August 19th: Prestat Choxi+ 70% / Dark Chocolate with Stem Ginger
"Choxi+ is an exceptional chocolate that's naturally good for you - a truly positive indulgence" ... those are the words you are greeted with if you log on to Prestat's website. If you are reader of my '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' posts you probably be familiar with my ongoing joke of finding news articles that talk about 'health benefits' associated with chocolate. I have to admit that I just cant buy in to the idea at all - I'm stubborn in my views that chocolate is one of those things that can never be classed as a 'healthy food' and should be eaten as a treat or indulgence. Despite my scepticism Choxi+ was still a brand that intrigued me, and granted it was more the proposition that caught my attention rather than the garish looking packaging.
After seeing them whilst browsing the shelves of my local Waitrose, I decided to give both of these dark chocolate varieties a try - one plain 70% bar, and the other flavoured with Stem Ginger. As I have mentioned above the wrappers weren't to my liking, and I didn't think they did a very good job of reaffirming the premium price proposition, they both looked a little cheap and tacky to me. To make matters worse when I opened both bars the chocolate inside had dusty, bloomed surfaces which sapped my confidence of the product quality even more. Below are my thoughts on each variety.
Prestat Choxi+ 70% Dark Chocolate - Kcal 514 Fat 39.5g Fat(sats) 24.8g Carbs 29.7g (per 100.0g)
Although it may sound strong to the average chocolate consumer, 70% cocoa is a recipe that has seen a lot of success on this site (check out Lindt, Hotel Chocolat etc) so I had my fingers crossed this Prestat offering could hang with the big boys. Cutting right the chase the taste test went on to prove that this was simply just not the case. Just as the appearance of the chocolate suggested the melt was lazy and transcended in a slow, chalky dry fashion. In comparison to the textures the taste wasn't quite as poor, but it suffered as a consequence as the flavour generation was equally slow to develop. The eventual taste was surprisingly mild given the strength of the chocolate, and the unsweetened cocoa flavours were largely forgettable and lacking in definition. On a positive note the aftertaste did have a welcome suggestion of vanilla, however this did little to heighten my overall enjoyment.
Prestat Choxi+ Dark Chocolate with Stem Ginger - Kcal 485 Fat 34.0g Fat(sats) 21.4g Carbs 36.3g (per 100.0g)
Having been totally and completely uninspired by the previous dark chocolate offering it would have been all to easy to settle in to a way of thinking that this Stem Ginger flavoured bar was going to be equally as bad. Well I'm glad to say it wasn't as poor as the plain 70% offering above, but being frank it was still a hell of a way off being a good quality dark chocolate. As you will see in the photo above this bar had small bits of orange ginger distributed throughout the bar. The portioning may not look overly generous, but the ginger flavours came through quite strongly which thankfully gave the bar the desired flavour dimension that the one above was so severely lacking. Once again the cocoa flavours were mild and not as flavoursome as desired, but the ginger did somewhat make up for this with it's sweet and spicy play on the taste.
Overall I was pretty disappointed with both of these chocolates and with health benefit guff aside they were fundamentally just not the quality I was hoping they would be. The textures and mouthfeel that both these chocolates generated was pretty poor in comparison to the likes of Lindt, Hotel Chocolat, Galler etc - all those brands manage to make chocolates that almost caress your mouth and really feel great in their transition of state. Prestat can talk about the health benefits of their cocoa until the cows come home, but the flavour generation within their dark chocolate here was poor, and certainly not up to scratch with any of those brands I have just mentioned. It is never nice to have to write a review that is so downcast and negative about any brand, but I just cannot recommend you buy these chocolates under any circumstances. It would be great to hear some second opinions on these, as I know Prestat is a brand that normally associated with very high quality produce - why not tell me what you think.
Prestat Choxi+ 70% Dark Chocolate - 5.6 out of 10
Prestat Choxi+ Dark Chocolate with Stem Ginger - 7.0 out of 10