Thursday, 26 April 2012

Cadbury Freddo 100s and 1000s

Cadbury Freddos are an originally Australian confectionery. Invented in 1930 by a worker named Harry Melbourne, the Freddo was acquired by Cadbury in 1967, and is now also available in the UK, New Zealand, Ireland and Zimbabwe. Flavours available in Australian over the years include Dairy Milk, peppermint (flavoured cream filling), strawberry (flavoured cream filling), Dream (white chocolate), milky top (half white chocolate, half milk chocolate), Crunchie (with Crunchie pieces), rice crisp, rainbow crunch and pineapple (only in the twin-pack variety), which was launched last year. The rice crisp, milky top and rainbow crunch varieties are no longer produced in Australia. Freddo also has a friend, the Caramello Koala, an iconic Australian favourite.

In 2030, they will be 100 years old - imagine that! I'm sure Cadbury has some surprises up their sleeve for that anniversary. For now, we have a new addition to the line, Freddo with 100s and 1000s. Before someone asks, 100s and 1000s are also known as sprinkles, but in my opinion, 100s and 1000s are round, while sprinkles are tubular in shape. 100s and 1000s themselves are also known as nonpariels, and are just made from sugar and colouring. They're about 1.5mm in width and are uniform in size, and are known for their bright and cheerful colours.

Onto the Freddo. This new flavour is available in both the 15g fun-pack and 35g "king size" jumbo serves. The packaging is bright, the lime green and pink-theme different from any of the existing packaging colours. Freddo is shown juggling the 100s and 1000s - cause that's what frogs do, of course.

Inside we've got a spotty Mr Freddo who looks like he's come down with a case of the odd-coloured chicken pox. Underneath the chocolate you can almost pick out the bright colours of the 100s and 1000s, except it seems most of the colours have disappeared - probably melted off in the moulding process. Considering they are known for their bright and cheery colours, this is a bit sad. On the back, there are actually less 100s and 1000s visible than on the front. he ones that are visible can be felt , but their appearance doesn't add any real texture to the otherwise smooth back.

Crack the Freddo open and now we can see more faded 100s and 1000s. The cross-section picture may look like it's showing a lot of bubbles, but those are just indents from the 100s and 1000s on the opposite side. There are a lot present, but it's nowhere near dense. When biting into the Freddo, they add a little bit of crunch and texture, but no additional flavour. By themselves 100s and 1000s are just sweet, so it makes sense that when swamped with chocolate they would be almost indiscernible. Without the texture and the little 'pops' between my teeth, I wouldn't even know they were there. Be warned that you may end up with a few stuck in your teeth afterwards, though!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Cadbury Caramel Bunnies

(This is a bit late, but for some reason it didn't post earlier, so have it anyway.)

The other new introduction to the Cadbury Easter line up is the 'Caramel Bunnies'. Aimed at women, the Caramel Bunny is a new character that will presumably be sticking around in the future. She even has her own Facebook page.

As per a lot of Cadbury's recent product introductions here in Australia, the Caramel Bunny has been available in the UK, and had a long run over the 1980s and 1990s there. In 2009 she was brought back to advertise the Caramel brand, but (to the best of my knowledge) this is the first time we've seen her on our shores.

The package itself is the new matte foil Cadbury has been introducing over the past year on its medium and king-size bars. On the front, against the golden caramel colour (also used on the Caramel Eggs and other Caramello products) is a sketch of a flirty-looking Miss Bunny, complete with pink bow.

The pack of two weighs 40g, which is about 10g less than the standard Dairy Milk and Caramello medium bar. Each bunny is quite heavy for its size, and is right on 7cm long by 2.5cm wide (feet) and just over 1cm thick. The front is well moulded, showing a reasonable copy of the sketch, complete with little bow. As with most Cadbury chocolate, it's bright and slightly glossy, and has a slight milky smell - though I swear I can smell Easter in there too!

Inside there is a disappointing amount of caramel, though the thick plug of chocolate at the back tells why the bunny felt so heavy. Getting to the caramel was an excursion in itself, but at least the caramel wasn't terrible. The consistency was lovely. It wasn't at all oozy, and didn't find its way out of the decapitated Miss Bunny as I photographed. It was a lovely toffee colour, warm and brown and neither opaque nor transparent.It reminded me a little bit of caramel fudge in flavour, bu was beautiful and smooth. I only wish that there had been more of it!

The combination of the caramel and chocolate is sweet, but not overwhelming, though the flavour will reside in your mouth for a little while. The Bunny is better as two small bites, and one Bunny is one serve.

The Bunnies contain: milk, soy and wheat glucose syrup. They may contain trades of peanuts and tree nuts.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Nestle Violet Crumble Block

It's been a little while since we've seen something new and exciting from the Nestle stable. While not necessarily new and exciting, this Violet Crumble block is an interesting idea, and the first foray Nestle has made into the 'combining bar and block' idea. (Cadbury went there years ago with its Dairy Milk and Crunchie block, so Nestle is a wee bit behind on the uptake here.)

Speaking of Crunchie, if you ask an Australian which bar they prefer, chances are they will side with either the Violet Crumble or the Crunchie, but rarely both. My uneducated theory behind this is because while both bars are technically honeycomb, they have vastly different textures. The Violet Crumble is pale in colour, somewhat mild in taste and has a chalky texture, while a Crunchie will leave you with toffee-like pieces in your teeth (if you even have any left from the tooth-decay-inducing sweetness of the chocolate and aerated, 'bubbly' honeycomb).

Described as a 'milk chocolate block with honeycomb pieces', the packaging isn't all that inspiring to look at. It's not even in the same colouration as the Violet Crumble block (which is metallic purple). Perhaps this whispers of a future packaging change, or maybe it was just to avoid a packaging clash with the omnipresent Cadbury trademark purple. I picked my block up at Coles when it was on special for $3. (I did buy one from Safeway/Woolworths, also on special, when it first came out, promptly ate it and have been waiting for it to come back on special since.) I'm not a TV watcher, Facebook participant or magazine reader so can't comment on any advertising, if there even has been any.

It's fairly weighty for a honeycomb product. (The bar is 50g and is about as long as this block.) Inside the boring packaging we have a decent-sized block, embossed with the Nestle logo, and split into the three-per-row shape, which allows for a large bite or two small nibbles. It's nicely smooth on top, somewhat glossy, with barely a hint of the honeycomb inside. On the underside is where the fun begins. The chocolate is just PACKED with honeycomb pieces, its surface rippled and bumpy like asphalt. There is definitely a lot more honeycomb in this than in the Dairy Milk Crunchie block.

The smell is a little malty and sweet (reminds me of Easter, curiously), and milky.  The ingredient list reveals that there is just 20% each of cocoa and milk solids in this - very little at all. When we break it into pieces, the honeycomb takes up just the bottom layer of the block, though this does seem to vary; in a few areas the pieces went about halfway up the square.

On first bite there's a little bit of rumbling from the honeycomb layer, and then the malty flavour from earlier reappears, softening the sweetness of the chocolate. It's not a complex flavour by any stretch of the imagination - just sweet milk chocolate with a hint of malt. I don't get any real honeycomb flavour at all, to be honest. It is a sweet bar, but not in the league of Cadbury's version, and a few pieces will be enough to satisfy most people.