October 4th: House of Dorchester Milk Chocolate Slabs

A few weeks back in edition 55 of '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' I posted up a news article (HERE) which announced the release of two new products from a brand called House of Dorchester. I have to admit that I had never heard of the brand before, though further investigation showed that they had infact been producing chocolate for over 40 years. On their packaging they even claim to be 'the home of great British chocolates' - I know a few manufactures who would have something to say about that (Cadbury spring to mind!).

Despite my lack of knowledge around the brand I couldn't help myself when I saw these two new products sitting on the shelf in my local Sainsbury's. Both packs were priced on an introductory offer of 79p each, which at first had me thinking this was incredible value what with the relatively nice looking outer packaging. Looks of course can be very decieving, which is something I discovered as I took the products from the shelves. To my amazement the packs were as light as feather - both weighing only 40.0g each and containing only four very small sized 10.0g chocolate pieces. Since writing this review, Liz at Foodstufffinds has written a very funny post documenting her thoughts about the so called 'slab' pieces involved here - I suggest you take a look. Suffice to say I was very underwhelmed by the size of the slabs myself - this was not at all how I imagined these to be.

Below are my thoughts on the two flavours

House of Dorchester Double Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows

Kcal 525 Fat 30.0g Carbs 56.0g (per 100.0g)
'Milk chocolate topped with marshmallows & chocolate flakes'

The size and thin nature of the slabs meant that each piece could be comfortably consumed in two pretty shortlived mouthfuls. Aroma wise these marshmallow slabs offered little aside from some pretty standard milk chocolate scents which did little to grab my attention in any manner. The milk chocolate bases reminded me somewhat of what you would get from a Ritter Sport bar. The taste was predominently sweet and milky and on the whole pleasant enough, but at the heart of matters it didn't have any differentiated attributes which made it somewhat generic tasting. The additional mini marshmallows did very little in regards to adding flavour, however they were at least texture enhancing and brought a nice bit of variety to the soft melting chocolate. Overall these weren't in any manner horrible but they were totally uninspiring.

6.2 out of 10

House of Dorchester Double Chocolate with Caramel Fudge Pieces

Kcal 531 Fat 30.9g Carbs 56.6g
'Milk chocolate topped with caramel fudge pieces and white chocolate'

If the Mini Marshmallow chocolates above sounded a little boring to you then I'm sure you will agree with me that these Caramel Fudge slabs were the more exciting prospect. Presentation wise they certainly did look the more attractive, with the drizzled lick of white chocolate and golden coloured fudge pieces certainly looking like they had more thought put in to them. Unfortunately just like the Marshmallow slabs the chocolate was equally as average, even with the extra white chocolate thrown in to the mix. If anything the white chocolate just made the taste more sugary, though it was hard picking out whether this was a consequence of the white chocolate or the dire caramel fudge pieces. What was so dire about the fudge!? Well it was horrifically hard and carried a harsh brown sugar like flavour burst that has to be said was more harmful to the taste than it was enhancing. There were no buttery, salty caramel flavours that I could detect - I even ended up picking off the fudge pieces on the last slab I tried. Overall very disappointing and not a product I would consider every buying again.

5.4 out of 10

It would be interesting to hear any readers thoughts or opinions on either one of these prodcuts. As you can tell by my write ups and reviews I was tremendously disappointed with the quality of both.