Tuesday, 18 August 2009

August 18th: Thorntons Dark Chocolate with Macadamia

Kcal 523 Fat 36.5g Fat(sats) 19.9g Carbs 43.2g (per 100.0g)

My review of the Thorntons' silver award winning Venezuelan Milk Chocolate with Tonka Bean bar was packed to the brim full of praise and rightly so - it was fantastic. Given this you can probably understand me being as hopeful for this Dark Chocolate with Macadamia bar, which also won a bronze award at the academy of chocolate awards for being the best flavoured dark chocolate. Combining 'dark chocolate with caramelised salted macadamia nuts' this one took my fancy and I was glad to see another chocolate implement the much under utilised macadamia.

Just the like the Tonka Bean bar this product came in a smaller 70.0g size which as you may know is 20.0g lighter than the standard bars from the Square Blocks range. I was a little puzzled with the choice of a light peach coloured theme to communicate the contents as I thought that a bolder, darker colour would have better represented the chocolate. Inside I was pleased to see that like all the other award winning bars the contents was kept within a foil packet that when undone released a reasonably strong set of cocoa scents that just had the slightest savoury nut hint. Due to its lighter form the chocolate looked thinner than the average Square Blocks range bar. I was also surprised to see that the macadamia nuts were not in a whole form and were chopped into finer pieces and dispersed.

As the above photo shows you the dark chocolate was of a 60% recipe with the cocoa descending from the Dominican Republic. As far as dark chocolate goes it was of a reasonable standard. The strength of the cocoa flavours were not the strongest or most forthcoming but at the same time they provided a quite consistent chocolaty context with each bite and never verged upon being what I would describe as bitter or repulsive. The chocolate had a reasonably paced melt that I enjoyed, yet seemed a little on the watery side and could have done with being a touch thicker. As I stated above I was looking forward to trying another macadamia flavoured bar but when it came to it I must admit I was a just a little disappointed. The nuts themselves neither tasted or felt fresh and their savoury taste by and large felt a bit clumsy and out of context. Although they had a nice saltiness to them they lacked the sweetness that would have made the salt lick all that bit more pleasurable. I don't know it if it was the fact that they were broken into smaller pieces but I would have preferred the nuts to have been whole as although they might not have made the bar look as aesthetically pleasing, they would have given a more natural texture. I ate this bar over two sittings and I would say both were adequate snacks.

Overall as the scoring matrix reveals this was quite a rarity for Thorntons as they managed to almost score a perfect 'average'. 7.0 out of 1o seems to be around the par score for a product on ChocolateMission and I would say this bar would nestle nicely right in the middle. It wasn't poor, yet at the same time wasn't great ... it didn't offend me, nor did it overwhelm me with its magnificence. I say averageness is rare for Thorntons because their products normally turn out to be really rather good, or really rather pants. As far as dark chocolate and nut combinations go I wouldn't say this was one of the best I have tried, though given the fact this one has been recognised by far greater chocolate experts than myself would suggest it may be one worth checking out.

7.2 out of 10

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