Monday, 31 August 2009

August 31st: Thorntons Dark Chocolate with Mint

Kcal 483 Fat 35.7g Fat(sats) 22.4g Carbs 33.1 (per 100.0g)

Personally I think Thorntons happen to be one of the most confusing chocolatiers on the market. Some of their range is superb, whilst other parts of it wouldn't look out of place in Lidl's own brand range. Thankfully some recent reviews have proved that when they put their minds to it they really can produce the goods and their milk chocolate with Tonka Bean bar was testament to that. Today I decided to try another bar from their Blocks Range in the form of the Dark Chocolate with Mint which constituted of 'dark chocolate with natural peppermint oil and mint crystals' ... mint crystals!? Yeh I was intrigued aswell!

Despite the Tonka Bean variant breaking trend with its 70.0g size, normality was restored here with this bar weighing in at 90.0g. The packaging varied ever so slightly from the previously mentioned Tonka Bean with the green colouring being only slightly paler in comparison. Below the exterior cardboard packaging I was disappointed to find that the plastic packet material had been used unlike some of the newer variants in the range which have silver foil ones. The chocolate itself implemented the same design work as usual to decorate the upper surface; when I seperated the blocks the green crystal pieces were visible throughout the dark chocolate. As I have come to expect from mint flavoured chocolates the smell was really rather strong and provided a strong peppermint context from the outset.

I had never been bowled over by Thorntons' dark chocolate before but I was looking forward to trying this 66% recipe which supposedly used cocoa beans from Mexico. To cut all the long windiness out I will reveal straight away I was disappointed. The chocolate really lacked consistency in its taste with the cocoa flavours coming through randomly and at times proved to be quite startling and almost bitter. Some blocks the cocoa flavours were strong whilst at other times they were mild if not existent - one thing that was ever present though was the mint influence which was similarly good and bad in equal measures. The peppermint oil that was integrated into the chocolate added a nice fresh, cooling element and left a lasting impression in the mouth. I thought far less of the mint crystals though, which just so happened to be bits of sugar. They made the texture rough and awkwardly crunchy in places whilst adding a burst of unnecessary sweetness where ever present. I ate this bar over the course of two 45.0g servings - none of which I found that satisfying due to me not really enjoying the taste all that much.

Overall Thorntons have hit another troff here - this was a pretty poor effort with this chocolate and mint combination. I neither enjoyed the chocolate or the mint element which sort of says it all really. The chocolate was inconsistent in its flavours and the added sweetness of the mint crystals just didn't suit the nature of the dark chocolate whatsoever. Remembering back to my review of the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Mint Chips I thought that the sweetness generated by the mint pieces in that bar suited the milk chocolate well - this just wasn't the case here. I guess I should have seen this coming given the poorness of the Thorntons Mint Bar that I previously reviewed back in February. If it is mint and dark chocolate your after I would seriously avoid this one and go for the Lindt Excellence Mint Intense ... it is superior in every way.

5.5 out of 10

Sunday, 30 August 2009

August 30th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 12

### Jim's Corner & Question of the Week ###

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for sending me all your questions for Hotel Chocolat this week. I have indeed forwarded them all on to the appropriate people and hope to hear back with answers for you all very soon. In regards to the questions themselves I think we got a pretty mix which should provide us all with some entertaining answers.

I will try keep this short this week but I do have some news regarding another feature post that I will be putting together very soon. The theme is 'Gifting' and I will be offering my opinion on what chocolates are best to give on certain occasions. This again leads me nicely on to question of the week:

'What was the best/worst chocolate gift you have ever given or received?'

Now I said I will keep this short, so I will sign off here. Please keep sending me your opinions on the products I review - it's always nice to hear form you all.

Have a great bank holiday weekend

JIM


The ChocolateMission Omnibus:

The week started off with a small accusation of sexism on my part when I reviewed the Cadbury Snack Wafer. The sentence that ruffled the feathers of reader Jo can be seen in the comment section. Why not head over there yourself and pass an opinion yourself HERE?

This week also saw me get stuck into another three different products thanks to my pals at DGG. First off I tried the superb Lindt Raspberry and Vanilla Yogurt which seem to catch the eye of Claudia, Jen and Benedicte. A few days later things were not quite so rosey when I had the displeasure of trying the Lindt's Chocolat Provence Wild Fruit & Rosemary Chocolate ... it was indeed as bad as it sounds and readers like Phil were none to impressed with the proposition of chocolate and herbs.

Lastly yesterday I reviewed Moritz's Chocolate Ice Cubes which certainly split opinion with readers. One anonymous poster lauded the chocolates for their unique melting point, though Susanne was quick to add that the constituents of these chocolates makes for some scary thinking in regards to health and levels of saturated fat.


News from the Chocolate Market:

* Following PinkWrapperGate (See Monday Review) - Cadbury have announced that the Cadbury Flake will be sporting a pink wrapper in Asda for a limited period in support of Cancer Research. See HERE

* M&S recently did some research into the nations favourite sweets ... this makes for a good interesting read. See HERE

* Cadbury chocolate in New Zealand and Australia will soon be becoming fairtrade like our UK bars. See HERE

* McVitie's have accelerated the rate of growth in the Pouch market with the release of some new chocolate biscuit variants. See HERE

* If you want a Wispa Gold ... I suggest you head to Carlisle. See HERE


Post from other Blogs I enjoyed this week:

* Chocablog - Hotel Chocolat recently sent me across two selection boxes and it looks like Dom got tasked with reviewing some of the others from the range. For his Milk Chocolate Oblivion review. See HERE

* Foodstufffinds - Has had another busy week tracking down the latest products to be hitting our grocery shelves. It was these Walkers Jamaican Jerk Chicken crisps that caught my eye this week. See HERE

* ImpulsiveBuy - Marvo posted a load of reviews this week but it these Blue Benny Raspberry Vanilla Aspen Frozen Yogurt Granola Bars (phew mouthful!) really appealed to me. See HERE

* CandyBlog - Cybele got round to trying Tobelerone Fruit & Nut. She didn't think all that much of the chocolate but seemingly I am not the only one to love the triangular shaped blocks. See Here

* GiGiReviews - GiGi finally reviewed something that wasn't even worthy of giving a rating ... presenting Claim Jumper's Shrimp Scampi. See HERE

Saturday, 29 August 2009

August 29th: Moritz Chocolate Ice Cubes

Kcal 65 Fat 4.8g Fat(sats) 4.5g Carbs 4.0g (per cube)

One of the first things I do when I receive a chocolate bar/box of chocolates is check the ingredients. I don't know about you but I always feel a great deal better when I know what I am eating is made out of more natural raw materials. Now I am not asking for everything to be organic, fairtrade blah blah blah but when I saw the words 'hydrogenated coconut' and 'vegetable oil' sitting top of the list on the packet of this product I couldn't help but feel just a tad worried. Could I really subject myself to a product that contained 4.5g (over 25% GDA!) of saturated fat in just one small little chocolate ... in a word YES ... if only for the sake of this website.

I have managed to go a whole first paragraph without even telling you what the product is - I guess there is a first time for everything! These Moritz Chocolate Ice Cubes hail from Germany and were supplied to me by the ever giving Dean-German-Grocery. With coconut oil having a melting temperature of 76 centigrade (fact shamelessly nicked from Cybele's review at Candyblog SEE HERE!!), these chocolates came with the proposition at melting in the mouth with real ease. The chocolates came in some pretty tacky looking packaging that didn't appeal to me in any way whatsoever. They were held with in a clear plastic pouch that contained 200.0g of several foil wrapped, squidgy feeling chocolates inside. Due to the nature of the soft innards I think that this product would have been far better suited in a box, but this was unfortunately not the case. The chocolates themselves were a little melted in appearance but smelt reasonably enticing with a nice touch of nuttiness in and amongst the other sweeter smelling influences.

Despite not feeling all that enamoured with the prospect of eating saturated fat filled chocolate squares I did eat enough of these to get a good idea of the taste. Sadly I have to report that they were pretty damn tasty and had a unique texture that was nothing like I had ever had before. In regards to taste these chocolates had a really gianduja, praline type appeal to them and provided a delicious mixture of both chocolate and hazelnut influences. The flavours had very little in the way of progressiveness but the creamy undertones that supported both the chocolate and hazelnut made a resulting taste that was both moreish, yet at the same time quite rich. In terms of the texture these 'chocolates' really were unlike anything I had reviewed on ChocolateMission. The full on melt started as soon as the chocolates hit the tongue which not only brought an explosion of flavours straightaway but just as the name suggested provided an instant cool, tingly feeling as they melted on the tongue. I guess the only disappointing thing about these were the fact that I felt guilty eating more than two in one day which obviously didn't make for a fulfilling snack.

Overall however good these tasted I don't think that this can justify the ingredients that these are made of. I guess my view of these is very similar to that of McDonalds products in that however good their products probably taste I just cannot bring myself to eat them as I know that they are made of pretty crappy ingredients. There is no doubt that these Moritz Chocolate Ice Cubes provided a pretty unique experience when it came to the texture - as I said the quickness and smoothness of the melt was completely new to me. The taste was also pretty damn good with the chocolaty, hazelnut experience very well executed making them devilishly moreish. So would I recommend these to my readers? Maybe? possibly? potentially? ... I am undecided!? These are worth trying when eaten in moderation - but for the sake of your health I really wouldn't recommend scoffing a whole 200.0g bag.

7.6 out of 10

Friday, 28 August 2009

August 28th: Lindt Wild Fruit & Rosemary Harmony

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

This Lindt Chocolat Provence range really hasn't set the world slight for me but just to make sure I have been thorough with the whole range I today tried the very last of the flavours from the selection. The Chocolat Provence range has experimented with putting didn't sorts of herbs and flowers in milk chocolate and in my opinion the previous Thyme and Lavender bars just really didn't hit the mark and were definitely not bars I would consider having again. Today, once again courtesy of Dean-German-Grocery, I got to try this Lindt Wild Fruit & Rosemary bar which was formed of milk chocolate flavoured with several red berries and of course rosemary.

This bar came in a standard 100.0g format that had I wanted to eat it all I would have done in two servings. In line with the other Chocolat Provence range the packaging had a classic, retro sort of look to it which I thought looked more suitable for an old womans fragrance. The
chocolate itself had an odd smelling fragrance that was sweet yet ever so slightly herby and a little odd smelling ... suffice to say it didn't particularly entice, neither did it repulse. At first glance the chocolate looked pretty standard in terms of its appearance but upon closer inspection I could see small black and red specs throughout the bar.

It took me a few blocks to pin down the taste as it immediately reminded me of something completely unexpected. At first the flavours of the chocolate came
through nicely with the sweet, creamy, cocoa substantiating a nice chocolaty context to the initial taste. Present throughout the initial wave of chocolate flavours the red berry influences were also highly detectable with bursts of sweet strawberry and tarter blackberry and raspberry proving to be very welcome to the taste. Frankly I wish Lindt had just left it there as the cream heavy taste of the chocolate and the juicy red berry elements played nicely off one another and made for a fine flavour combination. Unfortunately element X aka the rosemary was yet to join the party and mid way through the melt the taste was dominated by what I would describe as an onslaught of flavours that were incredibly like Parma Violet sweets I used to have as a kid. The perfume like influence of the rosemary was completely out of context and cheapened the taste bringing a dampener on the really quite delicious chocolate and berry synergy. I did eat most of this bar though halfway through my second serving I decided I wanted no more and threw the rest away.

Overall this bar performed much the same as the other Chocolat Provence
bars in that the herb element just ruined what was already naturally a good chocolate. Maybe I just haven't got the whole point of this Chocolat Provence range but for me the whole herb/floral influences just didn't resonate. I think that sometimes manufactures like Lindt can over complicate their chocolate bars - I can't imagine too many people will ever choose to eat this bar over their more classic 85% dark chocolate which is a far simpler proposition. Much like I mentioned at the start of this review with the Thyme and Lavender bars this is not one I will likely be having again ever out of choice. It is always nice to try products like this as it is a nice change up from the more straight forward bars on the market. What this does go to prove though is that sometimes in the chocolate world .... less is definitely more!

6.4 out of 10

Head to Dean-German-Grocery for all your chocolate needs!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

August 27th: Trumpf Schogetten Tiramisu / Dark Chocolate

Kcal 536 Fat 37.0g Carbs 44.0g (per 100.0g)

Today saw me trying the last of the Schogetten bars that Lottie sent me in the form of this 'Tiramisu' variant. So far Trumpf have not quite produced a 'wow' factor for me but I was hoping that the slightly different proposition of this bar might do just that. This bar varied from the previous two Schogetten bars I have reviewed as it was formed of dark chocolate and not milk chocolate. The milk chocolate that was used in the Milk Cream Caramel and Cappuccino bars just didn't quite do it for me - it was Milka esque but just not quite as good. With this in mind I was hoping that the prospect of 'dark chocolate with a tiramisu filling' would be better received.

Just as with the aforementioned Milk Cream Caramel and Cappuccino bars this one came in a standard 100.0g format that was split into 18 bite sized blocks. The packaging looked none to dissimilar to the other variants with only a dark rouge colour used to differentiate it. The chocolate itself was a little more impressive looking with a better contrast between the darker outer chocolate and peach coloured filling. The chocolate not only had a better aesthetic appeal compared to the others but it also smelt the best out the lot combining a nice roasted cocoa smell with a nice hint of coffee.

I have perhaps been a slightly harsh on Schogetten milk chocolate but in my opinion in really does pale in comparison to the dark chocolate this bar served up. The dark chocolate immediately brought some strong flavours to the party substantiating some strong smokey cocoa flavours that nicely led into the creamier flavours of the inner filling. The tiramisu creme itself was well executed and mixed a flavour base of cream and coffee well. In comparison to the Cappuccino variant the coffee seemed to come through stronger, even in the presence of a stronger outer chocolate. If I would have one criticism it would be that the melt was slightly dry and powdery, though on the other hand this did make the creme filling feel that little bit more smooth and soft. An area where I did think this bar performed strongly was in the strength of its aftertaste. Each block left a strong impression of cocoa and coffee which made the taste both rich and substantial. I ate the 18 blocks over the course of around three different sittings; I must say I felt this chocolate complimented an after dinner coffee superbly.

Overall this is the finest Schogetten bar I have had to date. In comparison to the milk chocolate variants I have tried the dark chocolate implemented on this bar was superior. It was by no means the greatest dark chocolate I have ever tasted but it was nice to see a mass confection brand not hold back in the strength of flavours - all too often they can end up tasting like unsweetened milk chocolate with no amplification of the cocoa at all. The triamisu element was delivered to a reasonable standard - it was cream based in flavour and had a well implemented coffee hit in its midst. In regards to a 'wow' factor I still don't think Schogetten are quite there for me, but this bar was certainly promising and I look forward to trying some more of the flavours in their extensive range. Schogetten appears to be a brand with real potential - thanks again to Lottie for exposing me to them!

8.0 out of 10




Kcal 497 Fat 33.0g Carbs 40.0g (per 100.0g)

Whilst shopping with the above Tiramisu flavour, I also managd to come across Schogetten's original dark chocolate, which also came in the standard Schogetten format. Much like the bar above, the product had a pleasant cocoa led fragrance that matched the dark, almost black appearance of the chocolate itself - none of this excited me all that much but it met expectations none the less.

It won't take me long to describe the taste of this chocolate as it was altogether not that complicated. Right from the first few moments in the mouth the chocolate established a fine set of cocoa flavours that grew in intensity as the chocolate transformed into its liquor state. The cocoa flavours were strong, yet never verged on being bitter and left a long lasting impression in the mouth without ever reaching a point of being overly intense. A milk routed undertone was forever present throughout the taste, though I especially liked the way it was implemented as it brought a creaminess yet never compromised the unsweetened nature of the taste. If I was to have one criticism of this chocolate it would have to be the texture which I thought was a little on the waxy side for my liking. The melt was smooth but took ages to reach its point of transformation as it seemed to take forever to heat in the mouth; at times I felt this was a little frustrating. Despite this minor flaw I can't fault the chocolate for the rich flavours it produced and it made for an altogether quite fulfilling chocolate.

Overall I wouldn't quite rate this bar as highly as the Tiramisu flavour, but for 69p for 100.0g I really can't complain at the standard of the actual chocolate itself. In my previous Schogetten reviews it has been commented on that I am not quite seeing the value for money element but having actually bought this bar for myself I have to admit that the quality of the chocolate is superb given the minimality of the investment. This was the first solid Schogetten bar I have tried which didn't contain an inner filling and I have to say that I thought it suffered a little as the texture didn't seem quite right as it was just a little on the hard, waxy side. Packaging aside that is the only real criticism I can have about this chocolate. If your looking for a cheap dark chocolate fix then I have to say this is one of the best options out there if your on a shoestring budget.

7.5 out of 10

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

August 26th: M&M's Coconut

Kcal 210 Fat 10.0g Fat(sats) 6.0g Carbs 26.0g (per pack)

Just as they did last month with the M&M's Strawberried Peanut, CandyPirate once again came up trumps for me and sent across a sample of the latest limited edition M&M's to grace the US market. In previous reviews I have been known to complain about the amount of limited editions being pumped out by Mars in the US, but I am now coming round to the way of thinking that they are bang on the money. By continuously bringing new flavours to the market they are continuously engaging their consumers and keeping them interested in their M&M's brand. When you compare the raft of innovations that Mars US produce in comparison to the lack of NPD we get here in the UK, I myself know which market I would prefer to have close at hand.

Rant at Mars UK over lets get on with the review of these M&
M's Coconut. CandyPirate were kind enough to supply with a few 42.5g bags that I ate at the rate of one every sitting. I thought the white packaging was suited to the Coconut flavour and thought the on pack design was well suited with a playful, Caribbean like theme. The M&M's themselves were also coloured appropriately sporting green, brown and white shells with dark brown inner fillings - just a thought but maybe it would have been cool to have dark brown outer shells and white innards like real coconuts!? Generally I find M&M's lack a telling smell due to their sugary shells though a gentle scent of coconut was present when I smelt inside the packet.

A few days before I ate a packet of these I went to the cinema with friends and ended up gnoshing my fair share of one of the
standard milk chocolate flavoured M&M's pouches. Although still rather pleasant I guess this gave me a timely reminder of how plain the originals actually taste and I think it made me appreciate these a little bit extra with their little twist in terms of flavours. At first I was a little sceptical at how the coconut might taste - after all these actually didn't contain any real coconut which I was disappointed to read on the back of the packaging. After my first taste however my initial scepticism turned into pure delight. In addition to the standard cocoa and sweet dried milk flavours these M&M's had a wonderful coconut influence that was neither too intense or too under played. The strength of the milky, nutty flavours were just about the right intensity and made for a well rounded and enjoyable overall taste. Like most M&M's by the end of the packet the sweetness of the sugary shells were starting to get a little much but the sensible pack size meant this never became much of an issue.

Overall these M&M's coconut get a ChocolateMission thumbs up and I think really go to prove a point that limited editions / seasonal flavours can really have
a part to play in some brands portfolios. It is flavours like these that are available for a limited time that generate ongoing interest in brands and must keep people loyal in their brand consumption. Now don't get me wrong I think most people have a favourite confectionery product which they will choose more times than others, but the understanding I think a lot of brands here in the UK lack is the insight that consumers also like to try new things. These M&M's are a great example of how just a simple addition of a different flavour element can spark just a little extra excitement in a brand. These are really just plain milk chocolate M&M's with a added hint of coconut but I happen to think they were a great little change up from the normal milk chocolate variant. If you like your coconut flavoured chocolates these are really worth you trying and if your UK based your only option appears to be to get them from CandyPirate as they are the only UK importers to get them across to our shores so far! Take note UK marketeers - limited editions do have a place in your portfolios!!

8.2 out of 10


Head to CandyPirate to have your chance to try the M&M's Coconut

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

August 25th: Lindt Raspberry & Vanilla Yogurt

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

My pals at Dean-German-Grocery have supplied with most the of the NPD (new product development) to be launched on the German Confectionery market this summer and a large majority of it has been fruit themed. When bars are as frankly as good as this one though, I for one will not be writing any letters of complain to the likes of Lindt. The bar in the line of fire today was the Lindt Raspberry & Vanilla Yogurt, which was formed of white chocolate blocks filled with vanilla and raspberry flavoured yogurt. You may remember that earlier in the year I tried a very similar product from Ritter Sport (See HERE); that bar managed to score an 8.0 so there was certainly a high benchmark.

From the photo above you have already probably ascertained that this was another from the Lindt range that I like to call 'Pods' and it came in a standard 100.0g size. As I so often comment about Lindt packaging it was altogether rather swish looking and I liked the way the packaging incorporated the yogurt, vanilla and raspberry pictures without cluttering the wrapper. I am a big fan of the way the pod blocks look and I must say the format really worked aesthetically for this bar. The white chocolate had a lovely unblemished smooth surface and held the pink tinted, red studded yogurt filling nicely inside. My expectations of this product were only further enhanced when I took in my first smell of the fruity, diary scents that the chocolate radiated.

I have already said that I really liked this bar so I won't hang around in giving my verdict - it was wonderful. Lindt have a great white chocolate recipe that I have raved about many times before and it was well implemented again here. The outer white chocolate had a wonderfully subtle milky taste that had a terrific smoothness to its melt. As the chocolate melted in the mouth the creamy flavours were further reaffirmed and a nice vanilla undertone soon became apparent at the turning point of the melt. Inside each pod the yogurt filling had a slightly drier feel on the tongue which nicely differentiate it from the outer chocolate. The filling was simply sublime and the red berry flavours gave the chocolate a delightful, full bodied fruity taste that complimented the slightly sour, tangy note that the yogurt developed in the background. I think the bar could perhaps have done without the small red specs of dried raspberry as I these at times did leave a slightly rough feel on the tongue. Minor criticism aside for white chocolate this was a nicely fulfilling bar and one that I ate over the course of three separate sittings.

Overall this probably isn't the most imaginative product to hit the shelves this summer but it is one that has been done particularly well. I would say that the reason this bar is superior to the Ritter Sport Raspberry Yogurt is because it has better balance. With the Ritter Sport product I reviewed earlier this year I thought that at times it got a little on the sweet side as the white chocolate was just a little on the sugary side for me. The Lindt white chocolate used with this bar though was a little more mild and not quite as forceful with its more laid back milk based flavours. If your going to be buying into the whole fruit flavoured yogurt chocolate bars this summer this would be one I suggest you try. White chocolate fans this is one you have to get hold of.

8.7 out of 10


Head to Dean-German-Grocery for all your German Chocolate Needs

Monday, 24 August 2009

August 24th: Cadbury Snack Wafer

Kcal 60 Fat 3.3g Fat(sats) 2.1g Carbs 7.2 (per finger)

It has taken me a whole year to track down the last variant from this Cadbury Snack range. Having previously reviewed the Shortcake, Raisin Cereal Bar and Sandwich offerings I finally got my hands on this Cadbury Snack Wafer. This bar looked extremely like the Cadbury Timeout and came described as 'milk chocolate covered wafer biscuits'. Just like the other Cadbury Snack variants this one also did not feature Cadbury Dairy Milk - Boooo!

The product came in a 36.0g size and was split into 3 separate finger pieces. The pale pink colour that featured on the packet gave the bar a rather feminine look. I can't see why Cadbury chose this colour - not only did it look dull and lifeless but effectively it discouraged half its target market with its non male inclination. Although I wasn't all that impressed with the packaging I thought the fingers themselves were presented well as they had a relatively pleasant sweet biscuit like aroma and broke apart with a clean crisp break.

Comparisons with the Cadbury Timeout were inevitable with this product as it offered pretty much the same proposition. The only difference between the two came in the structure of the inner wafer. In the Timeout the chocolate creme is more sandwiched in between two thicker bits of wafer - in this Snack Wafer bar the chocolate creme lined thinner layers of wafer intermittently (like in a Kit Kat!). I personally preferred the way it was implemented in this Snack Wafer bar as it meant that the crispness of the wafers was better retained. The chocolate creme was still evident yet allowed the starchy flavours of the wafers just to have a little more of say in the overall taste. Just as with the Timeout I was disappointed at the lack of Dairy Milk chocolate and wasn't all that impressed by the thinness of which the standard Cadbury chocolate was implemented. The chocolate hit was still there but wasn't as creamy in its flavours as it was more sugar based. As the product was split into three pieces it for some reason made it feel a bit more substantial than a Timeout - what with it being wafer based though it was hardly like it was the most fulfilling bar I have ever had.

Overall this was a pretty standard Cadbury offering that on reflection really wasn't worth waiting a year for :) Due to the average nature of the rest of the range it was hardly like I was expecting much else - if you want average defined in terms of chocolate bars this is probably it. The lack of Dairy Milk and abundance of non-substantial wafer meant that this bar was never going to be all that special. Frankly though the bar never claims to be and I must admit it does exactly what it says on the tin in that it makes a pretty fair 'Snack'. I wouldn't avoid this bar but at the same time wouldn't advise you to expect fireworks.

7.0 out of 10

Sunday, 23 August 2009

August 23rd: 7Days of Chocolate Reviews - Edition 11

### Jim's Corner & question of the week ###

I can't believe this is already Edition 11 of my round up posts ... it only seems like a few weeks ago I actually started doing them. The format has changed slightly this week as I have some exciting news.

Last weeks 'Question of The Week' was based around different sort of posts I could bring to the site. Well the majority that responded said they would like to see interviews, manufacture features etc. This week I explored the possibilities and have presented with a great opportunity thanks to my pals at Hotel Chocolat..... which brings me nicely on to question of the week ...

'If you could ask Hotel Chocolat any question, what would it be?'

Please send all your questions in by Wednesday 26th August at which time I will send the sensible questions on to the guys at Hotel Chocolat. I can't promise all your questions will be answered but I have been assured they will respond to as many as possible.

Be sure to get your questions in! This is a fantastic opportunity.

Jim


The ChocolateMission Omnibus:

My review of the new Cadbury KOKO chocolate selection got the week off to an interesting start and attracted many positive comments from readers Lottie, Daisy and James (via E-mail) who all seemed to enjoy Cadbury's unambitious, yet still very tasty attempt at some chocolate truffles.

On Tuesday my review of Thorntons' Dark Chocolate with Macadamia bar had David posing the question 'how can this be an award winning chocolate if it hasn't been sampled by the mass market yet?'. It was a good question but I do think the panel at the Academy of Chocolate do probably know what their on about.

Later on in the week I came across a rare, disappointing product from Hotel Chocolat in the form of their Orange Tangs. At least this confirmed to Marshall that I in fact don't work for them but I will be hoping for better next time. The week finished up with my reviews of the Trumpf Schogetten Milk Cream Caramel, Nestle Choco Crossies and lastly yesterday a rather odd post featuring Recaldent's Smart Time Chocolate Gum from Japan.


News from the Chocolate Market:

* Following on from my gum review yesterday Cadbury have announced an £3.5m campaign to support the launch of their new Trebor Extra Strong Gum. See HERE

* Tangeirne Confectionery - makers of UK favourites in Barratt Sherbet Fountains, Dib Dabs, Black Jacks etc have been awarded a compliance certification by the Halal Food Authority. See HERE

* Experts say our confectionery prices won't rise because of rising sugar prices ... have they thought about greedy marketeers? See HERE

* Should confectionery be kept at tills for eagle eyed kiddies to beg mummy to buy them? See HERE

* Mars have cut their Christmas range by a third and are focusing on their big sellers. See Here


Posts from other blogs I enjoyed this week:

* Japanese Snack Food Blog - These guys got hold of yet more interesting flavoured Kit Kats in some lovely looking packaging. See HERE

* Second Rate Snacks - Took a look at Chips Ahoy vs 'Chips Ahoy Knockoff' ... surely only ever going to be one winner. See HERE

* ZOMG, Candy - I hadn't seen Lotte reviews apart from my own until I saw this review on ZOMG. See HERE

* Chocablog - Kath posted a review looking at Whittaker's Spicy Ginger Blocks vs Lindt's Excellence Ginger ... take a look who won See HERE

* GiGi - Sorry Gi but these Artichoke and Spinach Bread Bowl Bites really turned my stomach :D ... seemingly you thought the same thing. See HERE

Saturday, 22 August 2009

August 22nd: Recaldent Smart Time Chocolate Gum

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

As an avid chewing gum lover there aren't many moments when my gob isn't kept busy. I am normally a Wrigley's Extra man (has to be peppermint!!) as I simply can't stand those awful fruit flavoured gums that taste so terribly cheap. Before today I had never seen a chocolate flavoured gum let alone tried one; of course that was until J-List got on the case and offered me a chance to try this Recaldent Smart Time Chocolate Gum from Japan. I won't even attempt to try and sound like I know what the on pack description said but according to the J-List website these were 'chocolate flavoured gum pieces with real chocolate centres'. Today is yet another ChocolateMission - my first ever gum review.

The gum came in a pack of 12 individual pieces that I managed to savour for well over a week. The packaging of our gum here in the UK is rather simplistic and to be honest I wouldn't really expect anything else ... it is just gum after all. From the limited selection of products I have reviewed the Japanese always seem to pay a lot of attention to how their products look and once again I couldn't help but like the way this gum had been presented. The outer cardboard box was a lovely gold colour and had a very cool sliding draw like mechanism that held the gum pieces inside. The gum pieces themselves were contained within individual foil packages and contained a very surprising bit of branding that I will come onto later. In regards to aroma the gum didn't have a particulalry strong impact aside from a minor sweet smell - I decided to not punish the gum on the score system as this was chewing gum after all.

I mentioned above that there was a surprising piece of branding placed on the inner foil wrappers and I can reveal that it was Cadbury! Despite having no inclination of containing any form of Cadbury on the outer packaging (that I could translate anyway!) it was all too apparent from both the wrappers and resulting taste that this gum had a Cadbury influence. As you can see above the gum had two distinct layers - the standard outer chocolate flavoured gum and an inner bit of liquid chocolate. I wasn't expecting much in the way of a chocolate hit though as soon as I placed the piece in my mouth and started chewing a simply wonderful set of creamy chocolate flavours attacked my taste buds. The chocolate flavours weren't entirely Dairy Milk Esq, though were certainly comparable and had similar milky flavours. As with most chewing gum the flavours did all but disappear in around 30 minutes but I still enjoyed them whilst they were present and they were certainly a nice change up from my usual mint gum.

Overall I wouldn't necessarily replace my usual Wrigley's Extra with this chocolate flavoured alternative but I would certainly purchase it now and again to provide a bit of a mix up. It sounds silly to say but the chocolate influence brought to the party was actually surprisingly chocolaty and were not just the sweet, nondescript flavours that I was expecting. Chewing gum is a pretty staple part of everyday life for me and it is not often that I am without a pack. Like I said i wont be replacing my Wrigley's Peppermint anytime soon, but for interesting alternative I would suggest you give these a try. The only question I have left is why they don't have the Cadbury logo on the packaging? ... the only answer I can think of is that the Cadbury logo just isn't recognised in Japan!

7.4 out of 10

Friday, 21 August 2009

August 21st: Nestle Choco Crossies

Kcal 501 Fat 26.9g Fat(sats) 14.2g Carbs 57.2g (per 100.0g)

No sooner had I finished my review of the Cadbury Clusters last month, Dean-German-Grocery offered me the chance of trying a very similar product that Nestle produce over in Germany. These Neslte Choco Crossies came billed as 'crispy clusters containing milk chocolate, corn flakes and almonds'. Although I guess not directly comparable I thought it would be interesting to see how the nut focus of the Nestle product and the raisin focus of the Cadbury one compared.

Dean-German-Grocery sent me a 200.0g box that contained two separate packets. Although I managed to slightly damage my box (see above!) I liked the presentation and thought that the on pack illustrations gave a good indication of what to expect from the product. The clusters themselves were well sized and thankfully lacked the dusty complexion that the Cadbury Clusters had. I guess this was chiefly down to the foil packets in which they were held - they not only did a great job at maintaining the look of the pieces but also managed to retain a wonderful nutty chocolaty aroma.

Despite Nestle products being made worldwide they manage to keep a very consistent taste to their milk chocolate no matter where production takes place. The milk chocolate that coated these clusters had the very familiar sweet milk flavours which delivered a mild yet adequate cocoa flavour hit. Surprisingly one of the best things I liked about these clusters were the flavours I got from the corn cereal as the flakes brought a very moreish salty element to the taste in addition to the fantastic crunchy texture they added. Although only containing 4% almonds the nuts really contributed and delivered some delicious buttery nut notes to the taste. On the box the serving suggestion was 4 clusters at a time (20.0g) - I tended to eat about 6-8 which I thought provided a decent snack!

Overall these managed to impress me far more than the Cadbury Clusters as they frankly were just executed a lot better. All round it just seemed like they were the better product - they were presented nicely, looked and smelt fresh, they tasted better and overall just provided a lot more satisfaction. I guess people who don't like almonds will probably want to stay clear of these, though apart from that I can think of few other reasons why you wouldn't want to try them. These Nestle Choco Crossies are never going to set any fires alight, but they are a tasty treat nonetheless and better than your average snacking option.

8.0 out of 10

Thursday, 20 August 2009

August 20th: Trumpf Schogetten Milk Cream Caramel

Kcal 541 Fat 33.0g Carbs 56.0g (per 100.0g)

My second look at the highly recommended Schogetten range came in the form of this Milk Cream Caramel car and I must once again extend my thanks to ChocolateMission reader Lottie for proividing me with it. After the relatively promising review of the Schogetten Cappuccino I was looking forward to seeing if Schogetten to take that extra step and really produce a product of merit. I thought there was no better chance of this happening than to try their Milk Cream Caramel offering, which came billed as 'milk chocolate with a milk cream and caramel cream filling' - it sounded promising nonetheless.

Just as with the Cappuccino bar this one came in a 100.0g form that was already split into 18 individual block pieces. As the photo above so clearly shows the packaging wasn't all together that differentiated from the Cappuccino variant, though there were the obvious branding and colour differences used to communicate the caramel theme. The chocolate itself also at first glance didn't appear to have anything remarkable about it; that was until I bit into one of the blocks and saw the appetising look of the two toned inner filling which made the product seem that little bit more enticing. The bar was held within a silver foil layer that nicely contained a nice chocolaty scent that became apparent when the foil was split. A stronger, sweetened milkier smell was emanated when the blocks were bitten into.

Having already tried one Schogetten bar it seemed like a natural thing to make my observations based on a comparison between the two. As far as I am aware the milk chocolate used in both this bar and the cappuccino was of the same recipe though the taste of the milk chocolate in this bar came through stronger in the taste due to the later entrance of the filling to the taste. The milk chocolate was fair in flavour and provided a pleasant milk dominant, cocoa base taste with just the slightest touch of hazelnut present in each block. As I said in my last Schogetten review the chocolate for my liking was perhaps a little on the sweet side, though just like its most blatant comparable Milka had an appealing smooth, sweet taste. The filling for my liking was probably not all I hoped it to be, but at the same time was tasty none the less. Just like the outer chocolate it was smooth in its melt and the milk cream and had a nice cooling feeling on the tongue. The milk cream tasted like a more yogurty version of the outer chocolate and certainly had a pleasant sour tang in its aftertaste. The caramel that sat on top of the milk cream certainly was no where near the standards of other leading caramel bars but its sweet, toffee flavours managed to prohibit the tangyness of the milk cream from becoming overpowering. The whole bar provided me with three different snacking occasions, all of which I thought were reasonably substantial.

Overall in my opinion just like its Cappuccino sister bar this Milk Cream Caramel failed to really progress past being an average flavoured milk chocolate. The milk chocolate itself had relative appeal but on the balance on things I still would probably choose Milka chocolate over it given the choice. The Milk Cream Caramel filling itself was not bad in anyway and on the whole was relatively enjoyable - it was just that I didn't particularly get any sort of wow factor from it. If I was to offer an alternative instead of this bar I would suggest the Milka Toffee Ganznuss which had all the delight of the milk cream and caramel fillings but also with the addition of hazelnuts in each block. If you were to come across this bar on the cheap I would suggest you give it a try, but in the context of the whole market I think there are better milk chocolate caramel bars out there.

7.4 out of 10

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

August 19th: Hotel Chocolat Orange Tangs

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

All I can say was that it was going to happen eventually! After 42 reviews I have finally come across a Hotel Chocolat product that I really didn't rate. As ever I was very kindly sent these to review by the marketing team at Hotel Chocolat and having really liked both the Ginger Tangs and more recently Mango Strips from the same range my hopes were just as high for these Orange Tangs. Described as 'pieces of orange jelly enrobed in dark chocolate' I was immediately disappointed to find that these were not chocolate covered pieces of orange fruit and instead contained orange juice and peel. Despite this I was still excited at the prospect of trying these, as were my family who have also recently discovered the delights of my free samples from Hotel Chocolat.

The Orange Tangs came from the same 150.0g tubs range than the Ginger Tangs I reviewed in January and contained around 20 or so pieces insider. I thought that the tub itself was nicely presented with the label clearly communicating the inner product with both the description and on pack pictures. At first I was also impressed with what lay inside as the pieces looked to be a nice size and had a pleasant chocolaty fruity smell. On closer inspection though the pieces were bloomed and had dusty, scuffed surfaces that certainly didn't look all that fresh or appealing - this is probably the first Hotel Chocolat product I have ever said this about. To say either my family or myself were put off by the blemished appearance of the chocolates would be far from the truth; it didn't stop us digging straight in with great enthusiasm.

I may as well get straight to the point reveal that these did not live up to expectations in any sense whatsoever. At first I couldn't quite put my finger on what the taste reminded me of, but then with a little assistance from some very fellow samplers we managed to pin the taste down. I guess you will all be none to impressed to learn that these tasted very similar to upper portion of a Jaffa Cake ... yes a Jaffa Cake. Normally I like to take you all through my experience of the taste step by step but for this product that won't be necessary as the taste showed no progression of any note. The taste both started and ended with the orange jelly centre which had a strong orange fruit flavour that at times I would describe as being tart and almost sour. The dark chocolate really didn't factor into the taste all that much and its thin implementation meant that the cocoa flavours were mostly entirely lost in the context of the taste and failed to make an impression of any note. Maybe it was just that they tasted so similar to Jaffa Cakes but out of the four people that tried these (including myself) none of us were that impressed by what we tasted. They neither tasted that appealing or were what I would describe as fulfilling - they wouldn't be my choice of snack.

Overall the only word I can use to describe these is disappointing, but I guess every product range has its duds. I generally think that the better Hotel Chocolat products are the ones that focus on the actual chocolate and not the filling - it is their core competence after all. I think it says it all when I can tell you that the tub of Orange Tangs in my household is still half full after a week. Normally Hotel Chocolat products are gobbled up within a matter of days but these just seemed to completely lack the appeal that so many of their other products have in abundance. I really like Jaffa Cakes ... but even I couldn't quite get my head around the uncanny resemblance that these showed; if anything their sourer nature made them a far less appealing option when you consider they cost £6.75 a tub! I can't go as far as recommending these for anyone due to Hotel Chocolat have far, far better products across their range - one to avoid in my opinion.

4.9 out of 10

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

Monday, 17 August 2009

August 17th: Cadbury KOKO

Kcal 75 Fat 5.3g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 6.2g (per truffle)

Last week Phil and Susanne brought to my attention that Cadbury had announced that they would be bringing a new product to market titled KOKO. According to a Cadbury spokesperson KOKO is a product marketed at the woman's sector of the market, so I don't suppose anyone at Cadbury will really give a monkeys what I write about it given I am completely the wrong demographic. Regardless, I couldn't help feeling a tingle of excitement when I saw these sitting on the shelf of my local Sainsbury's - everyone loves a new product afterall don't they!

On a special introductory offer, £2.99 of my hard earned pounds bought me 200.0g of 'milk chocoalte truffles encased in milk chocolate'. I would say inside there were about twenty chocolates, all of which were wrapped in brown foil wrappers with the words KOKO branded across each in a stylish golden font. In regards to presentation I must say as I was really impressed despite obviously being completely the other end of the spectrum in terms of target market. The outer cardboard box was nicely designed and patterned nicely with a mixutre of pink, brown and beige colours. I also thought the inner wrappers were equally as impressive, not only maintaining the stylish look but maintaining the chocolates in ammaculate condition with a nice bit of dual foil layering.

As soon as I opened the wrappers it was immediatedly apparent that these were going to be straight up Cadbury chocolate - nothing more, nothing less. The usual milk based dairy scents were highly reminiscent of usual favourites such as plain Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Freddos etc ... this was of course by no means a bad thing. Although this is to be confirmed by any credible source I believe Cadbury have two types of milk chocolate that they use across their portfolio - Dairy Milk and another ever so slightly different recipe they use for Freddos and similar products. In my opinion there is one very minor diferrence between the two, with the latter being a touch more sugar rooted in taste and a just a touch less creamy - these KOKO truffles inhibited exactly that. The taste experience was consistent throughout, with the outer chocolate and inner filling not differing in any manner. I guess this may sound a little unexciting but I happened to think it worked nicely, with the two contrasting textures of the harder outer chocolate and smoother inner filling complimenting the flow of the creamy chocolaty flavours superbly. Each chocolate didn't particularly last that long in the mouth due to the softness of the centres, but eating three of these truffles in a sitting felt like an indulgent treat and certainly went a long way to satisfying a well needed chocolate hit.

Overall these wern't exactly a product that hit me for six but at the same time I couldn't help but fall for their wonderful yet pretty simple Cadbury appeal. I don't know what it is about Cadbury milk chocolate but for me it just seems to have a wonderful appeal and for a mass produced confection it simply has to be up there as one of the best tasting. I guess a slight disappointment with this product is that I think it was produced with Cadbury's secondary recipe rather than their glorious Dairy Milk. Truth be told I percieve very little difference between the two and frankly I am sure that most normal people wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway so it is understandable why they have done it. KOKO obviously isn't the most revolutionary of products ever, but it is still a tasty set of truffles nonetheless. If your a fan of Cadbury milk chocolate this is simply a no brainer, you should give these a try soon -for £2.99 you can't really complain.

8.2 out of 10

Sunday, 16 August 2009

August 16th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 10

It has been another really hectic week on the site with a record number of people visiting - lets take a look at what we got up to:


The ChocolateMission Omnibus:

The week started off with my reviewing Willie Harcourt-Cooze's Delectable Cocoa Bars which you may remember from the series in which he starred on Channel 4. Personally I thought his bars were of a fair standard, but were by no means the best chocolate bars in the world such as he claims. Seemingly not many had actually tried Willie's bars with a lot of people mentioning the high price as the reason why. Those that had tried the chocolates, like CM reader Alun, had also come to similar conclusions than my own.

Later on in the week I got stuck into my first Schogetten bar, before trying my luck with Sarotti's Sao Thome dark chocolate. Both these chocolates split opinion so it will be interesting to see what the other bars from both these ranges offer.

On Friday I tried a rather odd product from Niederegger in the form of their 'Marzipan Potatoes'. Readers such as Alan and David thought similarly to myself in that the concept was completely out of left field, but thankfully Susanne was on hand to provide us with a quite reasonable explanation as to why these are quite the novelty in Germany - check out the review HERE to see why.


News from the Chocolate Market:

* This article was actually pointed out last week by Phil but it mysteriously disappeared before he could send the link. Susanne was on hand though to point me in the right direction on Monday to this press announcement .... Cadbury have launched a new product named KOKO - a truffle based Dairy Milk product aimed at the womans market. I have already managed to get hold of them myself so expect a review tomorrow. See HERE

* Nestle have recorded a first half rise of 4.3% USG (underlying sales growth ... in English SALES!) within the confectionery portfolio ... I wonder what will happen in Q3 with the introduction of Kit Kat Caramel Chunky? See HERE

* The FSA (Food Standards Agency) have issued a warning to foods manufactures about the level of saturated fat contained in our foods. See HERE

* I announced last week that Thorntons were moving their business abroad (again!) ... there is more on this move HERE


Posts from other Blogs I enjoyed this week:

* GiGi Reviews - Brought back many memories of Root Beer Floats at Disney theme parks that I used to have as a nipper with her review of Dryers/Edy's new ice cream. See HERE

* Japanese Snack Reviews - These Lotte Chocolate Coated Caramel Macadamias really caught my eye and got me back in the mood for tasting some more far east goods. See HERE

* CandyBlog - Should we really be encouraging children to put Lego blocks in their mouths? I'm not sure but Cybele thought these Chuao Chocolate Blocks from Legoland were damn tasty. See HERE

* Impulsive Buy - These review had me really intrigued!? Why on earth would Burger King be involved in making French Toast flavoured snacks!? By the looks of it they shouldn't have bothered. See HERE

* Unreserved Seating - This is a new site set up that tracks one mans travelling round various football grounds here in the UK ... hey who knows if his team performs a minor miracle and gets into Europe he could check out some stadiums abroad. Genuinely a great idea for a site and well worth checking out to see the wonderful views of our football grounds from a fans perspective. See HERE


### Jim's Corner & question of the week ###

Yes indeed a new small section for me to let some steam off my chest. It has been a great week for the site with a wave of new contributors regularly adding their thoughts to the reviews. This is something I always welcome as it is great to hear from the people that read ... whether you agree or don't feel free to leave me a comment by clicking the small little box under the score graph.

It has been a busy week for myself at work so apologies if I have been late replying to your comments. Unfortunately comment moderation will have to stay on for the minute as there is still a lingering nuisance attempting to contribute where not welcome.

I must give an additional thanks to Susie from Germany this week who was kind enough to send me some pictures of a German confectionery fixture (shelves!) from her local supermarket. It was really interesting to see the amount of variety they have out there, so much so I might do a comparison post with our UK shelves to show the huge difference ... that's if there is demand for that sort of thing!? Which leads me nicely to question of the week ...

'Would you like to see some special feature posts on this website? If so what sort of things would you like to see? I could do interviews with relevant industry people? Manufacture features e.g. small independent companies? Cross cultural confectionery market comparisons? The possibilities are endless ..... or simply I could just stick to reviews?

Right best round off this week - look out for my review of the Cadbury KOKO published Monday as well as some more reviews from the Schogetten range. Good luck to our lads playing the final Ashes test starting on the 20th! Fingers crossed it goes to day 5 as I have tickets!

Best Wishes and have great weeks!

Jim

Saturday, 15 August 2009

August 15th: Milka Marzipan-Creme

Kcal 510 Fat 31.5g Carbs 50.0g (per 100.0g)

Once again I have to start off yet another
review by issuing my thanks to reader Lottie who made another contribution to the ChocolateMission cause by kindly donating this bar for me to review. Dean-German-Grocery normally supply me my fill of Milka products though this just so happened to be one of the very few that they hadn't sent me yet. This bar was formed of 'semi-sweet Alpine milk chocolate with a both a marzipan and cocoa creme filling'. The only instance where I had tried a marzipan based Milka product before was in one of the Milka Easter egg products; looking back on that review I wasn't particularly complimentary of it - I hoped for better things today.

Like so many Milka products that have gone before this was yet another from the 100.0g range and was split into several
bite sized blocks. The outer packaging implemented the standard Milka design theme with the marzipan flavour communicated through the red secondary colour and almond nut pictures. As you may be able to tell from my photo above the bar I ate did suffer from some slight melting issues in the post but I still thought the actual construction of the bar was well executed with just about the right amount of marzipan in each block. In regards to the aroma of the chocolate it was all relatively appealing and was a fusion of nice chocolaty and nut based smells.

When it comes to marzipan I seem to like very few brands outside of the Niederegger and Zentis portfolios. Generally
I find other brands to be rather generic with a lot of them providing the same sort sugary, dry experience and thats not even going into the standard of the chocolate that generally accompanies them (even the Niederegger chocolate isn't great!). With this in mind on the whole I guess I was more impressed rather than disappointed with what this Milka bar had to offer. The dark chocolate that coated the marzipan of course wasn't really that dark at all - it was just the standard Alpine Milk chocolate with a much lower level of sweetness. This might sound like a criticism but I thought it was actually pretty damn tasty. Milka Alpine Milk chocolate tends to be a tiny bit of the sweet side for me, so I really enjoyed the creamy taste without harshness of the sugar. The hazelnut noted aftertaste of the chocolate also nicely led into the almond flavours of the inner marzipan which in regards to quality I have to say wasn't anywhere near Niederegger or Zentis standards ... but that is not to say it wasn't passable. Compared to the aforementioned brands it was a little on the dry and crumbly side and lacked a little in terms of focus on its almond flavours. I think it is worth bearing in mind that these are indeed high standards and I enjoyed this bar enough to eat it across three different sittings.

Overall
one way to look at this review would be to conclude that this was neither the best Milka or marzipan bar I have ever tried. More positively though it could be viewed in the light that it was still pretty damn tasty and was a bar that provided me a great deal of satisfaction. As I mentioned above the problem with most marzipan products is that a lot of the time the chocolate that accompanies it is more often than not pretty poor. On the contrary the semi-sweet Alpine Milk chocolate that coated this bar was pretty damn enjoyable and I must say that I even might prefer to the standard Alpine Milk chocolate that is implemented on 99% of Milka products. If your looking for great tasting marzipan your probably best looking elsewhere - if its a bit of a change up from your usual Milka bar though you could do a lot worse than this.

7.9 out of 10

 

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