July 6th: Thorntons Milk Chocolate with Tonka Bean

Kcal 577 Fat 39.1g Fat(Sats) 23.7g Carbs 48.1g (per 100.0g)

A few weeks ago I was invited to the Academy of Chocolate awards in London but was unfortunately not able to attend due to it coinciding with my Univeristy Finals .... DOH (Dom from Chocablog still went See HERE)! Despite being majorly disappointed I have still been able to indulge in some of the splendours thanks to Thorntons who sent me some of their award winning bars. One of their award winning bunch just so happened to be this 38% Venezulea Milk Chocolate with Tonka Bean which won a silver award in the milk chocolate category. My aim today was to establish whether it was really worthy of this recognition?

As you will have seen from the picture above this bar was another from the Thorntons Blocks range, though it did come in a noticeabley smaller 70.0g size (normally 90.0g!). I don't know why this was, but one would assume that it was down to more expensive ingredients used in this bar. Despite the smaller size chocolate the bar came in the same sized box and was contained within a nicer looking foil packet rather than the plastic one that is usually used for the Blocks product line. Having opened the foil packet I soon realised this wasn't going to be a bog standard milk chocolate as a wonderful variety of different sweet and spicy cocoa scents intermittently made themselves apparent.

I like to do my research on the products I review and a little research into the Tonka bean revealed to me that it is the seed of the Dipteyrx Odorata, a legume tree in the Neotropics. Geeky stuff out the way suffice to say I was expecting something a little special and Thorntons certainly obliged. Having ran this site for nearly two years now I have certainly had my fill of milk chocolate and I can safely say this was certainly one of the best. So what made it stand out you ask? Well this chocolate combined a simply delicious unique taste with a quite fantastic soft, thick melt. The taste started off quite mellow with a milky cream undertone building in strength as the taste progressed. Although this sounds rather simple there was always something about the flavours that sparked interest and they certainly grew in diversity the longer the chocolate stayed in the mouth. The taste had notes of vanilla, honey, butter and small hints of cinnamon; this may sound overly busy but the progression of the taste came in an orderly fashion and was resoundingly smooth and consistent throughout. I was disappointed when I finished the 70.0g in one sitting but I must admit this left me feeling extremely satisfied and I enjoyed it from the very first to the very last piece.

Overall it has been a long time since I have been this impressed by a plain milk chocolate bar but I really, really liked this one. I was a little flummoxed at a how a plain Thorntons bar could be 'award winning' (me sceptical!? Never!) but this bar deserves all the acclaim it gets and possibly more. This bar offered something a little more than just your standard milk chocolate and had an interchangeable taste that was so much more than just a creamy boring chocolate. The varying elements in the taste and quite wonderful texture made for a truly superb product and one that I would extremely recommend for the rather small sum of £1.79. When I say it is as good as Hotel Chocolat's 40% house Milk Chocolate you have to know that I mean business - it is!

9.0 out of 10