Friday, 11 February 2011

UKMUMSTV: Valentines Chocolate Challenge

In a new role as reviewer for UKMUMS TV 20Somethingmum's first challenge wasn't very hard! She's been tasked with trying out three well known brands of chocolate to see which is best. However, knowing her love for chocolate of any kind, she has roped in Gadget Dad, not a sweet fan, to see what he thought.

A box of chocolate- every man must have, at some point, bought a box for his significant other for Valentines Day. Its less hassle than underwear, less "I forgot so picked these up at the garage" than flowers, and most women love them.

However, do you go for a trusty old favourite, or a modern variation of the theme?

First up, we tried a box I remember my Dad buying for my Mum in the 80s! Dairy Box, launched by Nestle in 1936 is possibly one of the most instantly recognisable boxes on the market, and is readily available in supermarkets (and garages!). Containing a good hefty selection of soft centres, silky truffles, and nutty crunchiness, as well white, milk and dark chocolate, there is something for everyone.

This is definitely a box for Mums, and I can now see why it was my Dad's choice- purely because once the Tot  Testers had got their greedy mitts in the box, there was still a number of very nice chocolates left for me!

I liked the truffle centres more than the rest, but I did find that eating more than 3 of them at once induced a bit of sweetie sickliness in the mouth. They are very sweet, which is an acquired taste, but over all not too bad.

Priced at £3.99 for 200g, its a budget buy which will stop you being in the dog house, but may not impress your other half that much!

Next up is another classic from the chocolate archives, revived by popular demand and relaunched, Black Magic, again by Nestle.

Now, I am a fan of dark chocolate, but had no previous taste experience of Black Magic. The box, which hasn't changed over the years, is simple, thin, and looks a little dated- the type face used on it conjures up the 70s to me for some reason!

However, its not about the box, but the chocolates inside. And yum, they really are the silkiest of smooth and crisp dark chocolate. The combination of crunch and soft centre is welcome too, and cuts through the bitter edge of the chocolate itself. I can certainly see why people demanded they be made again!

I do think these wont be to everyone tastes- Gadget Dad was not impressed, and even the Tot Testers declined to try anymore after half a soft centre each. Dark chocolate is an acquired taste, so its better to check whether the intended recipient actually likes dark chocolate before buying these. For those who do, these are the perfect alternative to fluffy milk chocolate.

At £3.00 for the box, for less chocolates than in the Dairy Box, its not quite as economical as some choices, but I did prefer these to the Dairy Box on taste.

A more modern version of the classic "box" of chocolates is Green and Blacks Chocolate bar selection. 
These are great all rounders, with different flavours, and something everyone will enjoy. If you're not sure what kind of chocolate your other half likes, then these are the choice for you. Not only is there the safety in a variety of flavours, dark and milk chocolate, and chocolates which taste absolutely divine, the cute tiny bars are well presented and give just enough to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. Its a more stylish option than just buying a large bar of chocolate.

The box contains 12 mini bars, in 6 different flavours, including dark chocolate with cherry, which was superb, and ginger and milk chocolate (a particular winner with Gadget Dad). We all really enjoyed these bars.

These are the most expensive though, at £4.22 for 180g, but overall, these were the Family Panel's favourites.

Now there's no excuse not to buy a chocolate gift for Valentines Day! 

All prices Tesco Online

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