I was contacted recently about reviewing some chocolate bars that used Stevia as a sweetener; to be fair I have never really got on the 'Stevia bandwagon' as such; when it came out as a new 'natural' sweetener I thought it might be a nice change to the usual sucralose I use to sweeten my oats, yoghurt and other things I concoct; however I found the taste to be repulsive. It had a bitter aftertaste and an awful aniseed flavour that lingered at the back of your throat, to put it simply it made me feel quite sick.
Therefore I wasn't the most excited to try a Stevia sweetened chocolate bar but when I went on to Discover's website I actually found that there were a few different and interesting flavours which enticed me to give them a go and hope for the best. The first one I'm reviewing out of the 3 I received is this salted popcorn and peanut milk chocolate bar, containing 33.9% cocoa solids its actually a pretty high percentage milk chocolate bar compared to the likes you'll find gracing the supermarket convenience aisle.
The actual bar weights 50g and is studded with pieces of popcorn and small pieces of peanuts; when you snap a cube off you can tell that it's quite a creamy bar and popping a piece into my mouth this is reflected in the melt. The melt of it was surprisingly good, smooth, creamy and rich leaving you with some nice crunchy bits of popcorn and peanuts to nibble on.
You definitely couldn't massively tell that Stevia had been used to sweeten it; there definitely wasn't that cloying aniseed flavour and I think for the average consumer they wouldn't be able to distinguish it from a regular chocolate bar in terms of sugar/sweetener flavour. The flavour is creamy, rich with light caramel notes whilst the peanuts and popcorn aren't massively salty they do add a slight savoury element to it which is nice.
The best thing about this bar for those trying to avoid sugar is that it only contains 3.6g sugar in the whole bar and 240calories, meaning that this milk chocolate bar is only 480kcal per 100g which is around 60kcal lower than a regular sugar sweetened chocolate bar you would pick up. Whether this was sweetened with sugar or Stevia if it tasted the same as it did when I tried it this would definitely be a bar that I would pick up again and if you're trying to cut down on your sugar intake but still fancy a bit of a sweet treat then yes I would definitely go for it! As a Stevia hater I can say that I actually enjoyed this product and that says a lot about the execution of the bar!
Taste - 7.5/10 - Really good, not just for a Stevia sweetened chocolate bar but for any chocolate bar.
Texture - 8.3/10 - Loved the texture, really smooth, creamy melt, a few more peanuts could have possibly improved the bar further.
Appearance - 7.2/10 - Look good, good dispersion of mix ins.
Price - 7.4/10 - Priced at £1.60 it's definitely affordable.
Overall - 7.6/10 - A decent chocolate bar in its own right whether it's sweetened with Stevia or not.
WHO FOR?Anyone looking for a good sugar substitute chocolate bar.
WHERE TO BUY?