Saturday, 30 April 2011

April 30th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 71 - Cap'n Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch

SITE UPDATE

Hi All,

Having bagged myself a nice five days off work I'm taking advantage of this and heading away for the weekend. Because of this I'm actually writing this before the ROYAL WEDDING has commenced! I hope all my UK readers had a great time joining in the fun yesterday (I say this trusting everything has gone smoothly etc haha!!), and I hope you all managed to tuck in to some cheesey British themed chocolate like the Marks & Spencer lolly I tucked in to earlier this week (See below!)
Apologies for the issues on the comments feature on the website - to be honest I have no idea what is going on but rest assured this is a 'Blogger.com' issue and not your own computer.

As I said I'm away for the long weekend we have here in the UK so posting will get back to normal on Tuesday. I've got posts for American, Japanese and of course British chocolates coming up this week so please be sure to keep an eye on the site.

Remember to check my Twitter feed for this weeks competition (I'm giving away a Snickers Peanut Butter Squared this week!!).

Thanks and have a great weekend

JIM

SNACK OF THE WEEK ..... a new part of '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' which will feature any manner of snacking product I have been products munching on in the week

This weeks SNACK OF THE WEEK comes courtesy of my pals at www.AmericanSoda.co.uk These guys import all manner of American sodas, candy, chocolate and groceries. They come with a ChocolateMission seal of approval - their service is genuinely fantastic and their prices highly competitive. See their website HERE!!Kcal 110 Fat 2.5g Fat(sats) 1.0g Carbs 21.0g (per 27.0g)

I think we all know that I'm a bit of a Peanut Butter Nutter :D so it was with great delight that I recieved this Cap'n Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch cereal from my friends at AmericanSoda. Normally for breakfast I never stray away from Kellogg's Bran Flakes - no they aren't the best tasting cereal ever, but they do the job of filling me up and giving me the energy for the day ahead. This week I have replaced my usual Bran Flakes with these Cap'n Crunch, and I've subsequently been left with mixed feelings. On the one hand the peanut butter sweetness of the corn & oat cereal was of course more exciting taste wise and I did like how the cereal created a lovely peanut butter flavoured milk in the bowl (YUM!!). However, on the flip side, I didn't find this cereal half as satisfying as my usual Bran Flakes and I did find myself feeling hungry again within the matter of a few hours. The solution to all this!??? Well next week my normal bowl of Bran Flakes will be getting treated to a handful of Cap'n Crunch! Flavour and satisfaction in one cereal bowl - Terrific :D

7.2 out of 10


CHOCOLATE NEWS

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Thursday, 28 April 2011

April 28th: UAE Chocolate Superpost Part # 1

Welcome to the first of two very special posts that have come around thanks to the generosity of ChocolateMission fan Fiona Nesbitt. Fiona is a reader based in the United Arab Emirates and was kind enough to send me a parcel full of her local chocolate bars made by some very familiar names :D Over the course of the two part 'UAE Chocolate Superpost' I will be looking at bars from Cadbury, Mars and Nestle, comparing them with the UK equivalents in terms of ingredients and then giving my comments on any differences I observed in taste.
----
Nestle Kit Kat

Kit Kat UK - Review (See HERE)
Kcal 107 Fat 5.4g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 10.6g (per 20.5g bar)
Ingredients - Milk Chocolate (66%) (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Dried Skimmed Milk, Cocoa Mass, Whey Powder, Butterfat, Vegetable Fat, Lactose, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin, E476), Flavouring), Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Mass, Yeast, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt, Calcium Sulphate, Flavouring.

Kit Kat UAE
Kcal 102 Fat 5.1g Fat(sats) 3.1g Carbs 12.6g (per 21.0g bar)
Manufactured - Nestle Dubai, L.L.C. Dubai - UAE.
Ingredients - Sugar, Wheat Flour, Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Hydrogenated Palm Kern Oil, Whey Powder, Milk Fat, Vegetable Oils, Reduced Fat Cocoa Powder, Invert Sugar Syrup, Emulsifier, Salt, Natural Vanilla Flavour, Raising Agent

Comments:In my photo above you will see that I have pictured both the two finger and chunky Kit Kat milk chocolate bars sent to me by Fiona. On the surface of things both appeared no different whatsoever from the bars we get in the UK. Closer inspection of the wrapper actually showed that the Chunky they get in the UAE is manufactured in the UK and imported over - quelle surprise I could taste no differences whatsoever.

The two finger bar however, was a totally different story. This bar had been manufactured at the new Nestle factory in Dubai, and boy there some glaring disparities from the Kit Kats im used to. Indeed, compared to our UK Kit Kat the chocolate was waxy in both melt and mouth feel, and the wafer component was equally bad, lacking it's usual crispness with its limp yield. In addition to the textural issues, the overall taste also felt lacklustre. The chocolate tasted less creamy and less cocoa focused, and seemed to rely more on it's sugar flavours. The wafer also lacked just a little of it's usual malt and wheat flavour cut through. These differences were not only evident because I was looking for them, I genuinely feel like anyone would have observed them.

6.4 out of 10



------
Nestle Lion

Nestle Lion (UK) - Review (See HERE)
Kcal 269 Fat 12.7g Carbs 35.3g (per 55.5g bar)
Ingredients - Sugar, Glucose-fructose Syrup, Flour (Wheat, Rice), Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Lactose, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Mass, Butterfat, Whey Powder, Humectant (Glycerol), Salt, Emulsifiers (E322 from Soya, E476, E471), Flavourings, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Carbonate), Yeast, Barley Malt Extract.

Nestle Lion (Poland)
Kcal 309 Fat 13.8g Fat(sats) 9.9g Carbs 43.2g (per 65.0g bar)
Manufactured - Nestle Polska, Oddzial w Kargowej
Ingredients - Compound mass (41.9%)(sugar, hydrogenated vegetable fat, whey powder, fat reduced cocoa powder, emulsifier, milk flavour), Glucose Syrup, Rice Flakes (9.7%), Sweetened Condensed Milk, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Stabilizer, Salt, Raising Agents, Thickener

Comments: What is a Polish bar doing in a 'UAE Superpost' I hear you ask!? Well like the Nestle Chunky Kit Kat, the Lion is another bar that Nestle import in to UAE from a different country, which in this case is Poland.

The keenest of the keen ChocolateMission readers will be aware that I have done a like-for-like comparison of the UK and Polish Lion Bars before (See HERE). The King Size bars that Fiona sent me were highly comparable in terms of the conclusions I made in that comparison. The milk chocolate and caramel were less flavoursome, and texturally things were also a little off, with the chocolate again feeling waxy and the wafer not as crisp. It must however be noted that these differences were not quite as stark as the Kit Kat above.

7.9 out of 10


--------
Galaxy

Lastly today I will be focusing on the first two variants of Galaxy chocolates that I recieved as part of this four flavour 'mini' bar pouch.

Galaxy Milk Chocolate UK -Review (See HERE)
Kcal 250 Fat 14.9g Carbs 25.5g (per 49.0g bar)
Ingredients - Sugar, Cocoa Ingredients (Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass), Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk Fat, Lactose, Demineralised Whey Powder, Vegetable Fat, Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, E442), Flavouring. Milk Chocolate Contains Milk Solids 14% Minimum and Cocoa Solids 25% Minimum.

Galaxy Milk Chocolate (UAE)
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Carbs ???
Manufactured - Mars, Dubai, UAE
Ingredients - Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat, Glycerol, Water, Milk Fat, Emulsifier, Dextrose, Thickener, Flavouring (artifical ethyl vanillin). Milk Chocolate Contains Milk Solids 14% Minimum and Cocoa Solids 25% Minimum.

Comments: You must already be getting sick of my saying this but the melt of this chocolate was again incredibly poor in mouth feel and had a disgusting waxyness to it. For me, the most appealing aspect of the Galaxy chocolate we get in the UK is the way the sillky soft melt slowly releases the crispy, creamy sweet cocoa flavours. The taste may not be the most prestigous, but compared to this UAE Galaxy chocolate the UK bar is far superior in terms of quality and cut through of its flavours. The taste here felt laboured and didn't create the impact in terms of it's cream rooted flavour base.

6.2 out of 10


Galaxy Crispy (UAE)
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Carbs ???
Manufactured - Mars, Dubai, UAE
Ingredients - Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat, Glycerol, Water, Milk Fat, Rice Flour, Barley Syrup, Rapeseed Oil, Barley Malt, Emulsifier, Dextrose, Thickener, Flavouring (artifical ethyl vanillin). Milk Chocolate Contains Milk Solids 14% Minimum and Cocoa Solids 25% Minimum.

Comments: This was the flavour in the pack that didn't have a UK equivalent bar, so I was looking in the direction of this Crispy bar to give me the opportunity to say something nice about the UAE chocolates for once :D Unfortunately the base chocolate was of course just as disappointing as above, and the cereal rice did very little to help. Whilst it had a positive effect bringing some nice variation to the waxy texture, it broke up the already rather mild flavours even more, making the bar even more passive and lightweight in taste. Oh dear!

6.0 out of 10


------

What can I say!??? Not a great start for the UAE chocolates. Be sure to check back soon for Part # 2 where I will be checking out more Galaxy and the Cadbury Dairy Milk bars.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

April 26th: Twix Coconut

Kcal 250 Fat 13.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 25.0g

Frequent visitors to the site will be all to aware that the Twix bar is one of my all time favourite mass produced chocolate bars. Unfortunately, unlike in the United States, Mars UK have never been that kind when it has come to creating limited edition flavours or variants - the last bit of 'new news' for Twix in this country was the rather disappointing Twix Fino. Thankfully for me (though probably little comfort for my UK audience!) the guys over at Mars US have recognised the global spanning readership of my site, and were kind enough to send me across some samples of their latest Twix limited edition bar - the Russian made Coconut variant. This bar came as part of a groovy PR kit that contained a coconut shell and a Twix branded computer memory stick - Cheers guys :D

This limited edition came described as 'cookie bars coated in milk chocolate with a coconut caramel layer' and came in a bar that weighed in at 50.7g. The product presentation as a totality was pretty standard Twix fair - with the bar split in to two long finger pieces that contained equal amounts of caramel and biscuit, with the former being ever so slightly darker in colour versus the traditional Twix bar. The design of the wrapper was similar to other Twix variants I have tried in previous times, though I thought overall the design was very cool looking and I liked the integration and non-over elaboration communication of the coconut theme - it could have been easy to have created something really ghastly here I think! As impressive as the bar was aesthetically, the product also generated some nice alluring aromas once released from it's foil packet. The smells were mostly of sweet milk chocolate, though the first evidence of coconut came to light with some minor nutty scent offerings.

As with all Twixs I had great fun eating this bar, experimenting with several different ways of eating it - all three layers in one, caramel on its own, biscuit on its own etc etc. My preferred method ended up being the same as with the majority of all Twixs - letting the sweet milk chocolate melt away, before then munching away on the warmed soft caramel and crunchy biscuit - lovely! As always the milk chocolate was your standard Mars quality, with it's generic sweetened milky cocoa taste being more just passable rather than anything of true note. As with the chocolate, the biscuit base was also non-differentiated from the norm with it's buttery shortbread taste nicely finishing with a moreish hint of salt. The caramel layer was obviously the coconut flavour carrier here, and it did a sound job of what was intended. After my first few bites my initial reaction was that the coconut flavouring was perhaps a little on the artificial side (because it was haha!), though once I ate more of the bar I grew to increasingly like the creamy, buttery nuttiness more and more. The coconut element was maybe not the freshest or real tasting coconut experience I have tasted in a chocolate bar, however it added an interesting additional flavour depth and importantly didn't contribute any harsh, sugary sweetness that you sometimes get from other artificial flavours. I ate both sticks in the one sitting and I found them to be a very satisfying and fulfilling snack to accompany my mid-afternoon tea.

Overall I wouldn't rate this as the best limited edition the Twix brand has ever seen, however it was one that I increasingly enjoyed the more I ate it. Whilst not being the best flavoured coconut product I have ever tried, the actual integration of the flavouring into the caramel was done to a fairly good standard and delivered on the proposition that Mars intended. Before I tasted the bar I was somewhat questioning Mars's choice of a milk chocolate coating rather than a white chocolate one, as the former is more commonly found paired with coconut. Thankfully this ultimately proved to be a bit of a non-factor anyway, as it was the coconut that by and large steered the taste as soon as the caramel was uncovered. As I said above, the coconut wasn't optimally integrated but combined with the chocolate and biscuit elements its made for a nice variation on the original Twix. Given the lack of coconut options these days in the UK it would nice to see this bar makes its way to our shores some time in the future. It's not a 'must try', but its a good chocolate bar and I would suggest giving it a go if you get the opportunity.

8.2 out of 10

Friday, 22 April 2011

April 22nd: HAPPY EASTER - Paul A. Young Billingtons Simnel Brownie

HAPPY EASTER

Hi All,

First off HAPPY EASTER to one and all. I hope you all have some nice time off and recharge the batter before heading back to school, work etc etc

ChocolateMission will be taking a well deserved break over Easter, but posting will resume on Tuesday 26th. During that time be sure to keep an eye on the news page and the Twitter feed - no doubt I will running some Twitter based competitions - you can 'Follow' me by clicking HERE.
Make sure you at least eat ten times your own weight in chocolate .... thats an order from myself ;D No doubt the Easter chocolate sales will be in full flow come Monday so I look out for any updates from myself documenting the extra special deals I spot.

Have a great Easter break

JIM


SNACK OF THE WEEK ..... a new part of '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' which will feature any manner of snacking product I have been products munching on in the week ...As I mentioned last week the amount of Easter products that have been sent to me this year has been tremendous and unfortunately I haven't had time to feature them all on the site. Despite receiving this particular product extremely late in the day (only Wednesday this week!!), I just had to give it a shout out on the site - it was just so tremendous! Indeed the 'Snack of the Week' award for this Easter Weekend goes to the Paul A. Young Simnel Brownie. Last Wednesday I featured some pretty pitiful Easter themed cakes from Cadbury - this creation from British chocolatier Paul A. Young (and sugar maker Billingtons) just blew them out the water.

So what the heck is a Simnel Brownie you ask!? Well if we are talking Paul A. Young style it's a chocolate brownie featuring vine fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg and marzipan. The brownie was sent to me in a lovely gift box, that contained the large cake slab draped in one Paul's stylish branded ribbons. Out it's transparent packet the brownie smelt like a wonderful concoction of spiced Christmas cake and chocolate - I could tell this was going to be good from the minute I opened it!

Take a look at the cross-section photo above .... Yes it really was that dense! This was like brownie I hadn't eaten before. It was viscous, gooey and heavy in both flavour and texture with it's raw, buttery spiced cocoa taste. As a whole, the brownie was beautifully constructed, with sweet fruits such raisins and cherries packed into every corner and mouthful taken. The balance and variety brought to the taste by the cinnamon and nutmeg spices, plus the crunchy sugary top which featured lumps of marzipan, was just epically fantastic - this cake was a flavourful masterpiece. Speaking as a guy who has eaten cakes such as Heavenly Cakes's Billionaire Shortbread, it should give you some sort of idea how highly I rated this when I say it was a truly outstanding brownie. This was one of the richest cakes I think I have ever eaten - if you happen to be passing Paul's shop in London this Easter weekend then I highly recommend you get yourself one of these. It's probably wise to share.

8.8 out of 10


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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

April 20th: JIM's ChocolateMission Buyers Guide Easter 2011

With so different many products on offer this year at Easter it was always going to be impossible giving them all ChocolateMission reviews. In order to showcase you guys my top tips for this Easter holiday I thought I would put together a similar post like I did for Christmas 2010. I present to you to the ChocolateMission Buyers Guide Easter 2011.

You wont find any serious graphs or scores here. Just my quick candid views and some nice looking photographs of some of the better products I have tried amongst the mountain of different Easter products I have accumilated over the past few weeks. Be sure to leave your own top tips ....

---- What better place to start than with Hotel Chocolat? This Hotel Chocolate Easter Eggpose Milk is a 225.0g package consisting of half a 40% milk chocolate shell, with a load of mini praline milk chocolate eggs. In my opinion it doesn't get much better than Hotel Chocolat's house milk chocolate recipe. It's soft and thick melting, and just packed full of sweet cocoa and cream flavours. The mini praline eggs are also about as good as they come. This is one of the cheaper Hotel Chocolat Easter offerings - I needn't tell you whether I recommend it or not :D
Buy your Hotel Chocolat Easter Eggs HERE

---- Nestle sure haven't held back with their Easter range this year. Not only do we have the standard egg products for some of the well know brands like Kit Kat, but we also have some new products on their Aero and Smarties brands. Neither the Aero Bubbly Lamb or Nestle Smarties Hen are that note worthy for their chocolate, but you would have to be a pretty 'hard-as-nails' serious type not to love them for their nice looks. Kids are sure to love them.

---- After featuring so many Thorntons products in the first quarter of this year I do regret somewhat not having taken a closer look at what Thorntons have been offering this Easter. One of their products I can recommend however are these Thorntons Melt Praline Eggs. These are quite simply milk chocolate shells filled with a softer, gooey hazelnut praline centres, and are a line extension from the Thorntons Praline Melts I reviewed back in February. They might not be the finest of finest praline chocolates around, but I thought they provided a decent alternative to the more common place market offerings. Well worth a try.

---- It wouldn't be fair of me just to be looking at the British based brand offerings in my Buyers Guide so I have included these Ferrero Kinder Schoko-Bons Milky Bites as one of our European representatives :D Anyone who has had any form of Kinder chocolate before will be well aware of what to expect from these. The combination of the milk chocolate and sugary milky centres make for a devilishly sweet combination, which trust me are incredibly moreish and 'dangerous' to have sat on your work desk. Without thinking you will be able to see bags of these away without so much of a thought. One for the sweeter toothed consumer.

---- Lindt bunnies are fast becoming one of the most iconic chocolates for Easter and are increaslingly becoming available in wider and wider distribution here in the UK. Whilst I am a big fan of the creamy tasting milk chocolate that Lindt have to offer, I can't help but feel bad with each passing bite taken out of these little fellas :D My only advice to you guys is to start with the head - at least then you can rest assured that our little chocolate rabbit friends can't see you munching away at their rest of their delicious chocolate bodies haha!

Monday, 18 April 2011

April 18th: L'Artisan du Chocolat Assorted Mini Egg Box


Last week L'Artisan du Chocolat made a long overdue ChocolateMission return with my review of their Creme de la Creme Passion Fruit Milk Egg. With such positive feedback coming you from all after that post, L'Artisan decided to send across a few more of their Easter 2011 offerings - one of which was this L'Artisan du Chocolat Assorted Mini Egg Box.

This 200.0g box assortment came billed to me as a 'selection of chocolate filled mini eggs'. The L'Artisan website detailed seven different flavours ranging from dark chocolate to liquid salted caramel. Curiously enough, my box only contained six of the promised variants - with the dark chocolate and mint egg unfortunately MIA. That annoyance aside, I was thoroughly impressed with the way the rest of the product was presented. The exterior box was nicely constructed, and the eggs inside were nicely differentiated by their outer shell colourings - if only there had been a small little menu to identify the flavours from outset (yes I know many of them were self identifiable!! :D ).

Below are my thoughts on the flavours ...

Liquid Praline in Dark - I wanted to get my least favourite out the way first, as some of the rest were far superior. These eggs had fantastically tasty outer dark chocolates shells, but it was almost like the cocoa flavours were too intense as the flavours of the praline centre didn't come through with any great vigour. They were still nice enough, but I think the praline centre would have worked better with a less intense chocolate. Standard.

Vanilla in White - I hadn't had any experience with L'Artisan white chocolate before, but if these eggs are anything to go by then they have some real potential. The white chocolate shells established a strong set of cream based flavours, which flowed nicely in to the cool feeling, light bourbon flavours of the ganache centres. Superb.

Pistachio in Milk - These were golden in colour, and golden in taste. The pistachio flavour contribution was outstandingly strong for such small eggs, and created the most wonderful sweet and salt contrasts. The mouth feel of the drier pistachio centre did take a little getting used to, but even that was moistened by the free flowing, smooth melt of the milk chocolate. The salty pistachio was insanely moreish. Superb.

Milk Ganache in Milk - You would have thought these would have been the most boring in the selection, but they actually proved to be just as flavoursome as any of the other pieces. The 35% milk chocolate had a lovely balance of milk and cocoa flavours, and these were built upon by the soft ganache centres which enhanced the overall with a small note of vanilla. Very Good.

Liquid Salted Caramel in Dark - If you saw my review of L'Artisan du Chocolat No. 1 Sea Salted Caramels last year (See HERE) then you will be all to aware at how capable L'Artisan are in this area. These were quite simply out of this world, and delivered much the same experience with the only changing being the lack of cocoa dusting on the exterior shells. If you are sensible enough to buy some of these this year I would make sure you get your fair share of these. Superb.

Dark Ganache in Dark - These 72% dark chocolate eggs were the richest tasting in the selection, and packed one heck of an unsweetened cocoa flavour punch that offered suggestions of coffee and red wine. My only slight issue with them was that they seemed most effected by the confectioners varnish, which had been used to keep the eggs looking in top condition. It was nothing major, but it just slowed down the initiation of the wonderfully soft melting chocolate. Very Good.

Overall these weren't perfect, but they were a lovely little selection of eggs that were nicely varied in flavour despite the misplacement of the mint egg. Although a few of the variants obtained Superb ratings, by far and away the stand out eggs were the Liquid Caramel in Milk ones. This may just be a case of personal preference, but this is genuinely where I think L'Artisan stand out from a congested chocolate market - if you are a fan of your chocolate caramels then you must simply try these for yourself. The other eggs of note were the white chocolate and pistachio flavours - the latter especially noteworthy for it's incredible golden coloured shell and green creme filling. There are so many generic egg shaped chocolates around this year that it is hard to tell the wheat from the chaff. I can ensure you that these L'Artisan du Chocolat Assorted Mini Eggs are certainly worthy of a purchase if variety is what you are after.

8.2 out of 10

Saturday, 16 April 2011

April 16th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 70 - Thorntons Chocolate Jubilee Egg

SITE UPDATE
Hi All,

It has been another good week for the site with two Easter themed reviews, and the one 'Bits n Bobs' post.

Hotel Chocolat Extra Thick Purist Egg (See HERE)'Bits n Bobs' Chocolate Cookies, Cakes & Cereal Bars (See HERE)
Cadbury Easter 2011 (See HERE)

The amount of chocolate products I'm accumulating at the present time is reaching ridiculous levels, suffice to say it is going to be no bad thing being a friend of mine next weekend ... it will all have to be gifted away to someone :D

As always I have been continually updating the news page with content as and when possible. Please if you know of any story I have missed fire it across in an e-mail or a just drop a comment somewhere and I'm sure I will pick it up.

This week we have my buyers guide to Easter 2011, a lovely treat from Paul A Young, plus another treat from L'Artisan du Chocolat due up on the site. I hope you guys all enjoy those reviews.

Have great weekends

JIM

SNACK OF THE WEEK ..... a new part of '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' which will feature any manner of snacking product I have been products munching on in the week ...I have been sent the most overwhelming amount of Easter products this week with the parcels mounting up on my work desk at a really quite embarrassing rate. The poor mail porter who delivers the post to us all round our office, must be getting sick of the sight of my name being on his list in the mornings, especially when the packages are as big as the one needed to contain this Thorntons Chocolate Jubilee Egg. Indeed, this Thorntons offering was one of many products which made itself to me this week, and myself and my lucky work colleagues have been munching our way through it all week.
This Jubilee Egg package has been created to celebrate 100 years of Thorntons', and comprises of one massive hollow milk chocolate egg decorated with white and dark chocolate, plus a box of individual chocolates mostly comprising of Thorntons's Continental Selection. As a total package it was agreed by all that saw/ate it that it was a pretty fantastic Easter option. For my full view on the chocolates I would suggest heading HERE for my Thorntons Continental Selection Box review - in a nutshell the choice was varied and the quality was impressively consistent across the 36 chocolates. When you add that fact to the seriously high quality presentation of the total package, plus the tastyness of the core milk chocolate egg (which got demolished in under a day by one and all in the office!!), then I can do little more but suggest it as a decent option for this Easter. You might want to check out the Thorntons website HERE to keep abreast to all the latest deals have they up! Keep an eye out for the daily half price egg promotions they are running - there are some right bargains to be had!

8.3 out of 10


3 for 2 on Easter gifts at Thorntons.co.uk


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Friday, 15 April 2011

April 15th: Cadbury Easter 2011


There are so many Easter products floating about this year, I thought it best I compile everything by brand in order to showcase the best and worse of what is on offer. Today Cadbury take centre stage with my reviews of their latest cake bars and some links back to some of my previous reviews that may have slipped you by if you have only started reading the site in the past year or so.

Most (if not all) of these products can be purchased in your local supermarkets, though you may also want to check out CadburyGifts online where they are doing special hampers and online deals - See HERE.


Starting with the older products that may have passed you by, you will see above the Cadbury Mini Eggs Easter egg offering this year. That was a present given to me by one of my work colleagues and has been on sale in the supermarkets since Boxing Day 2010 :D This egg package features a 120.0g of Cadbury Mini Eggs, a large sized hollow milk chocolate egg and lastly (and most awesomely) a Cadbury Mini Eggs mug, which right now is sitting on my desk filled to the brim with coffee.

In addition to all their large egg package offerings this year, Cadbury also have all usual classic offerings ...

Cadbury Creme Egg - See HERE
Cadbury Caramel Egg - See HERE
Cadbury Mini Eggs - See HERE
Cadbury Caramel Bunnies - See HERE

Enough with the past! Here are the new cakes Cadbury have on offer this Easter ....

----
Cadbury Cake Bars Orange Creme
Kcal 145 Fat 8.0g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 16.6g
'Chocolate flavoured sponge with an orange flavour creme covered with Cadbury milk chocolate.'


Seemingly Burtons Foods have taken a leaf out of the the Ritter Sport approach to innovation, as a season in the calendar can't seem to pass without them introducing a few new flavours to their Cadbury Cake Bar range. This spring time the flavour variety being offered are these Cadbury Cake Bars Orange Creme, which I found on one of those infamous £1.00 introductory offers in Tesco. The last time Cadbury Cake Bars tried an orange flavour, they went a more direct route in competing with McVitie's Jaffa Cakes and tried pulling off their own Jaffa variety - See HERE. This time around the orange filling tasted more like an orange flavoured fondant, which unfortunately wasn't entirely preferable. Despite it's smooth silky mouth feel the creme was just too sugary when combined with the sweet cake and Cadbury chocolate, the orange influence felt also rather laboured and didn't have the desired fruity zingyness I wanted. I wouldn't be overly concerned if you miss out on trying these this Easter.

6.6 out of 10


----

Cadbury Lemon Mini Rolls
Kcal 125 Fat 5.7g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 16.7g
'Golden sponge with lemon flavoured curd and a lemon flavour filling, covered with milk chocolate'


Fruit flavours must be the name of the game this season, as Burton's have also released a new fruit flavoured variety to the Cadbury Mini Roll range. These Cadbury Mini Rolls Lemon are the latest addition to Cadbury's extensive portfolio of Mini Rolls, and I found them on the same £1.00 Tesco deal as stated above. To cut to the chase, these Cadbury Mini Rolls Lemon were actually pretty good, and I enjoyed them immensly more than some of the other varities that have gone before. As you will have determined from the description and pictures, the lemon influence was established by the lemon jam which was intertwinned with the vanilla cream. The lemon flavours created an edgy citrus taste, whilst the coolness of jam mouth feel played off nicely against both the sponge and the cream. Again the overall taste was rather sweet, however it wasn't half as overbearing as some other varities. I wouldn't rate these as Blackcurrant and Vanilla beaters, but for £1.00 you could do worse this Easter.

7.5 out of 10


----
Cadbury Mini Egg Chocolate Nest Cakes
Kcal 150 Fat 8.5g Fat(sats) 5.1g Carbs 15.9g (per cake)
'Chocolate sponge with buttercream, covered in Cadbury milk chocolate with Cadbury Mini Eggs'


Out of all the Cadbury cakes I bought this Easter these were by far the most expensive, and cost me £2.25 for the pack of five from Tesco. Compared to the Cake Bar and Mini Roll alternatives showcased above, these did look the fancier cakes - the chocolate curls and decorative Mini Eggs placed on top of the cake just made them look that little bit extra special. Whilst I was impressed by the cakes aesthetically and texturally, I was far less receptive of the taste with my main source of disappointment being driven by the buttercream element. What with the Cadbury chocolate and sponge constituents generating an already quite sweet taste, the buttercream only went to further this with it's heavy sugar emphasis. In essence it failed to deliver either a buttery or creamy development to the taste, and rather just made these cakes overbearingly sweet for my taste.

6.5 out of 10



 

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