October 12th: 'Bits n Bobs' Cereal, Cakes, Flapjacks & Biscuit Chocolates Bars # 8

It seems like ages since I last posted a 'Bits n Bobs' post up on the site ... :D it must be what ... a whole matter of days haha! The reader requests have been coming thick and fast, so I have wasted little time getting together a few more of the chocolatey products that readers have been suggest I try over the last few weeks. Featuring today we have a newish line of biscuits from McVitie's, some flapjacks from the 'Fabulous Baking Boys', some Smarties Mini Bites cakes, and lastly another cereal bar from our pals at Weetabix.

McVitie's Mini Shorties

Kcal 210 Fat 11.3g Fat(sats) 6.1g Carbs 24.5g (per pack)
'Milk chocolate fully coated shortcake'

You may have noticed that when it comes to anything with the word shortbread in, I'm always game to try it. Given a biscuit type of choice I would always plump for a good bit of shortbread over anything else you could offer me, though I guess I could be tempted by the odd Hobnob :D These McVitie's Mini Shorties appeared on our shelves around early 2010, though until last week I hadn't seem them sold in anything other than an inconvenient large sized pouch. Somewhat by chance I saw this 40.0g snack bag on sale in my local newsagents priced a reasonable sounding 55p - I decided to give them a chance.

Despite their foil enclosure, there was nothing about the biscuits that suggested they were fresh in any sense and upon opening the bag I was confronted with a disappointing lack of fresh biscuity aromas and some rather dusty, scuffed looking biscuit pieces. 'Never judge a book by it's cover' right!? Well in this circumstance yes, I should of. These biscuits simply weren't up to par with what I would expect from McVities. The chocolate was waxy and relatively flavourless in both melt and taste, whilst the shortbread biscuit below was similarly lacklustre in any sort of forthcoming flavours. In fact the minor brown sugar notes aside, the biscuits were entirely lacking anything of substance - no butter, no salt, no nothing. I found the bag of these totally underwhelming, I can say with a measure of confidence that I wont be going back for another anytime soon.

5.6 out of 10

Nestle Smarties Mini Bites

Kcal 118 Fat 6.9g Fat(sats)3.1g Carbs 13.3g (per cake)
'Truffle base cakes made with chocolate cake crumb, with mini smarties covered in milk chocolate'

You may recall I didn't think all that much of either the Toffee Crisp and Munchies Mini Bites. For this very reason I was hardly overwhelmed with excitement when I saw these Nestle Smarties Mini Bites on sale in my local Sainsbury's, but at just £1 a pack I hardly felt like I was pushing the boat out giving them a try.

Cutting the long story short I was really surprised at just how much I liked these. Taking you through the course of the taste, the outer layer of milk chocolate was first to have it's say in proceedings and to be honest it did no more than establish a very average sugary, milky taste. The real treat with these Mini Bites was the inner cake, which was delightfully flavoursome and extremely chocolatey. It was moist, rich and variable with it's dense texture that was broken up by the small crunchy fragments of Smartie shells. For cakes that are mass produced, they tasted oddly fresh and not at all synthetic like so many of the cake bar products you get nowadays. I would certainly have these again as they are a great option for sharing amongst a few people over a cup of afternoon tea. Easily the best in Nestle Mini Bites range.

8.4 out of 10

Weetos Chocolate Cereal Bar

Kcal 88 Fat 2.9g Carbs 14.4g (per bar)
'Chocolate flavour wheat hoop bar with a milk chocolate base'

Having once said that I wouldn't ever review cereal bars on ChocolateMission, I believe today we are left in the position where I have pretty much covered all bases in this sector of the market. To take us to what I believe is 'full-circle' today you get my view point on this Weetos Chocolate Cereal Bar, which is a product manufactured by Weetabix here in the UK. These Weetos cereal bars are most commonly found in the supermarkets occupying a £1.00-£1.50 price band for a multipack of 5 bars, I picked some up from my local Sainsbury's.

Aesthetically the bar looked relatively appealing with base milk chocolate layer looking decently portioned. I've said before that chocolate flavoured cereal is something I never normally eat so this was in actual fact my first encounter with Weetos as a cereal. My impressions after tasting it were that it must be pretty bland given that it was the syrup bind that controlled the majority of the flavour experience. Amongst the sugary, syrupy flavours there was an underlying taste of weak cocoa powder, however it never managed to really create any chocolatey taste of note. The milk chocolate was similarly lacking flavour, had a waxy melt to it that wasn't altogether that favourable - quite simply there was no real chocolate flavour hit on offer. Although this was only 88 calories in it's entire constituents I still felt there was little point in it's consumption. There are better (and worse!) cereal bars out there.

5.1 out of 10

The Fabulous Bakin' Boys Choco Flapjacks

Kcal 131 Fat 6.2g Fat(sats) 3.4g Carbs 16.5g (per 28.0g finger)
'Milk chocolate flavoured flapjack fingers'

I bought this pack of flapjacks on my last trip to Sainsbury's where I found them on a half price deal of 65p for 6 individually wrapped finger pieces (28.0g each). I have to say I wasn't all that impressed by the packaging or the flapjack fingers. I thought both looked a bit plain looking and uninspired compared to some of the other more aesthetically exciting options in the cake aisle (French Fancies anyone).

Despite lacking inspiration in terms of their looks, I'm glad to report I was more than happy with how they tasted. The oaty base was bonded by golden syrup, which featured heavily in the grand scheme of the taste. In addition to these sweet, cereal base flavours I could detect intermittent notes of brown sugar, butter and of course chocolate. The chocolate flavour hit wasn't quite there in terms of it's desired impact, registering just minor hints of sweet milky cocoa flavours, but on the whole the overall taste was very pleasant. I think the obvious addition of a milk chocolate coating would go a long way to improve the product drastically, though this would of course depend on the quality of the chocolate on offer. For the promotional price you can more than justify giving these a try.

7.0 out of 10