Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lindt Lindor Hazelnut

I love the seasonal variations of Lindor that Lindt often bring out, this year's Winter Edition is Lindor Hazelnut. Safe to say I was pretty excited, if you read the blog frequently you'll know I adore hazelnut chocolate products, so I waited until they went on special offer and picked up a box of them.

Lindt Lindor Hazelnut
 
Normally with whatever different flavours that Lindt releases, they flavour the inner truffle centre and therefore I was under the impression, and hoping, that the centre here would be hazelnut based, almost like a praline filling. However to my disappointment it seems that it is the regular milk chocolate truffle Lindor filling with simply crushed hazelnuts in the outer shell. Hm a bit of a cop out if you ask me, I definitely think the inner truffle should have been hazelnut based.

Lindt Lindor Hazelnut 


Unwrapping a truffle out of its brown, hazelnut coloured wrapping, you can clearly see the hazelnut pieces dotted throughout the shell, distinguishing it from the classic milk chocolate Lindor.

Lindt Lindor Hazelnut
Now Lindors are most definitely one of the chocolates that are better when sucked, you simply cannot get the same melt in the mouth enjoyment by quickly, biting your way through it. However I felt that the hazelnut pieces actually ruined this, as it made the melt a bit scratchy and not as smooth. In conjunction with this they didn't actually add a whole lot of flavour, with the eat still being dominated by the classic milk chocolate truffle Lindor flavour : creamy, rich, slightly malty chocolate.

 
Lindt Lindor Hazelnut

That's not to say that this is a bad thing, but if I wanted a classic milk chocolate Lindor I would have bought a classic milk chocolate Lindor, if I buy something hazelnut based I really want it to pack a hazelnut punch. This could have been a million times better if only the filling had been made hazelnut based. 

 
Taste - 6.7/10 - Still tastes good, as most Lindor chocolates do, but most certainly isn't "hazelnut" in terms of flavour.
Texture - 5.5/10 - The addition of the hazelnuts ruined the smooth melt.
Appearance - 7.4/10 - Standard Lindor appearance.
Price - 6.0/10 - I bought these on special for £3.50, don't think I would pay full price for this particular flavour.
Overall - 6.4/10 - Could have been so much nicer with a hazelnut centre.
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WHO FOR?
If you're looking for an alternative to the classic milk chocolate Lindor and don't expect them to be too hazelnut dominated.


WHERE TO BUY?
Most major retailers will stock these.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Raw Chocolate Co Mulberries

I was lucky enough to receive a parcel of goods from The Raw Chocolate Co recently; I reviewed their Vanoffe bar a few months ago here. As you may have guessed from their name and if you read the previous review I posted, The Raw Chocolate Co produce raw, vegan, organic chocolate and therefore are catered to the more health conscious, "free-from" market.
     
I've mentioned my thoughts on these type of products before - I don't actively seek them but if they can stand their own as a good tasting product then I would buy them anyway.

The first products I'm reviewing are their mulberries : Raw Vanoffee and Raw Chocolate.

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries



As I mentioned in the previous review the Vanoffe is meant to be toffee/caramel flavoured, with the addition of the superfood lucuma. Described as "our creamy silky Raw Vanoffee draped over Turkish white Mulberries making a dreamy delicious decadent delight", they sound appetising enough but since I wasn't a huge fan of the Vanoffee chocolate in bar form I was slightly skeptical as to whether I was going to enjoy these.

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries

A light cacao dusting covers the vanoffe coated mulberries, giving them a slightly powdery finish. In all honesty they didn't look massively appetising, unfortunately the wriggly outer appearance of mulberries doesn't do them any favours. However on tasting they are definitely an improvement from the basic Vanoffee bar, due to the addition of the mulberries it stops the eat becoming too sickly, yet still has a pleasant caramel undertone. Again the mulberries also improve the texture as you aren't having to deal with a waxy melt, but instead get to enjoy the chewiness the mulberries offer. Relatively pleasant.

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries

Raw Chocolate Mulberries

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries

With 72% cocoa solids I was expecting to these to be at the other end of the  sweetness spectrum compared to the Vanoffee. Described as "chewy, caramelly Turkish mulberries delicately dipped in our glorious Raw chocolate. Dare you share them?" I haven't tried The Raw Chocolate Co's basic raw chocolate so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries


Unfortunately they look even less appetising than the Vanoffe counterpart, with the raw chocolate coating and darker cacao powder really gripping the wriggly edges of the mulberries. The flavour is a much deeper cocoa flavour but unfortunately for me it just tasted like I was eating a mulberry that had been dipped in cocoa powder, it was ok but it didn't possess any hint of creaminess either in flavour or texture that may have indicated it had been previously coated in chocolate. I most definitely preferred the Vanoffe out of the two.

Raw Vanoffe Mulberries




Ultimately the products definitely do taste like they are "health" products, which is fine if that's what The Raw Chocolate Co are going for, but I wouldn't say that irrespective of their "health" credentials they stood as great tasting products. I would most likely sit these products within a similar range akin to that of Nakd Nibbles, not really a go to "chocolate" product but something I may purchase to snack on now and again or use as a topping.

Taste - 5.7/10 - The Vanoffe was definitely more to my liking, a lightly fruity and sweet caramel flavour. Unfortunately I felt that in the Chocolate version the subtlety of the mulberries was lost.
Texture - 6.5/10 - Chewy mulberries that make for a nice nibbly, moreish snack.
Appearance - 3.0/10 - Sorry but the appearance really isn't all that appetising.
Price - 5.0/10 - £1.49 for a 28g pack is relatively expensive, but is priced in a similar range to that of other health products.
Overall - 5.1/10 - Most definitely a "health snack" as opposed to a great chocolate product.
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WHO FOR?
If you're vegan or looking for a raw chocolate product then these would make a nice snack alternative sweet snack.


WHERE TO BUY?
They can be purchased from various health food shops or online from The Raw Chocolate Co here.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

M&S 32% Single Origin Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate with Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup

I was pleased to find, along with the 46% Dominican Republic bar that I reviewed here, M&S were also offering a couple of other single origin milk chocolate bars : mint and the one I am reviewing today: Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup. Still using Dominican Republic cacao these bars have a slightly lower cocoa solids %, at 32% and are both flavoured in some way.

M&S 32% Single Origin  Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate with Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup

Described as "milk chocolate with salted butterscotch pieces and maple syrup" this bar sounded delicious. Opening up the packaging you are greeted with a more in depth description of what "Taste Profile" to expect - "enjoy the bold flavours of butterscotch and crème brûlée in this rich chocolate, with maple syrup and vanilla notes adding depth and harmony. Good with a stout beer and salted Marcona almonds to cut through the creamy sweetness" and the story of "From Bean to Bar".

M&S 32% Single Origin  Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate with Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup

According to the Taste Profile the flavours in this bar sounded delightful. I was hoping for great things. The melt is smooth and even, with light, creamy cocoa notes giving way to sweeter caramel and vanilla, with the slightest hint of maple. To be honest I think this bar could have taken more maple flavour, it could have been more pronounced and punchy, instead it lingers under the surface slightly, making you search for it in hope of an additional hit.


The salted butterscotch pieces are small, evenly dotted throughout the bar and are firm and crunchy, akin to the texture of the innards of a Daim bar, adding a nice bite and textural contrast to the eat whilst injecting a nice salty caramel tang to the milk chocolate backdrop.

M&S 32% Single Origin  Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate with Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup

It's definitely a moreish chocolate bar and in a world where commercial chocolate quality is slowly being degraded it makes for a nice change to find a good quality, accessibly priced milk chocolate bar. My only qualm is that I maybe would have liked a tad more maple!

M&S 32% Single Origin  Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate with Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup

Taste - 7.0/10
- Good quality milk chocolate: sweet and creamy. Pairs well with the salted butterscotch pieces. Could have done with a tad more maple.

Texture - 7.5/10 - Smooth melt, crunchy butterscotch pieces.
Appearance - 8.0/10 - Love the packaging of the bar and the details of the Taste Profile inside.
Price - 8.5/10 - At £2.00 for 100g it's really good value.
Overall - 7.8/10 - Another delicious single origin milk chocolate bar.
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WHO FOR?
Anyone looking for a good quality milk chocolate bar with a little additional flavour.

WHERE TO BUY?
Marks & Spencer's stores nationwide.