7/10 · 8/10 · Biscuits · Chocolate

Co-Op Caramel Boxes

Co-Op are such a difficult shop for me to buy food from, they don’t have a proper online store and their shops near me aren’t as easily accessible as the others. I just knew they’d have some tasty looking Christmas treats though!

12 Salted Mini Caramel Bites

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We all moan there are too many salted caramel flavoured things out at the moment and so I wonder if Co-Op are being a bit pedantic with the name!

Digestive biscuit base, buttery creamy salted caramel layer and Belgian milk chocolate finished with a bronze lustre. 

Oh it had a bronze lustre alright, that is if we’re using bronze lustre as a sexual way to say glittery brown..  I’d say my bites hadn’t survived the journey home but judging by the overall look, that’s how they left the factory. I think I had one ‘perfect’ bite with a thick biscuit, even amount of caramel and intact chocolate. The rest? Well you can see for yourself.

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Never mind! They smell a lot like McVities Caramel Digestives with extra emphasis on the caramel but the similarities stop there.

The biscuit base is very enjoyable. Much, much softer than a standard McVities Digestive with a similar melt in the mouth and ever so slightly gritty feel to a flapjack, but still with biscuit qualities. Otherwise it tastes just like a Digestive.

The caramel is much like every other salted caramel. Very hit and miss. It has a delicious smooth sweet caramel flavour but I only noticed any saltiness in one, or at a push, two of the bites.

Finally the chocolate, it may look thin but it has a deceptively thick crisp bite to it. It’s fine, not outstanding but it does have a tasty chocolate flavour rather than just being another source of sugar.

Rating: 7/10 Nice but not salted and not particularly festive. 

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Mini Tarts 

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Not content with bites, Co-Op have released mini tarts too, these are a bit fancier than caramel and chocolate lobbed on top of a biscuit though.

Butter-enriched shortcrust pastry cases with a silky salted caramel topped with a luxurious hazelnut chocolate filling finished with gold sugar crunch.

So what you’re saying Co-Op are that these are lidless mince pies with salted caramel Nutella filling instead of mincemeat? Oh if you insist!

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They’re a little difficult to remove from the foil cases, not only are they baby sized (25g) but the pastry is very soft to the touch.

It has a lovely soft bite too, not mushy or under baked but melt in the mouth with a sweet buttery flavour that is surprisingly vocal against the filling.

Where to start on the filling? The dominant flavour is the chocolate hazelnut, it’s in the form of a mousse and is thick and creamy with a real intense flavour. It almost tasted like a dark chocolate Nutella, as far as I’m aware it’s not dark chocolate but it is very chocolate tasting, rather than milky or sweet and extremely rich with a delicious hazelnut mixed in.

There is an added sweetness coming from two sources, the first are crunchy sugar strands but they’re more there for the texture and the second is the salted caramel.

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Squint and you’ll make out a very thin layer of caramel underneath the mousse. It’s surprisingly strong and that small pocket is enough, it’s (just) salted with a sweet caramel flavour that is perfect with the intense chocolate.

There’s not much wrong with these little tarts, a holy trinity of buttery pastry, rich nutty chocolate and sweet salty caramel and a perfect explosion of crumbly pastry, thick creamy mousse, silky smooth caramel and sweet crunchy bursts.

They are very full on and pretty rich, a couple is more than enough and there’s noway even me with my extremely sweet teeth could finish a whole box of these.

Rating: 8/10 

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