April 4th: Bits & Bobs: Easter Special

I have to say the 'new' products this Easter haven't been all that exciting here in the UK. As you will see below in my many mini reviews, a lot of the chocolates aren't really new at all - just simply repacked or slightly adapted offerings from last year. Apologies these might not be the most exciting reviews ever, but hey, I can only work with what these companies put out there :D

MaltEaster Mini Bunnies
Kcal 62 Fat 3.5g Fat(sats) 2.0g Carbs(sugars) 6.2g (per Bunny)

Up until the Cadbury Caramel Bunnies showed up on the scene in 2010, Mars's MaltEaster Bunny was the holder of the 'Battle of the Bunnies' title (See HERE). Three years on from the original release (Review HERE), Mars have seen fit to introduce these MaltEaster Mini Bunnies. These Mini Bunnies came in a 58.0g packet which contained 5 individually wrapped bunny chocolates. As one would have hoped for, these were exactly as you would have expected i.e. there were no changes in content proportions or presentation- everything seemed to be just scaled back to accommodate the smaller size. With that said I'm sure it will come as no surprise at all to anyone to hear that I did indeed like these. The milk chocolate was sweet as always, but it suited the inner malty centre and the honeycomb bits added both crunch and pleasant notes of honey to create the Malteser experience. I guess my only gripe with these is the fact you only get 5 in the packet - that's neither enough to share or to last one person a reasonable amount of time before the bag is empty. The fact everywhere seems to be doing two of the original MaltEaster Bunnies at 2 for £1.00 does make a recommendation to buy these a little harder.

7.2 out of 10

Nestle Aero Mint LambKcal 146 Fat 8.3g Carbs 16.3g

This is by no means a complaint but it feels like I've been reviewing so called 'New' Aero products for like the past year. If you have a look back across the last 12 months, to just name a few we've had the resurgence of the Aero Orange (See HERE), the limited edition Aero Dark (See HERE), the Aero Biscuit (See HERE) and of course last Easter's Aero Lamb (See HERE). In my 2011 review of the Aero lamb I concluded by saying that there was "really nothing too special about these lambs. They are simply Aero milk chocolate, shaped as lamb figurines". Well one of two things happened ... circumstance 1) The Aero team read JCM and saw the error of their ways ... circumstance 2) The Aero team got feedback from everyone bemoaning the lack of ingenuity - lets just say it was a combination on the two eh :D Now credit where credit is due, Nestle have listened and have adapted the Aero Lamb for 2012. As you will have gathered we now have a mint flavoured Lamb on our hands and I personally think that has benefited the product in two main ways. As is the case when it comes to the normal Aero bars, I prefer the extra depth to the taste that the peppermint brings to the party, and there's no doubting the Lambs look a bit funkier with the dayglow green centre. The Nestle Aero Lamb Mint is still no life changing chocolate, but it's an improvement on last years effort.

7.7 out of 10

Galaxy Bubbles EggKcal 155 Fat 9.5g Carbs 15.3g (per egg)

If you've made it this far down the review today congratulations!! The bad news is your now looking at what is probably the most boring 'New' product for Easter 2012 :D Indeed enter stage left the magnificently innovative (/sarcasm) Galaxy Bubbles Egg. This 28.0g bad boy is the latest in the seemingly endless supply of new aerated chocolates here in the UK. I understand times are hard for manufactures and they are having to look at maximising profits, but come on guys give us a break with all the chocolates containing 'added air' please. Boy what on earth can I say about this egg to make it sound exciting!??? ... sorry I've failed! This was your standard Galaxy milk chocolate with yes, you guessed it ... a bubbly inner centre. Don't get me wrong you wont be offended by this at all should you buy or be given one, but I can only sum this up by saying you can certainly find more exciting chocolates to feast on this Easter.

7.0 out of 10

Thorntons Caramel Melts EggKcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) Carbs ???

'Take an existing product, shape into an egg/bunny rabbit design and stick a 'NEW' sticker on it!??' ... Thorntons couldn't miss out on the action could they now!? ... No is the answer! Indeed displayed in all it's glorious form above we have this Thorntons Caramel Melts Egg. The Melts range has been out for the best part of two years now (Reviews HERE) and I'm frankly surprised they have lasted as long as they have. Whilst I'm surprised we haven't seen any spin-off limited edition flavours for the Melts range, I guess Thorntons just couldn't resist squashing them into an egg shape and giving it the 'Easter 2012' treatment. Last years Praline Melts Egg (See HERE) has now been joined by this Caramel Melts Egg, one that comes described as 'gooey caramel in a milk chocolate shell'. Bought on a 3 for £1.00 deal I thought it represented pretty good value for money and the milk chocolate had a noticeably slower, smoother melt compared to the more sugary chocolates of the more common brands above. Unfortunately I thought the caramel wasn't as tasty as some of the more commonplace options on the market. Compared to the Galaxy and Cadbury caramel eggs the golden filling here lacked the butteryness and depth of flavour. These aren't a bad little option but not offering anything above or below whats out there already.

7.5 out of 10