Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Testing Thorntons...

I'm a bit disappointed, Thorntons servery chocolates are no longer served by weight, but are labelled up as 35p each.

They do have another range out for Christmas, so I picked up a few to see how they've turned out. I started off with a Catalana, simply because it's one of my favourites. All creamy, smooth, chocolatey and buttery with those sensational honeycomb pieces in the shell, who could resist?! I also picked up a salted cara
mel ball, as it's won a very sturdy place in my heart with it's liquidy, satisfying centre.

One of the new ones is a vodka lime, in a spackled, mixed chocolate shell shaped like a cacao pod. It smells like bitter limeskins on the outside. Having bitten and melted the shell, it tastes like a weak, cheap chocolate lime. Not an auspicious start, but we'll see. A larger munch on the shell remains pretty much the same, whilst the supremely smooth centre tastes an awful lot like washing up liquid. Wow, that's NOT good. Who the heck thought this was a good flavour and how DID it get past quality? Consuming the rest in one go - quantity over quality - doesn't help either. It retains a distinct bitter citrus cleaning fluid flavour. Icky. Thank goodness I had a block of powerful 70% dark with sour dried cherries; they banished the flavour perfectly. Pretty, but not nice and certainly doesn't deserve a picture!

Bit of a pinball start there, great to awful, so let's hope the bumper flicks it back the other way with the special toffee something or other with a very long name. I have had special toffee limited edition truffles in previous collections, so I wonder if it's a recycled recipe or a new one... His Lordship thinks it smells like a fresh peice of pinewood, but softer, not such a harsh smell. Not quite sure where he got that from.

The orange crunch comes in a foil wrapper so it doesn't affect the other chocolates on the servery, brighter and lighter orange than the Seville (pictured), and the scent is brighter and lighter too. More orange blossom than orange skins, I'm pleased with the smell. Little difficult to bite into, as the shell is very smooth surfaced and the centre VERY firm. I hate to say it, but it's just a round Seville. No bad thing, but they ought not pass it off as a new Limited Edition. Still, it's very tasty with it's firm bite and delightful crispy crunch embedded in the rich chocolatey orange tastiness.

It has a rich, creamy, clean smell.. The skin is similar to the Catalana, with crunchy toffee flavour specks, but I do like the cheeky coat of dark chocolate inside. Yes, the shell is very good with a burnt sugar and sweet cream finishing note to it. The centre is firm, bordering on fudgelike, but very fine and very sweet with a good, thick flavour of caramel to it. I'm beginning to wonder if the flavour of the centre spread into the chocolate. It's not overpowering, more caramel than burnt sugar, exactly what I expected from this one and a little different to the original versions. Kudos. I like the dark chocolate aftertaste from the shell too.

Though I love Salted Caramel Balls. If anyone is stuck for something to get me as a gift any time, a nice bag of these would do just grand. I really am somewhat partial to these savoury, popping delights. The fine dusting of raw cocoa powder is a treat in itself - a light coating of soft bitter to ease you into the sweeter, exciting, thick chocolate shell. There's no biting tentatively into these bad-boys. I tried that the first time, not realising it's a liquid centre and got it all down me. It's a whole-mouther, allowed to slowly melt. A challenge in itself to swallow without damaging the dissolving shell, drinking the dark chocolate runoff from the liquidizing shell. Slurpy. Ooooh, there it goes! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........

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