7/10 · 8/10 · Chocolate

Asda Extra Special Nuts

I reviewed KP Frosted Honey Roast nut selection last week and I wrote at the start of that review I always forget about nuts, however my next shopping trip was to Asda. They make it so easy for me to find new stuff as they literally have giant blue arrows pointing to the new stuff on the shelves. Those giant blue arrows cost me a fortune but they found me two new bags of chocolate covered nuts this week.
Extra Special Sea Salted Chocolate Almonds 
Sea salted almonds with a white chocolate and caramel coating and dark chocolate couverture marbling. 
They looked beautiful, it almost felt a shame to eat them. Almost! Each almond was fairly large and all were pretty evenly sized, I hate openening a packet of say, chocolate raisins and getting 5 or 6 large ones and the rest being pathetically tiny.
White chocolate with caramel makes up 70% of the final product, almonds 27% and the dark chocolate couverture a measly 1.5% so I was expecting a much lighter covering but they looked milky rather than anything. They couldn’t have tasted further from milk chocolate if they tried. The caramel was outright the main flavour and a delicious caramel at that. I had no clue on earth what couverture was so wiki explained for me again:
Couverture chocolate is a very high-quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter (32–39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with propertempering gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor.
That certainly explains the delicious creamy, rich flavour each bite had. I couldn’t fully taste any dark chocolate but it plays a very important part here, probably the most important. As this is a white chocolate with caramel I expected sweetness and lots of it. Throat burning sweetness. It wasn’t bitter at all but instead of tasting like sugar (Caramac giant buttons come to mind) the actual flavour was all I noticed. Mainly caramel with the white and dark chocolate playing off each other for a balanced creamy, addictive taste.
The almonds were good, crunchy and with a flavour that’s subtle against the coating but still noticable. They weren’t overly salty as they easily could have been, but just enough to add to the addictiveness of the bag.
Asda say they’re Extra Special and wonderfully moreish and I agree 100%. I’m not buying any to put out at Christmas, I’m keeping them all for me!!
8/10

Maple Chocolate Pecans 
Maple flavoured pecans with a white chocolate coating and Belgian milk chocolate marbling 
 
This bag had more of an overall nutty scent to it but what chocolate I could smell, smelt milky rather than an outright white chocolate.
Although I tried these after the Almond bag and should have known better, I expected that as they were white chocolate they’d be sugary sweet. They were sweet, but had more of a delicious creamy flavour. The pecans themselves were softer than the almonds had been, they were still crunchy but a lot easier on the teeth to chew!
The chocolate coating is delicious, it’s mainly a white chocolate but uses a good quality white chocolate – it even has 22% cocoa solids – and so it actually tastes of chocolate, not sugar. There is a very small amount of milk chocolate added to create the marbling effect, small enough that the amount in percent isn’t listed but again it’s good chocolate. Although 65% of the whole bag is white chocolate and the milk is anywhere under 10%, there were a few times I could taste the milk more than the white.
I was waiting for the maple flavouring to appear, it’s a minuscule amount – 1% of the bag and although I couldn’t taste it at all in the smaller nuts where the emphasis was on the coating, in the larger nuts I could and they had a delicious maple flavour that is quite strong and really went well with the chocolates.
These again were really good but not quite as addictive as the caramel almonds.
7/10
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