July 18th: Bits n Bobs July 2012

Well what do we have here then!? Why we have a selection of chocolate randoms I've come across in July of course :-D As ever with 'Bits n Bobs', these are short, snappy reviews of chocolate goodies that didn't quite merit the full JCM treatment. If you can think of any products I've missed or just have some general feedback, please don't hesitate to drop me a line on Twitter @Chocmission

London Olympics 2012 Caramel Shortcake
Kcal 74 Fat 3.8g Fat(sats) 2.1g Carbs 9.3g (per Bite)

With less than one month until the games kick off I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass me by bigging up London 2012. Over the last few weeks I've been a little critical about all the corny limited edition products bearing the GB flag, but even I couldn't help myself when I saw these London Olympics 2012 Caramel Shortcake Mini-Bites. I will save you all the trouble of reading another rant of mine about the terrible logo design but I just have to comment on the awful choice of colours to symbolise the games - seriously who on earth decided we were back in the 80s shell suit decade? When did these washed out washed blue and pink colours become fashionable again!?? ... ok ... I'll stop it there before I get to into this! To more important matters, these Caramel Shortcake mini bites came with no company branding, however the packaging informed me they were made by the Finsbury Food Group in the UK.They were described on the back as 'crunchy biscuit base with a layer of caramel, topped with smooth milk chocolate and edible transfer' .... mmmm.... transfer :-) Mock I may but the Olympic logos on top of the chocolate looked pretty cool and it showed at least some effort had gone to incorporate the Olympic theme. Taste wise I can report they weren't all that bad either. The biscuit portions were a little greasy texturally but had hobnob like biscuit charm with both sugar and salt hints on offer in it's oaty biscuit base. The caramel was similarly disappointingly with a grainy mouth feel yet it tasted fine and offered a buttery, toffee flavour hit to to every mouth feel. Lastly the chocolate was a little sweet and generic in it's mildness of cocoa strength, however yet again it did its to job to an adequate, acceptable level. To summise I've had far, far better Caramel Shortcake in my time, but hey, I've not had London Olympic 2012 Caramel Shortcake before :-) - haha just kidding. These were decent but you don't need to rush out and buy these folks.

7.0 out of 10 


Ion Break Milk Chocolate with Raisins, Almonds & Hazelnuts
Kcal 229 Fat 13.6g Fat(sats) 7.2g Carbs 23.0g (per 42.5g)

I first featured Ion Break back in May where my research *ahem* Wikipedia *ahem* informed us all that the brand originated from Greece. Within that same extensive research it was brought to my attention that the brand's signature chocolate is widely recognized as being their almond variety. This was later all confirmed to me by a number of JCM readers who got in contact with me confirming that this was indeed fact. With their milk chocolate being of a reasonable standard I thought it only fair that I give their most famous variety a try so I went back to my local Tesco store in search of it. What I found was not their solus almond milk chocolate, but in fact an even more interesting sounding variety in the form of this 'Raisins, Almonds & Hazelnuts' bar - they could of just put Fruit & Nut couldn't they :-D 

This bar cost me just shy of £1.00 and was merchandised with all of their other 'worldwide' foodstuffs. As touched upon in my last review, the packaging and presentation was very Ritter Sport esq (thats putting it very mildly!!). Imitation issues aside the chocolate looked very nice indeed and the 10.0% raisins, 3.0% almonds and 3.0% hazelnuts both sounded and looked plentiful. When it came to the taste they also proved themselves to be enhancing of the milk chocolate base. Building upon the sweet, vanilla hinted, soft cocoa flavours, the raisins added a sugary fruitiness and had a nice, plump fresh textural feel. I always speak very highly of the quality of the nuts Ritter use in their chocolate and pleased to say these were of a similar quality. The almonds were crunchy and buttery and the hazelnuts had a distinct woody, savouryness to them. This wasn't a fruit and nut bar of outstanding quality but it was certainly a more interesting proposition than the milk chocolate alone and worth a try if those are the sorts of chocolates you enjoy.

7.7 out of 10


Devnaa White Chocolate
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

We move on now from Greece to the hustle and bustle of Bombay India :-D ... well ok not quite. This Devnaa brand chocolate is based on traditional Indian sweets recipes however it is produced here in the UK. 'Inspired by the flavours of India', I believe Devnaa is a relatively new brand (website HERE) and I today got my first opportunity to try some of their chocolate thanks to my friend Lee aka @Chocolatereview. Indeed this Devnaa White Chocolate was just one of the bars Lee sent my way at the start of the month. I guess the owners of Devnaa Roopa & Jay have also have a thanks to pay Lee as to be honest with you I wasn't aware they even existed - well done chap!

This white chocolate offering came with it's own Indian influence and promised elements of 'pistachio, cardamom and a hint of saffron' thrown in to the mix. On the face of things I thought the presentation of the 70.0g bar was of a fair to good standard and I appreciated the clear branding and 'clean' looking wrapper that was decorated with a pretty looking Indian pattern-work. The bar itself also maintained interested with it's speckled appearance though it was somewhat lacking any strong aromas which unfortuanetly would be indicative of things to come. I was fully expecting a very different type of white chocolate experience however I have the misfortune of reporting that it was in reality quite a boring one. For me this was a supremely underwhelming chocolate that lacked any strong flavour emphasis. The taste was initiated with subtle elements of milk and yoguhurt but from my perception they were never built upon and the taste for the main part was one dimensional and placid. The promised Indian spices never really came to forefront of things, and though at rare times I got an earthy hint of pistachio nut I never got the captivating experience I yearned for. I wont write Devnaa off just yet, but I would certainly hope for a much better offering the next time I dip in to their range.

4.7 out of 10