Friday, 22 January 2010
With thanks once again to ChocolateMission reader Susie I today got my hands on yet another offering from Germany's Moser Roth brand. Moser Roth were one of the pleasant surprises of 2009 as time and time again they served up some great tasting offerings at a fraction of the going market rate. Exclusively produced for Aldi, Moser Roth has previously proven that great quality and an affordable price can be obtained so you can imagine I was relatively excited by the prospect of 'milk chocolate filled with hazelnut milk cream'. This is the first review of Moser Roth's Mousse range you will see in the next few weeks, as I have another two variants awaiting their run at the rating system.
This chocolate came in an odd sounding 187.5g size that was split into five nicely sized smaller 37.5g servings. As I have said in previous reviews Moser Roth do a great job with their packaging and this bar was yet another fine example of how good they really are. The outer box was a glorious marine blue colour and was decorated with some tempting looking pictures of chocolates and whole hazelnuts. Inside the the smaller bars were kept within some sleek looking paper sleeves and looked particularly appetising when cross-sectioned with the inner hazelnut creme having real stand out against the darker coloured chocolate. As great as the inner chocolate looked I have to admit I was little disappointed by the aromas that emanated from the wrappers which generated no more than average amounts of interest with some dairy chocolate scents.
One thing that Moser Roth continually impress me with is the quality of their chocolate, which at times I would say is getting close to being as full flavoured as brands such a Lindt. Although I wouldn't say the cream influences are quite as profound the taste was still wonderfully smooth and flowed with strong milk tones that were ever present throughout the duration on my tongue. Sitting below the crisp outer chocolate the inner hazelnut cream filling had a delightfully soft feel in the mouth with its differentiated drier, almost nougat like texture. Whereas I would day the feel in the mouth was pretty much spot on the flavours of the inner filling unfortunately not as grand as I had hoped. Indeed when the centre hazelnut creme was encountered the taste took a sweet turn, flipping from a fresh milky taste to a more powdery dried milk focus. What was disappointing was that the hazelnut element was really lost in the grand scheme of things, with only a mild note of nut detectable amongst the dominant dairy influences. The taste was by no stretch of the imagination bad in any manner but at the same time I was left disappointed by the lacking presence of the hazelnut. Despite the lacklustre nut flavours on offer I still felt like that a single 37.5g bar made for an entirely adequate snack and made my way through the whole five bars in about a week with some help from some colleagues.
Overall this wasn't the best Moser Roth chocolate I have ever tasted but if this is a case of them getting the enhancing flavour wrong then it was still better than the poorer efforts of some other well known manufacturers. On the positive side the quality of the chocolate was still pretty high and it made for a decent coating for what was a centre filling that didn't deliver what was desired. To avoid me moaning too much another thing I have to mention is the fact that the product was presented gloriously and I was once again impressed with the care that was given to the construction of the packaging and the crafting of the inner branded bars. I guess if you place this bar in the context of a direct competitor such as the Lint Mousse au Chocolat range than it does pale a little in comparison but this would be comparing it with a real high quality Lindt offering. With two other Moser Roth Mousse bars left to review I am hoping for greater things.
7.5 out of 10
Thursday, 21 January 2010
With both bars registering under 100 calories these both sounded like a dieters dream ... well I guess they had to taste alright to completely fit the bill. Below are my thoughts on both ..
Boots Shapers Double Chocolate Bar:
Kcal 98 Fat 2.7g Fat(sats) 1.6g Carbs 18.0g
This bar came described as 'chocolate heaven times two' and weighed 23.0g. Looking at the on pack blurb it sounded like a decent enough product, combining an outer layer of milk chocolate with a chocolate flavoured nougat below. The wrapper itself looked relatively nice though I was a little underwhelmed by both the lacklustre aromas and boring aesthetics that were revealed once it was opened.
To say this bar tasted one dimensional would be paying way too much respect to it. Having eaten it I was dreading writing this review as I knew I was going to have a hard time describing the taste. Why you ask!? Well because it mostly tasted of absolutely nothing ... seriously zip, zero, nada ... NOTHING!! As you can see from the pictures above the outer coating of chocolate was paper thin but at least it at least still managed to bring a small hint of sweet milk chocolate to the taste. In comparison the nougat was chewy and completely devoid of flavour. With the bar tasting of pretty nothing I found it completely unsatisfying.
4.0 out of 10
Having eaten the Double Chocolate Bar above the day before you could say expectations were pretty damn low when it came to eating this Chocolate Coffee Nougat Bar. Billed as 'coffee and chocolate in a dreamy nougat bar' I was praying this was going to offer a little more than the previous days travesty.
The packing and presentation ... meh it looked exactly the same. The wrapper was ok, the bar was lacking personality and just boring and generic ... at least it offered a more exciting aroma with a touch of coffee thrown in the mix. This minor coffee influence to the smell was pretty indicative of the taste. Just as I experienced with the above the chocolate was only really brought to the party by the wafer thin outer coating and lacked any presence in the nougat below whatsoever. Rather than completely lacking in its contribution to the taste it must said that there was a small of hint of coffee detectable in soft, spongy centre but being totally truthful I didn't find it anymore satisfying that the above.
4.7 out of 10
Overall .... (are these even worthy of an 'Overall!???) ... these sucked pretty bad! Now when I said I was going to do my best to find some 'easy on the calories' chocolate treats for you January dieters I honestly didn't think it was going to be this hard. Indeed, both these bars lacked flavour, excitement, character ... they were just ... well ... BAD!! Like I said in my review last Sunday, when you compare these bars to say other 100 calorie options like mini Mars bars, Cadbury Chomps, Cadbury Curly Wurlys etc there just really no competition when it comes down to what is superior. Dieters do not worry I will persist trying to find you some decent diet chocolates. On todays evidence this is going to be harder than I thought though.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???
These Gianduja Praline Cubes came in a box weighing 300.0g which was split into 42 small bite sized pieces. As I so frequently say with Hotel Chocolat products the presentation was first class once again and everything from the on-pack design work to the inner trays and padding radiated all the usual classiness that I have come to expect from the brand. Speaking of the chocolates themselves I have to admit that at first I thought they looked a little on the small side sitting in the tray though my opinion on that soon changed upon experiencing their richness. Although perhaps sceptical at their size initially, one thing that I was more impressed with was how they smelt and I immediately felt enticed by the raw and fresh nutty smells that wafted out of the box.
Picking my first piece out of the tray the first thing I noticed was the velvety feel of the chocolates on my fingers and I have to admit that I was impressed by the way that the chocolates left no stickiness or residue left on my fingers despite the ease at which they melted in the mouth. Speaking of the melt it is actually difficult for me to fully put in to words how luxurious it felt in the mouth. Allowing myself to go well over the top here it was simply sensuous and an utter delight feeling the cool, melty feel of the chocolate transform into it's silky liquid state .... it was just wonderful. Of course just as importantly the taste was also of a very high standard and the delicious blend of woody hazelnut and rich tasting creamy cocoa flavours delivered a smooth elegance that was demanded by the sublime melt. Contrary to my initial thoughts each block was sized to perfection. One cube was the perfect treat to compliment an after dinner coffee, whilst two cubes was enough to feel like a sinful indulgence that was so totally worth it.
Overall I feel like I have said everything in my above paragraph - if I haven't managed to put this over as a product I absolutely loved I should probably just give on this whole reviewing thing now. Pretty much everything about this product was spot on and I can only think of one minor thing that they could change to make it a real contender for the top place on ChocolateMission. Before I reveal that speaking of the actual product at hand I have nothing but positive things to say about it - the presentation was first class, the taste rich and flavoursome and lastly the melt was simply out of this world ... this is how Gianduja should be done! Where they could they improve it!? Well for me I would to try an even stronger, more intensive cocoa solids Gianduja. I am not to sure a 'darker' Gianduja would work as it may detract from the hazelnut flavours ... but hey I think it would be worth a go given the prestige at which Hotel Chocolat handle their darker chocolate recipes. For the time being I simply insist that all you praline and hazelnut chocolate fans doing yourselves a favour and indulge yourselves in a box of these Hotel Chocolat Gianduja Praline Cubes. This is a product well worthy of being recognised as being one of the best ever tasted on ChocolateMission and is well worthy of it's tremendous score.
9.4 out of 10
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
What with all the talk of Hershey being linked with take over bids for Cadbury in the past few months I decided to give their standard milk chocolate bar another look at on the ChocolateMission rating system. In the past I have reviewed many a product containing Hershey's milk chocolate including the standard Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses and Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate - a bar that I described as 'lacking a distinct taste'. After a bit of digging around I found out that the Creamy is not made by Hershey's USA but is in fact made in Canada. I thought it was about time I gave the only and only original recipe a try.
Despite the Canadian Creamy Bar being more widely available here in the UK I managed to track down one of these US made 43.0g bars in my local newsagents. Looking at the shrink plastic pack I have to say I liked the presentation of the wrapper and felt immediately at home with the bold Hershey's branding that has become so iconic since the brand first came to be way back in 1984. Inside the wrapper the very thin chocolate was segregated into several blocks with branded cleanly with the Hershey logo. Whilst I thought it looked smart aesthetically I was far less impressed with the smell of the bar which had a strong cheesy hint to the sweet smelling dairy scents.
Now if you're expecting this review to take a turn for the 'this bar contains less cocoa butter than it used to ...' etc than I am sorry but I am going to disappoint you. I hold my hands-up folks I am no expert when it comes to that sort of thing ... this review will be far more insightful if I just describe to you what I tasted and let the experts like Cybele at CandyBlog to inform you about all of that (see HERE).
So what did I perceive!? ... Well this bar was certainly more distinctive in taste than the Hershey Creamy Milk Chocolate but unfortunately this wasn't necessarily a good thing. Placing the first piece in my mouth the first thing I noticed was the slightly waxy texture that seemed to coat the bar. To be honest I think it was lucky the chocolate was as thin as it was, as the waxiness delayed the melt and initially prevented the chocolate from substantiating a strong set of flavours. Once it had been in the mouth for quite a substantial time the chocolate finally starting changing form into a liquor state and it was at this point the true flavours were revealed. The chocolate started off rather sweet with shallow notes of cocoa that developed a sourer yogurt like taste in the latter stages. In comparison to the Canadian bar the tangy aftertaste certainly came through a lot stronger and if I am being honest I would have preferred a far creamier end to the experience.
Overall I can see why so many people here in the UK aren't fans of Hershey Milk Chocolate as it not like any of the milk chocolates that we have over this side of the pond. Unlike the Canadian Hershey Creamy Milk Chocolate I can't accuse this bar of lacking a distinctive taste as this was about as distinctive as they come. If I was given this chocolate in a blind taste test I think I would have absolutely no problem distinguishing Hershey Milk Chocolate from a selection of other mass produced brands as the aftertaste and smell would give it away immediately. Speaking of my own personal preference I can't say this was a chocolate that I enjoyed very much, thus why the overall score is slightly lower than average. In my opinion both the melt and taste weren't to my liking and I think this is most likely down to me being more used to Cadbury chocolate which is creamier and thicker melting. Given the history behind this chocolate I think you have to try it at least once so you can make your own mind up on the matter. It would be great to hear your thoughts on one of the world's most iconic chocolates.
6.0 out of 10
Monday, 18 January 2010
Kcal 100 Fat 5.8g Carbs 11.4g (per 18.0g stick)
Unfortunately there will be no prizes for guessing where I got this Ginger Ale flavoured Kit Kat. This was indeed yet another product sent my way by those chaps at J-List - a Japense goods exporter who provide a global service (check them out HERE). If you have been checking the site over the last month you will have noticed that I have been lucky enough to get my hands on several of the latest Kit Kat flavours to have graced the Japanese market. Now having tasted recent flavours such as the Sweet Potato Kit Kat I guessed nothing should really have shocked me, but to be honest I was admittedly a little taken back by this very Western sounding ginger ale flavoured white chocolate Kit Kat.
This Kit Kat came in two separate packs that contained two finger pieces - just like the ones we get in the supermarket multipacks here in the UK. I seemingly say this in nearly every review I do on products from Japan but the packaging was once again superb and I loved the outer cardboard box that contained the two inner foil packets. The Ginger Ale flavour was communicated nicely through the on-pack visuals, whilst the core Kit Kat branding was still very focal. Unwrapping the foil wrapper the first thing I noticed was that the quite strong chemically derived citrus smell. On one hand I would say it didn't smell bad at all, on the other I would say it was almost reminded me of an air freshener ... hmmm!?
Judging by the smell this was going to be one unique tasting experience and boy I was not wrong! Now although the Kit Kat itself was white chocolate coated the actual chocolate featured very little in the overall taste. As soon as I bit in to the first finger I got an initial wave of milk flavours though these were soon dominated by some stronger tasting lemon and ginger influences. In my opinion these lemon and ginger elements were not fitting with the wafer and milk flavours as they were both quite fake tasting and startlingly sweet. To be quite frank about the matter I simply didn't enjoy the taste - it was one dimensional, non-progressive, artifical tasting and simply not what I wanted from a Kit Kat. After finishing a single finger I felt like I had tasted it all and experienced everything the bar had to offer. Despite my hunger not being satisfied I just didn't want to eat the other three fingers as I just didn't see the point of consuming something I wasn't enjoying.
Overall this was one of those Kit Kat flavours that I probably should have guessed wasn't ever going to work for me. This Ginger Ale Kit flavour me a lot of the Jasmine Tea flavour that I reviewed in 2009 in that the flavour just wasn't fitting for the Kit Kat product. As I have described above the chocolate was just completely lost from the equation and whilst I don't think the ginger ale flavour was necessarily implemented badly I just think I wanted it there in the first place. Had I been given just a white chocolate flavoured Kit Kat with a touch of lemon I can see myself having liked this a hell of a lot more. I should have probably established earlier but I am not a great fan of the drink ginger ale, but neither would I say that I dislike it - I have no real indifference to it truth to be told. That I said my own personal opinion is that ginger ale doesn't work as a Kit Kat flavour, and for that reason I can only recommend this for ginger ale fanatics - all other stay well clear.
5.1 out of 10
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Moving on from the Slim Fast abominations last week I continued my search for a decent chocolate option for those currently undertaking January diets. In the coming week or so I will be trying a few bars that I picked up from my local Boots store - those of you who live outside the UK Boots is Hightstreet Health, Beauty and Pharmaceuticals chain (Wiki is your friend - HERE). Having bought myself a selection of bars from their 'Shapers' range I decided to start with this Chocolate Caramel bar which came billed as 'milk chocolate and melt away with chewy caramel' ... no folks that isn't a typo ... it really said 'milk chocolate and melt away with chewy caramel' ... I think the guy who wrote the blurb on the packaging could of done with checking his work.
This bar came in a 28.0g single bar size which I ate alongside a mid-morning coffee. The 'Shapers' range is pretty extensive with a lot of different flavours so I had to be selective when choosing just a few to feature on the site. One of the things that made this bar in particular stand out was the packaging and I actually thought it looked pretty good with its clean white and beige design work. Despite it looking rather good I was somewhat surprised when I split open the wrapper to unveil the bar underneath. Firstly I noticed that I actually couldn't detect any aroma of note aside from the slightest of chocolaty scents. Secondly the bar was not as I expected aesthetically and this was mainly due to the on-pack picture not providing a realistic visualisation.
Putting these apprehensions to one side I decided to take a bite in to the product at which point I realised that this was more akin one of those refresher sweet chew bars than it was a chocolate bar. On reflection I guess the immediate likable comparison would be the Cadbury Curly Wurly, though this bar was about ten times chewier to the point that it was verging on annoying to eat. I guess one thing that would have got the most out of the longevity that the chewiness brought would have been if the taste was suitably flavoursome - unfortunately this was jut not the case and I felt both the caramel and milk chocolate especially were lacking in flavour. Starting with the chocolate it was ultra thin and offered very little to the taste aside from some mild chocolate milk like flavours. The caramel whilst ultra chewy was very one dimensional in taste and offered nothing of the desired butterscotch or toffee flavours with just a meagre sugary condensed milk like set of flavours. Whilst this did take a long time to eat due to the chewiness I still didn't feel fulfilled having eaten it.
Overall this was again yet another disappointing diet chocolate snack option and not the best of starts for the Boots Shapers range. This was by no means the worst tasting diet chocolate I have ever tasted but at the same time I found it a tad frustrating to eat and subsequently felt that I had ended up burning off more calories from the chewing than I had done consuming the actual bar :) As I have mentioned above the comparison that springs to mind for this product is the Cadbury Curly Wurly though the Cadbury Chomp also offers up the same sort of experience. What both of those offer that this bar doesn't is relatively good standard chocolate and quite tasty caramel with just about the right amount of resistance in the chew - its as simple as that. Sorry dieters but this is yet another I can't recommend to you ... don't worry I will find a good one soon surely :)
5.7 out of 10
Saturday, 16 January 2010
Friday, 15 January 2010
If you were reading ChocolateMission over Christmas you would have seen that I reviewed my first ever marzipan product from those lovely people at Hotel Chocolat in the form of their lovely Marizpan Ignot slab (See HERE). To be honest I was surprised at the standard of the marzipan involved, though admittedly less so when one my readers informed me that they actually used to be in cahoots with the masters of marzipan Niederegger.
After reading my review of their Ignot slab the chaps at Hotel Chocolat sent me along this 'Ultimate Marzipan Selection' - a box consisting of six different flavoured almond marzipan chocolates, all of which were portioned three times.
As ever with Hotel Chocolat products the presentation was wonderful - some might think the double box packaging is excessive but I was more of the thinking that it looked swish. Another touch I liked was the inner menu which distinguished the flavours nicely and thankfully quite accurate in the description of each of the six flavours.
Below are my brief thoughts on each flavour - working from left to right and using the usual Awful-to-Superb rating system ....
Rum & Raisin - This piece actually had the thickest chocolate of the selection but I still thought it was disappointingly thin. The inner almond marzipan was tasty as expected but I think the rum and raisin influences were both minimal and I was especially expecting more of an intensive rum heat to the texture. Standard.
Walnut - This was without doubt the best in the selection. Despite being very thinly portioned the blend of the dark and white chocolate was superb but that said the walnut element was what took centre stage. The added chopped walnut to the inner almond marzipan was delightful and enjoyed the extra buttery flavours it brought to the party. The walnut on top was fresh tasting and very crunchy. Superb.
Amaretto - Personally I think Hotel Chocolat struggle a bit when it comes to adding liqueurs to their chocolates. Sometimes they are overpowering and sometimes they are non-existent ... this belonged in the latter group. The white chocolate coating was wonderfully creamy but again under portioned. The marzipan was again very tasty but lacked the telling amaretto flavours I thought it would have. Standard.
Pistachio - This was the one I was most looking forward to with its dark chocolate coating and pistachio flavoured marzipan. As you can see by the picture the dark chocolate was criminally thin which disappointing. Despite it's green coloured appearance the pistachio didn't come through strong enough to displace the almond dominant flavours in the marzipan. The pistachio on top brought a nice salty element but this could have been much better. Standard.
Orange - The menu here promised a tangy orange almond marzipan but again I thought the enhancing flavour was lacking in cut through. The milk chocolate outer coating was again very tasty but very thin in portioning. By far and away the dominating flavours from the centre were the almond influences ... hey not a bad thing but not what I expected either. Standard.
Classic Almond - I guess you would have to class this chocolate as the plain one in the selection but it was also one of the best. I understand I have stressed the point already but the chocolate was again too thin and I would have preferred it to be thicker. I have no complaints whatsoever about the almond marzipan filling though, just like it was across all the other chocolates it was extremely tasty and the almond piece on top further compounded the nutty flavours with a delightful crisp freshness. Very Good.
Overall I think a great way of describing this Ultimate Marzipan Selection would be to say that it had was 'Snap, Crackle ... but no Pop'. Everything was in place here for a fantastic product - the presentation was very good, the selection of flavours was sound and the actual base almond marzipan was of a high standard. Unfortunately I didn't think the execution was up to Hotel Chocolat's very high standards as the chocolate was too thinly implemented throughout and I felt the majority were under powered in terms of their enhancing flavours. The real stick out chocolate for me was the walnut though the Classic Almond is also very much worthy of a mention. To be honest I probably would recommend to anyone apart from a real marzipan lover - even then I would probably point you the direction of the remaining Marzipan Ignot slabs which they are selling at 50% off in their sale. Some great idea here but they could have been done much better.
7.8 out of 10
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Whats going on!? Well rather than write a whole new review for the Snickers More Nuts limited edition bar I decided to simply add my thoughts to the original and include some new pretty pictures.
The Snickers More Nuts includes 10% more peanuts than normal Snickers bars and is currently in distribution throughout the UK. Since I first reviewed the Snickers 2 years ago the bar has decreased slightly in size (damn you Mars) to 58.0g though personally I still think it is as satisfying as they come in relation to other bars on the market.
To be honest had the packaging not been shouting out the fact it contained more nuts than the original I might not have picked up on it, however I did notice that the nuts were also included in the nougat when I took the cross-section picture.
The peanuts unsurprisingly came through a little stronger in the taste but to be frank the difference was pretty minimal. I guess some may be a little disappointed that this bar lacks originality when compared to some of the limited editions they get in the US but personally this is still one of my favourite bars of all time and I still think that the way each of the different caramel, chocolate, nougat and peanuts components combine to provide a variable taste is nothing short of delicious.
Overall this limited edition doesn't take this bar any further in my estimation though neither does it detract from it's original excellence - it would be great to hear your views! Please see below for my original review and scoring chart.
Kcal 319 Fat 17.8g Carbs 34.1g
The Snickers bar (originally named Marathon) has been around since well..forever. It has appeared in many variations (including the Almond version which I have previously reviewed) though today I have reviewed the original UK version.
Currently on TV and wrapper the bar is being endorsed by the one and only Mr T; and there is a reason for that - this is one manly bar. Weighing in at a hefty 62.5g and containing a whopping 319 calories this bar certainly packs a punch; luckily for Mars Inc this becomes all but insignificant as this bar is truly delightful in every manner.
Upon opening the bar you are greeted with the sweet smell of peanuts and chocolate; in a word it smells glorious - and it has the taste to match.
The bar is formed of a thick layer of chocolate flavour nougat, with a generous helping of peanuts and caramel - all covered in milk chocolate. Taste wise the nougat is extremely flavoursome, its sturdy texture compliments the gooey yet crunchy mix of the nuts and caramel yet still holds a creamy compelling taste of its own. The nuts provide a delicious slightly salty nutty taste which didn't leave my mouth for ages after eating. The Chocolate although taking a bit of a back seat compared to the other flavours was still delicious and smooth. Mars really have done a great job with making sure each component of the bar is near perfect and right in proportion - it is no wonder why this is an all time classic.
Overall this bar is easily on a level with the best I have tasted whilst on 'The Chocolate Mission'. As I have described above, each flavour of the bar is delivered expertly and the different elements work together in both taste and texture to deliver an ultimately tasty and fulfilling experience. I don't expect many bars to reach the level of this bar - cracking stuff.
9.4 out of 10
As with the rest of the range these multi packs came in the usual packs of five. As I sometimes do I nabbed a few from each of the packs for myself before leaving the rest of my work office to help themselves to what was left - the only thing to report here was that uptake on the Jaffa flavoured bars was a lot quicker!
In regards to presentation my thoughts were pretty so-so! Both variants looked like I expected with the Jaffa having a orange jelly filling, whilst the vanilla had a fluffy looking white centre. Below are my quick thoughts on each. To save time blabbing on about the quality of the golden sponge in each I think you will be unsurprised to hear that it was of a pretty average quality across both variants, so let me just focus on the fillings!
Cadbury Cake Bar Jaffa:
Kcal 120 Fat 4.9g Fat(sats) 2.8g Carbs 18.4g (per bar)
'Golden sponge with a jaffa flavoured topping' ... sound familiar!? ... 'covered in milk chocolate' ... ok maybe not quite a McVitie's Jaffa Cake bar rip off then!
It may not be a complete like-for-like comparison but I can't help benchmarking this Cadbury Jaffa to it's McVitie's opposite. Truth be told it simply work as well as the McVitie's as the outer milk chocolate was just a little too sweet when combined with the sharp sugary flavours of the orange jelly centre. I am not saying I am a great admirer of the standard of the dark chocolate the lines the McVitie's bar but I have to say it's unsweetened nature works better than the sugary Cadbury milk chocolate did in this bar.
7.0 out of 10
'Golden sponge topped with a vanilla flavour creme, covered with milk chocolate' ... hmm the more I think about this the more I am starting to believe Cadbury released both of these to piss off McVitie's .... MilkyWay Cake Bars anyone!?
These were pretty bad to be honest! They weren't near being inedible but they were probably one of the worst variants of cake bars I have reviewed over the last six months. The outer chocolate was standard Cadbury quality with it's sugary, milky taste but things went awfully down hill from there. The centre had a pretty nasty sweet taste that had an undertone of artificial sweetener bitterness. It had a hint of vanilla to it but I was more distracted by the strange bittersweet concoction of salt, sugar that dominated my tastebuds. It was odd to say the least and it in no way left me wanting to experience it again.
6.1 out of 10
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Once again I have to thank ChocolateMission reader Susie for making this review possible as she so kindly sent me this bar to review all the way from Germany last year. Milka is one of the biggest chocolate brands in Germany and they have a portfolio that is as large as anyone with several sub brands supporting the main line of chocolates that they produce. Having recently dug into their 'Tender' cake bar range I today got my first chance to try their Nussini wafer offering in the form of this Haselnuss variant which was comprised of 'hazelnut flavoured wafer, with hazelnut creme, covered in Alpine milk chocolate'. The king of the wafers for me has to be the Nestle Kit Kat, but I was interested to see if Milka could put up some reasonable competition.
This bar came in a surprisingly large looking size and wasn't half as light as I was expecting with it weighing in at 37.0g. Aesthetically the packing incorporated all the usual Milka characteristics with the purple colour and Milka cow logo giving the wrapper a familiar looking design. Splitting the packaging open I was pleased to see that the inner lining was foil based and it kept the bar looking and smelling in a great condition with some nutty scents immediately evident. Splitting the bar in half it was nice to see the distinct layering of the hazelnut creme and wafers sitting below the nobbly milk chocolate surface which was lined with chopped hazelnut pieces.
Biting into the bar one thing that was straight away confirmed was the expected pleasantness of the outer milk chocolate which displayed its usual creamy, milky taste. Normally Milka milk chocolate is noted with a hint of hazelnut anyway but with the added chopped nut pieces in the coating the usual hint of woody nut was accentuated and more pronounced in taste. One thing that I love about the Nestle Kit Kat so much is the crispness of the wafer though this was not quite the same case here with this Nussini bar. In comparison to the Kit Kat the wafer layers in this bar were a little softer and even felt a little chewy when bitten into. As I expected the wafers didn't offer much in terms of taste, however the inner hazelnut creme further supplemented the outer nutty flavours leaving a lasting hazelnut note in the mouth long after chewing. As aforementioned this bar was surprisingly large in size and by the time I had finished it I did feel somewhat satisfied with my hunger subsided.
Overall I think the score below is possibly a little on the harsh side but I did have to punish this product for its lacklustre wafer textures. I am not the biggest fan of wafer generally, however one thing I just really don't like is when they are soft and lacking in crispness as it just gives me the impression that the product is over its best before date (it was still 6 months inside!). Although the softness of the wafers hardly spoilt this product it still made it pale in comparison to a bar like the Nestle Kit Kat whose wafers are normally so crunchy and offer a little more in terms of taste. One thing I did really enjoy about this product was the addition of the hazelnuts, which really brought a bit of life to taste even in their chopped and creme formats. If your a fan of Milka I think this would be a product you would get some pleasure from. This is nowhere near what I would describe as a 'must try' chocolate but it was a fun change up from the Milka norm.
7.0 out of 10
Monday, 11 January 2010
The Japanese stuff just keeps on coming doesn't it :) Today I decided to cram two products in to the one review so I will try and keep things as succinct as possible.
Making it's ChocolateMission debut, Morinaga is the manufacture in the line fire today and over the last few weeks I have been trying out some of their chocolates from their Dars Crea range. According to the J-List website Morinaga was the first ever confectionery company in Japan, and Dars are one of their most popular brands.
The two flavours I have been trying out were two latest limited edition Dars - the Chestnut and Caramel & the Chocolate Noisette variants. Both came in boxes that contained several foil wrapped chocolate coated nuggets - I would hazard a guess that there were about 15-20 pieces which lasted around a week or so during our household over Christmas.
In regards to presentation these were distinctly Japaense and I mean that in a good way. The outer boxes were made from high quality material and were decorated with enticing pictures of nuts being draped in chocolate in addition to the bold branding and and Japanese writing. I thought the chocolates themselves were surprisingly small but they looked and smelt impressive with chestnut variant particularly standing out in regards to the latter.
Below are my thoughts on both the flavours ...
Morinaga Dars Chestnut & Caramel:
Morinaga Dars Crea Chocolate Noisette:
Overall this has been a pretty successful first outing for Morinaga on ChocolateMission and both myself and the rest of my family would give both of these flavours a thumbs up. Out of the two I would say the most distinctive and interesting was the Chestnut & Caramel chocolates which both me and my dad thought were delicious with their sweet nutty centres. I wouldn't say that they are the sort of thing that you would want to eat with the aim of having a satisfying snack but it if it is just a sound bite chocolate flavour hit you are after I would say both are delightful options.