Sunday, 6 September 2009
Saturday, 5 September 2009
My pursuit of finding the best Trumpf Schogetten bar took another step forward today as thanks to Dean-German-Grocery I got to try yet another from their range. I must say that their range has proven to be a little more expansive than I first thought and Dean-German-Grocery sent another two variants along with this one that I will be reviewing soon. At the ripe old age of 22 years old I guess I wasn't exactly the target market that Trumpf had in mind for this 'For Kids' offering, though this wasn't going to deter me from giving it a go anyway. Described as 'milk chocolate with a milky centre' it didn't actually sound all that different from a few Milka bars I have tried in the past and I was struggling to come to terms with what actually made this a more 'For Kids' product.
In regards to the actual product presentation there was nothing there either that really helped me determine how this had been positioned at kids. The size of the product was the same - 100.0g split into 18 individual pieces and the packaging merely communicated the 'For Kids' theme with just a simple piece of branding and smiley face. Personally I think it would have made far greater sense for the actual bar to have been smaller, as well as the size of the blocks themseleves ... what parent wants their child eating 100.0g of chocolater afterall!? Moaning aside I thought the cross-section of the chocolate looked pretty appealing with a plentiful yellow tinted creme centre nicely sitting below a dense outer chocolate layer. In regards to aroma the smell of the chocolate was quite subtle with just a mild dairy bases smell evident upon opening.
Whereas I struggled to see how the packaging and proposition was positioned at kids when it came to the taste things were a little more transparent. If I was to describe the taste in basic terms I would label it a cheap tasting Kinder chocolate. Like I have said previously with Schogetten milk chocolate the taste was really very sweet and this was only further compounded by the inner milk filling that lacked the desired cream based flavours and more tasted like the dried milk powder I used to have as a nipper. The flavours I got from the filling were slightly milky, though had a quite imposing sweet tasting edge that just meant the overriding influence was unaminiously sugar based. In a way I guess I can see how this could appeal to kids as obviosuly when we are younger our tastebuds can feal with sweeter tasting foods. Personally for me though this chocolate just didn't play the right notes and I found myself not wanting more after just a few blocks.
Overall I am finding it hard to criticise this bar as at the end of the day it was never meant for my consumption. A lot of kids products nowadays are literally just packed to the brim full of sugar as it is obviously a far cheaper ingridient than the finer products we have on the market right now. Although not targeted at me, what I can do is make a judegement agaisnt other similar positioned products like Kinder chocolate and I can conclude that this one certainly pales in comparison. As a marketer what I can also pass comment on is the poorness of the execution of this product - its meant to be for kids but aside from the very basic branding nothing about the packaging or design work communicates this. This was certainly not the best offering from the Schogetten rang and will not be one I will have again.
5.6 out of 10
Head to Dean-German-Grocery for all your German Chocolate and candy needs!
Friday, 4 September 2009
Thursday, 3 September 2009
I think Dean-German-Grocery were probably a little surprised when I reviewed a few German bars that were not supplied to me by themselves, but by ChocolateMission reader Lottie. Indeed, in the past few weeks I have reviewed three Trumpf Schogetten offerings - starting with the Cappuccino, then the Milk Cream Caramel and finally the Tiramisu flavoured bar. Just in order to prove they stock absolutely every German brand ever created, Dean-German-Grocery kindly sent me this 'Praline Noisettes' flavour, which came billed as 'milk chocolate with a praline nougat filling'.
This bar came in the standard Schogetten size in a 100.0g bar that was split into 18 nicely sized pieces. I must say I am really coming to like the style of the blocks already split into individual pieces - it is not only hassle free but it saves the messy business of splitting the bar up which I am coming to believe is rather handy. In my opinion the packaging could still do with a little work, I personally think it looks just a little retro with the photo dominating the front. I think that Trumpf should keep the use of colour to split out the flavours (duh!), but should make the rest a little more subtle - it is a little garish at the moment. One thing I won't complain about was the smell; as just I hoped for a strong whiff of nut was released from the foil wrapping when I split it.
The smell suggested that this was a chocolate that heavily influenced by nuts and the taste confirmed this. Now I have been a little critical of Schogetten milk chocolate in my previous reviews though I thought it suited the filling of this bar more. The milk chocolate provided its usual base flavours that I have now come to realise taste a lot like chocolate milk ... sweet, very milky but don't fail in delivering a firm chocolaty context to the taste. The praline nougat filling was a little drier in texture which differentiated it nicely from the smoother outer chocolate and although it was also pretty sugar based it was thankfully the hazelnuts that dominated in terms of flavour. As soon as the praline was encountered I detected a strong wave of roasted, woody hazelnuts that really hit the mark in delivering a wonderfully rich taste. If I was to say it was a like anything I have tried before I would compare it to Guylian Seashell Truffles which goes some way to telling you the sort of quality that was on offer here. The strength of the nut flavours meant that six blocks of this bar at a time were a more than satisfying snack.
Overall this was my favourite Schogetten milk chocolate bar yet and I have to admit to being surprised at the level of quality that this bar produced. I believe this was the case due to the filling being a lot stronger than the previously reviewed Milk Cream Caramel and Cappucino bars which meant that the milk chocolate was less of a focus itself and more just a vehicle for the inner praline. The praline itself was very enjoyable - it brought a full on, fresh tasting hazelnut element to the party and didn't hold back in terms of the strength of its nut flavours. I have come to realise that Schogetten is really quite a cheap chocolate and one thing I can't deny that it is good value for money. If your a fan of praline chocolates and don't wish to pay through the nose to get your fill this is a good option.
8.4 out of 10
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Lemon Cheesecake - This one was formed of a lemon ganache and whipped mascarpone buttercream with an outer coating of white chocolate. This wasn't one of my favourite pieces but the rest of my family loved the slightly tart, citrus cream flavoured centre for its delicate taste and smooth, soft feel in the mouth. Although not one of my personal favourites it was a nice change up from a nut biased selection. Good.
Apricot Praline - This piece came billed as a white chocolate truffle with an apricot praline filling topped with pine nuts. This was a bit of a disappointment for both myself and another family member as we felt it lacked a real apricot influence. The combination of the chocolate and filling made for a delicious creamy taste and the pine nuts were a nice unique touch. At the end of the day though the chocolate didn't quite deliver on its proposition. Standard.
Coconut Cube - This one sounded a little busy in terms of its ingredients but it certainly didn't disappoint. This white chocolate piece included a macadamia praline with pieces of toasted coconut and layer of white chocolate with essential coconut oil and yes ... it was delicious as it sounds. The wonderful base white chocolate cream flavours were nicely complimented by some fine nuts flavours with both the coconut and macadamia elements ever present adding further to the milky taste. Another standout element about this chocolate were the variable textures from the smooth melting chocolate to the slightly gritty praline and toasted hazelnut. Superb.
Mocha Buttercream - Oh what could have been! I was expecting quite a bit from this piece as the description of 'airy light buttercream with a dash of chocolate and coffee' really had me salivating. Unfortunately despite the wonderfully cream based flavours from the outer white chocolate the centre was more hot chocolate than it was coffee routed ... the coffee was very milk indeed. Still a fine tasting chocolate but a little bit disappointing given the promise of the description. Standard.
Fudged Praline - 'Almond praline studded with pieces of fudge topped with a milk caramel chocolate button' .. surely a match made in heaven? In my opinion is wasn't quite as good as I hoped but conversely the rest of my family thought it was wonderful. Myself I thought that the almond praline was again lacking in flavour and didn't quite think the sugary fudge pieces worked with the already quite sweet white chocolate. My family thought otherwise and commented that the more subtle flavoured filling allowed the toffee flavours of the fudge to come through in the taste more. Good.
Pure Nut Crest - I liked this one so much I nabbed both for myself, it was utterly fantastic. Hotel Chocolat billed this piece as an 'extremely nutty experience with finely ground hazelnuts and cocoa butter' and in my opinion it was one of the best in the box. The textures this chocolate produced were wonderful - the transition from the outer chocolate to the inner praline was seamless with both melting like butter in the mouth with the greatest of softness. The initial cream based, vanilla hinted flavours of the chocolate were fantastic and the inner praline left a longing woody, hazelnut note in the mouth. Superb.
Gianduja Square - There have been a few grumblings from readers that Hotel Chocolat should bring back their Gianduja Square products and having tasted these I have to say I totally back this campaign. The piece was rather large to consume in one mouthful though the milk and white chocolate fusion melted with the softest grace. The taste was noted with just a touch of hazelnut which altogether made for an interesting and variable overall taste. Hotel Chocolat please bring these back! Superb.
Overall there are no two ways of putting this - The Sleekster White and Light Selection is a simply fantastic white chocolate selection that I would 100% recommend for white chocolate lovers. This box of chocolates was beautifully presented and variable in terms of options - I think it is fair to say that there is something to satisfy most tastes. With all selection boxes you expect their to be a few duds but I personally didn't dislike any of the ones in this selection. Indeed I thought some of the chocolates were superior to others, but there weren't any that I probably wouldn't try again given the chance. I am going to be writing a feature post about the best chocolates to gift as presents soon and I think it is a very strong likelyhood that these will be featuring. If your a white chocolate lover this is pretty close to white chocolate heaven.
9.1 out of 10
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Well this looks rather good doesn't it!? That was my immediate thought when I took my first look at this box of chocolates. Indeed my pals at Hotel Chocolat have seen fit to send me two of their latest chocolate collections, and today I bring you Part 1 (of 2!) of my look at the White & Light Selection.
Hotel Chocolat described this product as the 'finest collection of mellow white chocolates' and it was formed of 16 ... yes 16 different pieces. As there were two of each pieces I decided to give half to my family, so over the next few days expect a few alternative views to my own.
Before I crack on to the chocolates themselves I would like to pass comment at the stunning presentation. The packaging oozed quality with a very premium look and was only to be outshone by the chocolates themselves. Both myself and and the rest of family loved the way that each piece had been crafted and decorated with such care - I hope the photos below do them some sort of justice.
In the interest of boring you to death lets crack on with how good each piece was. With their being so many pieces I will tackle the first lot today and then tomorrow finish off with the remaining pieces and the all important ChocolateMission score. As with every selection box the rating for each individual piece ranges from 'Terrible, Very Poor, Poor, Standard, Good, Very Good and Superb'.
Slab Selection - White Praline / White Hazelnuts / Simply Vanilla / Cookie Creme - First of all let me say what a fantastic idea these are. Why don't Hotel Chocolat do these Mini Slabs by themselves ... small Mini Slab selections. As you can imagine these were all pretty fantastic. One of my highest rated chocolates of all time is the White Praline Fusion so this was obviously my favourite of the lot. The rest of my family had very positive things to say about the Cookie Creme which was liked for its delicious shortbread cookie pieces. Superb.
Almond Praline - This piece was formed out an inner almond praline, covered in white chocolate sprinkled with finely chopped almond pieces. Out of the entire selection I thought this one lacked a little flavour and I thought the inner almond praline was nowhere near the standard of the hazelnut praline used in most the other pieces. The chopped almond pieces however were definitely a nice touch and added a nice bit of nuttiness that the inner filling lacked. Standard.
Mellow Caramel - To be honest I could probably eat this one all day. It was formed of a superbly smooth, mellow outer white chocolate that melted nicely to reveal a dual layered filling of hazelnut praline and caramel. The combination of the burnt sugary flavours of the caramel complimented the woody, creamy flavours of the praline fantastically. Possibly a little sweet for some but I would happily eat a whole box of these. Superb.
Eton Mess - This chocolate was included in the Season of Love Selection I reviewed earlier in the year and it was every bit as good as I remember it. This Eton Mess is an wonderfully crafted chocolate formed of strawberry buttercream, a meringue piece, covered in white chocolate and sprinkled with dried strawberry pieces. I already knew how good this chocolate was but this was the first time my family had tried it and they thought it was equally as good. The variation in textures and red fruit and cream flavours make for a chocolate that is packed full of flavours and ultimately a divine taste. Superb.
Check out ChocolateMission tomorrow for Part 2 and the final scoring system for this fantastic selection.
Monday, 31 August 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
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