May 30th: Bits & Bobs Misc 2012 # 1

Bits & Bobs is the order of the day so as usual these reviews will all be short and sweet. Enjoy the pictures and please use the Jim's ChocolateMission Pinterest (HERE) and @Chocmission Twitter feeds (HERE) to give me your own thoughts on any of the products featured today.
Milka Loffel Ei Chocolate Cream

Kcal 570 Fat 37.0g Carbs 53.0g (per 100.0g)

Easter may be long gone but JCM reader Catherine insisted that I try these chocolate cream flavoured Milka Loffel Ei eggs after she sampled them on holiday in Germany earlier this year. Indeed Catherine enjoyed them so much she brought me back my own pack of four (136.0g) and was kind enough to send them long to me. These eggs were essentially the same as the original Milka Loffel Ei (review HERE) apart from the obvious substitution of the milk flavoured creme with the chocolate one. When I say the same I literally mean the same! Even three years on since trying the original cream eggs the packaging and presentation was entirely consistent with each egg foil wrapped and accompanied by a cute little spoon for the inner cream. Now, to the all important taste test and unfortunately I have to report that I didn't quite think theses stacked up against the milk cream ones. The inner cream was pleasant and accentuated the creamy sweet flavours of the Milka milk chocolate, but it didn't have the creamy qualities of the aforementioned originals. I still really enjoyed these but given the option between the milk cream or the chocolate cream Loffel Ei I would have to go with the milk ones.

8.0 out of 10

Kellogg's All Bran Chocolate Breakfast Biscuits
Kcal 167 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 2.0g Carbs 21.0g (per 40.0g)

One of the most common questions I'm forever being e-mailed about is 'is this (insert dodgy brand name X here!) healthy chocolate good for me!??'. Ninety-nine times out of one-hundred I politely respond back with an e-mail pointing out the ridiculousness of the question. Yes, a sensible amount is of course good for you, it will make you happy and to me at least that's a good and healthy thing! On the other hand, consuming ten tons of the stuff is not going to be a good thing for any of us - not at least for our waistlines. What I often do out of courtesy is point people in the direction of some of the 'healthier' chocolate flavoured alternative products I've tried down the years. Falling nicely into that very category today are these new Kellogg's All Bran Chocolate Breakfast Biscuits. I found these a few weeks ago in Tesco priced at a rather expensive sounding £2.39 (6 bar multi-pack) and promising 'bran enriched wheat and oat fibre cereal bars with chocolate chips'. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that these are going to be your 'chocolate heaven; the bran cereal is certainly the dominant element of the taste, but the chocolate chips do bring a chocolatey influence to pretty much every bite. Like I said, chocolate heaven maybe not, but as a healthier alternative these are certainly more satisfying than many of the lighter weight sugar intensive chocolate cereal bars out there. Give them a try and tell me what you think.

7.1 out of 10

Nestle Aero Biscuits Mint

Kcal 99 Fat 5.4g Fat(sats) 3.1g Carbs 11.2g (per biscuit bar)

I've commented a few times in the last year about the recent explosion of new Aero products we've seen released here in the UK. Lambs, dark chocolates, reappearing orange bars ... you name Aero have done it recently! Though a lot of these have been re-released or repackaged old products one of the more innovative creations of late has been their venture into the chocolate biscuit aisle. April 2011 I gave you my views on the first product from this very range - See HERE. Twelve months on Aero have seen fit to add some more of their flavours to the chocolate biscuit aisle, one of which is this new mint variety. These mint bars are available in multipacks of seven, and yes of course cost me the token £1.00 on offer in my local supermarket. Packaging and presentation wise these maintained a lot of consistency from the standard Aero range. One thought I did have is that is thought they look attractive enough they might not be too similar looking to the normal Aero bars!? Perhaps a little more could be made of the 'Biscuit' element in this sense ... just a thought!? Minor concerns over the wrappers aside when it came to the taste test I was duly impressed. The long finger pieces made for a comfortable two bites with the extra golden biscuit pieces lining the base adding minor enhancements to both the taste and texture with an element of shortbread crunch.As expected the milk chocolate and mint taste was standard Aero fair - sweet and milky with a friendly, non-threatening peppermint coolness. I know that chocolate biscuit products are traditionally smaller but I could have done with these being a little larger; one can only suspect they were this small to keep below the 99 calorie glass ceiling. To summise I would happily recommend these to mint chocolate biscuit fans. Not all that satisfying but they are hardly going to damage you in the pocket.

7.7 out of 10

ION Break Milk Chocolate
Kcal 234 Fat 14.0g Fat(sats) 9.0g Carbs 23.0g (per 42.5g serving) 

ION!?? Who!? What!? Where!? Allow Wiki to do the honours ...

"Ion is a Greek chocolate brand. Although the first chocolate recipe has been manufactured since 1927, the company was formally incorporated in 1930. The main factory is located in Athens and they are best known for their almond milk chocolate variety. The company has grown to be one of Greece’s 50 largest companies with annual sales of over €100 million."

Hands-up if you had heard of them before reading this ... no ... me neither!!! My ION education started when I came across this chocolate in my local Tesco supermarket. When I first saw it my immediate thought was that this as a new 'knock-off' Ritter Sport brand as the packaging and presentation of the bar was deeply reminiscent of the German brand with it's square shape and plastic foil wrapper. Indeed, just like any Ritter bar the chocolate was segregated into a 4x4 block grid and broke with ease. This was simply ION's milk chocolate variety and was a 29.0% cocoa recipe. The aromas emanating from the chocolate were highly indicative of the taste that followed with strong vanilla scents forthcoming from the outset. The flavour and melt development of the chocolate was ultimately sound. It had a nice enough paced melt and the taste progressed from a mild, friendly sugary cocoa base, to an aftertaste most notable for it's aforementioned vanilla influence. At the end of the day, this was hardly a chocolate that set my world on fire but at the same time I can see why it's probably universally liked in Greece. It's not a chocolate you need to search out as a must try, but if your curious to try some Greek chocolate then I would suggest it as a nice enough one to start with. 

7.2 out of 10