Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Chocolate Smiths Bizarre Bubblegum Sundae Bar

I've quite enjoyed some of The Chocolate Smiths Bizarre bars, normally packed full of filling and flavour I had high hopes for this Bubblegum Sundae bar. Described as "white chocolate with fruity bubblegum and creamy vanilla, topped with sprinkles and a drizzle of butterscotch dark chocolate", it sounded as if it would be right up my street, I'm a huge fan of bubblegum flavoured things, although not particularly "sophisticated" bubblegum ice cream is one of my favourite flavours if done well with its fruity, sweet nostalgic flavour.
    The Chocolate Smiths Bizarre Bar Bubblegum Sundae

From the description  of the bar I expected this to be a white chocolate bar with a creamy bubblegum/vanilla centre with a layer of vibrant, vivid multi-coloured sprinkles gracing the top. My first disappointment came when I opened the bar, I wouldn't say the bar was really "topped" with sprinkles but more kind of swirled through the chocolate and they looked like the cheap pastel style ones that you can pick up in the supermarkets, they could have added so much "pop" and fun to the bar if they were a brightly coloured.

The Chocolate Smiths Bizarre Bar Bubblegum Sundae

Never mind I thought and looked forward to snapping into the bar to see what delightful filling they had included; snap went the chocolate, crisper than I expected, hmm..where is the filling..maybe it's a bit further inside the bar, snap, again no filling. I then realised that there was no filling and that this in fact was a bubblegum flavoured chocolate bar. Second disappointment.

The Chocolate Smiths Bizarre Bar Bubblegum Sundae

Oh well, I thought, it might have a really great flavour, so I popped a cube into my mouth...white chocolate with a teeeeeny tiny hint of bubblegum, not really very much vanilla and an odd crunch from a sprinkle. Third and final huge disappointment. This bar should be jam packed of bubblegum flavour, it should be fun and vibrant and everything that a bubblegum ice cream sundae would offer.

Instead this is more like a vanilla screwball with a bubblegum at the bottom, no fun whatsoever.

Taste - 2.0/10 - No where near strong enough on the bubblegum or vanilla front.
Texture - 2.1/10 - Would have been so much better with a smooth bubblegum flavour where it cold have been the star of the show.
Appearance - 1.5/10 - No filling, sprinkles don't look very fun whatsoever.
Price - 1.9/10  - I think I paid £3.99 for this in Fenwick, compared to some of their other bars and what else you could buy for this amount of money for a 100g bar of chocolate I think it's pretty poor value for money.
Overall - 1.9/10 - If only this had  been executed better.
WHO FOR?I can imagine this would have gone down a treat with kids and big kids alike; unfortunately I don't think it packs the flavour punch it should.

I picked this up at my local Fenwicks, you can also buy it online for £3.70 at The Chocolate Smiths website here.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Crispy Toffee Trilogy

I've reviewed quite a few of The Grown Up Chocolate Company's bars here on Lot-O-Choc and some are easier to determine where they get their inspiration from than others; I think it's quite easy to tell straight away what bar this is meant to be, a Toffee Crisp. I'm quite partial to a Toffee Crisp every now and then, that wonderful combination of chewy caramel, chocolate and biscuit. However the standard Nestle version is pretty sweet, so I was looking forward to how The Grown Up Chocolate Company could improve on this bar to make it that bit more sophisticated.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Crispy Toffee Trilogy 

The base is made up of milk chocolate and crunchy rice puffs, with a gooey caramel centre, topped with white chocolate biscuit pearls and enrobed in a 38.4% cocoa solid milk chocolate - to me this sounded utterly delicious and I liked the idea of the white chocolate biscuit pearls in there to add another nice extra crunch element.
The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Crispy Toffee Trilogy

Again this bar comes in a 70g format, split into 2 separate 35g bars - if you have the will power to only eat one, as it is delicious. It has just the right level of sweetness and has a wonderful creamy milk chocolate flavour, the caramel is delightfully soft and chewy and contrasts well against the crunchy base and nibbly white chocolate biscuit pearl pieces.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Crispy Toffee Trilogy

There's not much more really to say other than this bar is certainly one I would go back for again, I am constantly impressed by The Grown Up Chocolate Company's bar range and have yet to try one that I have been disappointed with and am finding it extremely difficult to decide which one has been my favourite so far! If you're looking for a slightly more sophisticated Toffee Crisp or just a delicious chocolate bar then give this a go, you won't regret it!

Taste - 8.4/10 - Really good, would choose this over a normal Toffee Crisp any day, feels more indulgent and has a better balance of sweetness.
Texture - 8.6/10 - Lovely contrast between chewy/crunchy.
Appearance - 8.5/10 - Like all of the other bars produced the packaging/branding is strong and the bars are neatly stored in a plastic tray.
Price - 8.0/10 - £2.50 each for a 70g bar isn't ridiculously expensive if you want something a bit more indulgent compared to your standard commercial bars.
Overall - 8.4/10 - Delicious.
Another one the kids are missing out on - haha! Great for any chocolate lover, especially if you're partial to a Toffee Crisp.

Online at The Grown Up Chocolate Company

Friday, 28 August 2015

Cadbury Milk Tray 100 Year Anniversary Box

It has been absolutely years since I had a box of Milk Tray, in fact I can't remember the last time I had a box, it must have been well before Mondalez took over Cadbury, but I do remember that I rather enjoyed them, so when I was sent a huge box of them from the Cadbury PR team I was hoping to relive nostalgic memories - albeit with a few new additions.    

Cadbury Milk Tray

Cadbury Milk Tray

To mark the 100 year anniversary Cadbury have included 3 new chocolates within the Milk Tray Box : Apple Crunch, Salted Caramel Charm & Truffle Heart. There are then the regular features : Hazelnut Swirl, Surprise Parcel, Orange Truffle, Strawberry Temptation, Perfect Praline, Caramel Softy & Fudge Duet.

Cadbury Milk Tray

Surprise Parcel
- A white chocolate truffle wrapped in milk chocolate
Although the Surprise Parcel isn't marked as new I've never actually tried this one before; safe to say I wasn't missing out on much as this was dire. The filling is hardly truffle-esque but a thick waxy paste and well, it didn't really taste of anything.

Hazelnut Swirl - Whole roasted hazelnut in a whirl of milk chocolateI quite like this chocolate in Cadbury Roses so I was expecting something similar; I don't know whether it's just that the chocolate previous I'd tried was so bad but this didn't taste the same, in fact it didn't taste like Cadbury's chocolate at all, the texture was really waxy and not particularly pleasant. It wasn't as bad as the previous, but still, not what I was expecting. Also my family ate the other hazelnut swirls in the box and found that 2/4 didn't even have a hazelnut in!!

Cadbury Milk Tray

Apple Crunch -
Apple flavour white chocolate truffle with cinnamon crunch
I was quite excited about this one; apple isn't a flavour that's often used in chocolate and I'm quite partial to cinnamon, this wasn't as bad as the surprise parcel but its certainly not amazing, a pleasant-ish apple flavour with subtle cinnamon, but again the texture of the truffle was like a waxy paste. This could have been so good if executed better.

Orange Truffle - Milk chocolate truffle with an orange twist
I used to absolutely love this chocolate back in the days so I was really looking forward to having it back in my life, unfortunately this excitement was short lived, as again it was really disappointing and had an awful waxy texture.

Cadbury Milk Tray
Salted Caramel Charm -
Chewy caramel with a touch of salt enrobed in smooth milk chocolate
Firstly this is a verrrry chewy caramel; more like a toffee, so it wasn't going to be my favourite for me from the offset as I don't like toffee. Secondly I have very mixed feelings about the level of salt in it; the first one I tried was ridiculously salty, so much it was unpleasant, one of my family members then tried one and said it didn't taste of salt at all, so I had a nibble of that one and agreed, yes, it didn't taste of salt. What's going on?! Still at least there's no waxy chocolate centre in this one.
Strawberry Temptation
- Delicious real strawberry fondant covered in milk chocolateAgain I quite enjoyed this one last time I had them (many a year ago) and remember it being far superior to Roses Strawberry Cream; now it makes Roses look like the cream of the crop. What on earth is "real" about this?! It was quite possibly the worst strawberry chocolate I have ever tasted; the inside was ridiculously sweet and tasted extremely medicinal (and not in a nice Calpol way).

Cadbury Milk Tray

Perfect Praline
- Hazelnut praline encased in a milk chocolate gemTo call this a "perfect praline" is blasphemy, this is by no means a praline but a waxy mess of sweetness. That's all that can really be said on the matter.

Caramel Softy - Milk chocolate matched with its caramel sweetheart
This was one of the slightly better chocolates in the box but still wasn't massively enjoyable; the smooth liquid caramel centre was sickly sweet, but again at least it wasn't a mass of waxy chocolate.

Cadbury Milk Tray

Fudge Duet
- Vanilla flavour fudge covered with milk chocolateProbably the only chocolate in the box I enjoyed and to be fair, it's not even really a chocolate, this is the same fudge that's used in Marvellous Mix Ups with Maynards and I really like that so I knew this was going to be ok. A smooth, sweet, fudge, with thankfully not too much chocolate coating it!! Probably what makes it good.

Truffle Heart - Smooth chocolate truffle, locked in a milk chocolate heartThis was said to be "new" but I'm sure this has definitely been floating around in the past and when I bit into it I definitely knew it had; this seems as if it's the same style truffle used in the "Thank You" chocolates that Cadbury made, which I remember being utterly horrendous. The same can be said here, this doesn't taste of chocolate, it tastes of sweet wax. Oh dear me.

I have to say that overall I was so, so disappointed with this box of Milk Tray and would go as far as to say that it was one of the worst boxes of chocolates I've ever had, what has happened to Cadbury?! Mondalez have ruined Milk Tray, they no longer even taste of proper chocolate and looking at the back on the ingredients list its no wonder why they taste so bad with sugar and vegetable fats being the top 2 ingredients. Yack.

Taste - 1.5/10 - The only one I enjoyed was the fudge; the rest were awful and I actually spat quite a few of them out.
Texture - 1.5/10 - If you like eating wax then you'll love these....
Appearance - 6.4/10 - They look fine enough, just don't put them in your mouth.
Price - 1.2/10 - £12.99 RRP for 530g chocolates works out at £2.45 per 100g, dreadful value for money.
Overall - 2.7/10 - Awful, they only look slightly appealing and everyone knows you shouldn't judge a book by its cover or in this a chocolate by its exterior. 100 years and look what's happened.
Unless you enjoy eating wax then please don't buy these.

Most major retailers.