Thursday, 21 August 2014

Terry's Chocolate Orange (milk bars)



Product name: Terry’s Chocolate Orange (milk bars)
Purchase details:
£1.00 for a multipack of four bars (Poundworld)
Calories:
210 per 40g bar
Country of origin:
UK


This is going to seem like a really lazy review but there’s not much to say about these Terry’s Chocolate Orange bars that I didn’t say in my post about the original Chocolate Orange Milk – this was essentially the same Mondelez product but in an easier serving style!


I was instantly hit with the usual, amazing smell when I opened the wrapper but I was a bit disappointed by the size of the bar. Despite containing six pieces of chunky chocolate, it was short and narrow, although it did have a unique appearance as a result of the way the segment-shaped pieces had been joined together. The overall attention to detail was the same but I would have preferred the bottom piece to have matched rather than just being plain with the Terry’s logo.


I loved the fantastic, familiar flavour, and the texture was pretty much the same too. However, the narrower wedges did make the depth of each one feel thicker, causing the melt to feel a bit different – slower, I guess. I also had to eat them in reverse (rind and then centre) due to the layout...but I managed!


This bar format of Terry’s Chocolate Orange didn’t quite produce the same excitement within me as the whole orange does but it was definitely a handy way to get one of my favourite confectionery brands on a non-special occasion!


Appearance: 7/10
Aroma:
9/10
Taste:
8.5/10
Texture:
8/10
Overall score:
8.13/10

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Marcheurs De Chocolat Belgian Chocolate: Flaked truffles



Product name: Marcheurs De Chocolat Belgian Chocolate: Flaked truffles
Calories:
236 per 40g serving (660 per 112g box)
Country of origin:
Belgium

So we’re over half way through August, and it’s nearer to next Christmas than last, but I’ve finally got around to eating the last edible gift I was given in December 2013!

These Marcheurs De Chocolat Belgian Chocolate: Flaked truffles were part of the Walkers Chocolates brand and, like many of their other products, I’ve seen them in discount stores quite a lot. As was the case with me, this made them a good add-on present!


The ‘truffles covered in Belgian milk chocolate’ came in a royal blue box that featured a photo of the chocolates but, despite this looking promising, I was a bit apprehensive on opening it as it rattled quite a lot and I was convinced almost all of the flaked chocolate would have become detached from the truffles themselves. As it happens, I was pleasantly surprised to find things hadn’t got as messy as I feared, and there were also more truffles inside than I’d expected – 11 (although this would have been frustrating if I’d been aiming for the quoted three servings!).


I was disappointed to see that, after the main ingredient (sugar), the truffles mainly consisted of vegetable fat. However, there was a strong smell of cocoa powder, and the chocolate itself contained a minimum of 25% cocoa solids and 14% milk solids.


Whilst widely the same in appearance (generally round with flat bottoms and coated generously in chocolate flakes), the truffles were slightly different shapes and sizes, and they were lovely and soft to cut through. They seemed to consist of three layers: a truffle centre that looked a bit like a fluffy  mousse, a chocolate coating, then the flaked chocolate. However, unlike what the picture on the box suggested, these layers were all the same shade of brown.


The chocolates had a nice texture – they were really soft and squidgy and had a melt-in-the-mouth feel as the different elements melded together. Even the flakes were soft, although they did add a contrasting bumpy surface.

Unfortunately, I really wasn’t a fan of the flavour, which is unusual for me with chocolate! It just tasted weird and, although there was a chocolatey aftertaste, the overall feel was one of staleness. As is often the case with truffles, there was a slightly bitter aspect to the flavour, but I just felt that the chocolate’s taste could have been so much stronger and better. Furthermore, although there was no denying that the truffles were rich, the absence of cream in the ingredients didn’t go unnoticed.

I wasn’t expecting great things from these budget Flaked truffles but it was a shame that the area where they fell short was, for me, the most important: taste! I’ve definitely ‘spent’ my calories on better snacks...

Appearance: 7.5/10
Aroma:
7.5/10
Taste:
4.5/10
Texture:
7.5/10
Overall score:
6.63/10

Monday, 18 August 2014

Nestlé Smarties: Sharing block



Product name: Nestlé Smarties: Sharing block
Purchase details:
£1.00 for a 120g bar (tesco.com)
Calories:
106 per three piece serving (637 per bar)
Country of origin:
UK

This new Nestlé Smarties: Sharing block was launched a couple of months ago and, although I was of the majority opinion that it wasn’t the most exciting concept in the world, I snapped a bar up quickly as I had enjoyed the American M&M's Chocolate Bar so I wanted to see how a British version compared.


Made as part of Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan, this ‘milk chocolate with mini Smarties (14%)’ contained no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, and it came in a colourful wrapper that I loved – it featured lots of chocolate and Smarties imagery that took me back to my childhood and reminded me of an illustration in one of my old Topsy + Tim books. I also liked the clever way the portion sizes were indicated on the reverse of the packaging...even though I didn’t pay any attention and scoffed the whole bar (I chose to ignore the word ‘Sharing’ in the product name!).


The chocolate was fairly flat but divided into 18 pretty big squares that alternated between displaying the full Smarties logo and one letter from the name. The multicoloured circles of the ‘milk chocolate in a crisp sugar shell’ were visible through the bar’s upper surface but they weren’t really obvious through the base, and the chocolate was by no means awash with the candy pieces. On breaking into the bar, I felt a bit disappointed by just how sparse these Smarties were.


In contrast, the chocolate’s strong smell was very pleasing, greeting me with quite a creamy aroma as soon as I opened the wrapper. Its texture wasn’t smooth, and to the taste, the chocolate was like the Kit Kat kind when melting on the tongue. It was much nicer to chew, though, with a really milky flavour coming to the fore. The Smarties didn’t add anything additional to the taste as it was essentially chocolate on chocolate, but they did provide a dull crisp to what was a thick texture.


This bar was nice enough but didn’t scream ‘quality’ or ‘excitement’. I also found, eating the larger serving, that the chocolate burnt my throat a little and the sugariness also caused a bit of tooth sensitivity. I probably wouldn’t bother buying the Sharing block again but I’m glad I gave it a go.


Appearance: 7/10
Aroma:
7.5/10
Taste:
7/10
Texture:
7.5/10
Overall score:
7.25/10

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Nestlé Milkybar



Product name: Nestlé Milkybar
Purchase details:
£1.00 for a multipack of four bars (Poundworld)
Calories:
137 per 25g bar
Country of origin:
UK 

White chocolate has always been a favourite of mine so, as a kid, I loved the Nestlé Milkybar. Even now, the pale yellow and red packaging, with a splash of milk, conjures up warm feelings inside me. Having wondered back in March, when I reviewed the Milkybar: Mini eggs, why I don’t often eat the brand anymore, I decided it was about time I took a trip down memory lane.


These bars only contained natural ingredients and I really liked how these had been displayed on the wrapper. Recognising the young age of the target market, the back of the wrapper listed the ingredients within a drawing of a glass of milk, and gave explanations for some of the inclusions (e.g. ‘emulsifier lecithin’ was described as being ‘made from soya beans’ and said that it ‘holds the ingredients together’). The imagery of the Milkybar Kid, rather than your average stick man, throwing the empty wrapper in the bin was also a nice touch.


The creamy yellow bars were moulded into a flat shape that had a cute design of the Milkybar Kid with his horse and some stars – very child-friendly.  Each bar contained 26% dried whole milk and I found that their scent was milkier than a lot of other white chocolates I’ve tried. The sweetness almost seemed like an afterthought, even though the main ingredient was sugar!


As I found with the Mini eggs, the chocolate’s taste really reminded me of the outer shell of a Wall’s Magnum: White. It had a really milky and sweet flavour which was very pleasant.


Despite the thin shape, the chocolate also had a thick melt and a chunky chew. My only gripe was that, when chewing, the chocolate tended to remain in separate pieces within the mouth rather than merging together to form one delicious mass – it just wasn’t as smooth as it could have been.


I did still enjoy these innocent little bars, though, and I can see them becoming a more regular purchase in future.

Appearance: 8.5/10
Aroma:
7/10
Taste:
7.5/10
Texture:
7.5/10
Overall score:
7.63/10

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Krispy Kreme Strawberry Gloss



Product name: Krispy Kreme Strawberry Gloss
Purchase details:
£1.50 for a 62g doughnut (Krispy Kreme Doughnuts)
Calories:
253 per doughnut
Country of origin:
UK

I had a lovely e-mail from Krispy Kreme Rewards this week to say that they missed me, and offering me a free doughnut if I went back. Well, I didn’t need any convincing, so I thought I’d try a variety I’d not had for a while: the Strawberry Gloss. (For the record, my recent lack of visits has been down to having a stupidly large existing snack stash and a house to buy, rather than anything against Krispy Kreme!)

If memory serves me right, when this doughnut was first launched, it was part of a promotion with a women’s magazine, since the shimmery appearance of the topping looked like lip gloss. Unfortunately, my pictures just don’t do the original elegance of the treat justice, so you’re best looking at the website image to see what it looked like prior to me taking it home! The man who served me was lovely and warned me to careful as the gloss was ‘very sticky’, and advised me not to swing the bag around my head. I can honestly say I held it flat all the way home but it was no use...the majority of the topping stuck to the bag, as you can see!


I won’t say too much about the doughnut itself as it was basically an Original Glazed that had been ‘hand-dipped in a sparkling red berry glaze’.


The bonus of a lot of topping sticking to the bag was that it gave me an excuse to eat it with a spoon and get a proper idea of what it tasted like. Its consistency was like a gloopy gel and it had a deliciously sweet flavour with a hint of berry. It contained ‘strawberry compound’ which was mainly sugar but also had 27% strawberry listed on the ingredients. It really reminded me of ice cream sauce and, in terms of its sweetness levels, I felt it was on a par with fruity lollipops. The bloke who served me wasn’t lying either...even with a spoon, my hands ended up sticky!


Combined with the Original Glazed base, the topping added no additional aroma, and it didn’t have a huge impact on the flavour either. There was a slightly tangy element but it was the sugary doughnut itself that remained prominent. The smooth, gooey texture was a more noticeable extra but, to be honest, I preferred the purity of the plain doughnut as it felt less artificial.


On the basis that the Krispy Kreme Strawberry Gloss had all the qualities of the classic Original Glazed, this was another beautiful offering from the doughnut experts. The added berry flavour was a nice touch but I would have liked it to have played a bigger part.

Krispy Kreme, you may have missed me, but I missed you more...

Appearance: 9/10
Aroma:
8/10
Taste:
9.5/10
Texture:
8.5/10
Overall score:
8.75/10
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