June 15th: Lucky's Mad Hatter Bars
Back in March we had the ChocolateMission debut of a brand called Lucky's. If you need reminding, Lucky's produce 'unique luxury cakes covered in pure chocolate', and they managed to really impress me with their Honey Time Collection gift pack. I was so taken by their cakes, you may recall that I concluded that they were 'the best product I had reviewed on ChocolateMission so far in 2011'- thats some high praise! Well given that experience you can imagine my excitement when Lucky's offered me the chance to try some of their latest additions.
The three cakes I will be showcasing today are the three new 'Mad Hatter Bar' variants. The Mad Hatter Bar range consists of Lucky's special dark brownie cake which they have flavoured with three different types of Valrhona chocolate, as well as several flavour variations that I will make clearer below. As with my last experience these cakes came beautifully presented in transparent plastic box cases which had been wrapped and hand sealed with an Alice in Wonderland themed label. I probably needn't point out the marvellous look of the cakes themselves - I hope my photos showcase that. They had obviously been crafted with real care, and the clear Lucky's moulded branding on the top of each was a clear reminder of the premium quality at hand.
Going Bananas - 'Dark brownie with banana and ginger, covered in milk Valrhona chocolate (40.0%)'. Banana cake is a real favourite of mine at the moment so I had high expectations for this one. The melt of the milk chocolate was smooth and provided a rich set of creamy chocolatey flavours for every mouthful. This great quality chocolate was only superseded by the deliciousness of the brownie that sat at the heart of this chunky block - boy was it phenomenal! The banana flavours were true and forthcoming, and a subtle undertone of ginger added a remarkable hint of warming spice to the rich cocoa flavours of the brownie. A thin layer of some sort of caramel or creme could have made this utterly outstanding, but frankly it was almost near perfection - an outstanding synergy of fruit, cake and chocolate. One for banana cake fans that's for sure!
8.8 out of 10
Looney Raspberry - 'Dark brownie with raspberry and pistachio, covered in white Valrhona chocolate (35.0%)'. Out of all three this did admittedly sound like the weakest to me though I was still quite excited by the prospect of the pistachio nuts and Valrhona white chocolate. The white chocolate did it's job of establishing a milky, vanilla hinted initial taste, however it soon became a bit of an after thought with the other stronger flavoured constituents taking a lead. When chewing the cake by far the strongest flavours came from the raspberry element, which like the banana above was as real tasting and fruity as you could ever hope for. The pistachios were notable for bringing a slight saltness and added crunch texturally, though their true flavours were understandably hampered somewhat by the stronger flavoured brownie and fruit. Again, all these different fruit, brownie and nut elements combined made for an outstanding cake.
8.4 out of 10
Salty Insanity - 'Dark brownie with salted hard caramel covered in dark Valrhona chocolate (70.0%)'. You saved the best until last right? Well so I thought, but it wasn't to be I'm afraid. The dark chocolate as I thought it would be was absolutely delicious (I really need to get around to doing some Valrhona reviews don't I!!) and the contrast of the unsweetened, earthy cocoa flavours of the exterior shell contrasted perfectly with the sweet, cakey cocoa of the brownie below. Where I feel this one let itself down to a degree was the implementation of the caramel - which for me just didn't come through in the taste to level I wanted it to. Indeed, the caramel element was nothing more than a minor suggestion of sweeter brown sugar tones. The butter, salt and cream flavours just weren't there no matter how much I searched for them. The combination of the superb chocolate and gorgeous brownie still made for a delicious product at hand, but it didn't live up to my sky high expectations.
7.3 out of 10
Overall not all of these Mad Hatter Bars came off quite as well as I hoped but being frank they were all still exceedingly tasty. Banana fans will seriosuly want to look at getting involved with the 'Going Bananas', and raspberry fans will no doubt be just as pleased with the 'Looney Raspberry'. As I stated above the 'Salty Insanity' was a little bit of a sore point for me, though luckily I was able to comfort myself with the other gift set that Lucky's sent my way (review coming soon :D). These are damn expensive cakes, but some of them are worth the money and them some.