September 2nd: Burnt Sugar Chewy Caramels

Kcal 433 Fat 23.6g Fat(sats) 10.6g Carbs 53.4g (per 100.0g)

You may have noticed me mentioning over the last couple of months that I have been buying an increasing amount of chocolates from Waitrose supermarkets. If you are one of my UK readers and you haven't checked the confectionery shelf of your local store yet, you may well be in for a nice surprise. Not only do they seem to offer a wide range of imported chocolates, but they also for some reason seem to carry a lot more smaller niche brands. A name that would fall nicely in to that category would be 'Burnt Sugar', a brand that has been fleetingly mentioned by ChocolateMission readers over the past year. Today I thought I would give the brand it's first run on the rating system by taking a look at these 'chewy caramels dipped in dark chocolate'.

£1.99 of my monies bought me a 110.0g pack that included several variable sized pieces. Taking consideration of the range as a whole, I have to mention that I liked the stand out that the different Burnt Sugar products had on the shelf. The varieties on offer were nicely differentiated thanks to some sensible colour coding, though consistency was kept with the Burnt Sugar brand logo nicely decorating each box of each. Inside the exterior packaging the caramels were kept within a transparent film packet. This wasn't the most glamorous looking style of presentation, however it cannot be denied that it kept the contents in a well maintained condition, as the toffee like aromas that were released once the packet was opened smelt glorious.

As you may have guessed from the product description this was a product formed of two key constituents. According to the outer packaging the outer dark chocolate comprised 33.0% of the total product, whilst the caramel made up the remaining 67.0%. In terms of quality the two varied massively in what they delivered. Starting with the negatives, I have to say I thought the dark chocolate was pretty poor. I found the melt pretty waxy and slow starting, whilst the cocoa flavours were more laid back and subtle than I was hoping for. According to the packaging the chocolate was of a 55% cocoa min recipe, though the chocolate flavour hit was pretty poor and didn't create the desired flavour impact in the mouth. Conversely my perceptions of the inner chewy caramel fillings were much more positive, primarily due to them contributing about ten times more to the resulting taste. Just like the outer chocolate, the flavours were slow starting, however once the caramel had heated and softened in the mouth the delicious butter led toffee flavours shone through nicely. It was very noticeable that each piece left a lasting impression of burnt, toasted sugary flavours in the mouth, which probably shouldn't have taken me by surprise given the brand name :D

Overall these Chewy Caramels have scored reasonably well on the rating system, but they could have easily done even better had the quality of the chocolate been superior. If I was rating the caramel centres in isolation I probably would have gone as high as awarding them a 9.0 out of 10, as they delivered on everything that a good quality caramel should do. The centres were most enjoyable when sucked on, which made them pleasantly soft in texture whilst they released their delicious tasting buttery, sweet flavours. This was all well in good, but unfortunately the dark chocolate that coated each piece was just not up to scratch, and was lacking any real flavour depth. Given the varying quality of the two different components it is a bit difficult saying whether I would recommend these or not. I guess it just depends on what you are looking for from the product. If you aren't the biggest fan of dark chocolate you might see the mild chocolate as a positive thing, but on the other hand if you are after a caramel with a rich tasting dark chocolate flavour hit you are going to be left a little disappointed. Second opinions are very welcome .... please share them ChocolateMission fans!

7.9 out of 10