanut Butter Lindor Ive been obsessed with trying them and finally today was the day.

As you can see above the truffles came in the rather smart foil wrappers - unwrapping the first one I was suprised at how evident the peanut butter smell was - it was extremely pungent and immediately reminded me of the scent of Reese's peanut butter.

I slightly chilled these truffles and as you can see above the truffle centre became extremely thick and firm - taking the first truffle in my mouth I first nibbled away at the chocolate...yep..what I expected smooth creamy Lindt milk chocolate - full of flavour and some of the best on the market. The chocolate was made all the tastier as it had a slight peanut butter undertone where the flavour of the centre had obviously been absorbed into the chocolate! Nice! After nibbling away half the chocolate I put the rest of the truffle in my mouth and let it slowly melt away on my tongue and finally tasted the peanut butter centre.

Similar to the original milk chocolate Lindor the texture was more akin to butter - it was extremely smooth...unfortunately too smooth for my liking. If I was to put the texture in terms of peanut butter smoothness it wouldnt be smooth peanut butter...it wouldnt be extra smooth peanut butter....it would be 'super super smooth' peanut butter. This meant the flavour was a little wishy washy in its presence - it had a strong satisfying nutty flavour, but its presence left the tastebuds all too soon because of the nature of the texture.

Overall these are good tasting truffles...they would have a hard job not being with such tasty chocolate!! Unfortunately they didnt quite live up to my expectations as the peanut butter truffle centre was a slight let down. I think generally what Reese's does so well with its Peanut Butter filling is that it has a slightly grainy texture that really convinves you of its nut content - if anything I would say the balance of butter and peanuts isnt quite right in these truffles and they would benefit greatily from having more nuts and less smoothness..I guess we can ony dream of a hybrid of Lindt milk chocolate and Reese's Peanut Butter.

7.7 out of 10

April 18th: Fry's Orange Cream

Kcal 210 Fat 6.9g Carbs 36.0g ** Update 21/10/10 - New photos

Its been a long time since I last reviewed a Fry's bar. Looking back at the review the score said it all, though if you care for me to elaborate I thought the fondant was pretty horrible and very sickly in taste. That combined with the chocolate not being the best (to put it mildly) meant it gave the Chocolate Mission wooden spoon holder a good run for its money. That said, everyone deserves a second chance, and though I have been putting this off for a while now today I dipped back into the Fry's range taking a look at this Orange cream bar.

The bar was comprised exactly the same as the original bar - dark chocolate covering a fondant centre (obviously this variant had orange flavoured fondant). Opening the very 'classic' looking wrapper the bar was presented in the same style as the original. A long bar split into six blocks with the 'Fry's' logo etched into the surface. What again annoyed me with this bar was the splitting of the blocks - the fondant ran all the way through the bar and the chocolate was only split half way in depth - simply put the block splits are more just lines thinly carved into the surface and not actual split, and thus making it messy to break apart.
Breaking the first block away (with difficulty) the fondant centre immediately made its presence known- its aroma was striking and its sweet orangey fruity smell was enticing.

The dark chocolate again was really rather uninspiring. It lacked any depth of flavour and was largely tasteless. Luckily for this bar the orange fondant centre was quite the opposite and established a fresh fruity flavour. Similarly to the 'original' variant the fondant was very sweet but the orange component prevented it from becoming sickening in taste. Texture wise the fondant was slightly thicker and less sticky than the 'original' bar which is to its credit; unfortunately though the chocolate retained its waxy feel meaning there is still room for improvement in this department.

Overall this is streets ahead of its 'Original' variant equivalent. The fondant avoids being sickening in taste and its orangey taste its more akin to a clean fresh sorbet. Unfortunately the chocolate coating is still lacking in any sort of depth in terms of flavour or texture and is really the limiting factor in this bar. As I have said this bar is far superior to the 'original' variant but I'm sure there are far better chocolate orange bars out there.

6.4 out of 10

April 17th: Reese's Peanut Butter Big Cup

Kcal 210 Fat 12g Fat(sats) 4g Carbs 22g

Yet another variation of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups this time in the form of the 'Big Cup'.

The 'Big Cup' is simply just a big version of the original peanut butter cup and is pretty much the equivalent of two standard cups rolled into one.

Out the package it looked huge - the package says 'crammed full of peanut butter'...this is not misleading - when I split it in half the peanut smell just filled the room and I was amazed at the sheer volume of the peanut butter center.

Though im not 100% sure of the actual proportioning im pretty sure that the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is far higher in this big cup than the standards - personally I dont think this is such a bad thing. Anyones who read my reviews on Reese's products will know that I love the peanut butter in their products but I generally feel the chocolate used is bland and poor....well its a similar story here the chocolate is overly flavourless but this is more than made up for by the sheer delightful smooth nutty creamyness of the peanut butter - its a flavour to savour.

Overall I have to say I would prefer having one of these 'Big Cups' to a standard Reese's two pack. For a start its all a bit less fidly but I guess the real clincher is the vast quantity of peanut butter you get in this format - it means that the sub standard chocolate is really just less of an issue and you get more of the creamy nutty goodness. As far as im aware these are quite freely avalible so if you see one around I would reccomend you give it a try especially if your a Reese's fan.

8.6 out of 10

Fancy tackling a Reese's Peanut Butter Big Cup??!! Find this bar and many more American candy & foods delivered directly from the UK at CandyPirate!!

April 16th: Montezuma's "Bean Machine"

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Today I sampled another one of the bars from my speciality box set the 'Bean Machine' - I dont know who pays the guys in the marketing department at Montezuma's but 'Bean Machine'??? haha come on guys you must have better than that :)

Again this bar came double packaged in both a snazzy box and wrapped in a plastic packet. Again its just worth noting that the plastic packaging really is a bit naff when compared with the classyness of the box but thats just my opinion - and I must admit the plastic covering does keep the bar fairly well preserved.

So what is in the 'Bean Machine'??? ... well its a 45g bar that encoporates both 'Organic white & dark chocolate with Coffee of course; the split being 59% White chocolate, 40% Dark Chocolate (Cocoa Solids 73%) and 1% Coffee....waite....1% Coffee?? I must be kidding!?? Unfortunatey not - suffice to say I wont be having any difficulty sleeping tonight.

Appearance wise the bar again looked a bit plain - no patterns in the chocolate, a straight up no frills bar split into six blocks. Removing the bar from the plastic packet I was hoping for a strong coffee smell but unfortunately it was lacking. There was a nice dark smelling cocoa smell but not a sign of the coffee flavour whatsoever.

Despite the bar containing a higher quantity of white chocolate it was dark in colour - when reading the description of the bar, before seeing it I thought there might be a layered effect going on with possibly one type of chocolate being placed ontop of the other - this wasnt the case and both the white and dark had been blended together - fair enough.

I have mixed feelings regarding the taste of the bar. Flavourwise its nearly completely lacking in any sort of coffee element. I ate the bar in 6 different mouthfuls, one block at a time. Only in one block could I detect a slight amount of coffee flavour which was suprising as each moutful had a slight grainy texture which im guessing meant that coffee was probably present. The lack of coffee was disappointing but the taste wasnt bad and thats what makes this such a hard bar to score. The mixture of white and dark chocolate was unique; it seemed to combine the best elements of both - a rich deep tasting cocoa flavour of dark chocolate but with a creamy undertone of white that took away the slight bitter aftertaste you tend to get with dark chocolate....a realy synergy if ever there was one.

Overall this is a really hard bar to score. If this was meant to be a bar that blends both dark and white chocolate in one then this would be a really high scoring bar - the chocolate is first-class, smooth, rich and creamy in flavour...but the fact is this is a bar that should contain a coffee flavour...and unfortunately its really rather anonymou which is a real shame and is the reason why its score isnt the highest around. Im a big fan of coffee and I just cant reccommend this as a great 'coffee chocolate bar'. This variant has great potential, if Montezuma's can sort the proportioning this could be a top 5 bar simple as that!

7.4 out of 10