Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Happy Mail Candy Grotto

I love it when I come across new, fun chocolate products. Although I like my single origin bars, artisan ganaches and truffles there's a part of me that absolutely adores novelty chocolate products, especially if they taste good too.

The Happy Mail Candy Grotto   

I remember just before Christmas coming across a company called The Happy Mail on Instagram, wide eyed I scrolled through the amazing looking products - Christmas Tree Pizza Chocolate Lollies, Chocolate Dipped Biscuits, Candy Grottoes...there were so many amazing looking products, all handmade, to buy online. So when asked by a family member for present ideas I directed them to the website and asked them to choose me something.

The Happy Mail Candy Grotto

Now I know you might be thinking isn't this a bit late for a Christmas review, well no because I'm reviewing the concept of the company and although this product is Christmas themed per se there are products which are similar, such as Charms Super Slab, that you can get year round.

The Happy Mail Candy Grotto
Opening this I couldn't help but notice how visually stunning it is, so colourful and fun looking, decorated with a variety of sweets, sprinkles and a cute light green white chocolate gingerbread man. My idea of absolute cute, novelty heaven!

The product is made with Belgian white chocolate, so certainly isn't really cheap stuff and is really thick. It certainly was a generous portion and although there was no weight on the pack, so I'm not entirely sure how much this weighed, I'd guess around 300g.

The Happy Mail Candy Grotto
I loved how every time you would snap a piece off you would get a slightly different eat. Although the base is a lovely creamy, good quality rich Belgian white chocolate - thankfully no throat cloying sweetness, depending on what area of the house you ate you would get a slightly different experience, whether this be from the peppermint candy cane, dolly mixtures, foamy shrimp or milk bottle. 



The Happy Mail Candy Grotto

I absolutely love when cute, novelty products also live up to expectations when it comes to flavour. This product was not only fun to look at but also really fun to eat and it went far too quickly for my liking (always a good sign that I've really enjoyed something). Although you might not be able to get this exact product from The Happy Mail now they do have lots of other similar offerings - mainly The Charms Super Slab and Scoff Trough Junk Mail but to be honest I'd love to try so many of their products, the biscuit adorned Tea Time Scoff Trough Junk Mail looks particularly appealing. Fun and delicious - yes please!

Taste - 8.5/10 - Creamy Belgian white chocolate, loved how every bite was different depending on which sweets you ate.
Texture - 7.5/10 - Smooth melt, wide variety of textures from the different toppings. Nice crunch added from the sprinkles, slight chewiness from the sweets.
Appearance - 10/10 - I'm not sure whether I've ever given anything a 10/10 for appearance on here and if I have it certainly doesn't happen very often but what can I say this is so much fun and visually stunning!

Price - 8.0/10 - Priced at £6.50 this was an absolute bargain!!
Overall - 8.5/10 - In love with The Happy Mail's products! So much fun!
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WHO FOR?
Would make a great gift for any chocolate lover who appreciates novelty/unusual gifts. You can also get bespoke/personalised options made!

WHERE TO BUY?

Although you can't buy this specific product as it was just a Christmas special, I urge you to check out the other products online from The Happy Mail's website here.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Choc on Choc Half Dozen Chocolate Filled Eggs and Chocolate Toast

It seems like this is the year that the "chocolate dipping egg" has fully taken off. Although Cadbury's have had their Egg & Spoon products on the shelves for a couple of years now, the recent launch of the Oreo Egg & Spoon, which I will be reviewing soon, seems to have brought the product to a lot of people's attention, well it seems to be the case on social media anyway!!

Choc on Choc Half Dozen Chocolate Filled Eggs and Chocolate Toast

That's why I was extremely excited when I was contacted about reviewing one of Choc on Choc's new Easter products. I've tried a few of Choc on Choc's products in the past, with their range generally focusing on novelty solid chocolate shapes, therefore I was excited to see that these Half Dozen Chocolate Eggs also had an additional component in the form of a chocolate filling, which you get to fully enjoy with the chocolate toast pieces that accompany the eggs!


Choc on Choc Half Dozen Chocolate Filled Eggs and Chocolate Toast

Described as "six life-size chocolate eggs filled with chocolate ganache, and chocolate toast soldiers for dipping". Opening up the box I was met with 6 good size chocolate eggs with the top of the egg being a separate piece from the egg body. On lifting off the chocolate top underneath there is the white chocolate egg centre which according to Choc on Choc can be "tapped open to expose the thick, gooey, chocolate sauce in the centre", which you can then use the chocolate toast pieces to dip in.

I excitedly took off the top of my first egg and tapped on the white chocolate centre piece with my piece of chocolate toast. Nothing. I tapped again. Still nothing. This definitely isn't a "tapping" job but more a push hard and the white chocolate piece will eventually cave in to unveil the chocolate filling. Now on the description online it has two versions of what the inside is - one says "chocolate sauce" the other says "chocolate ganache"; this is most definitely not a ganache but a runny chocolate sauce, mainly made with glucose syrup and cocoa powder.

Choc on Choc Half Dozen Chocolate Filled Eggs and Chocolate Toast

It was now time to dip a piece of chocolate toast, the chocolate sauce easily coats the piece without too much effort, allowing you to eat it in much the same you would if you were having bread egg and soldiers. Once you've finished your toast soldier you're free to spoon out the rest of the filling and eat the chocolate egg shell! The egg shell itself is fairly thick and sturdy, meaning you get a good decent chunk of Belgian chocolate to finish off the eat! My only couple of qualms are that I felt the white chocolate topping piece was a bit too thick to break through, a bit rough around the edges, and that you only get 4 toast pieces when there are 6 eggs, which means if you were going to share them with people then not everyone would get a chocolate soldier. Which doesn't make complete sense.

Choc on Choc Half Dozen Chocolate Filled Eggs and Chocolate Toast

In terms of chocolate quality it's going to be a Belgian chocolate that will please the masses, fairly creamy and not too sweet and really easy to eat! I think the chocolate sauce would have probably been a bit nicer had it been a ganache as it does taste a bit "syrupy" and not as good quality as it probably could be.

However overall I still think these are a really fun, novelty product for Easter. I definitely know that I was pleased to receive them and imagine that many others would also feel the same with their almost interactive component they are great to eat and a fun twist on a classic breakfast dish. With a bit of refinement I think these could be even better!

Taste - 6.9/10 - Creamy Belgian chocolate, slightly sickly/syrupy chocolate sauce but still pleasant.
Texture - 6.3/10 - White chocolate top was way too thick to break without making a bit of a mess, certainly no "tapping". Filling would have been nicer as a smooth ganache I think.

Appearance - 8.2/10 - Look good and really fun to eat.
Price - 6.0/10 - £15.00 for 6 eggs and soldiers, weighing in at around 600g chocolate in total means they're fairly good value for money at £2.50 per 100g.
Overall - 6.9/10 - A fun, different, novelty Easter product that with a bit of refinement could be amazing!
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WHO FOR?
Would make a great Easter gift for kids and big kids alike, they're perfect for someone looking for something a bit different to your standard Easter egg.

WHERE TO BUY?
Online at Choc on Choc's website here

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Doisy & Dam Coconut & Lucuma

This is the last of the Doisy & Dam chocolate bars I picked up from Wholefood's; although I'm not the biggest lover of dark chocolate I wanted to sample 1 dark, 1 milk and 1 white chocolate bar from Doisy& Dam and with this having won a Great Taste award and sounding relatively tasty I decided to give it a go.

Doisy & Dam Coconut & Lucuma

It's 74% dark chocolate with coconut and lucuma (a 'superfood' fruit which often gives things a 'caramelly' flavour when added). The dark chocolate had a lovely fruity, rich, tropical aroma on opening the packaging and snapping the chocolate you could see small flecks of coconut dotted throughout the bar.

Doisy & Dam Coconut & Lucuma

Considering this is a 74% chocolate bar it certainly isn't too bitter, aided by the tropical, rich notes of coconut and sweet caramel flavours of the lucuma. It's still a pretty rich, robust eat, but hey it's a high percentage dark chocolate bar.

 
The melt of the bar is relatively smooth, not the creamiest I've ever had but by no means the worst and thankfully the coconut pieces in the bar weren't intrusive or irritating when the chocolate melted!

Doisy & Dam Coconut & Lucuma

Personally I don't think I would pick this bar up again, purely just down to flavour preferences and personal tastes. I ended up giving the rest away to a friend who loves dark chocolate who really enjoyed it, so it shows that it certainly is a good dark chocolate bar, maybe just not massively my cup of tea.


Taste - 7.4/10 - Rich dark chocolate, subtle caramel and coconut notes.
Texture - 6.2/10 - Not the smoothest melt I've had.
Appearance - 7.0/10 - Like the packaging, bar itself is pretty standard.
Price - 7.7/10 - £3.50 for 100g or £1.75 for 40g.
Overall - 7.1/10 - A tasty dark chocolate bar with additional components in that really work, just not massively my preference.
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WHO FOR?
Dark chocolate lovers.


WHERE TO BUY?
I got mine at Wholefood's or you can purchase online at Doisy & Dam's website here.