To complement Cadbury’s sexing up of the Old Gold chocolate block range (think 70%, liqueur centres and rum-n-raisin), this nice looking box of chocolates has just arrived on the shelves at the same time as the tins of short bread, Lindt bells and Christmas decorations.
When I opened these I had some guest tasters over for afternoon tea. Two of them were my parents, John and Pauline, and their two friends over from Scotland, Alastair and Lynne. None of the bespectacled quartet are on the right side of sixty but all are dark chocolate fans and very eager to ‘help’.
Lynn likes soft centres, and pronounced the Caramel Chante with smooth flowing caramel a winner. Alastair is a brazil nut fan and loved the ones he tried covered in Old Gold. He and Dad also tried the Hazelnut Royale but both considered that the flavour was difficult to detect. Mum was still chewing away on her Caramel deluxe and was therefore unable to comment legibly.
Amongst these eager amateurs, I kept on tasting. The strawberry fondant was delicious. Normally I don’t like strawberry fillings as they always veer towards the chemically-enhanced, overly fake flavour, but this had a layer of strawberry jam on top of the fondant and was a great foil to the bittersweet dark coating. The chocolate orange truffle was also a winner – there were only two in the box and I reluctantly let someone else have the second one. Caramel Mousse consisted of a white marshmallow layer on the bottom topped with a thin layer of caramel – unexpected but very nice. Unfortuntely the crème de menthe was green inside and rather grainy which spoiled the smooth coolness I normally expect from white mint fondant centres.
Still their Parisienne Crunch made up for mint misfire. Not that there was anything particularly French about it – it was merely a small square of Cadbury Crunchie honeycomb covered in dark chocolate. I wish they’d release it as a bar instead of a tiny chocolate hidden in a box with a dozen other flavours.
Others included cocoa deluxe which was just Old Gold chocolate in a blob and Truffle Delight which was just softer in the middle and the faithful old Cadbury chocolate box filler, Viennese fudge. On the whole it’s a step up from their ordinary Dairy Milk Tray selections but they could still use a few more imaginative fillings in this fancy-looking selection.