Easter is a time for chocolate, therefore I decided to go on the search for some 5* chocolate bars that will rival the supermarket favourites. These ‘gourmet’ bars will cost you considerable more, but if you love chocolate, they are definitely worth a try. Treat yourself!
Galaxy Caramel (135g, 98p) > Lindt’s Lindor Caramel Bar (100g, £1.69)
I do quite like Galaxy Caramel, however, Galaxy chocolate already has caramel notes to its flavour, therefore the addition of a caramel centre can be a little too creamy and sickly for me. Lindt’s Lindor Caramel is a special pairing of fine smooth milk chocolate and a thicker, richer and slightly nutty caramel that melts slowly. Make sure to eat at room temperature.
Maltesers (121g bag £2) > Hotel Chocolat’s Malty Munchies (215g, £10)
This chocolate swap is quite a large price jump, but I think it’s well worth it. Hotel Chocolat gives these airy chocolate balls an air of sophistication, using a smooth 50% cacao milk chocolate—while Maltesers chocolate is composed mostly of powdered milk—which has a much better chocolate flavour and is less sickly sweet, and a light and crunchy centre. The jovially-named Malty Munchies are as dangerously addictive as their ‘budget’ counterpart, so they do make for rather an expensive 10 minutes of indulgence.
Toblerone (400g bar, £3) > Harrods’ Gold Bar (300g bar, £10.95)
I have always found the Toblerone chocolate to be all sugar and lacking in chocolate flavour. The Harrods bar uses a creamy high-quality milk chocolate and tastes more of almond. The Gold Bar had a more stylish shape and inviting matte finish—while the Toblerone’s shiny surface screams of cheap chocolate. Finally, the nougat pieces in a Toblerone bar are not uniform in size and therefore create a speckled appearance, while Harrods’ version contains slightly larger almond nougat chunks that don’t get so stuck in your teeth.
Milky Way (twin bar, 60p) > Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier’s Fine Nougat Dipped in Milk Chocolate (100g, £5.95)
Award-winning artican chocolatier, Iain Burnett, has brought his Belgian, Swiss and French training back to his homeland, in the Scottish highlands, where he created internationally-renowned hand-crafted chocolates. His gourmet chocolates use a single-origin cocoa from the South-Atlantic volcanic island of São Tomé, which was selected for its fruity, aromatic and spicy characteristics and is blended with creamy milk from Scottish cows to create their incredible unique blend. It’s hard to compete with that level of dedication and care! Their chocolates use classic quality nougat, as opposed to sticky malted nougat inside a Milky Way bar.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut (120g, £1.40) > Hotel Chocolat’s Kirsch Cherry & Hazelnut Bûche (160g, £8.50)
Hotel Chocolat’s soft and creamy bûche is a tempting grown-up blend of rich roasted hazelnuts and sweet Kirsch-infused cherries. The alcohol has a kick to it, making this chocolate bar a great after-dinner evening treat, or perfect for sharing at a dinner party. It takes Cadbury’s tame, yet tasty bar and gives it some oomph for a more sophisticated palette.
Caramac (30g, 60p) > T’a Sentimento Italiano White Chocolate Crispy Caramel (50g, £2.49 at Waitrose)
T’a Sentimento Italiano’s caramel white chocolate bar has none of the synthetic sweetness of Caramac. It melts like a dream, while the deep slightly burnt caramel flavour balances out the sweet white chocolate and the nuggets of crisp caramel pieces add a satisfying crunch.
Terry’s Chocolate Orange (3x40g bars, £1.50) > Green & Black’s Organic Blood Orange Milk Chocolate (£2.19 at Waitrose) I have been a patron of the chocolate orange forever. Every Christmas, it’s the first thing I pull from the stocking—making for a very healthy breakfast. However, Green & Black’s infuse elegance and intensity into these ‘match-made-in-heaven flavours. They use the sweeter and intense flavour of blood orange, that also carries notes of caramel and raspberries. Its a work of genius combined with their deep and milky 37% cocoa chocolate, made from Fairtrade Trinitario beans. *Price shown for ‘budget’ chocolate bar is lowest price found between Sainsbury’s, Tesco & Asda, correct on 04/04/2015