In a sea of chocolate bars with uninteresting packaging when one has a design that really pops and stands out it makes such a difference in attracting me to pick it up; when the flavour then also sounds amazing, it's a guarantee that I'm going to buy it.
That's how I felt about this Hands Off My Chocolate Crispy Cookie Caramel & Sea Salt bar which I picked up whilst recently in Amsterdam, it immediately caught my eye with its fun, innovative packaging and unusual bar format.
Unlike most chocolate bars which come in some sort of cube/square/rectangle shaped format here the pieces are circular which "perfectly fits your mouth" with the words "mine" and "your's (crossed out)" printed onto the pieces.
These pieces are split into two layers, a milk chocolate base, topped with caramel chocolate dotted with crunchy cookie pieces and sea salt. The shape of the pieces actually did make this more enjoyable to eat and definitely elevated the experience, they are just the right size mouthful size!
However what good is the shape of the bar if the chocolate doesn't taste great? Thankfully this isn't the case here as the chocolate is also delicious!! The milk chocolate has rich, deep, creamy cocoa notes whilst the caramel layer adds a nice hint of sweetness to the bar. The sea salt adds a wonderful, salty tang and is most definitely evident in just the right quantity to balance the eat; whilst the cookies add a slight hint of bitterness to the eat and round the bar off nicely. Compared to lots of milk chocolate bars that can be overly sweet this wasn't the case here, with a minimum of 30.8% cocoa solids, which givs a deeper, richer eat to the bar.
In terms of texture it's incredibly moreish, the perfect amount of cookie pieces to give a crunchy, nibbly eat. If you want to let the bar melt in your mouth they can be slightly obtrusive but it didn't bother me enough to stop me enjoying it and I quite happily tucked in. I even detected the texture of an odd flake of sea salt which was a nice additional touch.
Overall I thought this bar was great and if Hands Off My Chocolate were available in the U.K I'd definitely be buying it regularly, I loved the format, loved the flavour and loved the branding. It's a big thumbs up all round from me.
Taste - 8.5/10 - Really well balanced, deep, milky, creamy milk chocolate; sweeter caramel chocolate + a good sprinkling of sea salt.
Texture - 7.2/10 - Cookie pieces and sea salt add a nice textural contrast. Not a bar for letting melt as they can be a bit obtrusive but still enjoyable.
Appearance - 9.5/10 - Absolutely love the design/format/branding of the bar.
Price - 8.3/10 - At ~€2 it's a bargain in my opinion!
Overall - 8.4/10 - A fun, great tasting chocolate bar.
Any chocolate lover should in theory enjoy this.
WHERE TO BUY?
Available in the Netherlands or online through Hands Off My Chocolate's website here.