I'm sure I'm not the first person to note that commercial holidays mean the retail giants bring out their goods earlier every year. It's only three days after Valentines Day and already Easter stock has begun to arrive at my little shop. Supermarkets have had mini eggs out for almost two weeks.
First in the door at my shop is Cadbury. Much of the range is the same as previous years - hollow eggs, bunnies, plus the yearly parade of the Humpty Casket and similar. But what's new for 2012 is the much-touted 'Egg n Spoon' range.
Advertised as 'chocolate egg with mousse centre', the packaging takes a somewhat different route, away from the plastic, and goes with the more rustic egg carton - tinted Cadbury purple, of course. It's certainly a distinctive and novel approach - I'm sure the cartons will be popular with kids. Inside, however, is most definitely adults-only. The eggs inside come in two varieties - milk and double choc - in which the mousse centre is either 'milky' or 'choc' flavoured.
Remove the cardboard sleeve and open the carton, and inside we find four eggs wrapped in black and purple foil. At first I thought they were similar in size to the Creme and Caramello eggs, but they are actually more than a touch larger. Given the mousse centre, these eggs are lighter, despite being bigger. The eggs are labelled their different flavours, but with very small text that's easy to miss. The text on the choc-flavoured egg is almost unreadable.
Enclosed with the four eggs are two small plastic spoons - purple, of course. Cadbury rarely miss a chance to stamp their trademark purple over anything! Inside the foil we find one ugly egg.
I would have expected something much better from Cadbury. The egg shell itself seems to be basic Dairy Milk - a milky, somewhat unappetising brown colour. There is no Cadbury name stamped into the product interestingly enough - once the foil is gone this could be any company's product. The chocolate itself has a slight gloss - though considering I can see fingerprints in the 'gloss', I think it's more like fat - but it's a little scuffed and definitely not in perfect condition, and has an obvious seam line around the diameter. The moulded top is, according to the packaging, where you are to bite the top off. At the very top of the egg is a small circle - presumably a plug after the filling has been inserted, as most were not perfectly round.
Bite off the top and we get our first glimpse of the mousse filling. The top of the egg is an empty void, though the exact location of the void seemed to vary, as some of the eggs I opened had their filling set at an angle, instead of level with the top. For the milky flavoured egg, the centre is a light cream, a little glossy, and reminds me vaguely of toasted coconut.
Scooping out a spoonful of the filling shows the moussey texture. There are no bubbles, but the mix is definitely light and fluffy. The milky flavour tastes like white chocolate, but is not sweet like white chocolate. The double choc egg, on the other hand, will knock your socks off if you're not a sweet tooth. It smells a little hazelnutty (the ingredients note the inclusion of hazelnut paste on both varieties). It's more matte in appearance, but shows the fluffy texture off well. It holds its shape on the spoon with no issues. Taste-wise, by itself the choc mousse filling is somewhat like a chocolate milkshake and real-chocolate mousse. It's strong, it's very sweet and eating a whole egg together with the outer chocolate shell might just make you feel a little bit sick.
The milk chocolate shell contains 28% cocoa solids and 25% milk solids, which is a little lower than the Dairy Milk blocks. Many of the Cadbury Easter products we received have a best before date of somewhere in September, but this product's date is in June. But if there are any sweet teeth in your household, I can't imagine they will last even that long.
Ingredients: Sugar, milk solids, vegetable oil, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, emulsifiers (soy lectin, 476, 475), hazelnut paste, flavours.
Allergen statement: Contains milk, hazelnuts and soy. May contain traces of wheat, egg and other tree nuts.
Made in France.