Thursday, 25 June 2015

Hotel Chocolat Mango & Yoghurt Summer Selector Slab

In the Summer Nano Slab Gallery I recently reviewed all but one of the new summer selector slabs were included; the Mango & Yoghurt Summer Selector Slab, or should I say slabs, as like some of the selector slabs this 100g bar was split into 2 thinner 50g bars - which is great for portion control purposes!

Hotel Chocolat Mango & Yoghurt

Apparently this bar is inspired by the cooling refreshing mango lassie drink with half of the slab being made up of mango flavoured white chocolate and half of the slab being yoghurt flavoured white chocolate. The mango half actually contains mango powder; so it's nice to see that not just a flavouring has been used.

Hotel Chocolat Mango & Yoghurt

The mango has a wonderful, sweet tropical flavour and eating it just reminded me of summers sitting eating a Solero to cool down; the yoghurt half doesn't have a massive yoghurt tang, but does have a slightly sourer subtle undertone,so that you notice that it isn't just standard white chocolate - it doesn't have the same higher sweetness level associated with white chocolate.

Hotel Chocolat Mango & Yoghurt

I definitely think it's a great bar of chocolate for the summer; the yoghurt and mango flavours give it a nice lift and stop it being overly sweet/sickly/rich and although a bar of chocolate may not be the first thing you would reach for on a hot summer day it makes for a nice change.

Taste - 7.9/10 - Lovely, refreshing mango flavour with subtle yoghurt undertones.
Texture - 8.0/10 - Smooth, creamy melt.
Appearance - 8.2/10 - Vibrant and appealing.
Price - 7.2/10 - Priced at £3.75 or £3.15 if you buy more than 3 selectors.
Overall - 7.8/10 - A nice change to the usual fruity chocolates out there.
Anyone looking for a lighter, refreshing chocolate eat.

Hotel Chocolat stores or online here.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Hotel Chocolat The Summer Nano Slab Gallery

As part of Hotel Chocolat's new summer range there's a lot of new slabs in the Selectors; however rather than purchasing multiple 100g bars, this Summer Nano Slab Gallery offers an assortment of miniature versions which allow you to try a bit of everything without too much damage being done to the waistline!

Hotel Chocolat The Summer Nano Gallery   

Consisting of 9 bars : White Praline, Raspberry & Vanilla, Gemstone & Feuilletine, Supermilk Hazelnut, Neapolitan, Lemon & Lime, Passion Fruit Smoothie, Milk & White Coconut, and Banana & Caramel, there's something for everyone!

Hotel Chocolat The Summer Nano Gallery

Passion Fruit Smoothie
- Half passion fruit, half creamy white chocolate, this slab just screams summer. The passion fruit half is gorgeous with sharp, tropical flavours that balance superbly with the sweet white chocolate. Not only is passion fruit flavouring used but also passion fruit granules which give the passion fruit half this light, nibbly sort of texture. A lovely sumery chocolate eat.

Banana & Caramel - From the description I thought this was going to be one of my favourite slabs in the whole 'gallery'; half caramel and half banana flavoured milk chocolate topped with a shortbread piece, it sounded utterly delicious. Unfortunately I was slightly disappointed; the caramel half is as good as ever but I felt the banana flavour was slightly lost in Hotel Chocolat's deep milk chocolate; personally I think it would have come alive a bit more in a white chocolate base. However; it was still pleasant enough and the shortbread piece made for a nice textural contrast.

Raspberry & Vanilla  - A bit like a raspberry ripple ice cream; sharp yet sweet with nice undertones of vanilla. It did get slightly sickly after a while and I don't think I would have enjoyed this in it's larger format; but this smaller 20g size is just enough to satisfy.

Hotel Chocolat The Summer Nano Gallery

Milk & White Coconut - Half white chocolate coconut and half milk chocolate coconut I feared that this may be overkill; alas it was executed excellently, the coconut is subtle and adds an additional flavour dimension to the bar, whilst the desiccated coconut isn't intrusive to the texture and thankfully doesn't get stuck in between your teeth!

Gemstone & Feuilletine -
Hotel Chocolat's classic 40% milk chocolate blended with feuilletine pieces topped with 2 marbled white chocolate gemstones, what could possibly go wrong with this! Utterly delicious. The chocolate is everything you would expect from Hotel Chocolat's milk chocolate, creamy, rich and satisfying with the feuilletine adding a great crunchy texture that makes this bar great for nibbling at.

White Praline - Easily my favourite bar in the whole 'gallery'; I don't think I've ever seen this in a larger format in my local Hotel Chocolat store but if I did I would most certainly be picking it up! If you enjoy Hotel Chocolat's White Dizzy Pralines then you will adore this as it pretty much just tasted as if someone had melted them down and put them in slab form. Wonderful sweet rich, creamy, white chocolate and hazelnut flavour and due to the addition of the praline had a delicious smooth melt and soft bite.

Hotel Chocolat The Summer Nano Gallery

Supermilk Hazelnut - Quite nice but not a showstopper; I'm not huge on Hotel Chocolat's Supermilk, I prefer their lower % at 40% but if you enjoy deeper robust milk chocolate then you'll thoroughly enjoy this with its crunchy hazelnut additions.

Neapolitan  - A bit like the raspberry & vanilla albeit with no vanilla, white chocolate as the centre and a half of milk chocolate. In terms of eat I preferred this as didn't feel it grew as sickly with the deeper milk chocolate to counterbalance in the eat.

Lemon & Lime - Half white chocolate flavoured with lemon and half dark chocolate flavoured with lime; this offers something a bit different, channeling the fruity flavours of summer albeit using citrus as opposed to tropical flavours. I enjoyed the white chocolate half which I felt worked well with the sharpness of the lemon but felt the dark chocolate half was a bit bitter/sour with the lime not really balancing well within it.

Overall I think this is superb value for money at £10.00 for 9 bars; whether you want to purchase it just for yourself to enjoy sampling a few different types of chocolate Hotel Chocolat has to offer or whether you want to buy it to share out amongst the family there is certainly something for everyone.

Taste - 8.4/10  - Great quality chocolate, personal highlight, of course, the White Praline bar.
Texture - 8.6/10  - A good variety of different textures across the range of bars.
Appearance - 9.2/10 - Stunning.
Price - 9.2/10  - As stated above I think this is excellent value for money.
Overall - 8.9/10  - Delicious.
Either for yourself to sample a variety of different flavours or to share out amongst family/friends.

In Hotel Chocolat stores or online here.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Milkybar Milk & Cookies (UK)

I previously reviewed the Australian version of this bar here virtually a year ago; I quite enjoyed it at the time with it being far favourable compared to Hershey's offering. It is now available in the UK as a standard bar; although the only place I've seen it so far is Asda.

Milky Bar Milk & Cookies Bar

The bar is pretty much the same in terms of it's make up; Milkybar white chocolate studded with cookie pieces, these are dark cookie chunks as in the biscuit that would make up an Oreo. However unlike it's Australian brother the design of the bar itself is slightly different, with sleek looking curved pieces as opposed to the standard block format.

Looking back on my original review I wrote that I would most likely pick up a block of this if it readily became available in the UK and eating it again (from memory it virtually tastes identical - obviously to do a full comparison I would need to taste them side by side) I can see why; it's creamy and sweet, standard Milkybar chocolate base but the dark cookies pieces help to take the edge off the sweetness and add a nice textural crunch to the bar.

Milky Bar Milk & Cookies Bar

Of course it is sweet, but personally I think it's nicer than a plain bar of white chocolate and offers something a bit different, you can still savour the bar and let it melt as the cookie pieces aren't too intrusive, or you can nibble and crunch away at it - although this does mean that it normally disappears a lot faster!

Milky Bar Milk & Cookies Bar

I paid £3.50 for 80g of the Australian bar, this was priced at 98p for 118g at Asda making it an absolute steal! I hope it sticks around here.

Taste - 7.4/10 - As per the Australian bar, creamy & sweet, but not cloyingly so.
Texture - 8.0/10 - Good distribution of cookie chunks, add a nice textural crunch.
Appearance - 8.4/10 - Preferred the sleeker format of this bar to the Australian version.
Price- 9.3/10 - Superb value!
Overall - 8.3/10 - A nice brand extension from Milkybar, would like to see some other new versions in the future.
White chocolate lovers! Can imagine this would be a favourite with the younger market.

I've only seen this in Asda so far.