8/10

M&S Christmas Mini Bags

I have to limit myself on how often I visit the food hall at my local M&S.. I couldn’t not go and have a little look at the Christmas treats though and I ended up £28 poorer for the experience. Say what you want about how tasty M&S treats are – they’re still rather expensive!

Sticky Toffee Caramels 

From memory these were around £3.50 (don’t take my word on that though) and were definitely part of a 3 for £10 and get a free stocking!

Milk chocolates with a toffee flavoured caramel centre 

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For 350 of my hard earned pennies I received 10 large chocolates. I did photograph the chocolate but you don’t even want to see the mess I made there… They look like a much taller Milk Tray Hazelnut Swirl and they’re deceptively heavy.

Each little wrapped bite has a thick chocolate shell and a silky smooth caramel middle. Put bluntly, they’re amazing. The centres are like liquid gold but the casings are thick enough that you can bite each in half and they still hold their shape.

The chocolate is great, I do enjoy M&S milk chocolate and this is no exception. More chocolate flavour than Cadbury Dairy Milk, not overly sweet at all and a lovely milkiness which means these go down far too easily.

Inside is a gorgeous caramel. It’s more burnt toffee tasting which is good as it really stands out as a toffee flavour rather than a vague toffee/caramel mix. I made the worst mess trying to show you how the centres looked, they’re very runny, very sticky, very sweet, very rich but so very delicious!

Marzipan Mini Bites 

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These aren’t something I’d usually go out of my way for but marzipan is much more acceptable at Christmas! Plus, they’re covered in dark chocolate, and they aren’t entirely marzipan either..

Marzipan & Persipan, half coated in dark chocolate. 

Now I won’t lie, I didn’t have a clue what persipan was until Google informed me it’s basically marzipan but made with apricot or peach kernels rather than almonds.

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Inside the bag were lots of weird cakey biscuity type things, M&S chose bites so we’ll go with that. They smelt incredible, a delicious mix between stollen, ameretti and chocolate.

They’re beautifully soft with a decent chocolate layer, which, if eaten with the chocolate placed on your tongue, felt and tasted exactly like an apricot Jaffa Cake.

Eaten with the chocolate facing the roof of your mouth provides a different experience, they have a slightly stronger apricot than almond flavour but they tasted like soft cake versions of ameretti biscuits.

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Maybe I’m playing tricks on myself but the dark chocolate paired with the sweet marzipan tasted just like the chocolate coating on a McVities Jaffa Cake!! I’m sure it’s not but I wouldn’t be surprised if M&S were using them for their own brand products.

Delicious!! I’ll be buying a few more bags before the festive season’s over.

Cinnamon & Hazelnut Mini Stars 

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M&S aren’t content with just tempting us with Christmas chocolate, oh no, they’ve started on the biscuits too. It’s easy to shove a festive pattern on a box of shortbread and call that a ‘new’ Christmas treat, M&S haven’t taken the easy route though and they’ve given us Cinnamon & Hazelnut Mini Stars.

Cinnamon flavoured soft biscuits with hazelnuts topped with icing

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The 90g bag had lots of diddy little biscuits, the above is about half way through the bag, and they smelt gorgeous; deliciously spiced cinnamon with a touch of sweetness calling from the icing.

I loved the texture, as promised a soft biscuit with a slightly chewy grittiness to it – think cookie dough – but just firm enough to acknowledge the difference between a biscuit and a stale cake!

They’re amazing. The cinnamon is lovely and festive with that warm spiced flavour that goes so well at this time of year, but the generous icing counters it just to that extremely addictive sweet and spicy point.

Underlying those two though, is a mouth watering nuttiness. Obviously hazelnut in flavour and at times dominant, I’ll be damned if I could even see a single hazelnut though! Maybe they’re very, very finely chopped  (would explain the grittiness) or maybe they’re added in a paste form, I don’t know. What I do know, is that it’s incredible! Think B&J All Or Nut-ting or Joe Delucci Chocolate & Hazelut ice creams in biscuit form. I love it!

Ratings: 8/10 all round!  

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