Silver Spoon Dark Chocolate Flavour Cake Covering

Posted by in on September 24 2012 | Leave A Comment

Let’s get one thing clear from the start. This is not the kind of thing I would normally review on Chocablog. Usually, I would go out of my way to avoid anything that says “chocolate flavour” on it, but this product is so hideously awful and utterly unnecessary that I felt the need to write about it, purely as a warning.

First some background. At the weekend, we went along to The Cake & Bake Show at Earl’s Court. This hugely successful event was in part organised by our wonderful friends at Nudge PR, who are also responsible for the greatest event in the history of mankind, Chocolate Week.

On the whole the show was great, although during my very brief tour, I noted that there was more cupcakes and sugarcraft related exhibitors than serious baking related products. I think it’s wonderful that shows like The Great British Bake Off have inspired a whole new generation of bakers, but was a little disappointed at the volume of additive-laden sugar products at the show.

On our way out, we were offered a goodie bag which contained which contained various baking related ingredients. And then there was this. A product that simply should not exist in this or any other universe.

As you know, dark chocolate contains up to 5 ingredients, all of which should be natural. Cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and emulsifier. In that order. Here’s the ingredients list for this package.

So. The top two ingredients are sugar and vegetable fat. Then there’s “fat reduced cocoa powder”. Bascially, they’ve taken all the natural cocoa butter out of this product and replaced it with cheap vegetable fat. Then they’ve added whey powder, which presumably needs a little extra help to mix with the vegetable fat, so they’ve added an emulsifier called Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate. Lovely.

After all that, they probably realised that the resulting mess didn’t taste like chocolate any more, so they had to add flavourings to it.

Gah.

I decided to make it according to the instructions. Melt the sealed packet in a bowl of hot water for 7 minutes, then squeeze it out.

I didn’t want to waste it on a perfectly good cake, so I just squeezed mine out onto a plate before leaving it to cool.

The smell is… well, it’s not chocolate. I have a cold at the moment, but I still detected a sugary, fatty aroma and not much else. No hint of chocolate. After mentioning this product on twitter, people who had tried it, described it as “fishy” and “farmyard”. Perfect for cakes then!

Fresh out of the packet, it does look vaguely chocolatey. There’s a nice dark brown colour and a gloss to it. But as it sets, it develops a lacklustre, dull appearance, much like a badly tempered chocolate. It’s not very appetising, to say the least.

But of course, what you really want to know is how it tastes, right?

Well if you’ve ever licked lard from the back of a tramp’s neck, that should give you an idea of the flavour. I haven’t done that, but it was the image that came to my mind as I sampled a small piece. It is truly, truly awful. It’s fatty, oily and vaguely sweet, but there isn’t even a hint of chocolate flavour to it. It boggles my mind how this product passed any kind of testing and ended up on the shelves. It is just disgusting.

There is a moral to this story, and a reason why I chose to write about this, rather than simply ignore it.

Baking in the UK is huge at the moment; the crowds at The Cake And Bake Show are proof of this. But while The Great British Bake Off contestants that drew many of those visitors to Earls Court invariably use simple, natural ingredients, there are plenty of companies out there capitalising on the baking fad by selling things like this that supposedly make life easier for novice bakers. Products like this and ready made icing (also in our goodie bag) are entirely unnecessary, and frankly unhealthy.

If you want a nice dark chocolate topping for your cake, simply melt some quality dark chocolate over it. Or mix it with some fresh double cream and make a delicious ganache covering. It’s incredibly easy and tastes wonderful.

Do not, under any circumstances, buy this or any similar product. I genuinely think that the people making and selling this kind of junk should be ashamed. And forced to eat it themselves.

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Comments On This Post

  1. What a great post. I hate foods which contain stuff which is not natural. As you say a bar of chocolate can be bought for as little as 30p I bet this topping cost a lot more than that. People need to be educated to read all labels on food and if they don’t recogonise the ingredients as natural then don’t buy. My pet hate is sugar free, which should read pumped with artificial sweetners!! They taste disgusting and who knows what effects they have on our bodies, I would never give to my children.

  2. This is a great post! I can’t imagine Mary Berry tolerating a bake-off contestant using instant cake covering!

  3. Agree, incredibly easy to make delicious ganache by pouring boiled cream over chocolate pieces. After stirring until all melted cover and place in fridge to cool and thicken (approx 1 hr) then cover your cake. Use ratio of 40g plain or milk chocolate to 2 tablespoons double cream or 60g white chocolate to 2 tablespoons double cream.

  4. Emma P

    Bravo, Dom!! These sort of additive-laden, sugar rush foods should be outlawed!

  5. Well done Dom, I was thinking about doing a review myself. Products like this are just completely out of touch with concerns these days about health and quality, and the current way people are thinking about chocolate. I personally would be worried about the health issues of eating something like this.

    It’s a product that would have been better not to have existed, it’s clearly a marketing-department led design, with zero concern for quality. Be warned anyone unlucky enough to buy this. Pity the ones who have to eat it on a cake!

  6. Enjoyed reading this article.

    Shame you did pass by my stand, I think I was probably one of the very very few stands that did not have any frosting on anything.

  7. And i thought we had a winner here – and that i could look forward to some easy chocolate-covered treats when the University term begins this year. Not to mention how easy it actually is to make some decent chocolate frosting!

  8. That looks really gross! Especially the way it sets. It looks like a dull plastic. Bleh.

  9. GROSS! Want something nice? Have a Crunchie.

  10. Shehana

    I was always a big fan of your website. Seemingly honest reviews, and plenty of info on most of my fav chocolates. But I just wish you guys did away with sexual innuendos when reviewing products.It’s not cool.. Specially when you consider how many youngsters are using this site. Keep it clean people…will never cause your popularity to go down.

  11. Heather

    brilliant review, and I loved the lard and tramp reference….

  12. Fathima Hamid

    This does sound horrible. I prefer the Betty Crocker ready made frosting. They are pretty good and come in many flavors and colors. The chocolate ones are the best though. Specially the triple chocolate fudge chips!

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