Green & Black’s Crispy Milk Bar

March 17th, 2012 by Terry

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve eaten a Green & Black’s bar, let alone review one, and I was pleasantly surprised to see two new bars in my local Sainsbury’s a couple of days ago, the first of which is this milk chocolate bar with crisp cereal pieces.

I’ve never been big on crisp bars, though I have a fondness for Nestle’s Crunch bar, for the most part I find them to be a little uninspiring. This bar has quite a bright, eye catching colour to it and with 37% cocoa should provide quite a rich milk chocolate experience.

The back of the bar is absolutely filled to the brim with little studs of cereal. It has a good, deep milk chocolate flavour with a crunchy texture, but as I figured it’s just a little plain for my tastes. It doesn’t do anything wrong at all and if you’re looking for this kind of bar then I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

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Suntory Sparkling Chocolate Soda

July 25th, 2011 by Terry

Figured I’d do something a little bit different here: chocolate flavoured soda from Suntory of Japan. Suntory are one of the biggest and oldest beverage companies in Japan and not only make soft drinks, but alcoholic drinks (beer, rum and whiskey) too. Imagine a Coca-Cola line of beer and you’re on the right track here. They’re more famous for their Boss Coffee and C.C. Lemon range which you’ll see in most vending machines in Japan, but also like to throw things like this out there every so often.

I’ll be honest, I was not very excited to try this. Anyone who’s ever had artificial chocolate products know that they’re almost always really bad, at least in my experience. Without me being able to get any kind of handle on the ingredients (everything on the bottle is in Japanese), all I can do is drink up and hope for the best.

The bottle is really pretty. There’s an Alice in Wonderland theme on there for whatever reason, and the brown colour is done really well. It’s also there for a reason, because we do of course associate chocolate with the colour brown, the drink itself is actually clear, so it masks the real colour to an extent.

Opening the bottle up, the smell is…bad. The artificial taste I spoke of earlier is in full force. While bodybuilders aren’t exactly my target audience, anyone who’s ever had chocolate flavoured whey protein powder will instantly recognise this taste. I had two swigs and couldn’t drink the rest, it’s just such a horrible, fake chocolate taste. I like the idea but back to the drawing board with this one.

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Thorntons Metropolitan

July 13th, 2011 by Terry

I’m perhaps a little bit slow at getting this review up because as it turns out, Thorntons have now discontinued this product. I’ll review it anyway because it may very well be seasonal and come back at some point, though whether you’ll want to try it or not is what we shall discover…

‘Culinary couture meets cocoa chic in Thorntons Metropolitan Collection’ is the tagline for this box, and it’s certainly…different, in terms of its outward appearance. Chic is definitely a good word for it, it looks like a box of chocolates you’d see in something like Sex in the City, not that I ever watched that show or anything. Ahem. There’s eight different types of chocolate inside too and they’re a little bit outside of Thorntons’ normal range.

The chocolates have clever names either based off locations such as the Manhattan Melt and Soho Caramel, or play on their flavours such as Orange Garden and Praline Piazza, all connected with a chic image. The contents of the box smell very floral, which is to be expected as Thorntons place a lot of emphasis on fruity and perfumed flavours here, notably in the Cloudberry Hill and Q Couture chocolates, which are both ganaches that wouldn’t look out of place at a high end chocolate artisan shop.

My problem with this box is that nothing really blew me away. The Praline Piazza is a nice, crispy hazelnut praline chocolate, and Orange Garden is a smooth orange flavoured dark chocolate ganache, but I felt like I’d tasted them before. Vanilla Heights sounded good with it being vanilla ganache with milk chocolate, but it was very plain tasting. Soho Caramel was described as being buttery, but it was overly so, and the dark chocolate shell it had did not go too well with the taste.

Overall it’s not a bad box, but I can see why it’s no longer being sold by Thorntons. Kudos to them for trying something different but it’s not quite up to scratch im its current form.

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Thorntons Summer Collection

June 5th, 2011 by Terry

It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything from Thorntons, and so I decided to give a few of their new products a go to see how their range has expanded recently, and what better way to enjoy the hot weather than with a box of summer themed chocolates?

The box is very plain looking and not altogether to my taste, but I can’t deny that it isn’t eye catching. The bright yellow colour certainly stands out, and the picture of the chocolates on the front looks quite appetising. There are seven chocolates featured here: raspberry & mascarpone mousse, orange pressé, blackcurrant miroir, peach melba, lemon meringue, strawberry crush and mango mousse. Suffice to say, if you don’t like fruity chocolate, you’ll know already that this isn’t for you.

There are two of the above layers of chocolates within the box, and as you can see you get two of every chocolate, except for strawberry crush: you get four of those. I’m not entirely sure why this is, inside there’s a little leaflet with in depth descriptions of each chocolate and Thorntons describe the strawberry crush as being “the taste of an English summer”, I guess that means we get twice as much of it as any other chocolate here then.

This is a good thing though because it’s delicious, though saying that, everything here is. The lemon meringue is, if you’ve been reading my website for awhile now, predictably my favourite of the lot. Tangy and with an almost liquid lemon centre, it’s absolutely amazing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, lemon and chocolate can go together so well and it’s a shame I don’t see it more often. The rest of the chocolates are all fluffy and moussey except for the blackcurrant miroir which was a dark chocolate cup with blackcurrant jelly within, this was my least favourite of the box being that I’m not a big dark chocolate fan and the blackcurrant didn’t seem to come through enough for me.

If you’re a fan of tangy, zesty summer fruits I highly recommend this box. Thorntons have put together some interesting flavours here you’re unlikely to find in many other places, and it’s worth the price alone for the novelty of being able to eat mango, peach and lemon flavoured chocolates.

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Galaxy Bites

June 4th, 2011 by Terry

I’ve been meaning to review these for over a week now but hadn’t managed to get round to it for whatever reason. It’s not as if I dislike Galaxy chocolate, it’s great stuff, or caramel, which is equally delicious, just for some reason these sat here and I had no huge desire to eat them.

Galaxy Bites are a new range from the decently large Galaxy collection by Mars, and are milk chocolate balls with a chocolate caramel centre. It amazes me that there’s nothing really like this on the market already, it seems like something that should be around. These only come in 40g bags as far as I’m aware, and are as you’d imagine available in pretty much every retailer around.

In terms of packaging, it’s typical Galaxy fare. Much like Cadbury, they have their core image which they adjust ever so slightly for each product, and it works. The Bites themselves have the appearance of a Malteser, just ever so slightly smaller.

They taste really good too, your typical Galaxy milk chocolate with a soft, yielding caramel centre. If you’re looking for bite-sized caramel chocolate then this is a great place to start.

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Cadbury’s Toffee Truffle Bliss

May 13th, 2011 by Terry

The final in Cadbury’s Bliss range, here is ‘Scrumptious Toffee flavour truffle’, as a big fan of toffee I’m delighted to try this.

Like the hazelnut truffle, this doesn’t have any toffee pieces in it, note that it is toffee flavour, and what this means is when you look at the ingredients, there’s no mention of toffee at all. In fact, I’m not sure where they get the toffee flavour from at all, as there’s nothing there which looks like it could be toffee-like, it’s a pretty standard ingredients list as far as chocolate goes.

One thing I haven’t mentioned with these reviews yet, is that it says that there is the equivalent of 426ml of fresh liquid milk in every 227g of milk chocolate. This seems to be a bit of a random fact, especially seeing as the bars are 110g, so it would have made more sense to simply list how much milk (if you care at all) you’re getting in each bar, rather than the 227g figure pulled from the sky.

As far as the bar goes, it’s definitely my favourite of the three, simply because it has the most unique flavour. It’s very sweet and almost caramel-esque with its flavour, but it has enough to distinguish itself as toffee. The soft truffle goes really well with it too, it’s just a really nice bar! My overall feelings on the range are that it’s nice to see Cadbury pushing some new products but it always seems to me that they’re a little afraid (or perhaps we as consumers are afraid) of trying something radically different. It’s new, but it’s a little too safe. If you have to try any of these though, definitely go with toffee, it’s the most interesting and the tastiest one.

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Cadbury’s Hazelnut Truffle Bliss

May 12th, 2011 by Terry

The second of the three bars in the Bliss range, here we have the old classic: hazelnut. The slight difference here is that there are no actual hazelnuts in here, rather a “roasted hazelnut paste (5%)” mixed in with the chocolate truffle.

Unsurprisingly Cadbury have used a brown theme along with the purple for this particular edition, and it looks quite nice. Being a big fan of Japanese confectionery I like the cardboard boxes and elaborate overpackaging they tend to use, and it’s nice to see Cadbury using boxes for these rather than plain foil wrappers.

Inside the box is, of course, a foil wrapper though (akin to the kind used in Lindt/Green & Black’s/etc), and then ten more big truffle chunks for me to devour. It’s nice to eat a hazelnut bar that doesn’t leave little pieces in my mouth after I was done with it, but it seemed a little lacking in actual hazelnut taste. With so many hazelnut products on the market, a few being from Cadbury themselves, this for me doesn’t quite do enough. If you really like hazelnut though but hate having the actual nuts in your teeth then this could be the answer for you.

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Cadbury’s Chocolate Truffle Bliss

May 7th, 2011 by Terry

Cadbury, or rather, an agency acting on their behalf, got in touch with me a couple of days ago to offer me samples of their latest Bliss range, and here is the first of three, their original chocolate truffle flavour.

It seems that Dairy Milk has become almost as important to Cadbury as their actual name itself, because like almost all their products this has it slapped on, and is of course purple. It’s not a bad thing, just an observation really, Dairy Milk is tasty stuff after all.

The Bliss bars are 110g and come in a nice cardboard box, but apart from that there’s not too much information on the packaging about what these are. Basically inside is a foil wrapped bar, with ten breakable pieces with Cadbury emblazoned on. Each piece is milk chocolate coated with a soft, moussey truffle within. Being an ordinary chocolate truffle, this is basically double chocolate and it’s pretty good!

If you’ve ever eaten a Dairy Milk bar you’ll probably have an idea of how this will taste already, it has the signature taste to it, and an RRP of £1.39 puts it at around the same price as its competitors, and with it being available now I’d say this is worth a shot. I’m hoping the other two bars offer something a bit different though.

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Jaxx Milk Chocolate Coco Crunches

April 27th, 2011 by Terry

The third and final of Jaxx’s range, and very similar to the original milk chocolate Crunches, here we have Milk Chocolate Coco Crunches.

One thing that’s slightly unfortunate about these is that there’s no information on the packet about what they actually are. Most chocolate products will give a brief one or two line description of what is actually being sold. This hasn’t been a problem for previous Jaxx products because it’s always been obvious what you’re actually buying, but in this case it’s a bit of a mystery.

As it turns out these are indeed very similar to the milk chocolate Crunches, they’re basically the same thing except with a chocolate flavoured wafer/biscuit inside rather than a regular flavour, or at least that’s what I assume anyway because the taste isn’t very different, it’s simply brown rather than the usual off-white colour. They’re still nice and are slightly different than the regular Crunches but it’s not quite enough in my opinion to really bother with.

My overall opinion of the Jaxx Crunches range is that they’re certainly tasty and provide something slightly different on the market, and I’m always happy to see new things around. I’m not entirely convinced of their lasting appeal and the price might be a bit steep for most, but I hope to see them expand and hit large retailers soon.

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Jaxx Orange-Chocolate coated Crunches

April 24th, 2011 by Terry

As mentioned in my previous review, Jaxx sent me all of their current product range and here’s the second I’ve decided to review: Orange-Chocolate coated Crunches.

Obviously with very similar packaging and an orange coloured theme, there’s not too much I can say about this that I didn’t say before, and so I’ll get straight to the chocolate.

Identical in size and appearance to the Milk Chocolate coated Crunches, these don’t give off any kind of orangey smell at all, which is quite unusual for this kind of thing. They have a taste which is quite unlike any orange chocolate I’ve ever had before too, which is because of the large amount of biscuit/wafer. The orange is quite nice and has quite a ‘deep’ flavour to it and I really enjoyed these. If you’re a fan of orange and chocolate then I think you’ll find something here a little bit different to the usual stuff on the market.

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