Friday, 30 September 2011

September 30th: Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel

Kcal 493 Fat 30.0g Fat(sats) 17.0g Carbs 57.0g (per 100.0g)

Beady eyed ChocolateMission readers have been getting in touch with me for awhile now regarding the new Lindt Excellence bars that seem to have made their way to UK shores. Amongst the new offerings in the Excellence range we have the 'Lindt Excellence with a touch of Sea Salt' (See HERE), and this new Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel which I have to say I was rather excited about trying. The bar came described as 'Fine dark chocolate with crispy caramel pieces', a none to dissimilar sounding proposition to the superb Lindt Excellence Milk Caramel (See HERE). As one would expect I didn't feel all that put out having to fulfil this reader request.

Having been made aware of this bar by several readers (I believe Sam & Daisy were the first two! Well done :D ) I finally found it being stocked in my local Sainsburys where it was price aligned with the other Excellence Dark bars at £1.83. To my surprise despite the minor aesthetic changes recently made to the Excellence Milk bars recently, the packaging was styled the same as the Excellence range has been historically!? What an odd decision to update one part of the range but not the other!? Unfolded from it's silver foil confines the bar appeared fresh in state and plentiful with to it's crystallised caramel pieces.

The first thing I noticed when handling this chocolate was the real lack of cocoa scents being offered. What is usually a given with dark chocolates is that they present a forthcoming set of cocoa scents, however these were by and large missing in action aside from a smattering of chocolatey whiffs. I should have taken this as a sign of things to come, though the taste still by and large took me by surprise with it's lax flavour offerings. From the very first block being placed on my tongue I couldn't believe this was a Lindt dark chocolate as the shallow flavour depth was just totally unrelateable to any bar I had tried from them previous. All I can say is thank heavens for the saving grace caramel pieces, which lit up the mild tasting milky cocoa flavours with some sweet condensed milk like brown sugar flavours. The interest sparked by the caramel influence was enough to satisfy me to a reasonable standard, however this just wasn't the behemoth chocolate I was expecting it to be.

Overall on the balance of things I was pretty disappointed with what this bar offered as I was genuinely in the way of thinking that it might be challenging the upper portion of the ChocolateMission leaderboard. In a nutshell the 47.0% cocoa dark chocolate was lacking flavour depth and it created a very passive taste that had little life until the crunchy caramel pieces were munched down upon to spark some interest. My own personal perspective was that this bar needed a far stronger dark chocolate at it's heart so that the swing from the mature tasting chocolate to the sweeter caramel pieces could have been more emphatic. Unfortunately what we got here was more of a inoffensive dark chocolate that contributed very little to the total experience. I wouldn't write this off anyone's 'to try list' but at the same time I wont be pitching it as a solid recommendation.

7.4 out of 10

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

September 28th: 'Bits n Bobs' Cakes, Muffins & Biscuits

Bits n Bobs features cakes, muffins and all sorts today - some new, some old :D I hope you enjoy the reviews and photos. Be sure to drop me a message if there is anything you guys want featured on the site in the coming weeks. You know reader requests are always gratefully received.
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Fabulous Bakin' Boys Milk Chocolate Chip Muffins
Kcal 226 Fat 11.0g Fat(sats) 1.6g Carbs 28.6g

Starting us off today we have these Fabulous Bakin' Boys Milk Chocolate Chip Muffins which I found on a lovely price discount promotion in Tesco for £1.00. For such little expense, this four pack of muffins seemed like a good deal, and I shared them amongst some colleagues at work who were all very willing to provide some second (third and fourth!!) perspectives on them.

On pack these were described as 'golden sponge muffins with real chocolate chips' - a none to far apart proposition from the Mr Kipling Chocolate Chip Cakes I reviewed a while back (See HERE). The muffins were contained within airtight clear cellophane packs which surprisingly did a very good job as maintaining both appearance and freshness. Breaking these seals and immediate waft of vanilla scents overcame my senses, and this was highly indicative of the taste of the base muffin. Indeed, it was the cake constituents which exceeded most peoples expectations and it's delightful vanilla led sweet taste was nicely delivered through the slightly moistened crumble cake texture. Again to our surprise the chocolate chips were generously portioned throughout, though that said they were generally perceived as poor in terms of flavour delivery. The golden question - would I buy again? Yes I would on that offer. A substantial, tasty muffin offering for fans of vanilla cake.

7.8 out of 10


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Cadbury Boost Cake Bars
Kcal 190 Fat 10.6g Fat(sats) 6.9g Carbs 20.9g

In the past few years Cadbury have released more cake bar varieties than ever before. We've had seasonal varieties, limited edition flavours - you name it, they've done it! One thing they haven't always done however, is use the strengths of some of their sub-brands to create some more attractive and credible propositions. We have had the Fudge themed cake bars (See HERE), but apart from them we have seen little else - until now that is :D Enter the NEW Cadbury Boost Cake Bars which I found in my local Sainsburys store last week (unfortunately not on a £1.00 deal! Doh!).

Straight away these appeared to be offering something a little different from the Cadbury cake bar norm. For starters the packaging was Boost themed and unattached from the usual purple Cadbury colours, whilst they also appeared a far more substantial offering billed as 'chocolate flavoured sponge topped with a chocolate flavoured creme with biscuit pieces and caramel, covered in chocolate'. This all sounds great right!? Well they were! The coating and chocolate sponge were all standard fair for Cadbury cake bars - sweet but chocolatey, on the whole pretty nice. The Boost filling on top however really made these stand apart, with the chocolate creme, caramel and biscuits all bring different textures and flavours to the party. Through the midst of chewy, crunchy and crumbly mouth feels, a lovely variety of butterscotch and cream flavours made for a truly delightful synergy of cake and original Boost bar. I give these a real thumbs up - ChocolateMission recommended!

8.4 out of 10


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Fabulous Bakin' Boys King Cupcakes Triple Choc
Kcal 208 Fat 11.1g Fat(sats) 4.5g Carbs 25.1g

The second Fabulous Bakin' Boys offering today comes in the form of their King Cupcake Triple Choc. I bought these cupcakes in a pack of four after seeing them on a 'better than half price' sale in my local J Sainsbury's. Priced at only £0.80 it convinced me that at just £0.20 a cake was an offer to good to turn down despite previous poor experiences with the FBB cupcake range.

On the pack these had a very small, hidden-away descriptor which worryingly them described as 'chocolate flavoured sponge with chocolate chips and dark chocolate flavour topping'. Worrying 'chocolate flavour' billings aside, they did look suitably appetising dressed in the cellophane packet and paper based wrapper confines. The praise I'm afraid to say ends there however, as the taste test proved to be somewhat of a downfall. In the effort of being succinct, the sponge was dry and flavourless, which is a description highly applicable to the 'dark chocolate' topping just with the dryness replaced by a god awful waxy mouth feel. Flavour wise the only real contributor to the experience were the chocolate chips which in the large part were criminally under portioned and MIA for most mouthfuls. I wouldn't buy these again - not even on that ridiculous offer.

5.4 out of 10


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McVitie's Digestives Dark Chocolate
Kcal 84 Fat 4.2g Fat(sats) 2.2g Carbs 4.7g (per biscuit)

Biscuits as famous as these ones need no introduction so I will simply point you in the direction of my reviews from the other parts of the McVitie's chocolate digestive range. For my review of the McVitie's Milk Chocolate Digestives - See HERE, McVitie's Caramel Digestives - See HERE, McVitie's Temptations Belgian Milk Chocolate Praline - See HERE. That's enough pimping of my own blog and old reviews - lets just get down to business with these dark chocolate digestives :D

As I said above these dark chocolate Digestives are every bit as well renowned as the milk chocolate alternatives and they are a common feature amongst the biscuity treats that normally adorn my work office. Descriptor wise they are described as 'Wheatmeal biscuits covered in plain chocolate', and they come sized in the same profile as the standard Digestives (none of that smaller sized biscuit nonsense like the caramels). I did buy a pack specially for the review, but to be honest with you guys I was already very familiar with the taste. Just like any other digestive biscuit the focal point of the flavour delivery was rooted in the wheat biscuit portion, and it brought the standard sweet, malty, salted hinted experience like any other. Compared to the milk chocolate digestives, the plain chocolate placed on top was slower at establishing itself in terms of it's presence, however it's unsweetened cocoa flavours did feel longer sustained once the biscuit was chewed. Due to the sweetness of the biscuit and thinness of the chocolate portion, I wouldn't say the overall experience is far apart from the milk chocolate version. Lets be honest I think we would all be happy with either.

7.9 out of 10

Monday, 26 September 2011

September 26th: Cadbury Mascots

Kcal 88 Fat 4.8g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 9.0g (per mascot)

We are going to start off this week with a short chocolate review and a mini rant :D As you may have gathered from both the title and the photos, the focus of today's post is on these new Cadbury Mascots chocolates. Cadbury are one of London's official partners for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, so suffice to say I think we can all expect a barrage of these sort of products heading our way between now and next year. So far we have had to endure the rather tiresome Spots vs Stripes campaign, which in my opinion has failed to stimulate any great excitement despite significant investment (See HERE). Hoping to do a little better, these Cadbury Mascots are the first official Olympic offering from Cadbury - lets see what I made of them.

These 'aerated milk chocolate Mascots' come in packs of two that weigh around 32.0g each. Fundamentally the whole product concept is just the Cadbury Wishes remoulded and repackaged with an Olympic theme obviously applied. In regards to the quality of the presentation and packaging, everything was the usual Cadbury high standard with the matted foil wrapper well designed and decorated with it's kiddie friendly Mascot pictures. Speaking of the Mascots themselves they were well sized and the detail of each mould was impressive and attractive.

To get to what I'm sure you guys are well aware with haste I can confirm that the bubbly Cadbury Milk chocolate was exactly as expected with it quickly creating a sound chocolatey taste that was firmly rooted in sweet sugar, milk and cocoa. The bubbly texture at the centre of each mascot of course added interest in terms of mouth feel, however the Dairy Milk thickness wasn't quite there as one would expect given the usage of their secondary recipe. All-in-all I guess I would say these were just really middle of the road Cadbury offering - nothing to get overly excite about, neither nothing to turn your nose up at either. If you like Cadbury chocolate then you will like these - simple as!

7.6 out of 10


.... but hold it there!!! I've got a bone to pick ...

Funnily enough it's not with Cadbury! No, it's with the idiots who designed our friends here Wenlock and Mandeville. I mean come on! Who in their right mind sanctioned these characters as the official mascots!? The names are confusing and they look like ... well I best not say. I just cannot believe for one minute that these 'things' are going to be the face of our Olympic Games. The idea is to choose something the kids will love - take a look at this link HERE and tell me that not every single one of those mascots are a hundred times more adorable and loveable than Wenlock & Mandeville. Apologies for the rant, but it kills me that someone will have been paid a ridiculous amount of money to come up with these. If you want to really start me off then get me talking about the 2012 Olympic Logo :D Any opinions from you ChocolateMission readers?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

September 24th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 88 - Galaxy A Gift For You

SITE UPDATE + RITTER COMPETITION WINNER

Hi All,

Again it's been a busy week on ChocolateMission and I can once again only thank you all for all the feedback you have sent my way. If you managed to miss any of the reviews I've posted the links to them below - please continue to add any thoughts or opinions as and when you have them.

* Go*Do Organic Chocolate Selection - See HERE
* 'Bits n Bobs' Chocolate Cereal, Flapjacks, Cookies & Bars - See HERE
* Snickers Hazelnut Slab - See HERE


I'm sure most of you are far more interested in hearing who has won the Ritter Sport Noisette bars that I put up for grabs in that review nine days ago - See HERE. After receiving so many responses and sensible suggestions as to why Germans use hazelnuts so often, I decided the only fair way to determine the winners was to use my trusted spreadsheet random number generator to pick my winners.

I can now reveal the lucky winners are ....

Comment #17 - Rachel
Comment #36 - Stu
Comment #75 - Tomas

Well done to you guys - I will give you a week to get in contact with me via e-mail to claim your prizes. Failure to do so will lead in a Ritter Rollover :D

With that guys I will leave you to the weekend ahead with this weeks Snack of the Week :D Thanks again for your continued contributions to the site.

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 weekGalaxy A Gift For You
Kcal 198 Fat 11.3g Carbs 21.7g

With a full three months to go before the big day, on the 24th Spetember I bring you ChocolateMission's first Christmas 2011 review :D It's unbelievable to think but the UK supermarkets have been stocking Christmas themed products for a fair few weeks now - it does make you kinda think why they don't just start stocking them all year round doesn't it!? To just showcase how silly this all is I thought it a funny idea to bring you a first Christmas review before I even got stuck in to Halloween this year - quite the comedian aren't I haha!

Well starting things off this year we have these Galaxy 'A Gift For You' chocolates. Billed as 'one half caramel and one half milk chocolate', this 38.0g present shaped chocolate piece cost me £0.65. To save me giving yet another long winded run down of just how amazing Galaxy Caramel chocolates are, let me point you in the direction of this review HERE. Suffice to say the present shaped mould was every bit as suitable as I imagined, and although the proportions of caramel to chocolate were disappointingly more weighted towards the milk chocolate, it was still a lovely little snack oozing with buttery caramel and sweet chocolate class. I'm sure I will be eating a fair few of these this festive year.

8.4 out of 10



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Friday, 23 September 2011

September 23rd: Snickers Hazelnut Slab

Kcal 272 Fat 14.4g Fat(sats) 4.6g Carbs 31.3g

I always say ChocolateMission readers are the best, and I have to pass my thanks on to yet another one of you for providing me with this bar for the review today. My gratitude must specifically go to dedicated reader Daisy, who was kind enough to send me a 'Christmas treat box' full of chocolate bars from her latest trip to a well known candy importer based in London. Within the selection of bars, Daisy managed to pick out a whole host of limited edition chocolates from all over world, some of which I hadn't even known existed. One of these very bars was the Snickers Hazelnut Slab, which is bar hailing from Australia. On the wrapper the bar came described as 'a pile of hazelnuts, chewy caramel and a slab of nougat, covered in chocolate', this was pretty much your standard Snickers, but with the peanuts replaced by hazelnuts.

Unlike the majority of limited edition Snickers products made in the US, this bar pulled no punches in terms of it's size, and came in a plentiful 53.0g form. In terms of the wrapper and presentation, the bar clearly communicated it's hazelnut theme with the aid of some on bold secondary branding and clear on-pack hazelnut pictures. Suffice to say it was differentiated enough from the standard Snickers, yet retained the brand essence by maintaining the clarity of the original Snickers logo (nice work Mars!). Peeling back the folds of the plastic wrapper, the first thing to come to my attention was that the usual peanutty smells were replaced by some more savoury hazelnut scents - it still smelt pretty appetising.

Once I had got my fix of the smells being offered, the next action I took was to cross-section the bar (see above!). At this point I was both pleased and somewhat disappointed, as the hazelnuts were plentiful, but were chopped into smaller pieces rather than integrated as wholenuts. Taking my first bite in to the bar the wonderful array textures were self evident with the crisp outer chocolate, chewy nougat, soft caramel and crunchy nut pieces creating a familiar Snickers mouth feel. Taste wise the milk chocolate, nougat and caramel elements were almost entirely comparable to any standard Snickers bar we get here in the UK i.e. there was nothing remarkable about any of them, but combined they made for one lovely synergy of toffee and vanilla noted, sweet milk chocolate tastes. In addition to this standard Snickers base, the hazelnuts also contributed nicely to each bite, adding a woody, nut flavours. Despite my initial concerns, the nuts still made a major influence on the taste despite their chopped nature - why did I ever worry eh? :D

Overall this was a nice variation on a cult classic, and it was certainly interesting to try. Being realistic, I don't think there is any variation or limited edition that Mars could ever release that would make me think that it was superior to the original. In my opinion I can't ever seeing there being another Snickers bar that can take on the gloriousness of the salty peanut and sweet caramel taste. Whilst the hazelnuts were certainly a welcome addition to this bar, I didn't feel that they were as tasty, or as complimentary to the other constituents as the normal peanuts. Whilst this may be the reality of the quality of this product vs the original, what must be considered is still how good this bar is on it's own merits. On the whole my experience with this Hazelnut Slab variation was nothing but positive - it looked great, smelt great, tasted great and satisfied my hunger fantastically. If you are a fan of the Mars Topic, this bar is almost identical to that one, but just with ten times the amount of hazelnuts. Although the reality is that it isn't as good as the original, I would still give it a ChocolateMission thumbs up, it's well worth a try if you ever see it.

8.6 out of 10

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

September 21st: 'Bits n Bobs' Chocolate Cereal, Flapjacks, Cookies & Bars

Reader requests have been coming in from left-right and centre in the past couple of months so what better way to cover a good selection of them off but with a 'Bits n Bobs' post today. The reviews will be short and sweet, but I encourage you guys to let me know what you make of these products yourselves. There is a lot to get through today so without further ado lets get down to business ...

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The Fabulous Bakin' Boys Choc on Top Flapjack
Kcal 354 Fat 17.1g Fat(sats) 7.7g Carbs 45.8g

I've had a few variable run-ins with with the Fabulous Bakin' Boys range down the years - some good, some pretty abysmal (See HERE). Encouraingly one of the better experiences I've had with them was with their Choco Flapjacks, which managed to impress despite their small size.

Aiming to combat the problems of the aforementioned FBB offering, this 'Choc on Top' flapjack looked like it meant business and weighed in at a 75.0g catch weight. Calories galore, I ate this flapjack alongside my mid-afternoon coffee and boy it felt exceedingly heavy in hand. The base flapjack was pleasant, though the taste was definitely not as buttery or caramel led (new word haha!) as say Heavenly Cakes flapjacks are. Whilst the base was fine, the chocolate topping was abysmal. It was waxy and horrible in texture, and almost completely devoid of any cocoa or milk flavours whatsoever. The chocolate element was so AWOL I question why they bothered including it in the first place. There are many better chocolate flapjacks out there.

5.8 out of 10


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Kellogg's Krave Cereal
Kcal 135 Fat 5.0g Fat(sats) 2.0g Carbs 9.0g (30.0g serving)

The reader requests for me to review this cereal have been coming in ever since it's launch back in 2010 (See HERE), and what with the launch of a second Milk Chocolate variant (purple) to accompany the original Milk Chocolate Hazelnut variant (red) I could hardly ignore it any longer. I found these 'limited edition trial packs' on sale in my local Tesco - how convenient for a chocolate reviewer who just wanted to try them the one time - Thanks Kellogg's :D

To test these cereals out I replaced my usual big bowl of bran flake cereal with these 30.0g trial packs. You may have noted already that I have lumped both of these cereals ratings under the one Krave scoring chart - I've done this because I thought exactly the same about both of them. A real strength about both variants were that they had a nice unique mouthfeel, and the distinction between the crisper outer shells and inner paste centres was evident even after a long duration in the milk. In terms of differentiation between the two, I felt there was very little difference between the two flavours. Both were very sugar led in taste, though the milk chocolate offering was just a touch sweeter in my estimation with the hazelnut variant tasting just a little saltier (despite having lower salt in ... go figure!). My big issue with these cereals was that they just didn't do the functional job I wanted from my breakfast and on both trial days I was hungry by 10.30am having consumed them at 9.00am. I'm sure the kids will love these sugar fest offerings but I can't envisage them appearing in my cereal cupboard again anytime soon.

6.5 out of 10


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Nabisco Chips Ahoy!
Kcal 190 Fat 9.0g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 27.0g (per 4 cookies)

What with my forays into the British biscuit market this year it was only a matter of time before some of my US readers began requesting I reviewed some of their most popular cookie offerings. In the US, Chips Ahoy! are one of the best selling cookie brands - I have my pals at American Soda to thank for providing me with the ones you see in the review today.

American Soda were kind enough to send across a few 40.0g packs of these original Chips Ahoy! and I ate them across various times during my working week. Partnering my mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffees, I often left the packets unsealed (four was a bit too many for one time!) - this didn't effect their texture whatsoever, as they maintained a consistent crunchy freshness. In terms of taste I found them preferable to the majority of lacklustre cookie offerings we get in this country (e.g. Marylands's), with their less sugar focused taste allowing greater emphasis on the salt hinted wheat. The semi-sweet flavours of the chocolate chips also came through relatively well, though at times I thought they were a little sparsely integrated. Store bought cookies aren't ever as good as home made fresh, but for a taste of America these snack-pack Chips Ahoy! are a decent little offering.

7.7 out of 10


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Mr Kipling Choc Chip Cakes
Kcal 108 Fat 5.0g Fat(sats) 2.0g Carbs 10.0g (per cake)

Mr Kipling hasn't always had the best time here on ChocolateMission - his Chocolate Slices (See HERE) hardly lit up the scoring chart when he was last featured on the site. Despite this I had higher expectations for these Choc Chip Cakes. I used to have these often during my younger years and used to really quite like them. Today I was hoping this would all stay true to the current day so I could finally have something nice to say about our beloved Mr Kipling :D

Just as with the majority of all these products featured in Bits and Bobs I found these on a £1.00 deal in my local Tesco. Aesthetically and 'in-hand' these cakes looked a lot smaller than I remembered them from past times - I don't have the figures to confirm it but I'm pretty confident saying they are definitely significantly smaller than they used to be. To my delight the smaller size was thankfully no issue to the taste - they were exactly how I remembered. The sweet, vanilla noted Madeira cake was delightful and the chocolate chips were surprisingly well portioned which created a more than adequate chocolatey flavour burst. These weren't the most fulfilling of cakes because of their size and light texture, however that just gave me all the more excuse to have two :D I recommend them as a decent, cheap cake option.

7.7 out of 10

Monday, 19 September 2011

September 19th: Go*Do Organic Chocolate Selection


Back in February I put up a link on the news page directing you guys to an article talking about the launch of a new brand of chocolates called Go*Do (See HERE). A few months down the line and it wasn't long before I got the opportunity to try out a few offerings from their current range. Before I talk about my thoughts on them, it's probably worth me giving you a bit of background on the brand itself. As explained in their own press article

Go*Do was "launched in October 2010 and has proven very popular in Italy and Japan". In Italian the word GODO means to enjoy "sensual pleasure" (ooooh err!), and the bars are made by a fifth-generation Italian family in their "state-of-the-art factory near the Italian Lakes". Go*Do have total control “from bean to bar – farming the cocoa, harvesting the beans, making the chocolate and forming the bars". According to their website, the "cocoa they use is organically grown in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Peru – all areas known for high quality cocoa". Supposedly this all culminates in superb bean quality and a truly sustainable brand - I think I will be the judge of that :D

Over the past week I tried out three of their current range which I sampled in 35.0g mini bar portions. The packaging and presentation of the range was hardly what I would call unique (remarkably similar to Green & Blacks if you ask me!) but I thought it did the job nonetheless with it's paper sleeve and inner foil wrapping combo. Below are my thoughts on the bars I tried.


It made sense to start off with the plain dark chocolate offering I had so this was the first bar of theirs that I tried. My initial feelings placing the first few blocks on my tongue were rather similar to how I ended up feeling about the range as a whole - tasty but unspectacular. The first flavour influences to greet me were a plethora of milky cocoa notes and these established a pleasant unsweetened, chocolatey cocoa taste from the onset. The texture of the melt was kind and smooth - this was definitely the best paced and most pleasant mouthfeel of the three on show today. The only real thing holding this chocolate back from being one of true quality was it's lack of progression from it's initial flavour establishment. The dark chocolate taste was fresh and non-bitter, but it lacked a little depth and didn't have the definition of say a Hotel Chocolat or even a Lindt dark chocolate.

6.8 out of 10




With the above lack of flavour development evident across the plain dark chocolate I was hoping the additional coffee influence here would solve a few of these problems. To an extent the coffee factor did exactly this, however there were some additional very obvious drawbacks due to it's inclusion. The back of the pack revealed that the bar contained 10.0% coffee nibs - thats tiny little pieces of coffee beans to you unawares folk! The obvious plus side of this was that the dark now had that extra dimension of flavour, with the strong tasting coffee coming through strongly in both aroma and taste. Unfortunately the drawback of these nibs were that they were almost a complete chocolate spoiler for me, as they brought a horrible gritty feel to the mouthfeel and melt. I loved the taste of this one but texturally it wasn't nice.

7.3 out of 10



Did I do my usual trick of saving the best until last? Well no not quite, but it was still pretty good. Out of three this was the one I had least faith in - not many manufactures can make decent white chocolate so why could an infant brand like Go*Do belong in their company!? Well I'm pleased to say that Go*Do managed to do a relatively good job here - they certainly have a good base white chocolate to which I hope they will do some flavoured varieties with later down the line. Taste wise I would say it was similar to the Green & Black's vanilla white chocolate with it's light milky taste noted very lightly with a touch of well rounded bourbon vanilla. It didn't quite have the creamy long lasting taste of some of the real top white chocolates I have reviewed previously, but it was noticeably higher quality than the cheap sugary abysses of the white chocolate world.

7.1 out of 10


Overall its understandable the scores awarded here might not be too inspiring for many of you, but I hope I have got across the point that I believe Go*Do is a brand with some real potential. The chocolate itself is of a better than average quality, however I think to make themselves really stand out from a very packed market they will have to make some refinements in their packaging, presentation and possibly introduce some truly unique flavour combinations. At present I think they are positioned way too closely to the likes of Green & Blacks for them to have any decent brand cut through here in the UK. If they are to make a mark on the UK chocosphere they are going to have to offer a bit more than what they are currently bringing to the table.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

September 17th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 87 - Kellogg's Pop Tarts Frosted Blueberry

SITE UPDATE

Hi All,

Another hectic week has passed by on ChocolateMission - we've had Hotel Chocolat going bananas, Ritter Sport driving people nuts with head scratching brain ticklers and finally GU finishing us all off with some tasty looking cakey treats. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about check out the links to the reviews below ...

Hotel Chocolat Go Bananas - See HERE
Ritter Sport Noisette - See HERE
GU Anytime Chocolate Hazelnut Slice - See HERE

Hopefully you guys will have all clocked the competition going down in the Ritter Sport Noisette review ... answer me this folks ... why do the Germans use Hazelnuts so often in their chocolates? I'm accepting all answers in the comments section! We've had some brilliant answers thus far please keep them coming in.

Apologies if the site is feeling a little random at the moment in regards to my own personal responses and updating of news pages/comments etc. You might be able to tell there is a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment :D Hopefully I can fill all you guys in at a later date.

Anyway ... I'm sure you are all way more interested in what's due up next week. To be 100.0% honest with you guys I don't have a clue :D One thing you can garuntee is a Bits & Bobs post, but the other two days I will play by ear - there are so many new products flying in my way at the moment I need to get my house in order.

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 weekKellogg's Pop Tarts Frosted Blueberry
Kcal 200 Fat 5.0g Fat(sats) 1.5g (Per Pastry)

I've been opening several of my 'Snack of the Week' reviews recently with the line 'replacing my usual Bran Flakes cereal, this week I've been trying ...', but American Soda's mission to make me work through their entire collection of Pop Tarts and American cereals has meant I haven't touched my so called breakfast norm for weeks now. Indeed this week it was the turn of yet another Pop Tart flavour from the States - the Frosted Blueberry variant. From what I'm aware this Blueberry flavour is one of the oldest in Pop Tarts range. The guys from American Soda sent over a standard 8 count box - two of which I gave to a work colleague (who just so happens to be a Pop Tart enthusiast) for a second opinion.

I like pastry and I like blueberries, but boy I wasn't looking forward to these. My memories of trying the Kellogg's Strawberry Pop Tarts we get here in the UK were still fresh in my mind and that must have been over ten years ago. I remembered those being so throat scorchingly sugary sweet that I binned them after only a few bites - tried once and never again. Suffice to say fruit flavoured Pop Tarts haven't been high on the agenda since, however these Blueberry Frosted have gone some way to changing my mind. The combined brown sugar noted pastry and sweet, sticky jam filling taste still rendered the taste on the sweet side of things, though that unsettling sickly feeling that some Pop Tarts create never came to fruition. In both a chilled and toasted state I was impressed by the realness of the Blueberry fruit flavours, and I easily consumed two each sitting when washed down with a highly complimentary glass of chilled milk. For a product I was half dreading ('dreading' sounds OTT for a Pop Tart taste review doesn't it :D haha) I'm willing to eat my words on these. I enjoyed them and would have them again - now I wasn't expecting to say that.

7.7 out of 10

You can buy KELLOGG'S POP TARTS HERE HERE at AmericanSoda

CHOCOLATE NEWS

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Thursday, 15 September 2011

September 16th: GU Chocolate Hazelnut Squares

Like many people I work in a busy office environment in a job where my day-to-day workings are changing at an ever gathering pace. One thing I can always count on however is that on any given weekday at roughly 4:00 pm in the afternoon it's tea time. At this point in the day the energy levels are enhanced with caffeine and normally a small sugary snack (well for me anyway!). This week I've been treating myself to a new range from GU puds - these 'Anytime' cakes.

The 'Anytime' cakes are essentially 'snack pack' portions of GU's 'Naughties' cakes range I have featured on ChocolateMission before (you will see the links below). I found these three variants in Tesco last week at £1.00 a pack, sitting next to the likes of Mr Kipling and the Cadbury cake bars etc. At that price I felt like the single serve packs (which claim to be for sole indulgence) were hitting a premium price point that some my find off putting - what do you guys think?

Below are links to my original reviews of both the Rocky Road and Millionaire Flapjacks flavours. They remained consistently good from the big tub formats, so it is the Hazelnut Chocolate Squares we will focus mainly on today.


GU Anytime Millionaire's Flapjacks - See HERE

GU Anytime Rocky Road - See HERE

GU Anytime Chocolate Hazelnut Squares
Kcal 270 Fat 12.0g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 31.0g (per 3 squares)

To my knowledge these Chocolate Hazelnut Squares are solely being made for this new 'Anytime' range so you wont be finding them in any of the larger tub formats like seen for the two variants above. On pack these came described as (surprise-surprise!) 'Chocolate hazelnut squares, sprinkled with crunchy hazelnut pieces'. I should have heeded this as a warning as when I opened the packet I was met with a mass exodus of tiny hazelnut fragments, most of which are still stuck in-between the keyboard keys of the laptop I'm using right now.

Following a brief clean up, one of the squares finally made it's way in to my mouth - a comfortable fit given it's perfect one mouthful size. Unfortunately I have to report what followed was a largely underwhelming experience, as taste wise these didn't deliver. Chocolate flavour hit wise, these were a more than adequate set of cakes. They seemed to bring a degree of rich chocolatey flavours to the party initially, however even these came across as limited latter on in the flavour development as a layer sugary chocolate caramel interjected with a generic sweet sugary flavour input. Forgetting that, what I found most disappointing about these cakes was the lack of presence of the hazelnut in the taste. Despite the smattering of hazelnuts adourning the top of the piece, neither the bottom layer of cake or upper coating of chocolate established any sort of nutty flavours. This ultimately left me feeling very underwhelmed by these supposed Chocolate Hazelnut Squares.

6.2 out of 10



Overall I would say the Millionaire's Flapjacks and Rocky Road cakes are just about there in terms of pulling off the £1.00 price point but as far as the Chocolate Hazelnut Squares go I would seriously reconsider your purchase before investing. Have any of you guys come across these yet? Thoughts and opinions are of course most welcome.
 

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