January 11th: Morinaga Dars Crea - Chestnut & Caramel / Noisette

Buy this product HERE from J-List

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:

Kcal 325 Fat 24.8g Carbs 22.4g (per 52.0g)

I can't say I am all that experienced with chestnuts myself but as soon as I revealed to my old man (my dad haha) what these were I knew he was going to be able to determine whether these encapsulated the flavour nut well given how far his eyes lighted up :)

Combining a outer layer of milk chocolate with a chestnut cream and caramel centre these bite sized chocolate nuggets proved to be very tasty indeed. Although I was somewhat sceptical at their small size at first by the time I had tasted one I thought they were just about the right size given how sweet they were. Popping the first piece in my mouth the first thing I noticed was how similar the outer coating was to Kinder chocolate. It was smooth in melt and substantiated a sweet chocolate milk like taste before the flavours of the centre came to the party. The inner creme was exceedingly smooth and had a nutty taste which had sweet floral undertones with just a minor fruity influence. If I had to compare it to anything it would be like Kinder Bueno but less nutty and more buttery. I thought they were simply delicious.

8.2 out of 10

Morinaga Dars Crea Chocolate Noisette:

Kcal 330 Fat 25.1g Carbs 22.4g (per 52.0g)

Out of the two this sounded the more familiar sounding product and came described as 'chocolate nuggets with a hazelnut creme centres'.

One thing that immediately noticeable was that aesthetically the outer chocolate was darker coloured than the Chestnut & Caramel and this came through in the taste as well. Indeed, the outer chocolate was a tad less sugary with these Chocolate Noisette though I wouldn't say the cocoa flavours came through all that much stronger. The chocolate was still pretty fine tasting, though the filling really took hold of the taste here with the hazelnut and cream flavours coming through strongly from the outset. In comparison to the above the filling was more savoury tasting and a touch saltier which is something I can see many preferring.

7.9 out of 10

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.