Over the last five years I have received infrequent, but consistent reader requests to do some reviews of Elizabeth Shaw's chocolate range. Back in 2011 I did feature some of their chocolate bars in one of my Christmas recommendation posts but that aside I probably haven't done their line up justice .... until now of course :-) Yes indeed the kind folks at Elizabeth Shaw recently sent me a whopping 2.5kg chocolate hamper. Admittedly that is way too much chocolate for one guy - be sure to keep an eye on the @ChocMission twitter feed for my inevitable giveaways! Back to matters at hand today I'm going to give you my thoughts on Elizabeth Shaw's Chocolate Flutes range. This included four different packs of thin chocolate sticks with flavoured centres
Kcal 24 Fat 1.3g Fat(sats) 0.8g Carbs 2.6g (per stick)
Unfortunately these didn't prove to be all that great. They were oddly very, very waxy in texture (just look at the bend in my photo above!!) and had a horribly greasy mouth feel that left a nasty feeling on the roof of my mouth. Whilst horrible in texture they also did very little for me taste wise and though they avoided the common pitfall of most mass produced white chocolate offerings and weren't horribly sugary, they fell right down the other end of the flavour spectrum and hardly tasted of anything at all. In fact it wasn't until I got to the milk chocolate centres where I was finally greeted with any sort of chocolatey flavours and even then the coffee influence wasn't as strong as it should have been. I don't like reporting disappointments but I'm afraid these were exactly that - shame!
4.6 out of 10
Kcal 23 Fat 1.3g Fat(sats) 0.8g Carbs 2.7g (per stick)
I don't know about you guys but whenever I think Elizabeth Shaw, I think dark chocolate and mint. These two are probably what you would regard as ES's signature combination and I've tried many different offerings with them from their range before. Suffice to say I knew what to expect here - 50% cocoa dark chocolate and sweet as sin mint fondant. Unlike the Latte Flutes above these did meet my expectations and thought they were wonderful complimenting an after dinner coffee. The texture and mouth feel of the melt was ten times better with these and the same can be said about the taste. The dark chocolate was also a big step up from their white chocolate. It wasn't bitter or over powering and it was a nice match with the sugary, peppermint fondant which itself added a refreshing burst of mintyness when uncovered. Wonderful stuff.
8.2 out of 10
Kcal 22 Fat 1.3g Fat(sats) 0.8g Carbs 2.5g (per stick)
Out of all the flavours these were the ones I was probably the least enthused about. Despite by lack of enthusiasm there were no worries there though, I found a suitable chocolate orange fan to assist me with my taste testing. These sticks were billed as 'orange milk chocolate coated in dark chocolate' and came with the same same 50% cocoa recipe exterior as per the mint flutes above. Again I found the dark chocolate coating was rich in flavour but this time I did think it overpowered the centres and the milk chocolate fillings struggled to substantiate the orange fruit flavours. The orange was there but not as strong as desired - perhaps an orange flavoured fondant as per the mint flutes above would have been a better option. These didn't set my world alight but at the same time there was certainly nothing wrong with them at all.
6.9 out of 10
Kcal 23 Fat 1.3g Fat(sats) 0.8g Carbs 2.6g (per stick)
Last but by no means least these Amaretto flavoured Flutes were the final flavour in the selection I tried. I left them until last as I wasn't expecting that much from them given that I only very seldom drink alcohol. Well I'm delighted to report that I loved these! The combination of the milk chocolate outer portions with the amaretto liqueur flavoured centres was just marvelous. The inner fillings were a texture and flavour delight and the silky soft mouth feel was a perfect synergy with the flowing smooth flavours of the buttery almond nuttyness. There was a minor boozieness to these particular Flutes but it was well contained and was the correct level at which it was detectable and enhancing rather than a distraction. These were a close second for me.
8.0 out of 10
Overall Elizabeth Shaw did a really fine job with two out of the four flavours here and they come very much recommend them if they are flavours you fancy. I wasn't surprised to enjoy the Mint Flutes as much as I did, but as described the Amaretto Flutes were a pleasant revelation. Remember to keep an eye on @ChocMission - you never know I could be giving away some ES Flutes this week ;-)