After many requests, kettle boiling and stirring, I finally have the great pleasure of bringing you the first part of my Hot Chocolate Project. The Hot Chocolate Project is a ChocolateMission side project to find the 'best hot chocolate in the world' :D First of all lets get the boring stuff out the way ...
Testing Conditions & Reviewing principles:
To keep the comparisons fair I will adhere to the following consistencies - hey if we are going to do this, lets do it properly :D
* All drinks will be consumed during the evenings
* All drinks will be made using 150ml of milk and then topped with boiling water
* All drinks will be prepared (i.e. stirring times) as instructed on pack
* All drinks will be rated on the new scoring chart, which includes the whole new criteria of 'drinkability' i.e. the texture of the drink (grainy/smooth/textured etc).
... shall we just get on with it :D
Maltesers Instant Hot Chocolate Drink
Kcal 99 Fat 2.4g Carbs 18.0g
'Maltesers Instant Hot Chocolate Malt Drink'
The 25.0g of powder came in an attractive looking foil sachet and emanated a familiar smelling set of malt and chocolate fragrances. When mixed the drink produced a thick layer of froth on the surface, giving it a nice head for the duration of the drinking time. The liquid did have a hint of roughness to it, but I thought this suited the malted nature of the drink. Unfortunately when it came to the taste I didn't feel it delivered entirely on the Malteser billing. To my taste the drink was more sweet and sugary that it was malty or chocolatey. If you ask me, for the 99 calories you may as well just have a bag of Maltesers and get the real deal.
7.3 out of 10
Cadbury Instant Hot Chocolate
Kcal 115 Fat 3.2g Carbs 18.7g
'Instant Hot Chocolate Drink'
This hot chocolate mixture came in a instantly recogniseable Cadbury coloured sachet and contained a hefty 56.0g of powder. In order to make sure the blend of the drink was suitable I did use a little more hot water with this one, and I was rewarded with a fabulous textured drink that had a gorgeous smooth viscosity to it. The extra thickness made for a more fulfilling and substantial proposition compared to many of the other hot chocolates I have tried. Although the aromas suggested a somewhat generic chocolateyness, taste wise it was recognisable as Cadbury with it's sweetened cocoa and cream flavours. Towards the end of my mug I was feeling the sugaryness was getting a little much for my liking, but I can't deny that it delivered the desired Cadbury experience.
8.0 out of 10
Cadbury Highlights Dark Chocolate
Kcal 40 Fat 1.6g Carbs 3.7g
'Instant Low Calorie Hot Chocolate Drink with Sugars & Sweetners'
If you look behind the original Cadbury Instant Hot Chocolate sachet in the photo above you should see the rather effeminate looking, pink coloured Cadbury Highlights Dark Chocolate. In the interest of being thorough, I of course only thought it suitable to try out the low calorie alternative from Cadbury - I know this will be of interest to you January dieters :D In terms of 'drinkability', the 22.0g sachet provided a thinner drink in comparison to the original described above. The mouth feel was still smooth and non-grainy, but it didn't provide quite the satisfaction, or luxuriousness of the aforementioned. In terms of taste the plainer chocolate alternative was fine, though a little undistinctive and didn't leave the same chocolate flavour hit impression. The drink was fine for a lower calorie proposition, but I'm not sure I would buy it again.
6.8 out of 10
Skinny Cow Instant Indulgent Mint
Kcal 37 Fat 1.4g Carbs 4.0g
'Mint flavour instant hot chocolate drink mix with added sugar & Sweetener'
My only prior experience with this Skinny Cow brand was with a pretty dodgy ice cream I was given once so I wasn't holding out much hope for this hot chocolate mix. Closer inspection of the sachet pack gave me the revelation that this was in actual fact a product produced by Nestle - that was knowledge to me at least. Speaking of the sachet I didn't think the design work was the most attractive - whats up putting a huge barcode on the front chaps? Aroma wise the powder did little to excite, though prior expectations this was going to be a watery tasting cocoa abyss were thankfully none founded. Despite the sachet containing only 10.0g of powder, the drink retained a sufficient semi-skimmed like milky thickness even with the added water. Compared to some of the other branded options above, the chocolate flavour hit was mild, though the mint element came through relatively well in the latter stages of each mouthful making the taste somewhat passable considering it's low calorie/fat proposition.
6.3 out of 10
I hope these first four reviews have whett the appetite for the reviews to come. If you have any hot chocolate suggestions/requests be sure to drop me a comment or an e-mail.