July 27th: The Heavenly Cakes Olympics 2012 - Part 3

Today marks the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games with the opening ceremony kicking proceedings off for what I hope will be a fantastic few weeks of sport. Whilst the real event may only just be getting underway, the Heavenly Cakes Olympic Games 2012 conclude here on ChocolateMission with me awarding medals today to our Chinese and Canadian representatives. As I said yesterday, @BettyBakes would love to hear from you - if you fancy the look of any of these cakes you can find them on the Heavenly Cakes website (See HERE)

Heavenly Cakes Chinese Banoffee

Chinese Banoffee??? I have to be pulling your leg right!? Would I do such a thing!? I did say at the start of the week that some of these cakes were somewhat 'loose' in terms of their origin :-D The explanation offered this time from the @BettyBakes kitchen was that China are the biggest exporters of the banana fruit. Dodgy reasoning??? ... oh for sure! Dodgy cake??? ... heck no!!! If you had tried to feed me a cake containing any sort of banana a few years ago I would have told you to take hike. Indeed it's only really recently that I've grown to love bananas. I still wont be found tucking into the fruit on its own, but banana flavoured foods are something I've strangely grown to love. When this Banoffee cake surfaced in the JCM household there was no hiding it from my Mother who as one of the biggest banana fans going was understandably very excited about trying it. And why shouldn't she have!? 'A digestive biscuit base topped with caramel and banana flavoured white chocolate' sounded like a winner and to me and all the signs were good from the cool look and alluring banana fruit smells that made their way from the plastic packet. I'm glad to report this cake matched all expectations and like so many of the cakes this week it was another totally delicious offering. The base was a lovely sweet and salty biscuit and carried the mega buttery, gooey caramel above very well indeed.The layer of white chocolate had strong tones of cream and banana, and the dried fruit chips placed on top only further went to establish the banana in the taste. Altogether it was devilishly sweet concoction of real banana fruit flavours, biscuit and caramel. Rich for sure, but totally delectable at the same time. My Mother insisted on a gold medal here and I wouldn't for one minute argue with that. It was probably my favourite of all the Heavenly Cakes Olympic cakes.

Gold medal out of 10

Heavenly Cakes Canadia Nanaimo Bar

This was one had to look up as I had never heard of a Nanimo bar before, let alone had any clue that it hailed from Canada. My research of course spanned as far wide as Wiki of course :-D (See HERE), where I learnt that the 'Nanaimo bar is a dessert of Canadian origin popular across North America. The Nanaimo bar is a bar cookie which requires no baking, and is named after the West-Coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia' - now don't tell me you don't learn something new each and everyday on the site :-D This cake was formed of a base of chocolate digestive biscuits and desicated coconut, which was topped with layers of both buttercream icing and Belgian chocolate. This had me drooling at the mouth ala Homer Simpson style and the gorgeous scents of coconut, chocolate biscuit and sweet sweeeeet icing only went to further my anticipation. We all know by now that @BettyBakes doesn't like to leave her customers shortchanged when it comes to her cake fillings - just look at the amount of buttercream icing involved here!! Though plentifully portioned it was of course the biscuit base that came to the fore first and the slight salt lick of the digestive biscuit was to play a key role in balancing of the taste with the two exceedingly sweet layers above. The buttercream turned out to be lighter in texture than I thought it would be and it melted away quite fast after establishing a short, swift blast of sugary vanilla icing flavours. In an ideal world I would have made the thick layer of chocolate above a plainer tasting dark chocolate to take a little bit of sweetness out of the equation, but still it was deliciously creamy and established the necessary chocolate flavour in every bite. It should also be considered that the dessicated coconut contained within the base was also a big factor in the taste. As a cocnut lover I very much welcomed it's addition but those of a different opinion might want to avoid this one. Overall this was another highly enjoyable cake but I can't say it hit the levels of the British or Chinese offerings.

Silver medal out of 10

So that concludes the Heavenly Cakes Olympic Games. I hope you enjoyed these posts and are encouraged to try them for yourself - come on over to the @ChocMission twitter page to share your views.

July 25th: The Heavenly Cakes Olympics 2012 - Part 2

The Heavenly Cakes Olympic Games continue today with @BettyBakes's GB and US cake representations. I know the guys at Heavenly are mega keen to hear what you lot have to say about these culinary masterpieces, so please send her your thoughts on the @BettyBakes Twitter page. Of course if any of these cakes tickle your fancy you can order them through the Heavenly Cakes website which you can view HERE.
Heavenly Cakes USA Peanut Butter Jelly Time 

I luuuuurve all things with peanut butter in so I was mega keen on trying this one as soon as it landed on my doorstep. Combining a shortbread biscuit base and top, this chunky fella was filled with peanut butter and raspberry conserve. To say it both looked and smelt awesome would be an understatement. The biscuit portions sandwiched a plentiful looking filling of both the red jam and crunchy peanut butter. The nutty aromas that exploded out the packet once opened only fueled my desire to get my lips around it right away - I of course obliged. Now to say I was disappointed with the taste test that followed would be a major exaggeration. The cake was utterly delicious - the shortbread was insanely buttery and and had a perfect balance of sweet and salty biscuityness. Similarly the peanut butter and raspberry conserve were fantastic and established all the desired nutty, fruity flavours I was hoping for. As good as the cake tasted however, I have to report that things weren't all perfect when it came to texture and mouth feel. Unusually for Heavenly Cakes shortbread it had a very dry, moisture sucking melt and the fillings weren't enough to bring the required moistness to proceedings. This didn't ruin my experience at all, but to say things were all perfect would be a lie. Would I have this cake again!? Oh yes for sure! I would though make sure I had a suitable beverage close by to make it a totally satisfying  experience.

Bronze medal out of 10

Heavenly Cakes British Royal Eton Mess

Representing team GB in these Heavenly Cakes Olympic Games we have the Royal Eton Mess. This was a cake combining a cake base, meringue, white chocolate, berry conserve and frozen strawberry pieces - a proposition not all to different to that of 'Heavenly Cakes Very Berry Meringue' I reviewed November 2011 (See HERE). When it came to trying this one I had to fight tooth and nail for my Mother to even give me a sniff of this cake here - she loved it and I can't say I blame her. You will probably agree that all of the cakes you will see this week are pretty special looking - this one for me stood out from the pack and the aesthetic appeal of the white chocolate and red berry constituents made for a really interesting and unique look. The sweet strawberry fruit smells that emanated from the pack were highly indicative of what was to follow in the taste test. Indeed this was one sensational tasting cake and I don't think my Mother could have told me any more times how much she enjoyed it :-D In a succinct sum up she loved the strawberries and cream like taste that was created by the fruit pieces, jam and chocolate, and she said that even with the meringue the taste was never too overly sweet - something I was surprised to find myself also as I had my initial doubts. This was a cake bursting full of fruitiness and the strawberry taste was both real tasting and incredibly moreish. Am I being biased awarding the home nation with the first gold medal - no way! If you wish to contest then I suggest you order yourself one and then try make the argument. This cake was superb, enjoyed all round and well worthy of a place on the top level of the podium.

Gold medal out of 10

July 23rd: The Heavenly Cakes Olympics 2012 - Part 1

Guys and girls I don't know if you have heard but something called the Olympic Games is getting underway at the end of this week :-) Haha! Who am I kidding huh!? Its London 2012 mania in the UK at the moment and the nation is being swept up in the excitement of the glorious events that will follow in the next month or so. I like to try and keep this website as relevant to the times as possible - how on earth was I going to bring the spirit of the Games to JCM?? ... why of course!!! The Heavenly Cakes Olympics! Indeed my wonderful pals at Heavenly Cakes have had @BettyBakes working overtime in the Heavenly Cakes kitchen knocking up some limited edition treats to mark London 2012. Over the course of this week I'm going to reviewing all of these country representative cakes, and for an added twist I'm going to be doing away with the traditional JCM rating system and getting in the spirit of things by awarding medals based on how highly I rate them.

Should you fancy trying some of these cakes yourselves (trust me the likelyhood is going to be very high!) I should point you in the direction of the Heavenly Cakes Twitter feed - @BettyBakes Just drop Betty a line and I'm sure she will take care of you .... right ... on with the Games ..I mean cakes :-)

Heavenly Cakes Jamaican Rum & Raisin Tiffin

Having been sent six different cakes to try this week it wont surprise you to hear I roped in some help sampling these. Knowing full well one of my work colleagues had a particular liking of rum I sensibly acquired their expert services to try out this Rum & Raisin Tiffin, a cake originating straight from Jamaica BettyBakes would have me believe. This cake was formed of a base layer of rum soaked biscuits and raisins in gooey chocolate refrigerator cake which was topped with thick layer of swirled dark and milk chocolate. The bottom layer was insanely dense yet the buttery, digestive biscuit pieces it contained melted like butter in the mouth. The sheer thickness of the upper chocolate layer made every bite incredibly rich in chocolateyness and the combination of the sweeter milk and plainer dark chocolate made for an bombardment of cocoa flavours that even the biggest chocoholic would have found impressive. Whilst the chocolate flavour hit was unquestionably grand both my work colleague and I thought Betty could have been a little bit more liberal with the rum. Indeed the speediness at which the biscuits melted away and the smallness of the currants and raisins meant the rum wasn't all the prevalent in the taste and had we not been predisposed to it's presence we might have struggled to pick it up among the dominant chocolate constituents. Usain Bolt may be bringing home the gold in the coming weeks but despite these cakes being met with nothing with praise all round I'm going to say Jamaica will have to settle for a bronze medal here as the proposition wasn't 100% delivered on. It's a tough rating indeed, but these are the Heavenly Cakes Olympic Games where the standard are high and no medals come easy.

Bronze Medal out of 10

Heavenly Cakes Italian Lemon Bakewell

You are kidding right!? Italy??? Lemon Bakewell??? Don't worry I had similar thoughts to you so I inquired with @BettyBakes. She replied : "Did you know that Italy are in actual fact the biggest lemon growers in the world?" ... err no ... I didn't  :-D To be honest I couldn't really of cared less because I was chaught up how awesome this cake was. As you will see from my photo above this was a very similar cake to the traditional British Bakewell that Betty created for the Jubilee a few months ago. It was formed of a base layer of soft, buttery shortbread cake which topped with a layer of lemon curd and another layer of soft sponge. Just like the Bakewell cake for the Jubilee this was one very sticky cake and one that perhaps not suitable to eat on that move. The bottom layer of shortbread like cake was very crumbly and it literally melted like butter as soon as it hit my tongue. The lemon curd above was sweet, yet had a lovely zingy lemon freshness to it and the acidicty of citrus lemon was a delightful balancer to the other sweet as sin constituents. The sponge on top had obviously been further enhanced with lemon oil and lemon juice, as it had alot of qualities similar to that of lemon drizzle cake. Compared to some of Heavenly's offerings like the Tiffin above this came across as lighter option and wasn't quite as overwhemling and daunting to eat in it's entirety. If you prefer lighter cakes this is certainly one to look at - @BettyBakes has done Italy's masterful lemon growing justice here. I think a silver medal rating is a fair reflection.

Silver Medal out of 10

.... check back to the site Wednesday when two more of the country representative limited edition Heavenly Cakes will be reviewed. Don't forget to get in touch with myself @ChocMission or @BettyBakes on Twitter. We would love to hear from you.

July 20th: Oreo Peanut Butter / Creamsicle

With all the Limited Editions that keep coming out it, it's lucky that I'm of the opinion that 1 - You can never have too many flavours of Oreos and 2 - You can never have too many peanut butter confectionery products :-D Indeed today I bring you another two varieties from America's favourite sandwich cookies, the Oreo Peanut Butter & the Oreo Golden Creamsicle Limited Edition. Both of these flavours were ones sent to me by my pals at AmericanSoda, I have to commend those guys as they certainly do their best to keep up to date with all the new flavours available in the US. For us Brits they are a real life saver when it comes to us being able to try them. Below are my thoughts on these two flavours:

Oreo Peanut Butter

 Kcal 140 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 1.5g Carbs 20.0g (per 2 cookies) 

I received these in a 432.0g pack that contained 28 individual cookies - more than enough to get some second opinions from some very willing work colleagues :-) Despite not being referred to on the pack I was pleased to find that these were 'double-stuff' Oreo rather than just the regular variety. I thought that this made them look exceedingly attractive with their plentiful, orange tinted creme centres. I was also pleased they were double-stuffed as I recall my experience with the Oreo Cakesters Peanut Butter (See HERE). They were horrendously under powered in terms of their peanut emphasis, though my hopes were a little raised given the proportion of the fillings and nutter aromas on offer. Raised expectations proved to be not misled and I'm pleased to report these were pretty darn good. Some of my fellow work mates still thought the peanut butter was under powered, however I differed in opinion and thought the peanut butter effect was achieved pretty well. There was definitely a sweet nuttyness to underlying chocolatey cookie flavours and it was for me at least the lasting impression left in the mouth. I think if the saltyness of the nuts were played up a bit more that could have made these even better, just a touch more creamyness to the creme would also have probably made these stand out that little bit more. These didn't come close to dethroning my favourtie Oreo flavours Double Mint or Birthday Cake, but they deserve a place in the Oreo line up and I would suggest peanut butter fans give them a try.

7.7 out of 10 

Oreo Creamsicle

Kcal 150 Fat 7.0g Fat(sats) 2.0g Carbs 20.0g (per 2 cookies)

I've got nowhere near trying all of the Oreo Limited Editions they've had in America this year but thanks to the chaps at AmericanSoda I've certainly tried my best to cover the best of them. One of the Limited Editions that really chaught my eye this summer were these Oreo Creamsicle after I read a review of them on Marvo's Impulsive Buy website (See HERE). Creamsicles were ice creams I used to  eat all the time when I used to go on holiday to the US - for my unaware UK/European following Wiki describe Creamsicles as 'a brand name for a frozen dessert owned by Unilever. It is made as a single flat bar with a rounded end and comes on a flat wooden stick. The center is vanilla ice cream, covered by a layer of flavored ice. Creamsicle flavors include orange, blue raspberry, lime, grape and cherry. In the United States, August 14 has been named as National Creamsicle Day' - Don't tell me you don't learn something new everyday on this site now :-) Well anyways these Oreo Creamsicle are one of the latest additions to the Golden Oreo range and came described as 'golden Oreo cookies with vanilla and orange flavoured creme'. As with the peanut butter ones above these were double stuff Oreos so the Creamsicle flavour theme had no problem getting over in the taste. Ultimately it was the development of flavours that I liked most about these Oreos and I enjoyed the way the vanilla elements of the cookies and half creme led nicely into a decent fruity orange fondant flavour burst and aftertaste. Contrary to what Marvo found I thought the Creamsicle element came across pretty well, but hey I'm a Brit what do I know about Creamsicles huh!? As far as fruit flavoured Oreos go I think this is one of the better flavours I've tried. I wouldn't rush out and buy them again but as a Limited Edition they certainly held their own.

7.9 out of 10

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

July 16th: Artisan du Chocolat Space Dust UFOs

I'm never one to turn chocolate down but when Artisan du Chocolat first approached me about reviewing these Space Dust UFOs I politely declined. Anyone who has read this site for any time at all will be all to aware that I despise popping candy - I need only point you in the direction of some of my previous reviews and their scores to prove this point (See HERE). I thought that this would be the end of it, however my contact at Artisan respond saying that they were fully aware of my popping candy fears and wanted to send me a product that would change my mind. Impossible I thought! I'm admittedly a very stubborn person, and once I have an opinion on something I tend to stick by it! Credit to them though, Artisan stuck to their guns and sent me these Space Dust UFOs - take a look below to see what I thought.

These Artisan du Chocolat Space Dust UFOs came in a 150.0g packet that contained around 20 shaped chocolates. The packaging and presentation of the product was a lot simpler than some of the previous Artisan products I've reviewed over the last few months but it was still obvious that these were made by a company who were a cut above your average market offering. The cellophane plastic packet was basic, but the UFO chocolate shapes looked awfully fun and looked very fresh in their pristine, unblemished condition. Unsealing the packet a nice array of cocoa scents wafted from the packet and started to lay to rest some of my preconceived fears.

The name Space Dust UFOs would suggest that these were a product made for kids but in regards to the quality of the chocolate, from what I tasted I know a lot of adults who would have loved these. The packet didn't display the amount of cocoa in the chocolate but I would suggest a recipe closer to the 40% rather than the standard mass market 20%. The chocolate was fantastic quality and had a kind tasting rich, creamy cocoa flavour base that left a crisp, well rounded dairy vanilla after taste in the mouth long after. The popping candy, or sherbet as described on the back of the packaging, was ... well ... I will go as far as saying it was better popping candy than I've had before. For starters it didn't in any way hamper the flavour development of the chocolate and simply just added it's name sake sensation. Secondly I found it better because the popping sensation happened on my tongue and not the back of my throat. Shared among a few people we managed to make our way through the packet in just a single night - they were good snacking sustenance :-D

Overall if you look at the score I'm sure I've given the guys at Artisan the chance to look smug and say 'I told you so' but I could still argue and say that I would have preferred these without the popping candy. As I mentioned above the chocolate quality was absolutely terrific and if my recommendation was based solely on that I would tell you to get involved with these right away. That my friends is not the case though and I have to take in to consideration the popping candy which is fundamentally the point of the Space Dust UFOs in the first place. Whilst I would say the popping candy influence here was ten times better than any I have tried previous, it was still an element that I wouldn't choose to incorporate into my chocolate and would have just preferred the chocolate plain by itself. Obviously that is just my opinion, if you happen to like popping candy, or don't have a strong opinion on it then all likely hood is your are going to love these Space Dust UFOs. On that basis I would certainly recommend them.

8.2 out of 10

Was Friday 13th unlucky for Jim???

Heck no!!! Thanks to @CybercandyLtd it wasn't!!

These guys sent me a box full of JCM faves to brighten up my day so many chocolates I haven't had the chance of eating in such a long time!

Milka Oreo - Review HERE - Buy HERE

M&M's Peanut Butter - Review HERE - Buy HERE

Nestle Coffee Crisp - Review HERE - Buy HERE

Enjoy your weekend all!!!


July 13th: Cadbury Dairy Milk Olympic Editions: Nuts for Gold

Prepare for the anthems we have our gold medal offering from Cadbury's Dairy Milk Olympic Editions going under the Jim's ChocolateMission jurisdiction today. Was this 'Nut for Gold' really the best of the bunch? Or it did it fail to live up to it's billing? Take a look below and see for yourself. Got a view you want to express? Join the ChocolateMission Twitter feed - @ChocMission and let me know your thoughts.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Nuts for Gold
Kcal 85 Fat 5.1g Fat(sats) 2.7g Carbs 8.0g (per 3 chunks)

Concluding our week long Cadbury ceremony this 'Nuts for Gold' bar had all the promise of being a real quality offering. The wrapper was definitely the best looking of the bunch and I loved how the usual gold Cadbury brand logo was consistent with the adapted gold coloured on-pack Union Jack. The chocolate was sectioned into nice bitesized chunks and smelt delicious with both strong chocolate and nuts scents on offer. To this point all sounded, smelt and appeared well, however I took a look at the bar description and I knew things were likely to take a turn for the worse - Doh!

'Milk chocolate filled with praline (yay!!!) ... and caramelised hazelnut pieces (booooo!). Indeed, cast your minds back to just this Monday and you will get what I made of these supposed 'caramelised hazelnut pieces' - I was far from impressed. Fully aware I was likely to end up disappointed I proceeded with the taste test and it all went down as I expected. The initial stages of the chocolate melt development were awesome and I was very much loving the woody, hazelnut influence that was complimenting the Dairy Milk chocolate very nicely. Of course what came after this initial development with the discovery of the caramelised hazelnut pieces in the middle of each piece was in my opinion totally counter productive. For me they again failed to bring anything to the party aside from a very unnatural brown sugar lump like feel and flavour influence. They weren't quite as spoiling to the stronger flavoured praline as they were the milder toffee creme on Monday, but they still did nothing for me and ruined what was a nice pleasant textural feel and nutty chocolate taste.

Overall 'Nuts for Gold' may be classified as the gold medal winning chocolate in this new line up but for me it didn't merit the accreditation. Unfortunately that award has to go to the Silvery Creme, a bar that was just as disappointing in it's own way due to it being a repackaged Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss bar. I think if Cadbury had gone for a bar more akin to their Dairy Milk Whole Nut offering and had big, whole nut pieces of honey roasted Hazelnuts this could have been a really quality offering. Unfortunately I believe they went for the more kid friendly approach, which sadly with my money making corporate hat on I can see why. After a week of Cadbury Dairy Milk reviews I'm all out of things to say other these were all ultimately three rather mediocre chocolates. They wont upset the masses by any means but at the same time I don't think there will be much clamor for them once the Games are over.

7.3 out of 10

July 11th: Cadbury Dairy Milk Olympic Editions: Silvery Creme

Today we have the continuation of my Cadbury Dairy Milk Olympic Editions reviews with the silver medalist 'Silvery Creme' bar. Be sure to let me know what you think about these new chocolates you see this week. You can get in touch with me on the ChocolateMission twitter stream - @ChocMission where you can also catch the competition I will be running.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Silvery Creme
Kcal 80 Fat 5.2g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 7.7g (per 3 chunks)

I will be keeping the review of this one rather short for reasons that will soon become obvious. It came described as 'Milk chocolate with a vanilla flavour filling' - sounds a little familiar huh!? Yes ladies and gentlemen this was a classic repackage and relabel offering. Admittedly I haven't seen this bar in the wild for what it seems like forever, but ultimately this was the Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss in a different wrapper, albeit larger sized.

I may be sounding mega cynical at this point so I will at least say aesthetically this Silvery Creme offering was a more attractive looking bar that the Bronzed Creme Crunch that I featured yesterday. The middle filling was glistening white in colour and just looked easier on the eye than the dirty looking Monday feature. Taste wise you wont be surprise to hear that all tasted rather familiar. The Dairy Milk was all I expected with it's creamy sweet cocoa flavours and heavy longing smooth melt. The light, silky textured filling wasn't all that strong in fllavour, but it had enhanced the taste with a minor note of natural vanilla and added creamyness. Altogether fair tasting and moreish - just unexciting and by no means anything new.

Overall as far as flavoured Dairy Milk chocolates go this was a pretty good one but I still feel disappointed with it. Sorry to not sound as enthusiastic as perhaps I should but I was hoping for more from these new bars and so far I haven't got that - especially from this Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss (See HERE) mark II. I can't deny this wasn't a good chocolate, but I feel a little aggrieved that they simply took that bar, put it in a new wrapper and then stuck on the words 'Limited Edition' - thats just a little cheeky for me. So far we've had one not so good chocolate and another one that was simply repackage job. Will the gold medal prospect deliver the goods!? Find out Friday!! 

8.2 out of 10

July 9th: Cadbury Dairy Milk Olympic Editions: Bronzed Creme Crunch

The countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games is nearing it's end and in under a month we will well and truly be in the swing of things. Like it or not (some people really aren't - See HERE) Cadbury are one of the chief sponsors of this years Games so it's with little surprise that they have seen fit to release some Limited Edition Olympic themed chocolates. Over the course of this week I will be reviewing each of the three variants. In true medal ceremony order, I will first today give you my views on the 'Bronzed Creme Crunch', Wednesday you will see the 'Silvery Creme' and then on Friday we will wrap up with the 'Nuts for Gold'. I wont go over the top with the detail for all three as I'm sure you will all know what to expect from Cadbury nowadays. I do have a competition lined up for the weekend - more details on that will be revealed during the week.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Bronzed Creme Crunch
Kcal 85 Fat 5.7g Fat(sats) 3.1g Carbs 7.8g (per 3 chunks)

So we start the week with this 'Bronzed Creme Crunch' offering and like all the three in the new selection it came in a 120.0g 'sharing' bar form. Cadbury didn't reveal how much they planned to be selling each of these new Olympic bars for, though I would expect to pay around the £1.00 given that this has often been their selling price for their limited editions. It came described as 'Milk chocolate with a toffee flavour filling and caramelised hazelnut pieces' - it was at least going to be something new if nothing else.

The first thing I noticed about this bar when doing the photos for the review was just how dull and un-bronze-like the filling looked. Sandwiched in between the Dairy Milk exterior the creme was a dirty beige colour and although there were spots of gold coloured hazelnuts it just looked underwhelming. Armoa wise there were better things to report with sweet toffee smells forthcoming as soon as the wrapper was unsealed. In a taste of two halves, proceedings started out nicely with the sweet, creamy Dairy Milk chocolate instantly enhanced by a further raft of buttery, butterscotch toffee flavours. Although still very sweet at the point of mid-melt, the taste was more notable for it's creamyness and I was certainly enjoying the smoothness of the mouth feel. Unfortunately it was the second half that didn't do it for me and the entrance of the caramelised hazelnut pieces were this bars downfall. Indeed these supposed nut pieces were more akin to tiny little clumps of sugar. For me they upset the equation texturally and annoyingly the taste took a large swing over to the point of no return in terms of it's sweetness. After just a few blocks I could feel that horrible burning sensation at the back of my throat - I did not approve.

Overall if you like sweet chocolate then I can see you might get a little more enjoyment from this Bronzed Creme Crunch than I did here. As described above, I found this chocolate enjoyable to a point but the experience was ultimately ruined by the the unnecessary and poorly executed hazelnut pieces. They frankly just weren't nut like in taste or texture - whats really annoying is sadly this would have been a pretty decent offering had it just been all about the toffee flavoured creme. It was by no means awful but I don't think I would buy this bar again.

6.4 out of 10

July 6th: Zotter Ginger-Carrot "In & Out"

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

First off I must pay a big thank you to my pal Lee (@Chocolatereview) who recently sent me a nice parcel full of chocolates from East Europe - Cheers Lee!!! Being the fantastic guy he is, Lee took the trouble of looking at my collection of Zotter Handscooped bars reviews (See HERE), and picked out a few that I hadn't had the pleasure of giving the JCM jurisdiction on. One of the bars just so happened to be this Ginger-Carrot "In & Out" chocolate - a proposition described by the bizarre Josef Zotter as 'carrots chocolate filled with carrots-coconut cream and ginger'. Funnily enough the taste testing volunteers weren't quite as eagerly forthcoming as they are normally are when there is a sniff of Artisan du Chocolat or Hotel Chocolat doing the rounds :-)

You will likely recognise the presentation style of the bar as one of Zotter's 70.0g Handscooped chocolates - you aren't wrong. It came in the usual flat, slab style format and was wrapped in a gold foil and paper wrapper tandem. For once I thought the wrapper made some sort of sense with the ginger 'men' piggybacking on the back of the larger carrot 'creatures'. This was an insight in to the actual chocolate itself, which aesthetically looked appetising with it's cream coloured exterior and innards studded with golden pieces of candied ginger. Although finely wrapped and obviously fresh the chocolate didn't create much of an impression aroma wise with only faint hints of spice and dairy cream really detectable.

A funny thing of note for todays review is that for the first time ever my Father refused to do the photos for the site. Indeed the carrot hating 'Old Man' detests the orange coloured vegetable so much he point-blank said he would have no involvement - I have to say had this been a mushroom flavoured chocolate we could of well of had our first ever JCM chocolate refusal haha! Luckily I was still up for the challenge and was pleasantly surprised to find we had ourselves a high quality white chocolate at hand. Being a Zotter creation this wasn't your standard white chocolate and was created using carrots instead of the traditional milk powder. You would of thought that this was going to be detrimental to the creamyness of the chocolate, however the bar still retained a high level of dairy flavours with it's inner coconut cream. The white chocolate had a good smooth melt and had did indeed have just a tiny inclination of carrot vegetable in it's aftertaste. In a well balanced fashion, the majority of the taste experience was headlined by the stronger ginger and creamy milk coconut participants. The flavour journey was complex, yet at the same time none to busy, and made for an exciting taste development that was interesting from beginning to end.

Overall this chocolate vastly exceeded expectations and disproved my initial preconceptions that ginger was only really an ingredient that was well matched for dark chocolate. The carrot element will no doubt put some people off, but it was really only a small piece of the experience which was more dominated by both the ginger and coconut influences. As ever with Zotter chocolates I thought the presentation was top class though I still would like them to try and differentiate this Handscooped chocolates with a little design work to the chocolates themselves. Whilst I can nitpick at the aesthetic design, I can't really fault the actual chocolate as for what it was it was done very well. All three major components were integrated well and they made for a satisfying, not to sweet, multi-dimensional white chocoalte. If you have a look in the archives you wont find yourself too many reviews where I give a white chocolate so much praise. I feel comfortable giving this the thumbs up to any white chocolate or flavour adventurous fans.

8.0 out of 10