Thursday, 17 July 2008
Hot off the back of last weeks Terry's Chocolate Orange review, and due to the subsequent requests that followed, today saw me delve further into the Terry's range with the 'Golden Nugget Crunch' - a bar that had the same 'milk chocolate flavoured with real orange' but with the added inclusion of 'studded honeycomb flavour crunchy bits (10%)'.
This variant came in the same sized 40g pack as the original and was packged in a yellow coloured variation of the original wrapper. The bar itself also had the same distinct segmented appearance, though as you can see above had small golden pieces of honeycomb throughout.....I say throughout though one of the only letdowns of the bar was that the honeycomb pieces were unforunately far more present in one half of the bar than the other. As with the original bar as soon as the wrapper was opened I was overwhelmed by the strength of the orange aroma...it was a tad artifical but refreshing none the less.
After the first half of the bar I have to admit I was disappointed. The bar hardly included any honeycomb pieces and although the flavour of the orange and milk chocolate were still as delicious as the original, the subtly of the honeycomb was disappointing. Thankfully though the latter three pieces of the bar subsequently contained vast amounts of honeycomb pieces - and my oh my were they delicious. One of my slight gripes with the original chocolate orange was that by the end of the bar its flavour was becoming too sweet....well you may be suprised to hear that the honeycomb went some way to settling this problem. The honeycomb was not as simple in flavour as I thought it was going to be - each little crunchy piece gave a burst of honey flavour. It tasted slightly floral with a touch of caramel, and was nowhere as sweet as I was expecting - it was more pronounced in its flavour depth than I was anticipating. The extra element of the honeycomb went some way to subsiding the sweetness of the chocolate which made for an extremely moreish taste...in a word YUM :D
Overall I must admit that at 35p a bar I was expecting a devilishly over sweet variation of the original chocolate orange. To be honest I really couldn't have been more wrong - the extra honeycomb pieces added further depth to the taste and with were far more advanced in their flavour credentials than I was expecting. This is definately one for fans of Terry's Chocolate Orange; at just 35p you could buy ten of these for just one Hotel Chocolat 85% slab...now im not going to say I would buy the ten of these but the point im trying to get across is that you really cant go wrong at least trying this bar for that price....a great tasting variation that even betters the original....its not often I say that now!
8.4 out of 10
Sweetstall yet again came up trumps for me today and in reaction to my review on the Nestle Milo bar from Australia, the guys thought it right to send me through a sample of the South African variant of the bar.
Despite being under the same 'Milo' brand the bar was distinctly different in proposition. It weighed in at a smaller 42g bar and comprised simply of a bar of milk chocolate with 'choco malt (17%)' spread througout. The bar was fairly substantial though I feel it could have done with being about at least 20% bigger...making it round a 50g bar. The bar was presented nicely in a green foil wrapper - the bar itself was unspectacular in appearance though it was fresh looking with a smooth surface, it also broke up easily went sectioned.
The bar had a nice milky smell that had a slight hint of maltyness - it gave a very real indication of how the bar was going to taste. The milk chocolate had a relatively nice texture that melted in the mouth at a nice steady rate. Its texture was neither the softest or the smoothest though this mattered very little with the extra roughness added by the powder like Milo. The milk chocolate was pleasant enough in flavour - it had a pretty standard Neslte milk chocolate flavour...more milky than cocoa based , sweet but not overly so...just real unoffensive average milk chocolate. The 'Milo' choco malt wasnt over generously portioned and held a pretty low key presence at the bottom of each of the blocks. Despite its relatively low presence it tasted delicious and had a really pleasant crunchy biscuity flavour. The choco malt reminded me very much of Oreo cookies but with a slightly more established honey noted flavour with just the tiniest hint of salt.
Overall this bar is another great tasting extension of the 'Milo' brand though there is a slight job to be done with the way the bar is put togther and proportioned. The milk chocolate was pleasant enough, its milky flavour was tasty if a little unspectacular. The bars main strength though lay in the Milo element which unfortunately just wasnt generouly portioned enough. Simply put the Milo choco malt element had a delicious taste - biscuity and original in its flavour...it just need implementing more. I wouldn't recommend this variation of the Milo over its Australian counterpart but Milo fans will inevitably enjoy this. Its a nice bar but its also a pretty average one at the same time...worth a look at if you come across it.
7.6 out of 10
Want to try the Nestle Milo or other South Africa Chocolate Candy or Foods? Head to Sweetstall.com
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Due to the numerous requests recieved about this bar recently, today I thought it was about time I got round to reviewing this variant in the Thornton's Continental truffle bar range. This particular bar came pitched as 'luxurious white chocolate, with a layered centre of lemon mousse and truffle, finished with a milk chocolate decoration'...I dont know of many (if any) other lemon and chocolate combinations on the market at present so this bar already had points for originality.
Like the other bars in the Continental range this bar came in a 39g serving. The centre of the bar was light in build meaning that this wasnt the most fulfiling of bars I have ever eaten. The bar though slightly small and meager looking, was nicely presented and I appreciated the effort that had been put in with the design of the bar - it looked nice. The bar had strong lemony milky smell that further heightened my anticipation of the eventual taste....it smelt lovely and fresh and very fruity.
I found the way this bar was consumed was extremely important to the flavour experience. When simply bitten into and chewed the taste was completely dominated by the strong citrusy lemon mouse - the flavours of both the chocolates were all but lost and overpowered. I found by far and away the best way to eat this bar was to lick out the centre mousse filling and then eat the chocolate components after. The lemon mouse was light and velvety in its texture and had a deliciously strong and zesty lemon favour...it certainly made for a refreshing and distinctive taste. The milk chocolate was rather lacking in presence and I feel that it was more included for decorational purposes rather than flavour - even the base milk chocolate truffle layer was pretty lacking in flavour despite it nice silky texture. The white chocolate had many of the great attributes that were near synonymous to the Thorntons white chocolate bar I reviewed a few months back: it combined a pleasant creamy slightly vanila noted flavour that avoided being overly sweet....unfortunately its taste was all but overpowered when eaten in unison with the lemon filling.
Overall this bar is only a few recipe adaptations from being a really nice offering. Individually each of the components were excellent - the lemon mousse filling had a delightfully refreshing zesty flavour and the white chocolate was as equally delicious with a luxurious creamy taste. Unfortunately as I have stated the lemon flavour simply overpowered the rest of the bar - it wasnt that it was that overly strong, more so that the white chocolate was simply not balanced in proportion with the filling; if this was to be solved this could be a really quite tasty bar. I wont be going back to Thorntons to grab another of these in the near future but I would recommend this bar to any citrusy flavour lovers.
7.4 out of 10
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Tootsie Rolls are the one of the most if not the 'the' defining cultural icon of the American candy market. They have been manufactured for over 100 years and remain as one of the best selling candies in the US. Today courtesy of CandyPirate this icon went through its paces under the Chocolate Mission rating system.
So what is a Tootsie Roll you ask!? Well its officially classed as a 'chewy chocolate flavoured candy' - its not quite a chocolate bar, its not quite fudge...but imagine a crossbreed of the two. The Tootsie Roll is available in many different shapes sizes - I sampled a 64g bar which proved both greatly fulfilling as a snack and as an enjoyable eating experience.
The Tootsie came in a pretty smart retro style looking foil wrapper, to avoid the sticky roll sticking to the wrapper a thin non-stick cardboard sleeve was included, which more than served its purpose. Im not going to sit on the fence the Tootsie Roll did not look appetising in any manner - look at the picture above...it looks like a plastic lump of ... (fill the gap yourself lol!). Not appetising in the slightest...the sticky tacky nature of the roll further detrimented its score in this area. Despite its ghastly appearance the roll didnt smell at all bad - it had a strong caramel like scent that although was a tad confusing considering the chocolate flavour of the bar was still quite pleasant.
Its worth noting the make-up of the Tootsie Roll. The ingredients dont make pretty reading: 'sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, condensed skimmed milk...and finally the cocoa'. This isnt a product for the organic purists amongst us and although it can claim to be a 'low fat candy' it does include those horrible trans fats....bad times!!
What with the aesthetic look and constituents of the bar, to say I was mildly cautious before eating this would be a slight understatement - thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. After sectioning the bar (quite a messy and sticky experience!!) I went about experimenting different ways of eating bite sized pieces....it turned out that this product could be equally enjoyed a number of different ways. Sucking on the individual pieces slowly released a chocolaty fudge flavour that just about right in its intensity. As the piece slowly warmed in the mouth it became softer and softer until it all but melted away on the tongue. This method gave the roll a nice buttery taste and texture that was neither overbearing or too subtle...it was just enjoyable slowly sucking away at the flavour. The next method I tried was chewing on the individual pieces. This made for a more intense cocoa flavour that still had a strong caramel undertone at its root. The chewing of the pieces made for an interesting taffy like texture that was certainly a unique experience. Its hard to liken the taste of a Tootsie to any other product but if you were to imagine a chocolate flavoured caramel with the texture of very chewy fudge you really wouldnt be far off.
Overall I must say this is a product that really quite surprised me when it came to the taste test. As I said I was really quite worried at the prospect of this product when looking at its ingredients and aesthetic look but what lies at the heart of this bad looking artificially manufactured product is actually a nicely flavoured satisfying chocolate flavoured snack. Whether you like this or not will solely be down to personal preference - so take my review at face value. Fair enough its not chocolate being celebrated in its greatest glory - nor has it scored particularly highly on the Chocolate Mission rating system, but this is a product I would recommend you try at least once if only for the sake of saying you have tried it.
Want to try the Tootsie Roll and other iconic American Candy & Foods? Head over to Candy Pirate for all your American Candy & Food needs
Last month I reviewed the Cocoa Deli 'Rocky Road Clusters' to reasonible success - they were hardly the most spectacular offering on the market but they certainly had merit for being a bit unique. Today whilst scowering the shelves at my local Woolies I came across these 'Fruit & Almond Clusters'...of course curiosity inevitably got the best of me.
These 'Fruit & Almond Clusters' had an on pack description of 'clusters of moist raisins and crunchy almond pieces set in smooth Belgian milk chocolate'. They came in a 40g pack which although not the biggest in size proved to be a substantial snack due to the dense nature of the raisins. Both the packaging and product were sound but unspectacular in appearance - the wrapper was coloured a slightly less feminine shade of purple compared to the pink 'Rocky Road' variant, though it still had a far from premiuim look. Again the inclusion of a cardboard sleeve notched up half a point in this category as it definately served its purpose and avoided the product from breaking up. The clusters had a nice fruity sweet smell that was quite distinctive compared to other more generic aromas that I have come accustom to whilst reviewing for Chocolate Mission.
Each of the three clusters were coated in Belgian milk chocolate with the bases having a heavier helping of coating than the upper regions of each of the bites. The chocolate was sadly weak in flavour apart from where thicker at the bases and lacked flavour against the more substantial fruit and nut elements. Where detectable the chocolate had a pretty enjoyable milky taste that was smooth on the tastebuds...it just simply wasnt proportioned heavily enough which was a shame.
Raisins made up the bulk of the product accounting for over 34% of the total constituants. As the on pack blurb suggested they were plump and moist and added a nice chewy texture to each bite. Raisisns are often implemented as flavourless filler in alot of bars but the raisins in question here had a nice sugary fruity flavour. The almonds were unfortunately not quite as well integrated - they were very finely chopped which meant they didnt quite add the desired crunchyness in texture that would have potentially contrasted so greatily with the softer fruit. Flavourwise the almonds were pleasant and provided a nice subtle nuttyness to the taste; I think the choice of Almonds was quite a wise one as I dont think the more woody flavour of hazelnuts or saltier peanuts would have worked quite aswell against what was already an overpowered chocolate offering.
Overall this was another solid differentiated product from Cocoa Deli, though I think there is certainly room for improvement. The raisins in this bar were fruity and flavoursome and certainly made for a substantial overall product. the almonds although not adding the best texture due to thier chopped nature were still relatively flavoursome and complimented the fruit nicely. Unfortunately this bar was seriously let down by its poor milk chocolate - it lacked flavour and simply wasnt just implemented generously enough. If you like the sound of these its probably worth you tracking these down - if its a chocolate hit your after though you will probably be left wanting.
7.4 out of 10
Monday, 14 July 2008
These have been around ever since I can remember...doing some research I found out that they have actually been around for over 50 years now - thats a pretty long time considering the in and out nature of the confectionary market nowadays. Until today I hadnt had a pack in years so I decided it was about time to put these under the Chocolate Mission microscope.
On pack Munchies are described as individual milk chocolate-coated blocks with a caramel and biscuit centre. There are twelve in a pack which made for quite a substantial serving - more so than I could handle at one time but I will go into that. The appearance was a bit of a mixed bag...the packaging combined a smart looking red outer wrapper with a nice gold foil inner layer...unfortunately although looking nice it didnt protect the chocolates as I would have wished - many of the chocolates had scuffed appearances and had a dull dusty surface...they just didnt look the freshest product ever. Despite the relatively un-fresh looking aesthetic appearance they had a resonably nice aroma - very chocolaty with a slight hint of vanilla essence.
I ate these very much like i eat most of my chocolate - I placed one on my tongue and let the taste slowly evolve as each of the different layers melted away. The outside chocolate had a grainy texture much like its appearance suggested. It wasnt repulsive but it wasnt the smooth initial texture I was hoping for. Its flavour was quite milky but had a dominant sugary taste - it wasnt the best milk chocolate and was not up to the usual Nestle standard which at best can be quite creamy and pleasant.
The caramel layer lay beneath the milk chocolate coating and boy was this sweet. The texture was quite runny for caramel and took no time at all to disappear once exposed in the mouth. Its flavour was very sharp and very very sugar rooted...it was so sweet that after only a few of these I got that sensation of pain in my teeth - ouchie..I was not impressed one bit - this was seriosuly poor caramel - it came as no suprise when I looked at the ingreidents list that suagr was indeed top.
The last element was the biscuit layer which actually was too bad. It had a nice shortbread like taste and had a slightly salty note to it that thankfully didnt add more of a sweetness to what was already a pretty sickly taste. Despite being at the centre of the quite moist runny caramel the small biscuit piece still managed to maintain a degree of crunchyness which was a nice texture variation.
Overall these are a pretty unspectaular offering from Nestle. The milk chocolate coating was pretty poor for the normally okish Neslte standard milk chocolate - its texture was quite gritty and its flavour really quite sweet. The caramel flavour was overly dominating and and it made for a very sickly overall flavour....so much so that after half a pack I could eat no more - my teeth couldnt handle the pain and the back of my throat was burning with the sweetness of each Munchie. Its quite a shame as at the heart of each Munchie lies a pretty nice tasting biscuit piece...I just couldnt take the taste of the overly sugar reliant outer layers to get to it. Overall I guess if your a fan of really sweet chocolate and think you can handle the sugar then these are worth a look at..I cant go as far as recommending them though.
5.7 out of 10
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Dipping into my 'Peepster Box' for the second time, today I casted my eye over the Hotel Chocolat Almond and Coconut bar. Anyone whos been reading the blog will know that I have had a particularly tough time finding decent quality white chocolate...Milkybar and Thorntons White aside its all been rather poor....how will current Chocolate Mission leader Hotel Chocolat perform in this area? Well read on and find out....
This particular variant came in a smaller single slab 100g serving. Compared to the other 125g slabs I have tried from Hotel Chocolate it wasnt the richest bar and I actually ate this in one sitting.
On pack the slab described itself as 'coconut accentuated smooth white chocolate, balanced beautifully with crunchy almonds'. The slab itself looked great...just look at the cross section above the almonds were generously crammed into the slab and were dispersed evenly. Everyone already knows my thoughts regarding the design of Hotel Chocolat slabs...aesthetically brilliant....practability terrible.
The bar smelt gorgeous...the strongest smelling comoponent by far were the almonds which smelt deliciously nutty and woody. The bar also had a lovely undertone of coconut which further raised by expectations of the added flavours.
I slightly chilled the slab which gave it a delightful snapping sound when breaking it up. The chocolate was delicious in flavour and had an developing and changing root taste throughout its presence in the mouth. The initial flavour was the coconut element which was forthcoming in its flavour as soon as the chocolate met my tongue. Unfortunately it was only this initial instance where the coconut flavour was detectable and it soon subsided to the other components. The chocolate then developed into a double cream like flavour and texture once melted on the tongue...silky smooth and just the right viscosity...the 30% milk solids and heavy lashings of cocoa butter duly made for a creamy silky taste. The afertaste was heavily vanilla noted which provided a pleasant and long flavour experience.
As I outlined above the almonds were dispersed generously and appropriately throughout the bar which resulted in each mouthful having a delightful contrast of textures. The almonds provided a fresh crunchyness agaisnt the super smooth chocolate...a truly great combination. The almonds themselves had a subtle buttery flavour that although were not the strongest in taste were pleasant and fresh tasting nonetheless.
Overall im getting bored of saying this (no not really!) but this is yet another great offering from Hotel Chocolat. The white chocolate was divine in flavour...it had a taste that developed during the course of its time in the mouth....its sinfully cream like in flavour and and gorgeously smooth. My only slight disappointment with this bar came in its coconut element...why did they use coconut essential oil!? Why not Cococnut flakes/chips!? They would have furthered the variety of textures and also made for a longer coconut flavour. This small gripe aside this is white chocolate at its best...its not the richest tasting chocolate ever but its by far and away the best tasting white chocolate I have reviewed on Chocolate Mission. Another great product thats worth anyone trying from Hotel Chocolat.
8.7 out of 10
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Unfortunately for us in the UK its Big Brother time again and Revels are the latest brand this year to climb on the bandwagon with their own flavour themed 'eviction'. It indeed seems that Mars are getting rid of one of the current flavours - if you care you can cast your vote on this site 'Revels Eviction'.
For those of you who aren't from the UK and don't know what Revels are, they are balls of milk chocolate which have an assortment of flavoured centres. The flavours include: coffee, orange, chocolate, raisin, caramel and Maltesers. These came in a 35g bag, which although wern't the most hunger fulfilling made were a sufficient snack. The Packaging looked okish - not the greatest choice of colours on the wrapper all of which I think are a bit mundane. The Revels themselves were mostly pretty hard to tell apart - the Maltesers, orange, coffee and caramel are totally non distinctive....though judging by the last marketing campaign the 'roulette' nature of these are meant to be a selling point and not a frustration....I guess the little anticipation before the revelation of the flavour hit was partially interesting.
Despite the huge variation of flavours the bag smelt purely single scented...a very familiar milky cocoa aroma that wasn't to forthcoming in its strength.
Due to the nature of the different centres there were a variety of different textures and of course flavours. The milk chocolate coating was the same across all flavours - not the strongest tasting but with a nice milky flavour that allowed the different flavours of the centres to establish themselves.
Orange - Had a nice fruity taste that although sweet were just about the right strength in flavour concentration. The texture was fondant like and contrasted nicely with the smooth milk chocolate coating.
Chocolate - The most obvious shaped and flavoured exactly the same as the rest of the milk chocolate coatings. The texture was nice and smooth - although not the most exciting they were a pleasant flavour.
Coffee - My favourite of the lot. The texture had the same fondant like grainy feel of the orange though it tasted not half as sweet with a unique cappuccino like taste. Unfortunately I only got two of these in my pack :(
Caramel - Due to their name I was expecting a far softer more liquid centre..in actual fact I think these would be better described as toffee. They were soft and and chalky in the mouth and had a very awkward dry feeling agaisnt the smoothness of the milk chocolate. They weren't the most forthcoming in flavour though had a nice buttery aftertaste.
Raisin - These were not the freshest tasting Raisins I have ever had and the nature of their skins made for a pretty vile clash of smooth and leathery textures. Despite their horrible texture they had a nice sweet fruity sugary flavour that I enjoyed.
Maltesers - Well whats there to say? A nice combination of light textured honeycomb and milk chocolate but in comparison to the other flavours on offer I found myself disappointed when I came across one of these.
Overall these are a pretty standard and unspectacular collection of flavours. Personally my favourites were the orange and coffee...both of which offered a nice variable texture and flavour hit against the smooth milk chocolate coatings. The caramel, raisin and chocolate flavours offered moderately interesting alternatives, though I have to call in to question the inclusion of the Maltesers. In comparison to the other alternatives the Maltesers lack that flavour hit and personally if I was to vote to get rid of one of the flavours it would be that one...after all if you fancy Maltesers just buy a bag of them!! These aren't the most spectacular of products ever and your hardly missing out if you give these a miss...for those that like a bit of variation in their chocolate these are a nice choice for you. If you guys vote in the 'flavour eviction' leave a note of which you voted for!!
7.0 out of 10
Firstly I would like to thank Chocolate Mission reader Saz who made this review possible by kindly sending me a delightful bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk....whats so special about this bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk!?...well it was producded in Dublin Ireland. Though beforehand I admit being rather sceptical myself about the plausability of there being a difference, I do confess now after eating it, I couldnt have been more wrong.
Saz was kind enough to send me a 55g bar...just look at the packaging above!! Retro style Cadbury packaging!! None of this all in one foil packing we have here in the UK now. This was old school - a paper sleeve with a loose gold foil wrapping...like something straight out of Charlie's Chocolate Factory! The retro packaging was superb and the bar was flawlessly presented itself - it looked gorgeous. Despite the slightly looser foil the bar still had a sensual creamy cocoa aroma....Dairy Milk has such a distinct smell, for me it evokes so many good feelings...when you smell Dairy Milk you know your tatebuds are going to be in for a treat.
So come on Jim get to the bloody point does it taste any different!?....well it does....but I have no idea how or why lol!! The bar had exactly the same ingredients list, exactly the same cocoa & milk solids levels (20%)...but believe me this was different. The texture of the Irish bar was far far thicker...for me the English bar has a near perfect texture that melts in the mouth at just the right rate into a luxuriously smooth syrup like texture. The Irish Dairy Milk was denser and did not melt as fast...once it was melted it was still tremendously thick, almost glue like in the mouth. What this made for was a far creamier taste that was certainly far richer than our English offering. Tastewise I cant say I prefer one over the other...the Irish version is creamier but the English version has a slightly sharper cocoa flavour - to be honest they are both delicious.
Overall I was suprised but there genuinely was a difference between the two bars. The Irish bar is certainly richer and has a delightful creamyness. Personally I found the texture a little on the thick side...the bar needed a little more chewing than I would have liked and even when melted it was just a tad dense. Whats bugging me about all this is im still none the wiser to how these differences have come to be!? Nothing on the packaging or the net seems to be able this question...I would love to hear from anyone else who has tried both Irish and English variants...mark my words there is a difference...and personally im going to sit right bang on the middle of this lovely fence...they are both brilliant milk chocolate bars :D :D :D I really want to hear from people who have tried both...for those that havent I strongly recommend this bar....a glass and a half full of milk!?....a glass and a half full of luxury more like!
8.9 out of 10
Friday, 11 July 2008
Up until a few days ago these were one limited edition candy with which I thought I had 'missed the boat' so to speak...luckily after a little crafty ebaying and some speedy delivery on the sellers part I was able to track down these illustrious (and thankfully still in date!!) M&Ms White Chocolate "Pirate Pearls".
Its amazing how long manufactures can make their chocolates shelf life now a days...these "Pirate Pearls" were tied in with the release of the last Pirates of the Carribean film 'Dead Mans Chest'....as I said dont worry I checked the best before on these before I ate them - five months left!!
These came in a 42.5g serving in a packet that was almost identically coloured to the 'Almond' variant....talk about not making it easy for people eh!? Despite their confusing choice of packet colour the M&Ms themselves came in a nice array of pastel colours...they looked nice and the extra added detail of the printed 'M's and skull and crossbones etc looked smartish. Now I normally complain about the smell of M&Ms but these took things to a new level...they smelt HORRIBLE!! Now im going to give them a 3 out of 10 for aroma as I understand these obviously being as aged as they were, were never going to be the freshest....but to be honest thats being kind...these smelt awful...like gone off milk - a look at other reviews confirms this wasnt only me who thought this.
Thankfully these tasted a little better than they smelt...though that was never going to be hard was it. The shells provided their typical initial crunch and sweet taste and were not at all suprising in their flavour. The white chocolate centers melted smoothly in the mouth, though the flavours did not really establish themselves itself until the M&Ms were chewed. The centres tasted like sweetened natrual yogurt....scratch that...very sweet natraul yogurt. In truth they wernt repulsive but I soon found the taste to become monotonous and just to sweet for me to handle...I found these so sweet infact I had to eat the 42.5g pack over two sittings.
Overall these are probably a variation of M&Ms that I should of just let pass me by. I know and understand these would not have been the freshest of products but I doubt that a fresher version could really have made that much difference. Theres no two ways about it...these smelt ridiculously bad - absolutely ghastly...and though they tasted moderately better I still found these to be overly sweet to the point that it made my throat hurt and my teeth tingle. Im not going to recommend these to anyone...unfortunately the worst of the M&Ms range I have tried...best to just leave these now I think - its time they walked the plank :)
6.1 out of 10
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Yet another US import has made its way to me via the guys at CandyPirate for its Chocolate Mission ruling - todays review is the milk chocolate version of the Nestle Turtles. 'Turtles' seem to be quiet a common form of presentation for chocolates in the US - these Nestle branded turtles, although produced in Canada are still the most famous on the US marketplace....from what im aware of anyway!
On pack these 'Nestle Turtles' were described as containing 'milk chocolate, pecans, cashews and caramel'. They came in a plentiful 50g serving which amounted to three individual 'Turtles'. The packaging looked nice and had a nice foil metallic wrapping (hence the glare on the picture! Sorry!). Inside another cardboard protector was included...a nice addition that I always like but unfortunately there wasnt much to protect lol! Now im told these 'Turtles' are called 'Turtles' for the reason that they theoretically are supposed to look like them....hmmm im sorry but take a look at the picture above - you can vaguelly make out the positioning of the head, tail and legs etc but really I think more effort could be put in here....arent these meant to be iconic after all? Upon opening the packaging these offered a sweet milky smell which had a slight maltyness...not the most alluring ever but ok nonetheless.
The coating of these Turtles were formed of milk chocolate which were of a pretty standard Nestle quality with quite a one dimensional sweet milk based flavour. It lacked the cocoa flavour depth of the better milk chocolates on the market but as always it did a resonable job in this regard. The caramel was proportioned quite generously and had a thick texture. Its flavour wasnt overly sweet and had a nice mapley taste which was very pleasant. The base of the 'Turtles' were formed of a layer of both chopped pecan and cashew nuts. Unfortunately due to their chopped nature they didnt quite add the crunch I was hoping for...they were too soft to the bite for my liking and due to the thickness of the caramel their flavours were all but lost...their chopped nature also meant I was finding small bits of nuts in my teeth for hours after - not good!
Overall I think these are a pretty good concept which Nestle have delievered to a resonable standard - but with a few slight flaws. For starters the design of the Turtles themselves are disappointing...they look poor for what could potentially be a fun and unique look. The chocolate and caramel layers are delivered to a reasonably high standard but in contrast the pecan and cashew nuts are poor...again a unique idea including these type of nuts - not many other bars do..but the way they were chopped so finely gave them a relatively flavourless meaningless presence. These are a pretty standard and fair product which are worth trying if you get the chance...at the end of the day though I just cant help but feel theres room for improvement.
7.3 out of 10
Want to try these Nestle Turtles for yourself? Head over to Candy Pirate for these and more American Candy & foods
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
A mini review for a mini product. I imported this little bar (20g!) as a means of rounding up my last order from http://www.sanza.co.uk/ to a round £10 ... by telling you that Im trying to get across the point that this wasnt a bar I was very much aware of before I ordered it - I solely bought it on impulse and had never heard of it before.
The 'Buzz' bar is made in New Zealand and distributed in Australia - it described itself as 'Dairy Milk Chocolate covered marshmallow and caramel' - it sounded fair enough.
Although I wasnt expecting much from such a small bar even before I tasted it I was extremely disappointed. The bar didnt look anything special out the packet...there was a sticky residue covering the top of the bar which made my fingers feel horrible and messy - Unfortunately its smell was even worse. It had a slightly sour aroma...like gone off milk - hardly appertising!
Tasting the bar things didnt get much better - frankly it tasted horrible and cheap. The milk chocolate layer (supposedly Dairy Milk!! err I think not!) was extremely thin which made for a relatively flavourless element. The caramel was nothing like the standard in taste of any other Cadbury bar I have tasted; its flavour was sickeningly sweet and a quick glance at the ingredients showed that it was actually 'golden syrup'...im sorry but last time I checked caramel was not golden syrup. The final element - the marshmallow, was fine in texture but just horrible in taste. It had a spongy sticky feel which was at least a little unique. Despite this its presence in the bar was ruined by its cheap flavour...im normally a big fan of marshmallow but this was frankly terrible...horribly artifical in taste - disgusting!
Overall this bar has to be one of the worst I have eaten on Chocolate Mission. Cadbury's normal high standards completely deserted them here and its really no where near the standard of 99% of their portfolio. The chocolate was insignificant in proportion aswell as flavourless..the caramel was horrible and the marshmallow was not much better. Im going to stop here as I really dont want to waste much more time on this bar...take my word for it - avoid..this is one New Zealand can keep!
4.2 out of 10
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Organic Milk Chocolate - Kcal 537 Fat 34.1g Fat(sats) 20.4g Carbs 56.1g
Last week the Irish folks at Lily O'Briens sent me a selection of bars from their range - included in this selection were both an original and organic version of their milk chocolate bar. For those that arent aware Lily O'Brien are an Irish based brand - their products can be found in over nine countries worldwide and they are most famed for their 'Sticky Toffee' chocolates which I reviewed last week.
I thought best to review these bars at the same time...based on the reasoning I thought surely they couldnt be that different...im not gonna lie they wern't. The only difference in the ingredients list were that the ingredients used in the organic bar had a star (*) next to them highlighting that they were made from 'organic ingredients'...what was a little confusing was that the original milk chocolate bar comprised of 30% cocoa whislt the organic contained 32%...who knows eh!? The ingredients themselves were pretty fair...usual suspects..'Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter' etc etc.
These came in 80g bars both of which I ate over the course of two days (four servings). Each 40g occasion was adequete...no more..no less. Both bars came packaged in a paper outer covering with an inside foil layer. The outside wrappings were fair enough - they didnt shout out 'premiuim' chocolate but they hardly looked tacky either...theres definite room for improvement though. The bars themselves could not have looked more boring...look at the pictures above - no patterns, no branding..to be honest no effort. The only slight defence I can give the pedestrian appearances were that the bars were sectioned quite nicely and split up with relative ease. Aromawise the bars smelt pleasant, it reminded me more of a dark chocolate offering than a milk chocolate one - their scent was very cocoa heavy and lacked the usual sweet smell of milk chocolate...both smelt nice.
I tasted these bars side by side and im not going to lie I would have been stretched to guess which was which in a blind test. Both were very similar to that of Thorntons milk chocolate - a very smooth textured chocolate with a stronger cocoa flavour than milky one. The only slight discrepency I could make bar from bar was the organic variant had a slightly longer aftertaste than the original...in truth it really wasnt that noticeable. Both the bars had a fairly rich taste and their texture once melted in the mouth remained reltively thick which meant for a long flavour...the taste wasnt very complex and didnt develop much, if at all over the course of its time in my mouth, though pretty one dimensional their flavour was pleasant.
Overall these are a pretty standard milk chocolate offering. They both offer a nice tasting experience and have a generally nice smooth texture....at the end of the day though their flavours wernt quite as distinctive as other bars - including some mass confection bars like Dairy Milk and Galaxy. The presentation of these bars really let them down...they are simply just boring and indistinctive - theres work to be done there. These are pretty standard milk chocolate bars and in all honestly I couldnt recommend one over the other apart from giving a nudge in the direction of the prices (the organic bar costs more!!!). Nice enough milk chocolate but theres better out their! See Hotel Chocolat 40% ;)
7.7 out of 10
Monday, 7 July 2008
I've been impressed so far with Milka chocolate so my expectations for this bar were high to say the least. This 'Cream' edition combined the original 'Alpine milk chocolate' with an additional soft cream filling which ran through the middle of the solid milk chocolate accounting for 50% of its constituants.
As with all the Milka bars I have reviewed so far I sampled this in a 100g bar - I actually ate the whole bar in one sitting...I wasnt particularly hungry but this bar just simply didnt fill me up as I ate it. The bar came nicely presented in the standard Milka packaging - a nice paper sleeve with a foil under layer. The bar itself looked very appertising and once split into the soft cream centre gently oozed out...not making a mess but looking deliciously truffle like. The bar smelt almost identical to the 'Alpine Milk' - sweet and very creamy...as ever Milka delivered with the presentation of their product.
As with the original bar itself the Alpine Milk chocolate outer layer again delivered a pleasant creamy flavour. The aftertaste again had a slight note of nuttyness that distinguished itself from being more than a simple one dimenstional milky taste. The middle cream layer added a nice slightly softer texture to the middle of the bar and gave it a truffle like smoothness. Though I enjoyed the difference in texture I felt the cream layer really lacked flavour...it just didnt do anything for me...it wasnt unpleasant...but it just literally made the texture lighter, and all that meant was that the overall taste was weaker and less satisfying.
Overall this was yet another hard bar to score. The real selling point of this bar was supposed to be the cream layer - which from my point of view actually came at detriment to the overall taste. Sure it added a nice soft smooth texture but it only diluted the flavour and was probably why I easily tucked away 100g in one sitting. Dont get me wrong its still a nice tasting chocolate bar but in my opinion your best off tucking into 50g of the Alpine Milk - if only so you consume less calories . If your a massive fan of Milka this is worth having a look at - but for the rest you might aswell stick to the Alpine Milk.
7.4 out of 10
Sunday, 6 July 2008
Today im reviewing the first of four flavoured bars from current Chocolate Mission leading manufacturer Hotel Chocolat. I must once again express my thanks to Maxine who was kind of to send me the 'Peepster Box' which contained the four different flavoured slabs - today I sampled the Chilli & Orange flavour.
The Peepster Box includes 4 different flavoured offerings all of which are indivdually cellophane wapped. The presentation of the box is nice though I couldnt help but feel the plastic wrappers were a bit of a step down from the boxed presentation of the house slabs I had previously reviewed. The chocolate once again came in the famous Hotel Chocolat presentation of slabs...again no doubting their chicness but they seriously arent the most practical way of eating chocolate. This particular flavour came split into two 62.5g slabs - for reasons I will go into they wernt quite the fully satisfying offering of the house slabs but eaten individually they were still extremely fulfilling.
The Chilli & Orange flavour was contained within 72% dark chocolate. Opening the wrapper the strength of the chocolate was quite evident, the slabs had a strong cocoa aroma that smelt delicious....what was slightly puzzling was the lack of orange or chilli....if it was a blind test based on smell I wouldnt of said the bar was enhanced by any flavours.
Though slightly weaker in cocoa than the 85% bar the dark chocolate retained much of the richness of flavour. It wasnt quite as strong and the aftertaste was slightly weaker, though it retained a very similar deep but slightly sweet vanilla noted taste. The chocolate had an extremely smooth texture much like the 85% and literally melted on the tongue into a thick but silky syrup like form. The texture of the bar was further enhanced by the chilli element which added an interesting warmth to the aftertaste - the chilli didnt seem to add anything of note to the taste but it certainly provided an distinct aspect to the texture. Like many of the other chocolate orange bars I have reviewed the flavour of the orange in this offering was achieved using orange oil and not orange pieces. The orange flavour itself was suprisingly anonymous in this bar which initially suprised me...I thought that maybe the flavour would develop as I ate more of the bar but unfortunately this was not the case - I even double checked the wrapper to make sure I had picked the right slabs out the box...to be honest I was disappointed.
Overall its hard scoring this bar as although its a great tasting chocolate offering it just fails to deliver the flavour it promises. The dark chocolate is glorious in its own right but if your paying up to £3.50 for a particular flavour you expect it to really be quite evident...the orange flavour in this bar was hardly detectable. As I have said its hard criticising this bar as the dark chocolate although not quite as rich and flavoursome as the 85% was still divine and the chilli certainly added a nice warmth to the texture...unfortunately the lack of orange really held back the score of this bar. If your a fan of dark chocolate and chilli this will float your boat - but if your looking for a chocolate orange flavour hit theres genuinely better there...to be honest your better off buying a Terry's Chocolate Orange and still having £3.10 in your pocket. Delicious yet disappointing.
7.9 out of 10