It’s about four years since Chocablog reviewed it’s first salted caramel, so it makes sense that high street retailers would catch up at some point and start to produce their own versions of this contemporary (and hugely successful) combination. Now I’m not a regular shopper at M&S, so when I did happen to find myself in one of their stores, I thought I’d have a quick look at their current chocolate offerings, and when I saw this I thought it would be fun to give it a go. Obviously this is never going to be competition for some of the amazing salted caramels we’ve reviewed over the years, but M&S have a reputation for quality and I wanted to know how they’d approached this recipe.
Reading the ingredients list we find that the milk chocolate contains 35% cacao – a similar level to most of the better supermarket milk chocolates. I also noticed that this bar is 42% sugar – almost half of the recommended daily amount for an adult if you eat the whole bar! So it’s sweet. At this point I was thinking ‘well I hope there’s plenty of salt in the caramel’, but unfortunately the caramel to chocolate ratio isn’t particularly high so there wasn’t much chance of the filling balancing the sweetness of the chocolate.
Furthermore, the caramel itself is the M&S version of salted caramel. It’s a safe, middle of the road, polite sort of salted caramel. In other words, it’s a bit of a let down. The sweetness of the milk chocolate more or less obliterates what saltiness there is in the caramel filling, making the whole thing a bit of a let down.
It’s unrealistic to compare something like this with any hand made or small batch salted caramel chocolate, but I did expect something a little less ‘safe’. To my mind the whole point of salted caramel chocolate is to provide those lovely little peaks of flavour from the main ingredients, and unfortunately the majority of what I tasted was sugar. It is possible to grab a taste of the caramel but it’s all too brief, and the chocolate lacks any real depth or character.
Possibly the worst attempt at salted caramel anything I’ve ever tried.