70% Premium Dark Chocolate with Mint - cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Mint Oil, Soya Lecithin, Natural Vanilla
A wonderful scent of dark chocolate and mint wafted up from this bar as soon as I picked it up and it became even stronger when I opened the wrapper. I had to savour this for a while as I love the smell of mint. I couldn't hold out for too long though, so I soon broke off the first piece. It gave a very satisfying snap and then proceeded to melt gradually on my tongue. It has a very smooth texture which gives it a sensuous quality. Not too minty, which was a big plus as far as CT was concerned as he does not likes his mint to be too strong. The mint was a good foil for the cocoa, cooling and softening its powerful wallop. Overall it has a harder, drier, stronger flavour and is not as sweet as the other bars, making it ideal for the adult palate. This is not a bar for gorging on, but rather to be savoured in small doses and would make an excellent after dinner mint. 8/10
Premium Milk Chocolate with Honeycomb (33.6%) - sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, glucose syrup, butterfat, water, polydextrose, salt, soya lecithin, natural vanilla.
As I have now come to expect with the Chocolate Cafe, this chocolate was silky smooth even though it had crunchy bits of honeycomb scattered throughout. It had a creamy taste and texture although it was rather too sweet for my liking. It does, however, have a pleasant coconutty flavour which becomes more pronounced over time as does its emollient quality. Despite not liking my confectionary overly sweet, I do have a penchant for honeycomb and butterscotch in chocolate. I decided to compare this to the G&B Butterscotch, which is one of my favourite bars. They were two very different beasts indeed. The G&B bar was richer, chunkier and not as sweet, but it was also harsher - more bitter with a coarser texture. 7/10
Strawberry Chocolate with a hint of Black Pepper (28% cocoa) - sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, freeze dried strawberry black pepper, soya lecithin, colour E120, natural vanilla.
As soon as I opened the wrapper, I was accosted by a strong strawberry aroma; this was followed by an equally strong fruity hit as soon as I bit into it. The chocolate was most definitely pink and although I would prefer not to have any added colouring, it was quite fun. Following on from the strawberry, came the sense of overwhelming sweetness from the sugar, although the sharpness of the fruit does help to counter this a little. I really liked the hint of pepper, but a hint was all it was, accenting the strawberry flavour rather than overpowering it. Like its sister, the white chocolate bar, it is slightly cloying and leaves a bit of a coating on the tongue. Highly reminiscent of one of my childhood favourites, the strawberry Pink Panther Bar, I had to say I did enjoy this one. I suspect the quality of this version is of a much higher standard though and I'm sure it would be infinitely preferable if only I had one of the old panther bars to compare it to. However, because it is so sweet, scoffing the whole bar in one sitting would probably be a bit of a challenge. 6/10.
These bars are variations of the three originals, the dark, milk and white, but with some very noticable differences. They all retained the underlying smoothness characteristic of the Chocolate Cafe brand. All in all, I think these bars are rather good and at £9 for the three, they represent good value for money. The Chocolate Cafe is a cafe I would very much like to visit and if ever I am in the vicinity of Ramsbottom I most certainly will. However, they do a very good line on high quality and interesting chocolates that can be bought online so a visit is not essential.