Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Make Your Own Bar

Do you ever sit there wishing someone would make the chocolate bar of your dreams? I know I do that's for sure,  so when I was contacted by The Grown Up Chocolate Company to review their new 'Make Your Own Bar' offering, I jumped at the chance.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Make Your Own Bar

Choosing from a base of dark, milk or white chocolate and 3 inclusions there are hundreds if not thousands of combinations to choose from! Once you've selected what you want put in your bar you then get to choose your packaging before 3 bars of your chocolate creation are shipped out to you to enjoy the fruits of your labour.


The Grown Up Chocolate Company Make Your Own Bar

I hummed and hahed for quite a while over what to choose but in the end I opted for a white chocolate base with peanut praline, caramelised wafer and caramel. Yum! On arrival the 3 bars turned up in a bigger box enclosing them all, saying "made by me for you"...maybe in this case it should have said "made by me for me"!

I chose the "Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate" wrapper but there are a variety of others to choose from. I wasn't sure what to expect upon unwrapping, how would the bar have been made? All the inclusions on the top? Mixed in? Or as a filling in the centre of the bar?

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Make Your Own Bar

It turned out to be the middle option, I found there were pieces of peanut praline, caramelised wafer and sweet pockets of caramel throughout the bar. I must admit I was slightly disappointed the peanut praline wasn't the usually, soft, paste like praline that I was expecting and love but was instead caramelised pieces of peanut. Still tasty but not what I was completely expecting.

The white chocolate is good quality, creamy and not sickly sweet with a smooth melt, whilst I found there were just the right amount of inclusions in the bar. The pockets of caramel offered a sweet hit when you came across one whilst the crunchy pieces of praline peanut and caramelised wafer offered a nice nibbly textural contrast.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Make Your Own Bar

I'm pretty pleased with the bar I made, the only thing that could have possibly made it better would have been if each individual cube had been filled with a peanut praline paste, caramel and caramelised wafers; however I understand that this would be a lot more difficult for The Grown Up Chocoalate Company to do.

As an idea I think it's great, the quality of the product is good and what could be better than getting to make your own chocolate bar without any hassle and then getting it delivered straight to your front door. Delicious!

Taste - 7.2/10 - Appreciate I'm reviewing the bar I made; however the quality of the chocolate is good.
Texture - 7.0/10 - Smooth melt in the mouth.

Appearance - 7.4/10 - The customisable packaging of each individual bar is great and the outer box it comes in also looks good.
Price - 5.9/10 - At £25 for 3 bars this isn't cheap, making them just over £8 a bar. I get you're paying for the customisation though.
Overall - 6.9/10 - A unique offering for any one looking to create a chocolate bar to suite their flavour preferences.
_________________________________________________________________________________
WHO FOR?

Any one looking for something a bit different to what is available on the market and wants to have a play around with their own flavours.


WHERE TO BUY?
Online at The Grown Up Chocolate Company website here.

Friday, 17 November 2017

M&M's Caramel

In all honesty I'm surprised it's taken this long for M&M's caramel to emerge, to me it seems like a no-brainer offering; rather than offering a different flavoured chocolate or a crispy/crunchy/nutty filling, how about offering a smooth, sweet caramel? Of course they would be launched in the U.S, not like us in the U.K to get anything remotely new in the M&M's market.
 

M&M's Caramel

The M&M's come in a re-sealable bag (really good idea as it stops the M&M's spilling everywhere) and as with all the U.S M&M's are a much bigger size to their U.K counterparts.


M&M's Caramel
I don't know why but I was expecting quite a runny, liquid, caramel, maybe akin to the texture of Dairy Milk Caramel. So I was poised and ready when I bit into one for there to be running and dripping. Upon biting I found a lot more resistance that I was expecting and realised that the caramel was a lot firmer then I was expecting, more of a caramel/toffee hybrid.


M&M's Caramel
It's quite chewy and more similar to the blue caramel you might get in Cadbury's Roses, it's chewier and takes a lot more work to get through. In all honesty I'm not too sure how I felt about this, it's nice, but I think I may have liked it slightly softer or for it at least to be highlighted on the front of pack that the caramel was chewy...e.g "M&M's Chewy Caramel". The graphic gives the impression this will be luxurious, smooth and free flowing, Mr M&M you have tricked me!


M&M's Caramel
The flavour is pleasant enough, sweet caramel with slightly darker toffee undertones with the standard M&M's milk chocolate. I found myself going back for more and they are quite moreish; however if they were out in the U.K I don't think these would be the ones I was rushing back to. I can only hope that in the future M&M's will launch a softer caramel variety.
M&M's Caramel

Taste -7.0/10 - Slightly darker caramel balanced against a sweet milk chocolate.
Texture - 6.0/10 - Would have liked the caramel to have been softer.
Appearance - 7.9/10 - Look good and like the re-sealable bag format.
Price - 6.9/10 - In their U.S homeland you can get these at Target for $2.99 which is good value and I'd definitely pay; however in the U.K they're around £7-£10 depending on where you buy them from.
Overall - 7.0/10 - A bit too chewy for my liking but not overly unpleasant.

_________________________________________________________________________________
WHO FOR?
Fans of chewy caramel.

WHERE TO BUY?
In the U.S at Target, in the U.K from eBay or various import sites.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Hotel Chocolat Treacle Tart

Treacle tart is one of those classic, warming, autumnal desserts. The thick, almost sticky filling, rich in deep treacly syrup flavours with a slight hint of citrus to cut through, in a shell of crisp pastry. It's not a dessert I eat often but it's one I thoroughly enjoy when I do.

Hotel Chocolat Treacle Tart

I'm always on the look out for when Hotel Chocolat launch a new Selector chocolate, so when I saw there was now a Treacle Tart chocolate on offer I was keen to try it. Described as "a childhood favourite. Sticky toffee and a squeeze of lemon served in milk, topped with cornflakes for that classic pastry texture". It certainly sounded appetising.
Hotel Chocolat Treacle Tart

As with all Selectors you get 6 chocolates in the pack, each a decent size, which upon cutting into oozed a gloriously thick, indulgent looking toffee sauce. Topped with a layer of chocolate with cornflakes incorporated into it, which crumbled away slightly on cutting.

These two textures work perfectly together, so it may not be exactly the same as treacle tart, the toffee/treacle element is a lot runnier and there's no crisp pastry (which would have been an interesting addition) but instead a crunch from the cornflakes. However it's still pretty tasty, the toffee is luxurious and rich in the mouth whilst the cornflakes add a nice crunchy textural contrast.
Hotel Chocolat Treacle Tart

Flavour-wise it's heavenly and one of the more interesting chocolates I've tried recently. The toffee has a gorgeous, treacle, molasses flavour that is cut through with a sharp hit of lemon, it's really well balanced and works excellently against the creamy, milk chocolate backdrop. After one I quite quickly found myself wanting to go for a second.

As a limited edition winter chocolate from Hotel Chocolat I would definitely recommend picking these up whilst they're around and even better they're the taste of the month this month so you can try before you buy in-stores!
Hotel Chocolat Treacle Tart

Taste - 8.4/10 - Really tasty, delivers everything flavour-wise you could hope for from a treacle tart.
Texture - 8.0/10 - Smooth, rich, flowing toffee. Crunchy cornflake pieces, which may not be the classic pastry of a treacle tart but do help to add a nice textural contrast.
Appearance - 7.8/10 - Look visually appealing.
Price - 7.3/10 - On looking for the price on the Hotel Chocolat website I noticed that they've changed their pricing, I'm fairly sure it used to be £3.85 each or £3.15 if you buy 3 or more. However it's not £3.95 each or 3 Selectors for £10.
Overall - 7.9/10 - A really tasty edition to the Selectors range.
_________________________________________________________________________________
WHO FOR? 
Anyone looking for a warming, indulgent winter chocolate.

WHERE TO BUY?
Hotel Chocolat stores or online here.