Christmas – a time for giving. Then, when the giving is over, it’s a time for retailers to offload all their unsold stock. Yes, even chocolate gets the sales treatment.
What we have here are seven different chocolates – two white, two dark, and three milk. The milk chocolate is 35% cocoa solids, the dark is 55% and the white chocolate is white, so there isn’t any cocoa.
I thought I’d go in hard, so I started with the white chocolate Creme Brulee – a tried and tested Chocablog standard. This one promised a caramel vanilla ganache in a dark chocolate cup with a white chocolate topping studded with sugar. The caramel and vanilla flavours were really pleasant, and there was enough dark chocolate to take the sweet edge off the thick slab of white chocolate that had topped off the chocolate. It was actually rather tasty but it certainly didn’t capture the flavour of a Creme Brulee the way Lindt have.
The second white chocolate promised to be hiding a rich chocolate ganache laced with coffee. I was a little disappointed to discover that mine wasn’t finished with a coffee bean. but the photo suggested it was made of chocolate anyway. The actual chocolate didn’t really have much to offer in the coffee department. There was coffee flavour, but it was that generic, muddy flavour that suggests coffee without really giving you the true flavour.
Next up was the Lir Mystical Crunch, an oddly named confection of hazelnut and chocolate. Pleasantly soft and dotted with hazelnut fragments, it packed a generous nutty flavour combined with a creamy milk chocolate.
A square chocolate with a domino-like pair of spots turned out to be a Sweet Cinder Surprise. Gianduja and cinder toffee – a slightly unusual combination given gianduja’s velvety smoothness and cinder toffee’s somewhat more brittle qualities. The pairing meant that inevitably I ended up with a bittersweet selection of fragments to munch on as the last of the milk chocolate flavours died away.
The golden cone was home to the French Swirl – an ‘ultra-smooth’ praline. Bags of hazelnut flavour in a truly smooth milk chocolate. Still quite sweet, but very familiar flavours and done pretty well.
The first of the pair of dark chocolates (after a palate-clearing pause) was another one which didn’t match it’s mugshot. The Mardi Gras Marzipan (who thought THESE up?) should have been topped with a pecan, but mine was dotted with pieces of pecan. Ho hum.
The centre of this choc was going to be a new one for me – bourbon soaked marzipan in dark chocolate. What I found was a thin sliver of soft marzipan covered in a thick, bittersweet dark chocolate shell. The marzipan certainly had an alcoholic tang to it, but still retained a good deal of almond flavour.
And so to our finale, as chosen by me. The Raspberry Indulgent blended raspberry and caramel in a dark shell, and to my mind this ought to have been the best of the bunch.
At first bite my palate was hit by the tang of raspberry, and once my tongue found the centre, the mixture of caramel and raspberry came flooding in. The zingy, summer taste of raspberry melted away, allowing the burnt sugar flavours of the rich, sweet caramel to finish off before the bittersweet chocolate ended the tasting.
Overall, I’d say these were reasonably good. Inevitably, they err on the side of milky sweetness which isn’t surprising given that the UK are still a nation of milk chocolate lovers. These are well worth the sale price of under two pounds.
Available in Sainsbury’s until they’re gone I guess.