Wednesday, 26 December 2012

COMPETITION: Serenata Flowers



Attention Chocolate Fans!

To celebrate the new year Serenata Flowers are offering a ChocolateMission reader the chance to win this exclusive Guylian Chocolate Hamper for FREE - See HERE!!

To enter the competition simply follow both @SerenataFlowers & @ChocMission on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet we send out this week. Alternatively or additionally you can also 'Like' Serenata Flowers on Facebook

You can enter as many times as you like so get those retweets and 'likes' going!!!

A winner will randomly selected at 9pm January 2nd and will be announced on the blog. The winner may then send the prize to any mainland UK adress

Be sure to show Serenata Flowers some love by taking a look at their site HERE

Competition T&C's
(1) All competition details are subject to change at the discretion of ChocolateMission & Serenata Flowers
(2) ChocolateMission word is final

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Hi All,

Seasons greeting and thank you all for your continual support of the site. Here at ChocolateMission we will be back in the new year where I'm sure 2013 will bring many a chocolatey treat! 

We love hearing from you and any feedback on the site is always welcome - contact us @Chocmission to get in touch!

Stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas

Jim & ChocolateMission team

Monday, 24 December 2012

WHAT WAS BEHIND 
YOUR DOOR 24 TODAY?????


......... HAPPY XMAS

Sunday, 23 December 2012

December 23rd: Guinness Dark Chocolate

Kcal 566 Fat 37.8g Fat(sats) 23.0g Carbs 47.4g (per 100.0g)

I thought I would end off the year with a rather fitting chocolate that some of you may seem some novelty value in (last minute gifting potential perhaps!?). This Guinness Dark Chocolate was sent to me by fellow blogger Liz over at FoodStuffFinds (Great website see HERE) who kindly sent it as Christmas present. Liz has been way to generous to me over the years and its become somewhat of a tradition that she find the craziest chocolate she can as a Christmas time treat - (See 2011's review of the TABASCO® Spicy Chocolate HERE). Suffice to say Liz didn't let herself down this year and managed to find this Guinness branded chocolate bar - here's how it fared on the ChocolateMission rating system.

The bar came in a 90.0g format sporting the very recogniseable Guiness branding on the front wrapper. Unfortunately the branding didn't follow through to the less impressive looking chocolate block which itself was just simply an undecorated 2 x 6 grid of dark chocolate. The chocolate lost out on an opportunity to create and impression in that sense, however it didn't fail to deliver a very strong set of aromas. When smelt up close, very distinct hoppsy, beer scents could be detected. I genuinely didn't know what to make of them at this point - I was totally conflicted as to whether they were genuinely intriguing or just odd.

Before going any further it's probably worth me saying that I write this review as a guy who only ever drinks Guinness on St Patrick's day. Read in to that what you will - I just call it out how I see it ... or taste it :-) The wrapper didn't state how what % of the bar was actually made up of Guinness beer, though it did state it contained less than 1% alcohol so I doubt it was of great significance. With that said the Guinness influence was very apparent from out the outset of the taste and it didn't take long for it to create an impression. The 52.0% cocoa dark chocolate was fair in terms of it's texture, melt pace and initial unsweetened cocoa flavours. It was truly a 'run of the mill' dark chocolate offering until mid-melt where a very unique malty, roasted stout Guinness beer flavour burst came through. This was long sustained long after the chocolate had melted away in the mouth - whether a good or bad thing the Guinness element was certainly delivered and very forthcoming.

Overall even though this wasn't a chocolate necessarily to my liking I'm begrudged to give it a score as bad I might have done in other circumstances. The reason I've gone with a somewhat lenient approach is because I feel it delivered tremendously well on its intended novelty factor. I don't for one minute think this was ever supposed to be a chocolate noteworthy for it's chocolate prestige. I think its pretty obvious this was meant to be a product that gave you a Guinness beer flavour experience in a chocolate context. Did it work as a tasty chocolate flavouring!? Not really - not for me anyway! It was no where near the worst tasting chocolate ever, but I'll be honest it's not one I'm desperately seeking out to buy again :-) If you know a Guinness fan who is made about chocolate then this is worth buying for the laughs. I think even the most ardent Guinness lover will have a hard time telling you this is a decent chocolate though. Worth trying for the novelty alone!

7.0 out of 10

Friday, 21 December 2012

December 21st: Hotel Chocolat Christmas 2012 Bits n Bobs Part #3

Part #3 of my Hotel Chocolat Christmas 2012 Bits n Bobs series .... they sent a lot this year huh!? Make sure you get your orders in today to avoid disappointment!!


Hotel Chocolat Tipsy Christmas Puddings
Hotel Chocolat's stocking filler range has traditionally focused on serving the kids market (Tiddly Reindeers, Piglets in Blankets etc) though 2012 has brought about change with some new adult targeted products like these Hotel Chocolat Tipsy Christmas Puddings. I've recently reviewed different variations of these chocolates in some of the festive themed selection boxes, but today I got to try out a more substantial larger version. These Tipsy Christmas Puddings came in a pack of 6 (75.0g) and came described as '... everyone’s favourite pudding recreated with milk chocolate and succulent raisins, nutmeg, orange and lots of rum and brandy'. Well folks they weren't lieing on the rum and brandy :-) these chocolates certainly pack a punch! The alcohol hit for me was a little strong, though the strength of the orangey, fruity flavours were enough to temper the boozie flavours to a reasonable level. The creamy milk chocolate wasn't as expressive or pronounced as normal though the initial melt when placed in the mouth was awash with spiced milk and cocoa flavours. I personally would go for the Hotel Chocolat Alternative Mince Pies but fans of alcohol fueled chocolates will not want to overlook these.

8.0 out of 10 




Hotel Chocolat The Christmas Buche Collection
Ladies and Gents this product you see here is one of the best things I've reviewed this Christmas period! Indeed if you are a fan of gianduja you need look no place else because this has it all in one seriously stylish, great tasting pack. This Hotel Chocolat The Christmas Buche Collection is a four pack selection of mini Buche chocolate logs containing these four awesome flavours: Ginger & Hazelnut, Pecan & Almond, Hazelnut and Coffee & Amaretti. The four logs came in a beautiful pack that contained a very cool slate cutting board for ultimate classiness  It's hard for me to pick a favourite from the four as each had their own quirky flavour characteristics that built on the underlying base of sinfully rich cocoa and hazelnut. At a push I would pick the Coffee & Amaretti as my preferred variety, though special mention has to go to the Ginger & Hazelnut for the outstanding element of sugary, spiciness brought by the candied ginger. When Hotel Chocolat are good they really are something special! Check out the score - very highly recommended!

9.1 out of 10



Wednesday, 19 December 2012

December 19th: Hotel Chocolat The Dark Christmas Collection


Another day and another Hotel Chocolat Christmas selection box has been devoured here at ChocolateMission HQ. The box on show today is the Hotel Chocolat The Dark Christmas Collection. This collection came billed as 'A selection of 19 of our finest festive dark chocolate truffles, pralines, caramels and more, all beautifully finished and ready to wow'. That my friends is certainly confidence for you but I wasn't doubting them given my past experience with Hotel Chocolat's previous dark chocolate expertise.


This 19 strong collection of chocolates weighed in at 185.0g and came presented in a very stylish looking 'hat box'. I'm not too sure what makes this a 'hat box' (perhaps the shape!??), but I thought it looked very classy nonetheless and the gold and white colour scheme gave it both a festive and prestigious feel. The selection contained ten different chocolates - some I've reviewed before and some that were all new to me. Here is what I made of them.

The first one is see above is a dark chocolate variation of the Christmas Mess and included the usual berry mousse centre and dried strawberry and meringue piece decorations. Impressions were this was still a lovely looking and tasting chocolate, however the creamier white chocolate used on the originals was to the preference of the tasting panel.

The next two you see are the Salted Soft Caramels and 70% Dark Chocolate Tree. Little needs saying about the tree piece - delicious, rich dark chocolate in a fun Christmas shape. The caramels as expected were one of our favourites in the box. The buttery, salted soft centres were tremendously complimentary of the outer chocolate and unsurprisingly these were gone withing minutes of the box being opened.

On the left you have the Vanilla Dream and on the right the Snowball. The vanilla truffle had a subtle boozie taste to it and left a lovely sweet, warm sensation in the mouth once the soft centre had melted away. The Snowball chocolate was very similar, though the alcohol of the advocaat flavours came through a bit stronger and had more of an impact on the overall taste. My personal preference was with the less boozier of the two, though there were mixed opinions on the taste panel.

It wouldn't be a Hotel Chocolat box without a Rum Truffle and that is exactly what you see on the left above. For me the rum hit was a little too strong but I did enjoy the lovely warming alcohol sensation brought on by the revelation of the centre melt. The piece on the right there is the Christmas Cake. I remarked upon this piece in earlier reviews, though I'm happy to reiterate that it was a very competent chocolate with lovely notes of nutmeg, cinammon spices and fruity cranberry and orange. A real winner trust me!!

The Old Man was delighted to see these make an appearance - The Whisky Truffle! Again I wasn't too much enamored by the uber strong whisky flavours that had a fierce impact upon filling revelation, but I did again very much love the warming mouth feel. I did leave most of these for the OM to enjoy!

These final two are the Clementine Truffle and Rum & Raisin Truffle chocolates. The Clementine Truffle felt very suitable for the festive nature of the box and gave a tremendous rich dark chocolate orange experience that felt very appropriate and Christmassy. The Rum & Raisin Truffle also felt suitably matched for the theme of the box and though the alcohol flavours were again strong, the creamy fruit sweetness of the centre tempered them to enjoyable levels.

Overall if you are after a Christmas themed box of chocolate suitable for a dark chocolate lover then you need look little further than this Hotel Chocolat The Dark Christmas Collection. The box contains a lovely array of different flavours, fruits, spices and liqueurs and they all come coated in Hotel Chocolat's amazing 70% dark chocolate. Something Hotel Chocolat also always take pride in is their attention to detail and both the box and truffles inside make this a fantastically presented, classy looking selection that anyone should feel proud to either gift or receive (my preference with the latter!!). Does it get a ChocolateMission recommendation? You bet it does!

8.8 out of 10

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

December 18th: Kit Kat Tokyo Limited Rum & Raisin


Here at ChocolateMission HQ we are having a Merry Kit Kat Christmas what with the Kit Kat Limited Collection still very much doing the rounds (Review HERE from last week!). Interspersed between our forays across the Japanese region exclusive Kit Kats we have managed to find time to try out another Limited Edition variety currently gracing the Far Eastern market - these Kit Kat Tokyo Limited Rum & Raisin. These were of course another product sent to me by my good friend Peter Payne - founder of the worlds most renowned Japanese goods exporter @Jlist - see HERE.


These Kit Kat Limited Tokyo Rum & Raisin came beautifully presented (as all limited edition Kit Kats do!) in a stunning looking 250.0g cardboard box. Within the impressive looking sky blue confines, 12 two-finger mini Kit Kats were foil wrapped in similarly blue coloured packets. Unwrapping my first one, two things immediately grabbed my attention. The first was that the inner Kit Kat was made of white chocolate and not the standard Nestle milk chocolate offering. My second observation were the pungent, fruity, boozie scents that emanated from the mini wafer snack - they were more forthcoming than I anticipated.


I'm no big proponent of Nestle's chocolate but I always tend to think their white chocolate isn't all that bad in small quantities like on these mini Kit Kats. Once again I thought it worked well here. The outer coating of the wafers was very sweet, but given it's small dosing each time it wasn't overbearing and its sugary taste was more appealing than offensive. Looking at the back of the wrappers I was surprised to see these actually contained a minuscule amount of rum (0.05%) and weren't artificially flavoured. The amount of rum may sound insignificant but it actually came through quite nicely in the taste and alongside this minor underlying fruity hint it created a very convincing rum and raisin flavour experience. These weren't satisfying in terms of their volume but they certainly delivered their promised flavour theme well.

Overall I've said this about a million and one Kit Kat flavours before but the 'Japanese done good here'. Whenever I try flavours like this where the flavour theme is captured so accurately and with great precision it makes me wonder just why Nestle are prepared to offer so much with the Kit Kat brand in one region and not others!? The rum and raisin here was done superbly and more to my liking than the likes of Hotel Chocolat deliver ... yes I really did just say that! As a guy that doesn't have a particular fancy for rum I'm personally not looking for an overly strong influence. These Kit Kat Tokyo Limited Rum & Raisin were just about the right strength for me and delivered a pleasant R&R experience that subtly enhanced the white chocolate and wafer elements. These are certainly one that will be enjoyed by the Kit Kat limited editions hunters.

8.5 out of 10

Monday, 17 December 2012

December 17th: American Soda Christmas Selection 2012

So far this year most of my posts about Christmas 2012 have all been featuring the best of British with the likes of Hotel Chocolat, Artisan du Chocolat etc taking centre stage. This week my pals @AmericanSoda reminded me that Christmas is also a rather big deal Stateside :-) and that the Yanks aren't to be outdone when it comes to seasonal produce. To prove this very fact they sent over these new Nestle Butterfinger /Crunch Santa Claus chocolate medallions and Baby Ruth Miniatures.
Nestle Christmas 2012 Santa Claus Medallions
Crunch - Kcal 170 Fat 9.0g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 23.0g 
Butterfinger - Kcal 160 Fat 8.0g Fat(sats) 3.5g Carbs 23.0g

Both of these chocolate medallions came in 34.0g sizes and were wrapped in attractive looking foil wrappers. The medallions inside featured a big picture of the man in red and broke apart easily to reveal some rather generously portioned rice cereal (Crunch) and  crunchy peanut butter pieces. Both chocolates were notable for their chocolatey aromas;  I was expecting more of a nutty sensory bombardment from the Butterfinger but this was not apparent.


With a little help from a friend I got through both of these in just the single sitting. I have previously expressed a degree of dissatisfaction at the UK Nestle Crunch bar but I was more happy with what this Nestle Crunch Santa Claus Medallion had to offer. By my reckoning it was a lot more chocolatey and the rice cereal offered a crunchier, notable sweet cereal taste than normal. The Nestle Butterfinger Santa Claus Medallion was also pretty damn tasty and the small pieces of crunchy peanut butter consistently brought added doses of sweet, nutty flavours to the party.

Overall whilst I wouldn't say that these Nestle Santa Claus medallions were anything groundbreaking I got a good deal of satisfaction from them. Both the Nestle Crunch and Nestle Butterfinger bars have been previously criticized on this site, but I think this Santa themed format made the best of both of them and gave them invigoration both aesthetically and taste wise. As I said, I don't think they are anything life changing though as small Christmas themed chocolates you can go very little wrong with them. I think it is fair to say it is always a good sign when I'm asking AmericanSoda to send me some more!  

8.0 out of 10





Nestle Baby Ruth Holiday Miniatures
Kcal 210 Fat 9.0g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 30.0g (per 4 pieces - 45.0g)

I'm not going to pretend like these are anything but normal Baby Ruth Mini pieces dressed up in Christmas coloured wrappers :-) Is that a bad thing!? Well no of course not! These chocolate coated treats combine peanuts, caramel and nougat, and are one of America's most popular brands. The 311.8g bag I nabbed from @AmericanSoda contained 28 pieces and was perfect for opening up with a bunch of pals to fuel a 'big night in' movie night. I've grown to like the Nestle Baby Ruth more over the years and I think this miniatures format suits the bar very nicely. Christmas credentials here are a little questionable but the tastyness of the chocolate certainly is not!


7.6 out of 10 - Buy HERE: American Soda - Original Nestle Baby Ruth review - HERE

Saturday, 15 December 2012

December 15th: Mango Mystique Medium Chocolate Selection

***COMPETITION WINNER****

Well done to @J_Donovan for correctly tweeting the colour of Mango Mystique website!! Your prize is on its way! 


Ladies and gentlemen I present to you ChocolateMission's latest friends - Mango Mystique! These guys reached out to me last week offering me the opportunity to try some of their gourmet mango chocolates. Mango Mystique are a small company based in Cambridgeshire (UK!) and they have recently just launched their new online site - See HERE. These guys describe themselves as having a 'passion for the pleasures of mango!' and offer a wide range of different chocolate and mango creations from gourmet truffles to 'mango fruit strips dipped in the finest chocolates'. Given my own love for the mango fruit I was especially excited to try some of their range and suggested they send over their 'Medium selection of dark, white and milk truffles' as a good place to start. Here is what I made of them.

This medium sized selection came inclusive of 12 truffles (166.0g) that included four pieces of each chocolate type - dark, white and milk. The truffles came presented in a very stylish looking branded, silver tin box, and were protected by a thin paper layer and individual truffle wrappers. I will use this word a lot in this review, but the chocolates looked very unique, and very cool with their shape reminding me of the crystals from that old 90s game show Crystal Maze TV show - it was cool once kids trust me ;) As exciting as they looked 'intact', it was with great delight that I learnt these truffles really took on another dimension when it came to the taste test.


Given my preference for all things dark chocolate these were the first I got stuck into, though my fellow family members were not too far behind digging in to the other milk and white varieties. Speaking firstly of the quality of the chocolate involved  it was all round agreed that all three chocolate types were of a high standard. I especially liked the subtly of the dark chocolate, it was just about right in strength with it's raw, earthy cocoa influences a fine complimentary flavour base for the sweeter fruity truffles centres. Similarly there were also proponents to be found for the white chocolate with my mother and sister highly praising of its creamy, vanilla enhanced taste. As good as the chocolates were, it was what lay at the heart of all these truffles that took them to the next level. These truffles had the most gorgeous fruity truffle centres ever - FACT. The sweet fruit flavours burst in to life with the revelation of the cool inner liquid jam like fillings, exploding on the tongue delivering a buttery, zesty mango flavour sensation that left a longing, lasting impression in the mouth. It was silky smooth in texture and the mouth feel only added to the luxurious taste experience on offer - simply divine!


Overall I'm pleased to say that Mango Mystique lived up their billing and delivered one of the greatest fruit and chocolate combination offerings I think I've ever had the delight of reviewing. That is quite the statement when you think about how much I've previously lauded over the likes of Hotel Chocolat's Eton Mess truffles, I thought these Mango Mysitique chocolates not only met that level of grandeur, but also possibly exceeded them. The quality of the total product offering was high from the outset and the premium price perception established by the exterior packaging and presentation was matched by the amazing truffles inside. Fans of mango will try these and never look back when it comes to matching the fruit with chocolate. I have every confidence in giving these a big ChocolateMission recommendation and I can't wait to try more of the Mango Mystique range - more on that shortly!

8.8 out of 10

Friday, 14 December 2012

December 14th: Hotel Chocolat Christmas Desserts Sleekster Selection


As I informed you all at the start of the month I've been the lucky recipient of a vast amount of the Hotel Chocolat Christmas 2012 range including several of their new selection boxes. The first one which I am showing you all today is the Hotel Chocolat Christmas Desserts Sleekster Selection - a collection billed as being 'specially created for Christmas sharing and inspired by everyone's favourite desserts'.

The 300.0g box contained 26 chocolates with 9 different flavours on offer. The presentation was absolutely first class with the usual Sleekster Selection look and feel given a very Christmassy overhaul with the cool looking sky blue and silver colour scheme. To put these 9 different flavours to the test I got the rest of my family to help me out - here are our views on them:


Baked Alaska - All of us that tried this were very impressed with the contrast in flavours provided by the tart raspberry truffle centre and the sweet, creamy outer white chocolate. The small pieces of meringue on top were a welcome addition tempering the sourness of the fruit. Very Good.

Christmas Cake - The prospect of walnut praline, raisins, cranberries, cinnamon, orange and nutmeg had me terribly excited however I'm afraid this didn't match up to expectations. The walnut praline for me was very underwhelming and the majority of the fruit and spice influences were highly indistinguishable. Not a bad truffle but I expected better. Standard.


Zesty Christmas Caramel - This was one fantastic chocolate. The outer milk chocolate was it's creamy sweet self and hid below it a gooey, liquid caramel center. The caramel had all of it's delicious butterscotch toffee flavours and in addition had an added further hint of citrusy lemon zest to further bring interest. I could eat these all day. Superb.

Coconut Bombe - When I read the menu this was my first port of call as I instantly recognised the coconut truffle filling and outer milk chocolate combination could be one of great potential. Thankfully this was not a misguided preconception with the coconut flavours wonderfully established by both the ganache and dried coconut dusting. Very Good.


Christmas Mess - Was it cheeky to take the usual Eton Mess chocolate and just give it a little name change? Maybe, but do we really care when the chocolate is this good!? Not me! Creamy, light, refreshing and with the most sensational of real tasting strawberry flavours. Need I say more? Superb.

Apple & Blackcurrant Cobbler - This was an entirely new piece to me and I absolutely loved it. This milk chocolate had an amazing white chocolate filling that was flavoured with both apple and blackcurrant. Topping things off each piece had a sprinkle of amaerrti biscuit that added just a mild nuttyness to the sour fruit and sweet chocolate elements. Very Good.


Gingerbread Truffle - I've lauded over this truffle before but I have no issue whatsoever telling you just how brilliant this chocolate was again :-) The taste started out with a standard milk chocolate flavour delivery, though upon revelation of the filling the cinnamon influence well and truly took over establishing a spicy hint and warming sensation to the mouth feel. Superb.

Pecan Brownie - Out of a selection of really fantastic chocolates this was one of the least eventful flavour wise. The dark chocolate base some delicious earthy cocoa flavours but the pecan and caramel elements were not significant enough to provide comparable levels of flavour progression compared to others in the box. Good.


Ginger & Marmalade Pudding - Another all new chocolate for 2012 and it went down a storm. Unfortunately there were only of these in the box but both my mother and I agreed it was one of the best. The zesty orange and warming spicy ginger were the perfect match for the dark chocolate and created a delightful array of flavours and textures. Superb.

Overall this was a really enjoyable collection of chocolates that was expertly mixed in terms of chocolate type and flavour theme. The dark and white chocolates may be a little out numbered compared to the five milk chocolate options, however I think is a fair reflection on common taste so it makes sense to me that the latter is better represented. Whilst I will spare you all me lauding over the quality of each of the truffles individually again, I would like to reiterate just how grand the collective package looks and lives up to the Christmas theme intended. This is a good start of the Hotel Chocolat Christmas 2012 selection boxes - I hope the other few live up to these high standards.

8.7 out of 10


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

December 12th: Ritter Sport Extended Christmas Range 2012

As I showcased to you guys last week, Ritter Sport were uber generous when supplying me with samples of their Christmas range this year. The three Ritter Sport Winter-Kreation bars are of course their main point of festive focus, though they also have a number of secondary products which I thought I would showcase to you today.


The Ritter Sport Quadrettes-Fir and Ritter Sport Bauble are both products that contain mini Ritter Sport Goldenschatz chocolates (See HERE). These little gems are 40% cocoa milk chocolates (21% of this cocoa originating from Trinitario cocoa bean nonetheless!!) and they do happen to be very tasty indeed. Ritter have many, many different milk chocolate recipes but this particular Goldenschatz one is definitely a favourite.

The Ritter Sport Sledge and Ritter Sport Star are both chocolate selections containing the same flavours found in the Ritter Sport Chocolate Cubes selection (Review HERE). The varieties on offer are: Nuss in Nugatcreme (Milk chocolate nuts in nougat-creme), Edelnugat (Milk chocolate nougat), Kakao Krokant (Plain chocolate chopped nuts and rice) and Karamell (Milk chocolate caramel). If you read my original review you will see that I loved all four of these different cube flavours. These Sledge and Star options package them up nicely with a lovely Christmas spin.

Lastly I just had to show you this .....


Yes folks that is indeed a Ritter Sport shopping bag :-) I can't say this will be accompanying me to Tesco any time soon, but credit where credit is due, it is certainly .... errr .... unique looking!??? Haha!!! Tell me what you think of it on Twitter @Chocmission

Monday, 10 December 2012

December 10th: Artisan du Chocolat Magic Wands


I began my Christmas reviews this year with the objective of informing you all what were the best festive themed products out there in the market for 2012. To be honest with you I dont think I have done a great job. I've tried way too many quality products and I've subsequently recommended most them - sorry! If this mini apology of mine is ringing true for you I strongly suggest you read no further today as I'm about to muddy the waters even further by lauding over this latest offering from Artisan du Chocolat. Once again these guys have pulled it out the bag with their Artisan du Chocolat Magic Wands.

The Artisan du Chocolat Magic Wands come described as 'thin chocolate sticks filled with 8 fruity and spicy ganaches'. The fillings are mostly fruit based with lemon, raspberry, pear, strawberry, pineapple and banana on offer. The additional flavours of vanilla and cinnamon complete the exciting line up of the 225.0g pack (24 chocolate sticks!). My first impressions of the product were typical of all my experiences with Artisan du Chocolat. The gold coloured box, stylish fonts and decorative patterns oozed class and prestige, immeditedly establishing a high quality impression on me as the customer.

Under instruction from my contacts at Artisan du Chocolat I ate these sticks in the fashion they were designed to be consumed:

'The magic comes when savouring two wands together, which tricks your taste buds in sensing a third and entirely new and different flavour. Lemon and cinnamon wands melt in the mouth into cola. Raspberry and pear wands coalesce into fresh apple. Strawberry and vanilla become a comforting marshmallow flavour. Strawberry emerges from the magic of pineapple and raspberry wands. Raspberry and banana wands bring your taste buds back to the memory of bubble gum'.


... surely this had to be marketing spin!? ... Surely not! These sticks were just fantastic. The quality of all three chocolate types was high with gorgeous, smooth melts and distintice creamy (white), rich (dark), flavour filled cocoa experiences within all. Individually the flavours were divine - the fruit flavours accurate, real tasting and believable. The vanilla and cinnamon were suitably more sublte and progressive in their flavour amplifcation. The fun of combining the different fruits and spices was seemingly endless (though the fun did stop when I had eaten the lot - doh!) and there was much entertainment to be had discovering my own new flavours as well as the ones described above.

Overall there have been so many fantastic chocolate products coming out of Artisan du Chocolat recently it is hard to settle on a favourite but these Artisan du Chocolat Magic Wands have to be in the mix. I never for one minute doubted the quality of the chocolate wouldn't be high, though I never expected the fruit and spice additional flavours would bring as much to the party as they did. The inclusion of the cinnamon and some of the fruit themes do give it a festive lick, however if you have vested interest in a product marketed trulely for the Christmas market this might be the only shortcoming for you here. If luxury chocolate and exciting flavour combinations tick your boxes then you need look no further. Well done Artisan du Chocolat - yet another very prestigous ChocolateMission rating!

9.1 out of 10

Saturday, 8 December 2012

December 8th: Kit Kat Japanese Collection


If you like your Kit Kats I suggest you sit up and pay attention :-) This is without doubt one of the coolest products I have reviewed this year, let alone just this festive period! Yes folks thanks to the kind people @Jlist I have over the last few days been getting to grips with this Kit Kat Japanese Collection.

The selection contains 15 .... yes 15 .... different flavours that each represent a region of Japan. Previously the only way to ever try all these flavours was to travel around each of the different regions collecting each of the flavours as they were only released in that particular area. Kit Kat have now decided its time they all congregated into one place - namely this Kit Kat Japanese Collection.


Peter @Jlist tells me that these are 'selling like hot cakes' and that their number and availability are very limited. Straightaway I could believe this as the presentation and packaging was absolutely sublime. The collection was structured like an advent calendar and behind each of the peel-backable doors two foil wrapped mini Kit-Kats lay in wait for each of the 15 flavours.


As you can see in my photos this wasn't quite the game of Kit Kat roulette I expected - handily the English translation of each of the Kit Kat flavours was presented on the back of the door under all the the other languages.


You can see a full list and illustration of the flavours HERE and I will hold back my reviews on some of the wackier ones for new year when I can better give them all their respective moment in the lime light. If you are desperate to know how a particular flavour faired I suggest you first take a look at the  archives (as some have been previously reviewed!) HERE, or alternatively drop me a line on Twitter @Chocmission. Suffice to say the selection was vast ranging from weird and wonderful flavours like Edamme Soy Bean and Purple Sweet Potatoe, to the more sensible sounding Pear and Strawberry fruit flavours. Please note - watch out for the Kit Kat Wasabi flavour :-)


Overall this is really the ultimate Kit Kat collection and if you are buying Christmas present for a Kit Kat fanatic you needn't look any further. I can't promise they/you will like all the flavours on offer here, but when you have 15 to choose from it's not as if your displeasure will last all that long. The collection of varieties makes for an awesome mix and those that love to dip outside the norm and into the world of Japanese Kit Kat you will honestly not find a better product on the market. If you are interested I suggest making a beeline for Jlist while Peter still has some in stock. Highly recommended.

8.8 out of 10

 

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