Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunfeast Dark Fantasy Choco Fills

"Savour the taste of bliss as you bite into the new Sunfeast Dark Fantasy Choco Fills biscuit. The sun-baked rich crust enrobes the purest of smooth choco cream made to mesmerise your tastebuds..."

This copywriter for ITC Sunfeast's Dark Fantasy Choco Fills box really needs to take it easy. I know nothing about baking, but I find it hard to believe that these biscuits are left out in the sun to bake. That's what sun-baked means, right?

Although, a fan of Sunfeast's other Dark Fantasy product, I wasn't impressed with the Choco Fills. Perhaps I expected too much because everyone seems to be going gaga about it. While it is the first of its kind in the cookie/biscuit segment with a 'liquid' filling, the end result isn't anything to write home about.

I was disappointed mostly because the creamy chocolate filling inside isn't dark enough, and the cookie is sweet too, making the product a little cloying. However, it must be praised for the consistency, as the cookie is crunchy, and the filling perfectly creamy. The individual packaging for each piece helps maintain its freshness, though it may come across as wasteful to some.

A 75 g box costs INR 30 and has six biscuits in it, which makes it Rs. 5 per piece. Rather expensive for a biscuit, I say, but okay for an occasional treat.


Amul Dark Chocolate

While Amul is the largest market player in India as far as pure dairy products go, it has not had much luck with chocolate. It has quietly co-existed with the Nestles and the Cadburys of the world and produced consistently produced sub par chocolates. They recently re-introduced their Dark Chocolate with this attractive looking print campaign, proclaiming a 55% cocoa concentration, which is high by Indian standards.

I had to try the "new & improved" Amul Dark Chocolate, obviously. What should have been obvious-er to me is that there would be nothing "new & improved" about it. Even the packaging doesn't look too different from the older one. The chocolate, while pleasantly bittersweet, is not smooth even at room temperature. It has a crumbly, powdery texture that I have long associated with Amul's dark chocolates.

However, Amul's USP with chocolates has always been their pricing. At just INR 20 for this 35 g bar, Amul offers a pocket-friendly option for lovers of dark chocolate. But if you are picky about how your dark chocolate feels in your mouth, Amul isn't the right product.

RATING: 2.5/5

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cadbury Creme Egg movie-inspired adverts for 2013

It's time for Cadbury's much-loved Creme Eggs to be back in the market as Easter come close. These festival-themed chocolates are released by Cadbury each year between the months of January and March as an Easter egg variety. The milk chocolate shell is filled with white and yellow cream, made to resemble the white and yolk of an actual egg. Vegetarians can't find it very appealing. 

However, these chocolates are crazy popular, especially in Western countries where Easter has cultural significance. For this year's launch, Cadbury's made some rather cute movie-inspired print campaigns such as this one with Louise Thompson in an American Beauty-inspired ad, and another featuring her and Binky Felstead in a Mission Impossible mock up. I love!


I've not tasted this product yet. Have you? Rate the product or share a review. Chocosophy will be happy to feature it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

3D Face Chocolates by FabCafe

If you're wondering what to give your Valentine this year (and perhaps even break up), this is just the thing. Shibuya's FabCafe in Japan is letting you create a perfectly creepy 3D chocolate head (your head!) at their labs to gift your lover a thing that will haunt them forever.

For 6000 Yen, which is about INR 3565, budding chocolatiers can attend a 2-day workshop, where they can have their head scanned and turned into a 3D model via a silicon mould, according to Guardian. This mould is then used to create you face in chocolate and thus let your lover eat your head!

To read more, head here.

Kellogg's Chocos breakfast cereal

Is it just me or are we really surrounded by reams and reams of chocolate products that we don't even seem to notice? Like all good unhealthy households, mine has boxes of chocolate cereal that are often an excuse for breakfast. Despite their new 'Whole Grain' claim, we know just how good (or not) a chocolate snack is in terms of nutrition.

However, that hasn't stopped people from buying Kellogg's Chocos and other products from the brand and from the Kellogg Company becoming one of the largest cereal manufacturing companies in the world! Of the many kinds of cereal they make, Chocos is my favourite, because who doesn't like to make a meal out of chocolate? :D

The cereal is very crisp and very sweet, thus eliminating the need to add sugar if you're eating it with milk. They turn super soggy and lame like any other cereal if you add hot milk, and stay crisp a little longer in cold milk.They are also good to eat by themselves - like sweet chips - if you are lactose intolerant or simply aren't in the mood for milk giving you an apparent dose of 'proteins, minerals and fibre', and yes, a whole lot of sugar. They are, however, filling and makes for a satisfying breakfast once in a while.

The standard box weighing 375 g is priced at INR 140, but it's also available in handy 30 g (1 serving) packs at Rs. 10. The other Chocos varieties available are Duet - A combination of chocolate and vanilla flavoured flakes, Smacks - square shaped chocolate snacks, and Moon & Stars - cereal shaped like celestial bodies. These certainly are a hit with kids and therefore worth stocking for food tantrum emergencies.

RATING: 3.5/5

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ferrero Confetteria Raffaello

Frankly, I've never understood what the big hoo-haa about Ferrero chocolates is. Their most popular product, Ferrero Rocher, is as average a chocolate as there can be as far as the taste experience goes. I suppose it is the fancy layering that people like so much.

I spotted a lesser-known (at least in India) product by the same company at the Mumbai airport and promptly picked it up for a review. Confetteria Raffaello is a white chocolate-based confection and comes in these handy 3-piece packs.

Like its better-known cousin, Raffaello too is made of three layers; a top layer of desiccated coconut, a thin crunchy wafer-like middle layer and soft, creamy white chocolate on the inside. Quintessentially, it has a whole nut in the centre, an almond, creating a profusion of textures and flavours as you pop one in your mouth. Wholly, the taste is mildly sweet, but not memorable.

These Poland-made chocolates were introduced in 1989, according to the company website, and cost INR 49 for a pack of three. While I don't quite fancy them, Ferrero Rocher fans will like it, and white chocolate fans more so.

RATING: 3.5/5

Friday, January 25, 2013

Satva Getrim Chocolate Mocha Meal Replacement Shake

All things chocolate are not fattening.

Of the many things I've been doing in the past six months in a bid to get fit, trying Satva's Getrim meal replacement shake was one. As a weight management product, Getrim works very well. A 300 ml glass of shake made with two scoops of Getrim and low fat milk makes for a 'meal' less than 200 calories. I personally prefer it for dinner, because it doesn't have a great satiety value. If you don't go off to sleep soon after this dinner, you're going to feel hungry after about three hours.

The product is available in Strawberry Cream and French Vanilla flavours too, but I being me  picked Chocolate Mocha the first time. I've tried all three by now, and sadly, Chocolate Mocha has turned out to be the worst variant.

Now I don't expect wondrous flavours from a protein blend of mostly milk, soy and whey, but this one's just crappy. My biggest problem with this product is its solubility. You can shake and stir as much as you like, but lumps of dry powder will float about, making the consistency rather unpleasant. If, however, you take the trouble of making it in a blender, it becomes okay and will look something like this.

The Mocha bit in the Chocolate Mocha is barely discernible, unless you count that slightly bitter aftertaste. The French Vanilla and Strawberry Cream flavours are much more palatable, and don't make drinking a meal replacement shake look like such as bad idea.

Priced at approximately Rs. 700, a tin of 500 g serves about 20 meals and is well worth the investment, if you are serious about your weight management plans.

RATING: 2.5/5

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Frey Coffee & Cocoa Milk Chocolate

Since I've started chocolate blogging, airports have become a special place. Small kiosks stock the most unusual and wonderful of brands and varieties, and I picked up quite a number on a recent trip to Chennai. One of them was a bar of Frey's Coffee & Cocoa Milk Chocolate. I was drawn to it for three reasons: its attractive packaging, the fact that it was Swiss and most importantly, the coffee component in it. So, while I'm not into milk chocolate, this had stuff in it that could make me happy. Besides, I wanted to try a Frey product, because the brand claims to be the largest-selling (and by that measure, the number one) Swiss chocolate brand and is over a 100 years old.

So, this is an 'extra fine milk chocolate with a touch of ground hazelnuts, coffee & crispy cocoa nibs'. The hazelnut part is not really detectable, because the cocoa nibs part is so prominent. The chocolate, as you can see, is densely packed with these nibs and linger in your mouth towards the end. The coffee is blended well in the chocolate, but the aftertaste is mostly sweet. I ate this 100 g bar over four days, and despite trying to slowly savour it, the strongest gustatory memory of it is sweet.

At INR 270, this isn't too great a bargain according to me, but if you are a lover of milk chocolate, it might be a great pick for you.

RATING: 3.5/5

Friday, January 18, 2013

World Chocolate Wonderland Fashion Show

This post is another fabulous first for Chocolate and Other Sins, because it talks about CHOCOLATE FASHION! It's like combining the two great loves of my life. It is one of those rare times when Fashion Goss and this blog will share a post. I IZ THRILLED!

So, basically some kooky fashion designers got together, and made models walk the ramp with chocolate clothes on - that too fully edible! No, not really. The World Chocolate Wonderland Fashion Show was held at Shanghai on the January 17, 2013 as the opening act for the World Chocolate Wonderland theme park in China. The first-ever chocolate theme park is slated to open in China by end of January 2013.

Here are some of the chocolate creations sported by the models at this unique fashion show.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cadbury Dairy Milk Shots

Eating and reviewing exotic phoren chocolates is so exciting, that I have been ignoring much of our homegrown stuff. In fact, I got asked only the other day by a friend why Dairy Milk doesn't warrant a review on my blog. I said it does; only it is boring. Incidentally, a colleague offered me a pack of Cadbury Dairy Milk Shots yesterday afternoon, and here comes my first Dairy Milk product review - sooner than later. 

While a regular bar of Dairy Milk doesn't exactly excite me, a couple of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Shots are smallhappymakers. You can pop a couple of them into your mouth, get your dose of chocolate and not feel too guilty about the calories. The outer layer is crunchy, and the soft, milk chocolate inside kind of melts in your mouth. More like 'muh mein laddoo phoota' unlike their adorable TVCs which have 'Mann mein laddoo phoota' as their punchline.

Priced at Rs. 2 for two of these chocolate balls, it offers great worth for money and makes for the perfect dessert for the calorie-counting chocoholic.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lindt Excellence Wasabi Dark Chocolate

Prrrreeeeeesentingggggggggggg, the Lindt Excellence Wasabi Dark Chocolate! Yes, you heard that right. There's WASABI in chocolate, and only Lindt & Sprüngli AG could have pulled this off so beautifully. Apparently KitKat in Japan has a Wasabi version too, but it isn't dark, so it doesn't count.

OK, and for those who aren't quite sure what Wasabi is, it is a plant belonging to the family of cabbages, mustard and horseradish. Authentic Wasabi is found mostly in Japan. It has a strong flavour and is pungent in the way mustard is. Sold in root, powder or paste form, Wasabi is used as a condiment in many culinary preparations.

My favourite chocolate makers have brought these unlikely bedfellows together for a divine union, resulting in a product as fine as their Chilli chocolate. However, unlike Chilli, Wasabi is a harder, unusual, and takes-time-to-get-used-to flavour and may find fewer takers. That doesn't make the chocolate less perfect, though.

I spotted the Wasabi variety at a local shop, and was intrigued. I tried to imagine how that fiery taste would meld with the dark-bittersweet chocolate all the way home. But nothing quite prepared me for the ecstasy and surprise of the first bite. I was like 'How, HOW do they do this?' The balance of the opposite flavours is fine, with the pungency of Wasabi coming through mildly and consistently. The dark chocolate is, as usual, smooth and rich with 47% cacao.

I am not a fan of flavoured chocolates, and Mint chocolates I especially despise; but Lindt's unique masterful combinations are slowly helping me cross over. The Lindt Excellence Wasabi Dark Chocolate is truly a work of culinary art, and one doesn't mind shelling out INR 230 for a 100 g pack. Because, once you have tasted it, all you want to do is...

RATING: 4.5/5

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gone Mad Choco Sticks

Yay! This is the first ever brand-request review on Chocosophy (and boy, am I glad that it is a product I don't have to write bad things about).When they sent a mail asking if I would like to review the product, I jumped at it, and they sent me a box-full of these. I wasted no time in opening one and pretending to smoke a cigar! :D

What you notice first is the cute packaging, and you know that GarudaFood's Gone Mad Choco Sticks are those little fun wafer chocolatey things that kids and shameless adult chocoholics will love.In fact, the designs on the packaging have been created by a bunch of school kids from Bangalore!

The wafer of the choco sticks is crunchy and the filling is generous. Stuffed with chocolate, they are well worth their price of INR 5 per stick. What I especially like about them is that the chocolate is not overly sweet. My only grouse is that they break really easily, and if not stored with care, all you get it bits and pieces crumbling out of the packet.

The kind of box I was sent comes with 24 pieces, and is priced at INR 120. A smaller pack of five, costing Rs. 25 is also available. The product is currently being sold only the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, but I don't know why kids from other states shouldn't be able to sample this wonderful wafer chocolate.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Dark Chocolate Granola Bar

If, like me, you are a compulsive buyer of chocolate things, even your 'diet food' will end up being umm... chocolate-y. Yup, so I went hunting for low cal snacks to eat during office hours and came back with a box of Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Dark Chocolate Granola bars. And these babies will forever rid you of your hatred for granola bar thingies.

An individual pack comes with two bars in it, which I find a tad inconvenient. I may not want to eat two bars at once and storing an open pack is a hassle. However, it is difficult to stop hogging both because they're oh so good. The oats bars are firm and crunchy, and the dark chocolate just right. The bland taste of oats allows for the taste of chocolate to come through beautifully.

But it's not as indulgent as I make it out to be. The 42 g pack of two is energy-packed with 195 kcal, and can well make for a meal on the run. Priced at INR 35, these Spain-made bars are also pocket friendly. I like.

RATING: 3.5/5

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mahak Choc On

Picture this day in the life of a chocolate reviewer. Now, you are reviewing decadent hot chocolate from an award-winning British chocolatier; next you are dealing with potty quality chocolates like Choc On. Sure, I deserve a slap on my face for letting Katrina con me into this one, but WHO THE FUCK MAKES SHIT LIKE THIS?

When I tasted Safari (review to be up soon!), I was sure no one could make such terrible chocolate. But Mahak has managed it well, and with Katrina Kaif to endorse it! The company obviously has pots of money to be able to rope in Kat and create a reasonable ad campaign. But without morons like me who get curious and buy it once, they won't last very long. Because nobody can eat this shit twice.

Choc On reminds you of those horrid chocolates some of your relatives got from the UAE, or those you bought off the odds and ends kiosk outside school. Teeth-numbingly sweet, weird thick texture, tacky packaging, there's nothing in it that will earn any sympathy points from me. The 30 g pack costs Rs. 10, but don't eat it even if someone's giving it to you for free.


Gianduja Hot Chocolate for ESPA

What I don't get is, why would anyone want to light a candle while drinking hot chocolate? But a strange brand partnership has resulted in William Curley's crafting this special Gianduja Hot Chocolate for ESPA. For the uninitiated, ESPA is one of the world's leading spa products and treatments companies. And William Curley happens to be a celebrated Brit chocolatier, who has been awarded the top honours for five successive years. The ‘Hot Chocolate’ Gift Set contains William Curley Gianduja Hot Chocolate and a ESPA Restorative 200g Candle, which will apparently let you 'seek refuge from the winter chills'. (I really want to offer a frozen Delhiite a candle right now to fight the cold and see their faces).

Jokes apart, the dark chocolate is rich, dark, velvety and utterly, deliciously indulgent. Infused with Piedmont hazelnut and blended with Toscano dark chocolate, the drink releases a velvety concentration of flavours. Burning the candle, of course, depends on whether your partner is the corny type. ;)

Price: Approx. INR 3500

RECIPE for Gianduja Hot Chocolate


500ml milk
100gms hot chocolate flakes
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of chili (optional)


1.    Boil together the milk, cinnamon and chilli
2.    Place the chocolate flakes in the mixing bowl
3.    Add the 1/3 of the milk. Beat until very smooth
4.    Add the remaining milk, mix well and serve.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Oreo art!

I saw this piece of Oreo art this morning on my Twitter feed (via @mujib), and knew immediately that this blog had to feature some chocolate art too! The artist is Judith G. Klausner and the world needs more people like her, for it definitely made my day. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Parle Hide & Seek

First things first, Parle's Hide & Seek cookies will never qualify as 'cookies' in my eyes, because only round and crumbly and buttery things can be called that. And secondly, they are definitely not the 'World's Best Moulded Chocolate Chip Cookies', but they're good in a way all things with chocolate are. Wikipedia defines moulded cookies as those... 'made from a stiffer dough that is moulded into balls or cookie shapes by hand before baking.

Moulded into balls or no balls, Hide & Seek is one consistent product. Since they launched a few years ago, I've consumed packets of these and they've always been the same. Slightly hard textured, but perfectly crunchy, these 'biscuits' have the right amount of chocolate chips in them to give them full flavour. The biscuit is mostly sweet, and the chocolate is just a tad dark, making for a good combination.

Parle's Hide & Seek is available in INR 5, 10, 20, 30 or 50 packets, and are perfect to go either with hot beverages or eaten by themselves. I like.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lindt Excellence Chilli Dark


The Lindt Excellence Chilli Dark is without doubt THE BEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD! In my world at any rate, and the only likely post on Chocolate and other sins to start with a rating, and a full one at that!

I had first read about this beastly combination of chillies and chocolate in the book, Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Protagonist Vianne Rocher sexily whips up cup after cup of hot chocolate and tops it with a dash of chilli powder for zing. I saw it for the first time when a local ice cream parlour near my then home in Pune held a chocolate ice cream festival. Among the many variants, I spotted some chilli chocolate ice cream, but was too chicken to try it. But my undying love for chilli chocolate started when I bought a couple of Lindt Chilli Dark packs from Dorabjee's, just because there was a 'buy 1, get 1 free' offer. Yeah, I am an Indian.

So, my love started with a love of all things free, but is now of the forever variety. And why not? Swiss chocolate makers Lindt & Sprüngli AG produce only the finest chocolates. Of the limited number of imported brands we get here in India, Lindt is one of the best and one that offers a wide variety.

The Lindt Chilli Dark is an exceptional taste experience with the perfect blend of smooth, rich dark chocolate and premium chilli spice. With 47% cocoa, the chocolate is just enough dark; more on the sweet side actually. The sweet-dark chocolate on your tongue serves as a foil for the delicious burn of the chilli that you feel at the back of your throat. Chilli blended with chocolate is actually an ancient Aztec/Mayan culinary tradition that helped bring out the flavour of the cocoa.

Over the years, I've found that this brand is sold at variable prices at retail stores and could cost you anywhere between Rs. 175 to Rs 300 for a 100 g bar. If you are shopping online, it gets worse, with them fleecing you with prices up to Rs. 600 a bar!! So, if you want to sample this piece of heaven, find a friendly neibourhood Gujju shop that stocks imported stuff, and ask for a bar of Lindt Chilli Dark chocolate at a discount. No, you won't find it easily, so happy hunting!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Body Shop Chocomania range

It's that time of the year when all brands think making heart-shaped and chocolate things is going to boost their business. I can't imagine why, because what has chocolate got to do with love? CHOCOLATE IS LOVE!

However, this is The Body Shop's Deluxe edition, especially for the Valentine month *rolls eyes*. Second only to chocolate are chocolate cosmetics, because if you can't feed your face all the time, you can at least stick your nose inside a jar of cream till you are dizzy. Cosmetic ranges such as The Body Shop's Chocomania, comprising a shower cream, a scrub, a soap, a body lotion, a body butter and a lip butter, are made just so caloriephobics (losers!) can infuse the goodness of chocolate through senses other than their tongues.

No, I haven't tried these yet, but their last non-deluxe Chocomania edition was fair. The best of the line is the scrub, that smells super and has gentle scrub particles, and the worst was the body butter that pretty much feels like a thick layer of flaky, gooey gunk. The shower cream and soap are okay to use too, and the body lotion is pretty pleasing. A word of caution against the lip butter - it tastes quite terrible, so don't let anyone kiss you when you are wearing some. That would make one nasty Valentine surprise!

Overall, the product range is good, as all The Body Shop things go, and put together in a cute box, will also make your girlfriend happy. These are also 'guilt-free' products if you've got yourself a nature/social activist kind of a babe


Price list (INR)
Body Lotion: 595
Body Scrub: 995
Lip Butter: 350
Body Butter: 995
Shower Cream: 395
Soap: 175

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cadbury's 5 Star

I hate caramel in chocolate. I mean, do the chocolate makers of the world have no care for children with crooked teeth? Eating a Cadbury 5 Star meant dawging lige thees while my nails and tongue frantically tried to dislodge gooey caramel-y bits from the impossible corners of my mouth. I, however, ate them because thoughtless relatives continued to bring them for me. It was only when I grew up enough to tell them that I preferred Dairy Milk, that my teeth were liberated.

But no chocolate review blog can be taken seriously if it doesn't review Cadbury's 5 Star. For the sake of our collective childhood memories, I picked up a bar for a review; the tiniest one I could find.While the packaging has undergone quite a few changes since I was a child, the quality of the chocolate seems to have remained the same. The same layers of chocolate, caramel and nougat, and the same sickly sweetness. The stickiness, on the other hand, seems to have decreased, or perhaps my teeth have really 'grown up' since.

But 5 Star does not manage to get back into my good books. No sir, I am not buying a standard 100 g bar of 5 Star priced at Rs. 10 anytime soon, the successful (and irritating) Ramesh-Suresh ad campaign notwithstanding.

RATING: 2.5/5

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