Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cadbury Crispello Double Choc

Last week I reviewed the first of two flavours of the imported Cadbury Crispello, Velvet Vanilla. It got a score of just three stars out of five - I wonder if this one will do any better?

Crispello is made in the Czech Republic, and originally sold in the UK. It debuted there in 2012 with the Double Choc flavour, and then added the Velvet Vanilla flavour earlier this year. I found Velvet Vanilla uninspired, but still have hopes for Double Choc. This variety has the same format as the vanilla variety - three bite-size pieces of wafer pillows, filled with a flavoured product, and then coated in Cadbury milk chocolate. (Note that it's not Dairy Milk chocolate, just 'milk chocolate'.) After I took the photos, I sat down to edit them, and was struck by the similarity between these and Kinder Bueno. While I haven't reviewed Buenos, they are one of my favourite confectioneries. Crispellos have a similar construction - a wafer pillow, filled with a soft flavoured product, and then the whole thing is coated in chocolate. There's nothing quite like Buenos on the market here in Australia - they really have their own little niche - so I wonder if Buenos inspired the creation of Crispellos. The names are similar enough - the word 'bueno' is Spanish, and the 'o' at the end of Crispello could be taken as Spanish-inspired. But enough linguistics.

Like Velvet Vanilla, the Double Choc Crispello has a 29% cocoa solid chocoalte coating over a wafer pillow that is has a soft, creamy filling. Predictably, the filling on this variety is brown - around the colour of hot chocolate - and chocolate flavoured. It actually leaves a bit towards the praline side of things, even though there is no hazelnut in the ingredients list. It's a little bit sweet, and a little watered down in strength, but nice all the same.

Thankfully the wafer adds a nice bit of texture to the bite. The outer chocolate layer melts quickly, adding a bit of extra sweetness to the bite, but the whole thing is pleasantly nice. It's a little bit like Nutella in taste, with those hazelnut notes. My wafer did seem a touch stale (but that could be due to the time between opening the packet and actually writing the review). I found these a more satisfying than the Velvet Vanilla. The chocolate flavour lingers for longer afterwards. I think these would probably go nicely with a cup of coffee.

Score: 4 out of 5 stars.

Cadbury Crispello Double Choc is made in the Czech Republic. It contains milk, wheat and soy products, and may contain traces of egg and tree nuts.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Gossip: Cadbury Boost Toffee Crunch and Golden Biscuit Crunch

Don't know a thing about this, but apparently Toffee Crunch is the next seasonal release flavour for the Boost chocolate bar from Cadbury.

Image stolen from

Here's another I know little about, but I spotted it in Coles recently. Cadbury Golden Biscuit VCrunch is a 200g block that is made in Australia, and described on the pack as "Dairy Milk milk chocolate with vanilla and choc flavoured creme filling and vanilla biscuit".

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Nestle Wonka Caramel Hat Trick

Happy 100th blog post!

Released in August this year in answer to Cadbury's Marvellous Creations range, the 170g Wonka chocolate blocks from Nestle come in a range of four different varieties. I have the Caramel Hat Trick here to review today.

I say that the Wonka blocks are a rebuttal to Marvellous Creations, but honestly that's just my opinion (and these are a bit less creative than MC anyway). Nestle has actually been sitting on the Wonka branding since 1988 (international). The whole name of the brand is The Willy Wonka Candy Company, although all - bar the word Wonka - are not used in Australia. Interestingly, the Wonka chocolate blocks already exist in the UK and Ireland with similar packing, but with vastly different flavours (Millionaire's Shortbread, Creme Brulee and Chocolate Nice Cream).

Caramel Hat Trick is described on the pack as 'smooth flowing caramel and crunchy caramel pieces covered in creamy and smooth Wonka chocolate'. The block itself is moulded in squares that measure about one inch square, complete with Wonka top hat, and some are upside down. On the back of the pack, there is a pictorial guide to which parts of the block contain caramel, and which parts contain the crunchy caramel pieces (the two outer columns contain the caramel, while the centre column is made with the candy pieces). The chocolate itself is milky and light brown in colour, and smells strongly of sweet milk chocolate. (The block comes wrapped in this great diamond-patterned gold foil, which I love.)

I first bit into a caramel square. The chocolate top hat is 1-2mm thick, and provides good protection of the flowing caramel. It's rather runny, a bit like topping used on ice cream, but on its own is not crazily sweet. It has lovely burnt sugar notes that are complimented by the sweetness of the chocolate.

The caramel candy squares are moulded the same as the flowing caramel ones (in that the top hat contains all the fun stuff). The little candy pieces are small, like the flecks of popping candy in some of the Marvellous Creations blocks, and are yellow and translucent against the milk chocolate. They add a nice crunchy texture to the smooth chocolate. I also found that these squares were sweeter than the others, and tasted more along the lines of a caramel-flavoured hot chocolate. They weren't bad, but when eaten in conjunction with a flowing caramel piece, it upped the sweetness considerably and made the mouthfeel rather cloying.

There's no denying that this block will only be enjoyed by people who love caramel (but really, that was obvious from the start, wasn't it?) I found that I needed to have this one square at a time, and slowly; doing the opposite was a bit much, even for me. I bet that perhaps salting the caramel on one side would break through the sweetness, but alas, playing with savoury doesn't seem to be within Wonka's skill range.

Score: 4 out of 5 stars.

Nestle Wonka Caramel Hat Trick is made in Australia, and contains milk, wheat and soy. It is made on equipment that processes peanuts and tree nuts. A serving size is 16.2g (or two squares).

Friday, 20 September 2013

Gossip: New Cadbury Bubbly Blocks and a New Flavour - Strawberry!

Reader Suzanne alerted me recently to the arrival of another new product from Cadbury - new Bubbly blocks, including one new flavour - Strawberry!

Photos courtesy of reader Suzanne.

Although these are made in Australia, there's several points of interest on these: the first, and perhaps most important, is the new Dairy Milk font - is this a new logo change we're seeing here? I've been unable to find any information on this change (Cadbury didn't even reply to my emails) so I'm unsure if this is a permanent change that will slowly be rolled out, or if it's something special just for the Bubbly products.

Secondly, the transition to the foil packaging (away from the cardboard-and-foil combo) also includes a different moulding pattern for the Bubbly range, from squarish pieces to a rounded, more bubble-like pattern. While in line with the name, the pattern is also similar to the rounded block shape that Aero introduced earlier this year. Hmm!

Suzanne let me know that she found a block of strawberry-flavoured Bubbly, which is a new flavour to the Bubbly range in general. This isn't a flavour that Aero has in its range, so for once Cadbury seems to be a bit ahead of the game!

Have you tried it? Let me know how you like it in the comments below!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mars M&M's Raspberry

Following on from their last seasonal release, M&M's Crispy Mint, Mars have just released their 2013 flavour: Raspberry.US confectionery lovers may be thinking that this is just an import of the US flavour dark chocolate raspberry, but you're mistaken. Although it doesn't explicitly say 'milk chocolate' on the packaging, the ingredients list reveals that the chocolate contains 28% cocoa solids, a number which is still squarely in the range of milk chocolate. That also means that Raspberry M&M's are a completely and utterly new product to Australia. Cool, huh?

The pack is a beautiful dark pink colour, a great representation of the raspberry flavour (also a great pedicure colour). It's a colour family Mars hasn't really used before for the M&M's range, possibly to avoid clashing with Maltesers. The pack features characters Red and Yellow. Poor Red has been turned into a bright red raspberry, complete with little hairs and green leaf and stem, while Yellow looks on appreciatively. It's a really cute image and one that has been used for a lot of the advertising.

The M&M's themselves are in three shades of colour: white, warm pink and dark red. The famous 'm' stamp is blueish-white on the two darker colours, and a weird browny colour on the white.The description on the pack reveals that the raspberry flavour will be found in the chocolate rather than the shell, and the bite-size pieces of chocolate are the same size as original M&M's.

Unlike the Crispy Mint variety, there's no scent beyond chocolate to these. The taste, however, is quite strong and distinct. Just one single button has a lot of flavour - it's most definitely raspberry. The flavour is delicious, with warm raspberry notes, a touch of tanginess and lots of milky chocolate, complemented by the crunchy candy shell. For an artificial flavour, Mars has done a very good job of working some magic here. While the flavour works with the milk chocolate, I bet it would also be delicious with dark chocolate, albeit in a block or bar. The warmth of the raspberry notes is rather feminine, so I'm not sure if it will be appreciated much by the menfolk. These are great - the sweetness is not cloying or in your face, and lets the real flavour shine through.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the flavour scoffable, though; I think the flavour requires a little appreciation and time to enjoy the taste. The raspberry flavour likes to hang around a little afterwards as well. I do find the timing of the release a little odd - it's a flavour that makes me think of hot drinks and winter, not summertime, so I'll be enjoying these as much as I can up until summer hits.

Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Mars M&M's Raspberry are made in Australia. A serve is 25g. They contain wheat, milk and soy. There may be traces  of peanuts, treenuts and barley present.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Cadbury Crispello Velvet Vanilla

Cadbury have launched their new product, Crispello, so quickly I didn't even get time to gossip about it! An imported product, Crispellos are actually made in the Czech Republish for the UK market and were launched there late last year. And for one reason or another, Cadbury decided to launch it here as well. (They seem to be doing a lot of that lately...) They were originally launched in the Double Choc flavour, and Velvet Vanilla followed in the middle of this year. Here, Cadbury have launched both flavours at once.

Crispellos are little bite-size pieces of wafer filled with a flavoured filling and covered with Cadbury chocolate. The packet describes them as 'thin crispy shells', and I suppose that's an accurate description. There are three of the pieces in one 30g 'bar', and each piece is a good 3.5cm long, by 2.5cm wide and 2.5cm tall at the tallest point. I'm not sure what shape they are exactly - they are like two trapezoids, joined together at the base, like a little pillow. Rather cute, actually. And then there is a thin layer of Cadbury chocolate over the top.  (The chocolate is a little melted on mine as the check-out was taking for-ev-er!) The ingredients list reveals that the chocolate is 29% cocoa solids, better than the last UK-market Cadbury product I reviewed that came in at 20% cocoa solids.

They have that nice milky sweet scent that is very Cadbury, and the chocolate is mostly instact - surprising, as there is nothing to protect the bar aside from the wrapper. Wafers are naturally fairly fragile so I was expecting a tray or similar, like what is used with Nutffles, but nada.

Biting in, the first thing that I notice is the texture. The wafer makes a loud crunch and sheds bits of the chocolate layer everywhere. Oops. The wafer does give a very nice texture to the chew though, providing nice contrast against the quick-to-melt chocolate and soft filling. In this case the filling is white, and is supposed to be vanilla flavoured. By itself, I get a weird milk-inspired flavour that is quite sweet. There's definitely no vanilla here. In the context of the chew itself, the piece is soft and disintegrates quickly. Its taste is sweet  but with no real discernible taste. It's like a bad version of Kinder Fingers (and I love those). Even the chocolate flavour I was hoping for is quick to disappear. On the upside, the product does not stick to teeth, or leave a nasty aftertaste, so at least there's that.

I'm going to take a wild stab and suggest that these are marketed at women looking for that sweet fix but not wanting to feel guilty about it. (See, I can do this marketing shizz too!) A serving size is the whole packet (30g), but comes in at a hair over 700kj, for those who count that sort of thing. With only three pieces, the bar is gone very quickly (even if you do try to be ladylike and bite each piece in half), and I didn't find it very satisfying. It was nice but the flavour of the centre could have been stronger.

Score: 3 out of 5 stars.

Cadbury Crispello Vanilla Velvet is made in the Czech Republic. It contains milk, wheat and soy products, and may contain traces of egg and tree nuts.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Gossip: Nestle Aero White

This one is actually so new, I don't have any information on it! I spotted it at the servo a few days ago and had to share though. Aero isn't usually a range that plays with different flavours, so it's good to see something new!

Image via

Monday, 9 September 2013

Mentos Mystery II

Following on from Mentos Mystery back in 2012, there's another new Mentos release for 2013, aptly named Mentos Mystery II. Like the last Mystery pack, Mystery II is in a blue package, covered with rainbow question marks, and has pink foil. If you weren't looking closely you might pick it up thinking it was last year's packet, and get a surprise!

Here's last year's version, so you can see the similarities.

The dragees for Mystery II are a cream colour, lightly speckled with green and yellow. They have a faint gloss to them as well, but no scent that I can determine.  Biting in reveals a pinkish centre. It's much more pronounced in the photo than it is in real life.

The taste is at first a mild raspberry flavour, the kind of addition you might find in a muffin. At first I thought it was a generic berry flavour, but then I discovered a bit of tartness that suggested raspberry. Later as you chew through the piece, it develops a real creamy yoghurt flavour. It's rather warm and comforting So although my tastebuds aren't any type of connoisseur, I'm guessing this year's flavour is raspberry yoghurt.

(Last year I got caught out and didn't check the ingredients list for a hint of what the flavour would be. I was more diligent this year and found reconstituted fruit juices in the flavours of raspberry and strawberry, and yoghurt powder, buried in the list. So I think my guessing may be a bit closer to the mark than I was last year!)

I'm personally not a fan of yoghurt flavoured things, but in the grand scheme of confectionery flavours, this is a really average flavour to put in a Mystery packet. I wouldn't be surprised if it's an imported flavour from where yoghurt is more popular, such as Japan.

Score: 2 out of 5 stars.

Mentos are made in China and contains milk and glucose products.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Gossip: M&M's Raspberry

Brand new to the Australian market are Raspberry M&M's. According to social media they have been available in Coles for around two weeks, but they have been a bit slow to make it over west. Thanks to reader Chris to alerting me to their existence! And sharing a picture for us.

I am very much looking forward to reviewing these on the weekend, as raspberry is not a flavour Australia has seen in M&M's before.

(I'm sharing this promo image from the Coles catalogue as I think Red makes a great berry!)