June 5th: Whittaker's Macadamia Block

My massive review backlog means you get another extra review this week - 7Days of Chocolate Reviews will definitely be back next week. Please feel free to share any chocolate news by leaving a comment though.

Kcal 531 Fat 28.2g Fat(sats) 12.1g Carbs 60.3g (per 100.0g)

Looking back through all of my previous Whittaker's reviews, the brand has to be seen as one of the unsung heroes on ChocolateMission. Whittaker's products have averaged around 9.0 out of 10 on the scoring system, so it wont surprise you to hear that I requested more of their bars when Lesley at ShopenZed asked me what products I wanted sending from New Zealand. Fulfilling my request, Lesley sent me along this Whittaker's Macadamia Block, which I opened with great excitement given the 'macadamia nuts in creamy milk chocolate' billing. For those of you wanting to 'swot-up' on your knowledge of the Whittaker's brand, I suggest you head HERE.

Whittaker's make their chocolates in several sizes, from their smaller 40.0g blocks, to the larger 250.0g bars that Lesley so kindly provided me with today. In terms of the presentation of the wrapper I can't really say anything more than I have said on previous reviews, as it once again impressed with me with it's classical design and nice, clear branding. One thing that was slightly disappointing with this chocolate however, was the unrealistic on pack pictures, which gave the impression that the inner macadamias were going to be a whole lot bigger than they actually were. This was of course first noticeable when taking the chocolate out of the inner foil wrapper, and even my father who was assisting me with the photography exclaimed 'that wasn't quite what I was expecting'.

Given the wealth of success I had experienced with Whittaker's previously I didn't let this perturb to me to any great extent, and thankfully the nutty hints detectable in the chocolatey aromas did somewhat raise my expectations again. Once I had broken the chocolate in to smaller blocks, it was noticeable that in some pieces the macadamia nuts were larger in size, though in general the nuts were mostly quite small and finely chopped. In regards to block size, each piece was just about right to eat in a single mouthful, and a sideways strip of five made for a decent sized serving which was quite handy. The milk chocolate was was of the same recipe used in my previous review of the Whittaker's Peanut Block, and it once again proved to be very fine in taste. It was majoritly dominated by sweet, double cream like dairy flavours, though there was a pleasant undercurrent of cocoa that grew in stature as the tick, soft melt progressed. My own preferred method of eating this, was to let the chocolate first melt away before then crunching down on the macadamia remnants. More often that not the leftover macadamia bits were substantial enough to generate the desired buttery savoury nut flavours, however at times the smallness at which they were chopped hampered their ability to do so. Generally this did seem like quite a rich and satisfying chocolate, but at times it did let itself down by the randomness at which the nut pieces were sized and dispersed.

Overall this was a very hard product to rate as at times it was a totally delicious, but at others it was more disappointing and not completely satisfactory. Again if I refer back to my Whittaker's Peanut Block review I remember that peanuts took up a very large constituency in the ingredients at 25%. Looking at the macadamia content of this bar it was only 13% would probably explain why the macadamias at times failed create the desired impact on the taste. Luckily for Whittaker's they had a very good milk chocolate at heart of this product, so it was hardly lacking in taste department even when the nuts failed to cut through. Thinking about it now, this chocolate was always going to have a hard time living up to the Hotel Chocolat Macadamias that I covered a few weeks back, so it is worth bearing in mind that this bar came up against a pretty hard comparator. This was a chocolate of a better than reasonable quality, but in my mind Whittaker's do some better ones so I would suggest you try some of them out first.

7.4 out of 10