Here at Chocablog, we don’t have many rules. One is that everything we review should be chocolatey, and the second is that we try not to repeat each other by reviewing the same thing twice.
Usually that just means doing a quick scan of the archives to make sure a particular product hasn’t been reviewed yet. But today… well, today, Kath and Simon both independently decided to review the same thing… on the same day.
Rather than send them back to psychic school, I thought I’d publish both as it might be fun to get two different opinions. See what you think…
Here we have another offering from Ferrero based on the ‘Rocher’ model, only this time it has dark chocolate origins. Imaginatively christened ‘Rondnoir’ (it’s round and it’s dark, geddit?) these little balls are the latest incarnation of the world famous ambassadorial treat.
As you can see, the wrapping has been designed to reflect the contents, a rich, dark metallic brown foil with a matching paper ‘cup’ reinforces the dark chocolate theme.
The cocoa content of the chocolate isn’t listed. Indeed, all I know is that ‘fine’ chocolate (“How’s the chocolate?” “Oh, it’s fine.”) makes up 41% of each Rondnoir. This isn’t high class chocolate at all. We’re talking vegetable oil, milk powder, flavourings and so on. Mutton dressed as lamb?
The outside of each ball is dotted with tiny pieces of dark chocolate stuff. Biting into it reminded me of the chocolate vermicelli you get on kids’ cakes. It has an almost powdery, dry quality to it, and melts away pretty quickly.
The inside is, of course, the classic Ferrero wafery orb, and within that we have a machine-injected blob of chocolatey creamy stuff which also disappears fairly rapidly. Taste wise it tends to hint at dark chocolate but is too sweet and lacking in really sophisticated dark chocolate flavours to be considered a top notch chocolate.
I can see why Ferrero have developed this product, and for those who love their Rochers, this will present an interesting alternative. Personally I can take or leave these – they don’t have enough ‘real’ flavours to excite my palate but neither do they disappoint by being overly sweet or totally bland. They’re just, well, fine I suppose.
The usual Ferrero Rocher’s have never really excited me that much. Milk chocolate, a heap of chopped nuts, a bit of wafer and what reminds me of a blob of Nutella spread in the middle. Still, they look pretty and plenty of Nannas like getting them for their birthdays, don’t they>
However, went Ferrero put these dark delights out, I was excited.
The blurb on the back of the box informed me that they consist of at least 41% of dark chocolate with the rest being made up of sugar, wafer and hazelnuts. The total cocoa solids for each 10g ball is nearly 30%, with the dark hard centre being 58%. Not too shabby.
And, as we’d expect from Ferrero, they look pretty too:
Outside they look like dark chocolate truffles that are rolled and coated in those ‘ant/sprinkle’ things that nannas (yep, again with the nannas) like to put on top of their iced cupcakes. Under the sprinkles is a thin layer of chocolate covering a slightly thicker layer of wafer before the teeth hit the buttery chocolate centre inside.
However, there’s more. Inside the buttery bit is a coffee-bean like dark chocolate nugget. Quite hard, which means it’s the last thing left in your mouth and allows you to fully appreciate the sweet, dark chocolate lingering lovingly behind. Nice one Ferrero. It’s like drilling down to explore the earth’s layers and finding a better level the deeper you go down.
I was lucky enough (which means I had to share, alas) to have three guest tasters with me and sought their opinions. Delamere gave them the “Thumbs up” before then confiding in me that she USED to work for Cadbury and bring her work home. Regularly.
Nine year olds Charlotte and Sapphire were equally as enthusiastic, but Sapphire did profess a preference for “The original Ferreros because they’re golden and much more hazelnutty.”
As for me, I love these little orbs of darkness. I could quite happily scoff at least four (and of course did exactly that) with a hot cup of black tea or a freezing cold iced coffee. I hope they stick around and eventually overtake the Nanna-friendly the gold hazelnut ones.