Monday, 26 September 2016

Zotter Biofekt Heart Non-Alcoholic

I was lucky enough to receive a lovely box of Zotter chocolates recently, I've tried Zotter's hand scooped bars before but had never been fortunate enough to give their boxed chocolates a go. Thankfully all of the chocolates in the box were non-alcoholic and reading the details on the website the flavours sounded intriguing and delicious. 

Zotter Biofekt Heart Non-Alcholic  

In the box there were 12 chocolates which according to the website were meant to be :Caramel Nougat, Hazelnut Nougat Light, Mint Jelly, Coffee Cardamom,Wild Berry, Passion Fruit Banana, Pumpkin Seed Endorphin, Pineapple Endorphin, Cappuccino Endorphin, Vanilla Endorphin, Honey Endorphin and Hazelnut Pot. However it stated that these could change depending on availability.

Zotter Biofekt Heart Non-Alcholic

On opening the box and looking at the menu I could tell that I was going to have a difficult time of determining which chocolate was what, not only was the menu in German (which is fine I can use Google translate) but also not all of the chocolates in my box were on the menu. I guess it was going to be a bit of a guessing game and seeing what I got, slightly frustrating as I do like to know what I'm going to eat and choose depending on what flavours I fancy at the time.

Zotter Biofekt Heart Non-Alcholic

Each chocolate is very dainty and a lot lighter than other boxed chocolates I've had before and some were a lot easier to distinguish in terms of flavours than others. Some packed heaps of flavour, others were slightly more mellow and made it quite difficult to determine what they were.

Zotter Biofekt Heart Non-Alcholic

The textures of each chocolate were all pretty good, a contrast of smooth truffles, crunch from nuts or coconut flakes and a firm yet wobbly mint jelly. However I wasn't blown away, yes they were nice and they all did taste pleasant enough but they were definitely not as exciting as I was hoping them to be. Tasty but slightly dull.

Zotter Biofekt Heart Non-Alcholic

Taste - 6.8/10
- Not horrific but not mind blowing.

Texture - 7.3/10 - Good range of textures.
Appearance - 7.0/10 - Dainty looking chocolates, pretty box.
Price - 6.0/10 - Priced at £12.30 they work out at just over £1 per chocolate, considering the size of each chocolate and the fact that the flavours aren't amazing I don't think it's great value for money.
Overall - 6.8/10 - Pleasant enough but I won't be rushing back.

They still would make a nice gift for someone who perhaps doesn't like as strong flavours in chocolates.

Online at Zotter's website here.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

M&S Golden Jewels Box

I was in my local M&S a week or so ago and noticed that there appeared to be quite a lot of new chocolate products gracing the shelves - the start of Christmas goods perhaps? This ornate/elegant looking box particularly stood out, with a lone box dumped on the top shelf with no price tag or any indication of what it meant to be was (on going into my M&S since then it has been properly put out).

M&S Golden Jewels Box 

 I knew on taking it down from the shelf that I had to have it, the 'Golden Jewels Box - A selection of sophisticated hand finished chocolates with the finest gourmet flavours' including : Mango Lime & Chilli, Chai Latte, Feuilletine & Fleur de Sel, Banana & Smoked Sugar Caramel (you all know that it was this flavour that swung it for me) and Sweet Coconut & Vanilla.

M&S Golden Jewels Box 

 M&S Golden Jewels Box   
Not only did the chocolates sound delicious but they looked absolutely gorgeous, the box and the actual design/visuals of the chocolates are top notch and definitely something that looks as if it were made for the purpose of a Christmas gift.

M&S Golden Jewels Box

Chai Latte - A creamy white chocolate merged with Colombian coffee, spice and chai flavour

I do love a chai latte, there's something about the warming spices paired with a milky, sweet, coffee that is just so delicious. This chocolate hit all the spots that I wanted it to, the white chocolate shell was definitely the correct chocolate selection as it allowed the coffee/chai spice flavour to take centre stage in the creamy, smooth filling.  In terms of visuals this chocolate was absolutely stunning and definitely my favourite in the box in that aspect, I'm of the opinion that purple is definitely an underused colour in elegant chocolate boxes after seeing this!
Mango Lime & Chilli - A zesty lime compote layered on white chocolate and mango purée infused with ground chilli encased in a dark chocolate shell

This was the only chocolate in the box that I wasn't massively looking forward too, I don't particularly enjoy chilli in chocolate nor lime really for that matter. However for someone who doesn't really enjoy either of those flavours I still found it to be a pleasant enough chocolate, well balanced with not too heavy a kick of chilli and a nice tropical hint/sweetness added from the white chocolate/mango.

Feuilletine & Fleur de Sel - A fine crumbled biscuit smothered in white chocolate with a hint of Fleur de Sel salt, encased in a crisp milk chocolate shell

The only chocolate in the box to offer an additional textural component with the crumbled biscuit pieces, this chocolate worked really well.  It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty and the added crunch of the biscuit pieces offered a nice nibbly texture to counterbalance the completely smooth fillings of the other chocolates.

M&S Golden Jewels Box

Banana & Smoked Sugar Caramel  - Salted caramel with a hint of smoked sugar and cinnamon layered on creamy white filling infused with charcoal banana flavouring

I definitely think that 'smoked' is going to become the new 'salted'; I've been thinking/saying it for a while, reading it on trend websites and so on but this is the first time I have seen a smoked flavour used in a sweet product in a mainstream store. Which can only mean good things if you're a fan of smoky flavours!! Thankfully I am, so this chocolate really appealed to me, especially because of the banana component. It ate beautifully, the smooth caramel filling was just the right texture, not too thick nor too thin on top of a smooth white ganache, whilst the flavour was spot on. A good overall banana flavour with subtle salt and smoke throughout which lingered well after the chocolate had been eaten.

Sweet Coconut & Vanilla - Toasted coconut married with Madagascan vanilla in a white chocolate truffle enclosed in crisp dark chocolate

Another very well balanced chocolate, with the inner white chocolate coconut and vanilla truffle injecting a pleasant level of sweetness to balance the dark chocolate exterior. The truffle was sumptuously smooth and melted perfectly in the mouth.

Overall I was really impressed with this box of chocolates, not only did they look stunning but I thought they ate really well; they definitely had more of an 'artisan' chocolatier feel to them, due to their more complex flavours and the refinement on the actual chocolates. Not only have they been made using more innovative shapes and finishes but the thickness of each of the chocolate shells is more what I would expect from a higher end chocolatier, a lot thinner, allowing the filling to take centre stage.

Taste - 8.4/10 - Really good quality, all flavours executed as I would expect from the description.
Texture - 8.4/10 - Smooth, luxurious. Excellent ratio of shell to filling.
Appearance - 9.5/10 - M&S have definitely gone all out on the visuals here, the chocolates and the box are beautiful looking and you can keep the chocolate box to store things in after you've finished!
Price - 8.2/10 - Priced at £15.00 for 14 chocolates, it works out just over £1 a chocolate, excellent value when you consider the elegant finish and reusable box.
Overall - 8.6/10 - An absolutely stunning box of chocolates for an affordable price.
Would make a lovely gift for someone and although probably made for Christmas season they don't scream CHRISTMAS and therefore could be used for other occasions also.

Marks & Spencer's stores nationwide.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Lion White Bar

Out of the selection of chocolate bars gracing the shelves a Lion bar isn't one I would often pick up; however upon seeing the white version in a local B&M recently and remembering that I had read great things about it I just had to pick one up. Especially after my great experience with the Snickers White!

Lion White Bar 

As with all Lion bars this consists of a wafer, caramel and cereal pieces apart from this time it is covered in white chocolate. It had been years since I'd had even a standard Lion bar so I was pleased to see that the bar looked a good satisfying size. Cutting it in half it seemed to have a decent layer of caramel and good proportions of wafer:caramel:chocolate, with the cereal pieces visible throughout the white chocolate.

Lion White Bar 

Taking my first bite I immediately knew that I was going to enjoy this more than a standard Lion bar, I think the white chocolate makes the flavours 'pop' more, the wafer seemed more savoury and the caramel more 'caramelly'. Altogether it just seemed an overall better eat. Strangely enough I got hints of coconut throughout the bar though!? I don't know whether it was just my taste buds playing up but I was sure I could taste a hint of it.

Lion White Bar

Either way it was most definitely delicious and maybe I'll just have to go and pick up another bar to double check about the whole coconut factor! In terms of texture it is spot on, the crispy wafer, the slightly soft chewy caramel, crunchy cereal pieces and slight bite from the white chocolate. Yum! All of this and it was only 29p!!

Taste - 7.7/10 - Delicious, I felt the white chocolate helped bring the bar together.
Texture - 7.5/10 - Great mix of chewy, crunchy and soft!
Appearance - 7.0/10 - Good satisfying size.
Price - 8.4/10 - At 29p it is a complete and utter top notch bargain!
Overall - 7.7/10 - Another white chocolate bar that is superior to its milk counterpart.

Worth a try for 29p if you're a fan of the classic Lion bar, you never know like me you may even prefer it!

I picked mine up from B&M for 29p. However I know you can also purchase them on eBay albeit they are more expensive.