Monday, 31 October 2011

October 31st: Cadbury Wispa Gold - ***Original Post*** September 7th 2009

*** UPDATE - October 31st 2011 ***

Kcal 265 Fat 15.1g Fat(sats) 9.0g Carbs 29.1g

I don't suppose you will have heard, but the Olympic Games are coming to London in 2012 :D Though I'm sure we are all going to grow weary of the Olympic themed marketing campaigns awaiting us, the upsides are undoubedtly going to be just as strong. Even before the big 2012 year is upon us, one of the main London 2012 sponsors has given us all a right treat - the return of one of ChocolateMission's all time favourites - the Cadbury Wispa Gold (Announcement HERE).

The Wispa Gold is indeed back in town and it has returned in the same 52.0g size of the bar we had in 2009. The wrapper has changed a little since last in marker, with the same gold foil textured wrapper having a larger emphasis on the 'GOLD' aspect of the branding to align it to the Olympic theme. The bar itself appeared consistent from previous, with the viscocity and volume of the caramel as generously flowing and appetising looking as ever.

Eagle-eyed JCM readers will have noted the minor changes in the nutritional information supplied with the 2011 bar. Recipe changes of course have to be the cause of this - JCM reader Alan has pointed to the loss of milk powder from the chocolate, and the loss of the condensed milk from the caramel as the cause and effect. So what has this done to the taste!? Well speaking as someone who was looking for differences I would say there was a noticeable edge taken away from the caramel. It had a more subtle flavour delivery - less sugary, but also less creamy and forthcoming. Speaking as someone who was analysing this all with great attention, I feel the need to stress that I expect 99.9% of people aren't going to notice (or care haha!) any differences.

Regardless of any minor changes to the caramel recipe, in my opinion this still remains one of the best chocolate bars ever made. Lets hope London 2012 brings Team GB as many gold medals as I plan to eat Cadbury Wispa Golds before the games are up. Out of everything Cadbury have done for us Games related so far, this has been by far and away their best decision.

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*** ORIGINAL - September 7th 2009 ***

Kcal 260 Fat 14.9g Fat(sats) 8.9g Carbs 29.2g

Way back in May Cadbury issued a press release confirming the return of the Cadbury Wispa Gold for a limited time for September 2009 (HERE). That almost seems like decades ago now but the time has come upon us for the bar to make its hopefully triumphant return. Seemingly Sainsbury's have got the exclusive on this bar and I managed to track one of these down in my local shop a full week ahead of its official release date (September 14th). Before I launch into the the review itself I have to hand it to the marketing department at Cadbury. Without use of any TVC or any official press ads (yet!) they have managed to create a lot of 'buzz' about the Wispa Gold and this was all to evident when I actually witnessed someone pick up a whole box when I was in Sainsbury's purchasing my seldom one. For those of you who are not UK based and are wondering what on earth this bar actually is, it is a 'textured milk chocolate bar with caramel' that got cruelly taken out of distribution a few years ago - as you have probably gathered it has been brought back as a limited edition by Cadbury for a limited period.

Lets get down to business! In line with the original Wispa bar this limited edition Gold came in a 52.0g size that certainly did its job in providing a fulfilling snack. You can probably tell already this is going to be a review full of praise but I really have to hand it to Cadbury for the wrapper - it looks awesome. The wrapper incorporates everything that it should do and I think it's fun, clean and jazzy gold look suits the Wispa brand down to the ground. As impressed as I was with the packaging I was even more glad to see the gooey caramel oozing out enticingly when I split it in half. I will keep the Kit Kat Caramel Chunky low blows to a minimum but I think there is only one winner in terms of looks when you look at the photo above compared to the paste like substance used in the aforementioned. In addition to the seductive looking golden caramel my senses were treated to the lovely familiar Cadbury chocolate smells when I split open the foil wrapper; at this point I really felt like I was in for a treat and I wasn't wrong.

As much as I was enjoying marvelling at the wrapper and taking in the tempting Cadbury aroma there was only one thing left to do and I needed no second invitation getting stuck right in. One thing I was really looking forward to was being reunited with the feel of the airated chocolate and caramel in the mouth. To cut right to the point it felt like an absolute dream and had one of the most fantastic melts in the mouth which combined the bubbly melting chocolate and luxuriously soft caramel with great effect. As amazing as the textures were the taste wasn't too far behind and the usual Cadbury chocolate flavours were substantiated within seconds producing the familiar well rounded chocolate and milk based taste. Of course supplementing the chocolate brilliantly was the caramel and it tasted as delicious as all other Cadbury caramel products. The caramel was portioned very generously comprising 35% of the bar and it brought all the expected elements of butterscotch, brown sugar and most importantly a tiny hint of salt to the taste. The only small downside to this bar I thought was that with the textures of the chocolate and caramel being as light as they were I did feel this ever so slightly detrimented the flavour longevity in the mouth. Frankly for me this was a minor issue as the whole 52.0g bar made for a more than satisfying experience that I enjoyed from my very first bite to the very last.

Overall I have to hand it to Cadbury here - they certainly didn't sell us short or cut any corners and they have ultimately delivered a bar that has given consumers exactly what they want. Way back when I started this site I came in for a bit of criticism for my review of the original Cadbury Wispa (HERE) which had just been brought back, as I basically regarded it as being very good but possibly lacking a certain something to make it really stand out from some of the best bars on the market. Having been reunited with the Wispa Gold I feel even more confident to stand by this review as it proved that what was just originally a very good bar, can be made into a superb one with the simple addition of caramel. As brilliant as this bar is would I choose it over the Cadbury Caramel? Most the time probably not - but that is only because I prefer the bar broken into chunks and the firmer Dairy Milk chocolate as opposed the airated milk chocolate used in this bar. Would I have this again? You bet I would! This is the best chocolate bar I have tried this year and lived up to all the high expectations that came with the hype. Cadbury are claiming this bar is only coming back as a limited edition but given how brilliant it tastes it wouldn't come as a surprise if this one ends up being around for the foreseeable future.

9.3 out of 10

Saturday, 29 October 2011

October 29th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 92 - Kit Kat Pumpkin Cheesecake (JPN)

SITE UPDATE

Hi All,

It's finally Halloween weekend and you may have noticed that was the theme of the week here on ChocolateMission :D Indeed following on from the Hotel Chocolat Yumpkin (See HERE) SOTW last Saturday, I this week had equally ghoulish themed posts appear on the site:

Hotel Chocolat Horrif-eyes - (See HERE)
'Bits n Bobs' Halloween Special - (See HERE)

All of those reviews were met with some really positive feedback so I can only thank you all again for that. Just as a reminder, it is likely that Hotel Chocolat will initiate I stock clearing sale this weekend so I would make sure you check out their website (See HERE) every now and then to make sure you are in and around it all when/if the time comes.

With Halloween now over for me it is all about the two month run up to Christmas! If you guys or girls have any specific requests for products you wish to see reviewed, then I would advise you to get in contact asap so I can strive to fit it in.

Thanks for your continued support of 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 weekKit Kat Pumpkin Cheesecake
Kcal 68 Fat 7.6g Carbs 32.8g

Credit for Snack of the Week today has to go to ChocolateMission reader Thea who provided me with a very generous amount of mini pumpkin cheesecake flavoured Kit Kats that a friend of her's had brought back from holiday - Thanks again Thea!!

To the intrigue of my work colleagues I have pulling out these bright yellow coloured, 12.5g Kit Kats during tea breaks at work this week. As one my suspect, the pictures of the smiley faced pumpkins on the wrappers drew many a question - once I told them what they were not many were willing to give one a try, which was frankly their loss :D These Kit Kats might not be everyones cup of tea (NPI), but I found them to be very tasty indeed and highly reminiscent of the custard pudding flavour I once tried (HERE). The creamy outer white chocolate was noted with a mild fruity sweetness that contrasted nicely with the slightly salty wafer and subtle cheesiness of the crème fantastically - the combination was fantastic. As I say with all these things, it would have been nice to have tried this in a larger format such as a Chunky or four-finger, but judged purely on taste these were great.

7.8 out of 10


Delivered chocolate gifts from Hotel ChocolatHave you seen the Hotel Chocolat Halloween line up this year? SEE HERE

CHOCOLATE NEWS

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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

October 26th: 'Bits n Bobs' - Halloween Special 2011

Right you ghoulish guys and girls - it's time for the Jim's ChocolateMission 'Bits n Bobs' Halloween Special 2011! What on earth does that mean!? Nothing on your part you will be glad to hear :D All the effort of eating and photographing all these Halloween themed confectionery treats has been done by your's truly. I hope you enjoy the photos and the mini reviews. Halloween isn't my favourite holiday in the world but these reviews have been fun to do.
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Cadbury Freaky Fingers
Kcal 105 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 3.1g Carbs 12.8g (per 4 fingers)
'Crisp biscuits covered with white chocolate'.


We have what appeared to be a little bit of a lazy one from Cadbury here! Not only was the name of these rather similar to a Mr Kipling offering I reviewed not so long ago - See HERE (N.B. they have been around for several years!!), but these Cadbury Freaky Fingers were simply just a dressed up version of the Cadbury Dream Fingers - See HERE. The only difference between the two products was that these Fiendish Fingers came with the biscuit innards dyed a rather funky looking red/pink colour. They still tasted surprisingly nice for biscuits coated in cheap white chocolate, and the pack I bought for work was hoovered in seconds. Nothing new to see here, but what the hell I'm feeling generous ... ChocolateMission recommended :D

8.0 out of 10


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Hotel Chocolat Milk & Yummy Bones
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???
'Spookily life-sized - 40% milk chocolate and creamy white chocolate'.


Changing tact somewhat we move from the £1.00 biscuits to this mammoth-sized offering from our friends Hotel Chocolat. Described as the 'Perfect centrepiece for your Halloween party or simply to keep you company through the long night' I cannot disagree that this massive chocolate skull is the business. I needn't bore you with the details of how utterly delectable both chocolate types are - you must know that by now :D The main talking point of the product has to be it's sheer size (450.0g!!), which the packaging claims to serve eight people ... more like eight-hundred if you ask me! At £15.00 a pop it's one of the more expensive chocolate foodstuffs to splash the cash on this year. If you were to part ways with your cash though I can't imagine you being left disappointed.

8.9 out of 10


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McVities Jaffa Spooky Cake Bars
Kcal 96 Fat 3.5g Fat(sats) 1.8g Carbs 15.2g (per bar)
'Bittersweet dark crackly chocolate, light sponge and zingy orange centre.'


This isn't a review as such ... it's a conundrum :D :D .... and it could potentially carry a prize (a Ritter Sport bar of some sort of course haha!!) if the answer to the question is a) interesting or b) difficult to find! What's the question you beg to ask!? Well it's not is the Jaffa Cake Bar a biscuit or a cake ... that we know the answer to :D It's more:

'How can the original Jaffa Cake Bars (See HERE) have 129 calories in them, yet these 'Spooky Cake Bars', which just so happen to be the SAME VERY THING & SIZE!!!, have 96 calories'???????

It's a mystery! What's not a mystery is how jaffa-licous they are.

7.2 out of 10


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Fabulous Bakin' Boys Spooky Blackcurrant & Apple Cupcakes
Kcal 139 Fat 8.0g Fat(sats) 4.0g Carbs 16.2g (per Cake)
'Apple flavour sponge with a blackcurrant flavour topping'


Last up today we have our third Tesco £1.00 deal, seasonal special, these Fabulous Bakin' Boys Spooky Blackcurrant And Apple Cupcakes. My past reviews of FBB's Cupcakes should have told me to stay clear of further varieties, but there was something about the apple and blackcurrant cake proposition and the interesting look of the pack that managed to capture my attention, so I thought I would give them one last chance. As I should have pre-empted these apple and blackcurrant followed a very familiar pattern - lovely tasting base cake but with a really quite disgusting waxy feeling topping. Indeed on the positive side of things the bottom layer of apple cake was divine and manage to integrate a pleasant, real tasting cinnamon noted apple element to the standard vanilla sponge. Unfortunately just as is always the case, the topping placed on top of the cake had a hideous mouth feel, and came across as horrendously fake feeling and unnatural. The blackcurrant flavours it produced were a little crumb of comfort - they had a nice tarty zingyness to them which contrasted nicely with the sweeter apple. If you aren't one to be put off by the texture of the toppings of these cupcakes then I would feel comfortable suggesting them to try.

6.8 out 10

Monday, 24 October 2011

October 24th: Hotel Chocolat Horrif-Eyes


Delivered chocolate gifts from Hotel ChocolatHave you seen the Hotel Chocolat Halloween line up this year? SEE HERE
Just as promised from my weekend post I today continue our countdown to Halloween with another offering from the Hotel Chocolat Halloween 2011 range. After starting off with the rather plain (yet very cool looking Hotel Chocolat Yumpkin - See HERE), I thought I better shake things up with one of the more exciting looking new products to the range this year - I introduce you to the Hotel Chocolat Horif-Eyes. When looking over the brochure for this years range, these Horif-Eyes stood out as one the cooler looking new additions, and the sound of 'sticky toffee sauce in a white chocolate shell' sounded like it would be right up my street.

Weighing a total of 80.0g the package arrived inclusive of six large sized (two bite minimal!) truffles. Looking at the packaging and product from the outside I thought it had a cool look and liked the clever use of the chocolates to create the weird looking eyes that stared out from the box. Whilst that effect created a talking point and a topic of discussion, I found the use of the standard truffle cube shapes puzzling and a tad uninspired considering the potential of what they could have done - make sure you send me your ideas :D

Disappointment at the lacking themed shapes of these truffles was forgotton instantly once taste testing commenced - I believe the phrase used was "forget what they look like, these are delicious". Those words were spoken by the 'old man' whislt doing the photography (and sampling - hard job eh!?) and he is a long time toffee fan. At first I was surprised by his reaction as I expected him to comment that they were too sweet; once I tasted one myself a minute later I soon realised that this was Hotel Chocolat white chocolate we had here - not Cadbury Dream haha :D Indeed rather than a barrage of sugary flavours being offered, the taste was led into a creamy milk rooted direction with an undertone of vanilla bourbon making for a light, yet definitive base. At the heart of each truffle the real treat of the sticky toffee sauce lay in wait, and boy did it give the most sensational mouthfeel with it's viscous, soft as silk texture. The toffee element flavour wise added influences of butter, salt and further creamyness wrapped in a brown sugar base - it brought a real smile to my face!

Overall I think the 'old man' summed it up perfectly with his conclusion of these being 'delicious'. A sceptic (*ahem* not me *ahem*) may have thought the sound of white chocoalte and a sugar based filling may have be excessivelly sweet, but the combination here was very well put together. Being the all time perfectionist, I would have liked the chocolates to have been themed more towards the 'Horif-Eyes' billing, especially considering how cool they made the outer packaging look with the truffle stare effect. If they were going whole-hog Halloween they might have also flirted with the idea of adding a touch of spiced apple, which I think could have enhanced the variety of flavours to an even grander level. Lets not worry about those minor points though, these were brilliant and I give them a big thumbs and ChocolateMission recommendation.

8.8 out 10

Saturday, 22 October 2011

October 22nd: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Editiion 91 - Hotel Chocolat Yumpkin

SITE UPDATE

Hi All,

It's been another long working week at my day job so I again must apologise for the lack of a review yesterday. There would have been no way for me to check that the content was all correct or allow comments to get through so I thought best to save the review for a different time. In case you missed them we had two posts entertaining us (hopefully anyway haha!) this week.

Hotel Chocolat Munch it - Crunch it - See HERE
Kellogg's Krave Chocolate Caramel & Krave Totally Chocolatey - See HERE

Next week I hope the posting schedule will return to normal (Monday/Wednesday/Friday), I just hope my recent three post a week failings haven't lost me too many readers :D Just so you know I haven't been 100.0% lazy this week :D the news page has been updated - See HERE. If you have any further stories to contribute please get in contact.

Next week I'm sure a lot of you will be pleased to hear that the rest of the Halloween reviews will land on the site. I wont spoil what you will see but there is a good representation from several different brands.

Enjoy your weekend everyone - thanks for your continued support of 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 weekHotel Chocolat Yumpkin

Ladies & Gentlemen - due to popular demand and I'm glad to announce that the Hotel Chocolat Halloween 2011 reviews START NOW!!! :D Indeed, after receiving a deluge of reader requests I'm finally in a position to offer you guys my views on some of the new additions to the Hotel Chocolat range this year. I have to say guys, it's been a terrible process to have to go through - I'm sure you will all be glad to hear I have made it through these tough times :D

Snack of the Week just had to be this Hotel Chocolat Yumpkin chocolate which has been gracing my work desk being slowly nibbled away at. Described as a hollow milk chocolate pumpkin, this one was more about it's funky design and look rather anything ground breaking chocolate wise. It broke my heart breaking into the smiley faced little man, but the urge for the chocolate became too much by Monday mid-afternoon :D The chocolate itself was actually a different recipe in terms of it's cocoa percentage (35.0% vs the standard 40.0%!) but it was still pretty much gave the same experience with it's cream based sweet milky cocoa flavours ever progressive. Tasty, fun looking and a sensible price - it sounds like good Halloween gifting to me!

7.9 out of 10


Delivered chocolate gifts from Hotel ChocolatHave you seen the Hotel Chocolat Halloween line up this year? SEE HERE

CHOCOLATE NEWS

Visit the ChocolateMission news page for all the latest developments in the Chocolate market ... Click the banner below ....

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

October 19th: Kellogg's Krave Chocolate Caramel & Krave Totally Chocolatey


I'm sure a lot of my UK readers would have noticed the big marketing push that Kellogg's have put behind their Krave cereal in the last month. In a nutshell, Kellogg's have devised a £1.7 million advertising campaign (with full in-store support!!) that gives shoppers the opportunity to vote on Facebook (See HERE) for their favourite of two flavours. Kellogg’s will then roll out the winner from 1 January 2012 as a permanent addition to its stable of Krave cereals.

I have to hand it to Kellogg's - for a campaign targeted at 16-25 year olds they are hitting me in every channel possible. Every TV ad break, every bus stop shelter, every underground poster, even on the Internet - I'm being posed the question Krave Chocolate Caramel or Krave Totally Chocolatey?

Check out below for my thoughts, photos, scores and conclusions to this quandary:

Kellogg's Krave Chocolate Caramel
'Crispy caramel cereal shells with a chocolate centre'
Kcal 188 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 27.0g (per 30.0g with 125ml Semi-Skimmed Milk)


This was the first I tried, and was the one that I imagined would be my favourite out of the two before conducting my taste test. Although visually imperatively with their funky looking cheetah style aesthetics, taste wise they didn't do much in the way to inspire. The promised caramel element was for me never forthcoming, with the wheaty taste of the cereal only enhanced by the sweet chocolate flavoured centres to a mild degree. To be honest I couldn't really tell that there was much difference from the original Krave (See HERE) apart from the lacking hazelnut.

6.1 out of 10



Kellogg's Krave Totally Chocolatey
'Crispy chocolatey cereal shells with a chocolate hazelnut centre'
Kcal 191 Fat 7.0g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 26.0g (per 30.0g with 125ml Semi-Skimmed Milk)


This Totally Chocolatey variant had noticeably larger sized pieces compared to any of the other three Krave flavours I had tried previously. Not only were the cereal pieces bigger, but they were also the clear winner in terms of taste - I'm not the biggest lover of kiddie cereals (I'm a boring old Bran Flakes man haha!!) but this one was pretty damn good. The outer shells pieces were as promised very chocolatey, and they reminded me instantly of Nesquick cereal. Inside the gooey chocolate filling parts delivered a delightful creamy flavour input that had a suggestion of salty, woody hazelnut which livened up the overall taste no end. Ladies and gentlemen we had ourselves a winner!!

7.0 out of 10


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So the Jim's ChocolateMission ruling says that Krave's Totally Chocolatey is the clear winner out of the two. What do you guys think? Do you have a favourite? Will you be passing up the opportunity to cast your vote at all :D :D :D Drop me a comment with your thoughts!

Monday, 17 October 2011

October 17th: Hotel Chocolat Munch It - Crunch It

Delivered Chocolate Gifts from Hotel Chocolat
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

In due course you will all be getting exposed to my reviews of this years Hotel Chocolat 2011 Halloween and Christmas ranges, but before I give you them I feel the need to cover off a reader request I received a month or so ago from devoted JCM Matt. According to Matt's e-mail he first came across this slab a while back on a trip to one of Hotel Chocolat's own brand stores (the one in Birmingham), where he was given a sample and enjoyed it so much he subsequently bought the whole slab. Following his positive experience Matt insisted a Chocolate Mission review be conducted. A few e-mails later between Matt, myself and my pals at Hotel Chocolat and this quickly became a reality.

This Munch It - Crunch It slab came in a 200.0g format and has not long been in the Hotel Chocolate range. In terms of size I preferred this style of slab to the 100.0g chunkier ones as it meant it was far easier to break apart - this was something my Mother went on about no end! Looks wise it wasn't the prettiest slab I had ever had grace my gaze from the Hotel Chocolat crew, but hey, it looked nice enough and I liked the fact that the mini cookie pieces didn't fall off like so many other chocolates where they weren't as deep set.

Described as 'caramel flavoured milk chocolate decorated with cocoa biscuits and white chocolate' this sounded like like a very straight forward proposition and one none to dissimilar to several other Hotel Chocolat slabs I had reviewed previously - See HERE. Being a seasoned veteran of Hotel Chocolat caramel chocolate I was surprised by the depth of flavour greeting me when I got stuck in to this slab. Previous experiences had seen me describe the chocolate as having 'creamy burnt sugar notes' and that it delivered a 'cream based butterscotch taste'. With this slab, whilst these flavours were still pretty much there, I felt like they got diluted just a little bit by the sweetness coming the white chocolate. The cocoa biscuit pieces provided a nice crunchy element to the smooth melting chocolate, but as ever with these mini cookie bits I didn't feel like they would have been missed had they not been there. Aside from the looks, one positive element that I can say about the white chocolate was that it at least bought an element of vanilla to the taste.

Overall this was a slab that was liked by everyone I tried it with etc, but as you see from the scoring chart it didn't quite match up to some of the finer tasting chocolates I had reviewed previously. Hotel Chocolat's caramel chocolate is one of my favourite recipes of theirs, so to taste it and feel like it was being a little hampered by the other elements included on the slab was a touch disappointing. Reading this all back I hope no one takes out a negative sentiment towards this chocolate. It was still a cut above 90.0% of chocolates I try on a regular basis - just in the context of Hotel Chocolat there are a few I would recommend instead. To see which ones I suggest you head to the archives HERE and feast your eyes.

8.0 out of 10

Delivered Chocolate Gifts from Hotel Chocolat

Saturday, 15 October 2011

October 15th: '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' - Edition 90 - Corny Big Chocolate-Banana

SITE UPDATE

Hi All,

I hope you all enjoyed the posts this week. If you missed out on them then you can view them here:

'Bits n Bobs' - Hotel Chocolat - See HERE
Ritter Sport Interview 2011 - See HERE

Next week will follow a similar pattern to last with a Hotel Chocolat post Monday and then a special feature coming up Wednesday which will take you up until the end of the week. Apologies for the brief update this week, it has all got rather busy on the day job and thus there has been limited time for site maintenance. I will update the news page later today so make sure you pay it a visit HERE.

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 weekCorny Big Chocolate-Banana
Kcal 212 Fat 7.6g Carbs 32.8g

I'm always saying ChocolateMission readers are the best on the net and further evidence of this was supplied to me once again by JCM friend and frequent contributor Thea. Indeed, Thea has recently been most kind to send me over a package containing a selection of Hungarian chocolates for me to review. In the midst of all those chocolates, Thea also included this German cereal bar made by a company called Hero, the Corny Big Chocolate Banana.

Now I've reviewed and eaten many a cereal bar in my lifetime but this one proved to be a real delight. Out it's packet the cereal bar didn't appear all that special, though it had a pungent sweet, artifical banana smell that reminded me of the banana foam sweets I used to buy as a kid. At first I didn't find this bar all that spectacular, but the more I ate, the more I enjoyed it, and the dried banana pieces which had congregated mostly near the centre of the bar provided a delicious, real tasting banana fruityness to the museli cereal base. Whatsmore the chocolate fusing underside actually provided a sufficent chocolate hit for each mouthful - how often can you say that about cereal bars that have chocolate involved. Cereal bars can often be ... well ... boring, this one wasn't, and I would buy it often if I could.

8.3 out of 10


Delivered chocolate gifts from Hotel ChocolatHave you seen the Hotel Chocolat Halloween line up this year? SEE HERE

CHOCOLATE NEWS

Visit the ChocolateMission news page for all the latest developments in the Chocolate market ... Click the banner below ....

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

October 12th: Ritter Sport Interview 2011


I have a special post for you all today - an interview with my friends over at the Ritter Sport Blog - SEE HERE. These guys were kind enough to answer some of the questions that always seem to crop up whenever Ritter are featured on the site. I hope you enjoy this post - pictured intermittently throughout are some pictures of their Christmas range 2011. Thanks so much to the Ritter Sport team who supplied me with the answers :D

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1. What are the top 3 best selling Ritter flavours and does it vary a lot by country?

UK:
1. Marzipan
2. Whole Hazelnuts
3. Peppermint

GER:
1. Whole Hazelnuts
2. Praline
3. Alpine Milk Chocolate

World:
1. Whole Hazelnuts
2. Dark Whole Hazelnuts
3. White Whole Hazelnuts

In general you can say the most successful flavours are the ones with nuts.


2. Who comes up with all the different flavours and are they running out of ideas?

Sometimes we ask customers which kind of flavour they would like in a chocolate or we think about what would be a good flavour/taste for the (special) season like spring, summer or winter. Another possibility is to meet with our department of Research and Development and ask them if they have discovered any interesting and new flavours lately. Yet there are still a lot of flavours to come 


3. Why is there currently such a poor selection in the UK? Do you have plans to expand your range over here?

UK is not a big selling market yet. Less/no distribution in lots of markets ‘cause we are a nonfamous brand in the UK. But we do our best to change it. We work on it.  -> London besides has a good distribution as you can find enclosed.


4. Have you ever made any TV commercials?

Yes, we have commercials (for promotions and standard flavours) in some countries, especially Germany, Italy, Russia, Netherlands and we also started with some in the USA this autumn.
5. What is it like working at Ritter?

It’s fun to work at Ritter Sport. It’s a good working atmosphere, maybe the secret is that it is a family business and the owner is also in the company. Working in the marketing department gives me the opportunity to form the brand individually. Besides, I can work with a lot of different types of people and every day is different from the other. It is never boring to work for RITTER SPORT!


6. What is the business performance of Ritter like in these times of strained global finances?

Difficult question, I give you more information to that next week.


7. Are you ever going to create these flavours?
a. Caramel
b. Peanut Butter
c. Chilli
d. Sea Salt
e. Marshmallow
f. Coconut


We already sell Caramel + Nuts in Germany. We also had Coconut in our variety of goods. Peanuts are not included in the process of produktion any more because of the allgergy subject. We don’t have different machines to produce each product.


8. Why did you stop selling the Cocos bar?

We had low sales figures/demand for the Cocos so we had to take it out of our variety of goods. But we are thinking about a come back. We’ll see what happens.9. Who would you say is your biggest competitor?

Our biggest competitor is “Milka”. They sell the same chocolate bar products like us and have also the same target group.


10. Are Ritter planning on expanding in the future? If so what markets are they going after?

I give you more information to that next week.


11. Are Ritter ever going to change their packaging? Aren’t you running out of colours now?

In January 2010 we had a packaging relaunch. We changed the old pack with golden wings on both sides into their packaging colour. No, we didn’t run out of colours yet. There are still some left for new types.


12. Why are all your Bars Square shaped? Why not round or rectangular?

It’s quite easy it’s part of our brand label “Quality. Chocolate. Squared.”
Besides, it´s a unique selling proposition which differentiates us from other brands in the market.


13. Have you ever made a flavour that has been really unsuccessful?

No, we didn’t have an unsuccessful chocolate bar yet. It’s more than the demand declined 


14. What have Ritter got planned for Christmas 2011?

In Germany we are selling Advent calendars, “Gold Edition”-stars (It’s Extra Fine Milk Chocolate with 40% Cacao, packed in star design) and Christmas trees filled with tiny “Gold Edition” bars.


15. Why do you use hazelnuts in so many of your chocolates?

As you can see in your first question chocolate with hazelnuts is worldwide a big seller for Ritter Sport. Lots of different countries like the special hazelnut chocolate.
16. What is your favourite chocolate blog to read  ???

www.ritter-sport.de/blog and of course http://www.chocolatemission.net/ 


17. What are your favourite Ritter Sport flavours?

I don’t really have a favourite flavour. I like many different Ritter Sport chocolate bars ‘cause they are all good in their own way. Depends on the season and the mood!

Monday, 10 October 2011

October 10th: 'Bits n Bobs' - Hotel Chocolat

How do I make three weeks of no Hotel Chocolat reviews up to my readers!? Why I do them a special 'Bits n Bobs' themed Hotel Chocolat post of course :D I hope you all enjoy the mini-reviews today. Another big thank you must go to my 'old man' for the photography skills and expert second opinions. On we go ...
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Hotel Chocolat Turkish Delight Rose & Lemon

First up today we have a product that probably should been placed in a 'Snack of the Week' feature given it's non-chocolate content - ho hum I think we will all survive :D Billed as a 'mixture of lemon & rose flavoured Turkish delight pieces' these came beautifully presented in what appeared to be a handmade wooden box. Unique? ... yes, impressive looking? ... most certainly, great tasting Turkish Delight? ... unfortunately not.

Despite being a family of Turkish delight lovers, this selection of lemon and rose flavoured pieces went down about as well as a Big Mac at a Michelin Star restaurant. Trying these out with my family, there were complaints from the off, with the less than solidified gloopy texture causing many a grumble due to its horrible stickiness and 'stick to your teeth' mouth feel. I wish I could say the taste was a whole lot better, but both the rose and lemon flavours were frankly well off the mark, and were horrendously sweet and fake tasting. Given the brand on offer here we were probbably expecting too much, but it says it all when all three Turkish delight fans were yearning after the rather cheaper alternative Fry's.

4.4 out of 10


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Hotel Chocolat Oysters & Champagne

Back to what Hotel Chocolat know best, and surprise, surprise right back on form. This Oysters & Champagne selection came billed as 'Praline filled milk chocolate oysters served with pearls of champagne ganache'. As one might suspect, such a premium themed product demanded some premium style packaging - Hotel Chocolat didn't disappoint here. Hopefully the photos say it all for me - the box was beautifully decorated and the chocolates looked sensationally detailed and presented.

It really came as no surprise that every chocolate in this package was savoured until the very last was devoured. Praline and champagne truffles are two things that Hotel Chocolat are frankly most notable for - a simple search of the ChocolateMission archives could have told you this HERE and HERE. Suffice to say the Oysters and truffles here were totally in line with standards. The Oysters looked amazingly detailed and delivered their creamy hazelnut goodness. The Champagne truffles again oozed class with the sensationally balanced boozie champagne flavours embedded in the most delicious soft chocolate ganache. This packages gifting potential is only matched by it's self indulgence credibility.

8.9 out of 10


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Hotel Chocolat Marzipan

Lets be frank - never in a million years was this package including a Hotel Chocolat Marzipan Ingot and Hotel Chocolat Almond Marzipan truffles going to be anything other than magnificent. As well as being a family of Turkish Delight lovers (so we thought anyway!), we also happen to be rather partial to marzipan so with that we weren't ever going to turn down the chance to try this marzipan themed addition to the new Hotel Chocolat 'Spotlight On' range.

The total package included eight individual chocolates and one large ingot slab - a net weight of 175.0g. On the eye everything looked fantastic. The ingot could perhaps of done with a little more decoration, however everything else was very much in keeping with Hotel Chocolat's ultra high standards. Taste wise I've always said that Hotel Chocolat is just a little off Niederegger and I can only further reaffirm this view. Being just a 'little off' is no bad thing of course. Hotel Chocolat marzipan still has a delicious pastry dough almondy taste and the chocolate is of course a cut above that used by Niederegger. This is a chocolate set that any marzipan lover would adore and it's one I will be buying at Christmas to settle the marzipan pangs I always get round that time of year. An easy recommendation.

8.4 out of 10


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Hotel Chocolat have just put up their Christmas & Halloween ranges. I suggest you all check them out HERE
Delivered chocolate gifts from Hotel Chocolat
 

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