December 18th: Marks & Spencer Cookies & Cream

Kcal 205 Fat 15.0g Fat(sats) 8.4g Carbs 16.3g

Having recently moved to an area that doesn't have a Marks & Spencer (shock horror!) it has been a while since I last reviewed a product from their range. In terms of quality M&S can vary from the superb to the pretty abysmal - rather like the people who I think make their chocolates Thorntons. On a shopping trip in London last week I had a chance to pop in to the M&S in Convent Garden and this bar immediately caught my eye was queuing up to pay for some other items. This Cookies & Cream bar is one of the latest additions to the M&S portfolio and constitutes of 'dark & white chocolate with a vanilla mousse and cookie pieces centre'. The description sounded tempting enough but could the product match up?

Just like a few of the other bars from this range the bar came in a 33.0g serving that didn't look all that big aesthetically. Looking at the packaging and the actual bar itself, what it didn't have in size it certainly made up for in looks itself and I was impressed by the overall presentation of both. Covered in a matted foil wrapper the product had a contemporary look and it kept the inner bar looking fresh and certainly looking the part when cross-sectioned. In almost complete contrast the bar didn't offer much in the way of an aroma and failed to register anything of note on my smelling senses aside from a sweet dairy smell.

Putting the lacking aromas aside I was still expecting great things from what looked like a bar that offered a unique proposition but I was to be greatly disappointed by what was on offer. Out of all the different layers the most flavoursome was the outer white chocolate which offered up a sweet dried milk like taste that had just a hint of vanilla. One of the most disappointing things of this bar was the outer coating of dark chocolate which brought absolutely nothing of note to the taste at all. Having tasted many mass consumer friendly 'dark' chocolates before I was well prepared for an unsweetened milk chocolate type taste however what I was confronted with was an even milder flavoured chocolate that brought nothing to party whatsoever. With the outer dark chocolate light in terms of flavour what I was not expecting was the filling to offer even less. The vanilla mousse was practically flavourless and the small crunchy pieces of 'cookie' were similarly lacklustre adding nothing aside from the odd gritty bump in the weightless centre. Looking at the nutritional information I can't believe that nearly half this bar was actually fat - the levels of saturated fat (8.4g - nearly 50% of your GDA) for a bar so small is unbelievable.

Overall this has to be one of the greatest ever letdowns in ChocolateMission history. For a bar that sounded so awesome in proposition, what was actually reality couldn't have been more disappointing. To get the record straight there was nothing about this bar that actually tasted bad - hence the 5 score for taste! What was the main problem was that so many of the different layers offered little or nothing to the overall taste - the main perpetrator being the outer coating of dark chocolate which I would have thought would of had a great say in things. It is a telling statement to make when I say that the strongest tasting layer out of the lot was the white chocolate which wasn't even portioned that greatly in comparison to some of the others. In all the dark chocolate, inner mousse and cookie pieces just didn't contribute and made for a bar that lacked in it's satisfaction credentials. This wasn't just any letdown ... this was an M&S letdown!

5.4 out of 10