“ Brand: Co-op Fairtrade / Type: Bar „
On my quest to find the perfect chocolate brownie, I stumbled accross these in my local Co-op. I love chocolate cake in general, but a 'proper' brownie for me is dream food. By 'proper' I mean it should have a firm top and be slightly goey or chewy on the inside. Nuts or choccy chips are ok, but not too many. Yes, I'm a brownie perfectionist. To be honest, many brownies I have tried just taste like a slice of chocolate cake and I am often left disapointed. Until these....
They cost me £1.49 which I think is good value. They are Fairtrade (even better!) and have a dark brown cardboard sleeve with the description, nutritional advice & ingredients. The brownies themselves are in plastic protective packaging to stop them being squashed and then this is all wrapped in clear cellophane. Rather a lot of wrapping for a fairtrade item I would have thought, but it is all recyclable. There are five squares, approximately measuring 3cm x 3cm, and they are about 1.5cm thick.
When the package is opened you get a nice, homebaked kind of smell. The light crust looks lovely and bumpy, a good sign I think for brownies! It isn't thick, you are not going to break any teeth on this, just slightly crumbles, a perfect contrast to the moist, rich sponge underneath. They are made with cocoa powder, cocoa mass & cocoa solids so are quite rich, perfect for me. To add to the chocolate experience, they have dark chocolate chips in, I wasn't sure about this when I read it on the packet, but they are actually quite nice and not too hard. They are sweet, but they taste of quality dark chocolate instead of the milk variety and are not as sickly. The brownies are moist and have a slight stickiness but at the same time are a little (very little) on the dry side, in a perfect world I would prefer them a bit chewier. About a year ago, they sold in packs of four, but the squares were larger. In my opinion, they weren't as dry then. My top tip to make them lovely and goey: Warm up in a preheated oven for 5-7 minutes. Delicious! But a warning: If you microwave them, you loose the firm crust.
Be advised, these brownies contain egg, gluten,milk,soya,wheat and may contain traces of nuts. Sorry! Also they have 145 kcal per square, which isn't bad for one because they are so nice, but far too many if you eat the whole packet (like I do).
The Co-op were the first major foodstore to sell Fairtrade products in 1992. Fairtrade provides support for farmers and producers in developing countries. If you would like to find out more, take a look at www.co-opfairtrade.co.uk.
I rarely shop in the Co-op but last night I called in for some milk on my way home from work and spotted their Fair Trade Chocolate Brownies. Its never any good shopping when I'm hungry and somehow a packet ended up in my basket. I never normally buy bought cakes as I always prefer to make my own.
The Fair Trade Brownies are sold in a clear plastic tray with a dark brown card wrapped partially around them. The writing on the card informs the customer that packet contains 5 Fairtrade chocolate brownie squares with chocolate chunks. It has the Fairtrade logo and the calories per brownie. It also displays a green V which indicates they are suitable for vegetarians.
The back of the packet lists the ingredients and gives the full nutritional values, these are, per brownie:-
Not the healthiest but we all need a little treat occasionally.
When I opened the packet the smell of chocolate is very strong. The brownies don't smell overly sweet but the chocolate smells lovely. The little squares are approximately 2 x 2 inches and about an inch deep. The chocolate chunks were visible and there looked to be plenty of them but to be honest when I looked at it I was slightly disappointed. It looked and felt a bit dry and when I bit into it the top was slightly crunchy almost like a biscuit.
However when I bit into it the centre of the brownie was gorgeous. It was soft, moist and full of almost melted chocolate chunks. The flavour of the chocolate was very strong almost like dark chocolate. I also thought they had quite a nutty flavour too. Although nuts are not listed in the ingredients it does say on the packet that they may contain nuts.
To say the brownie was lovely is an understatement. It literally seemed to melt in my mouth. It left no nasty after taste as I have found in the past with bought cakes. These really had a home made flavour to them and lots of chocolate chunks too. The Fairtrade chocolate brownies cost £1.70 for a packet of 5 and in my opinion they were worth it! They are only available at The Co-op.
If you want to know more about the Fairtrade Foundation you can look at www.fairtrade.org.uk
All packaging is recyclable.
I decided the other weekend I wanted something sweet to eat with my cup of tea so my husband was despatched to the local shops I had asked him to look for the co-op brownies as I had tried them at work the previous week when someone had brought them in and thought they tasted delicious. He duly returned with some empire biscuits for him (his favourite) and the brownies for me (my favourite).
The brownies are sold only in co-operative stores or up in Scotland they are called Scotmid stores. There is a very interesting history on the website but I don't think here is the place to tell you all about it, I want to talk about the brownies!
The brownies are Fairtrade chocolate brownies and come in a pack containing 5 brownies. Fairtrade means that the workers are paid a fair price for their produce. They promise a stable price and a long term trading relationship, guaranteeing producers a better deal. You can read more about it on the co-op website or the fair-trade website. It was fair trade fortnight (when people are encouraged to purchase fair-trade products) when I bought these so I thought it was quite good to be supporting the cause. The co-operative are actually leaders in the Fair-trade movement having been involved since 1994 and also being the first supermarket in 2000 to launch an own brand Fairtrade product.
The brownies come in a plastic box which is wrapped in cellophane and has a cardboard outer cover. Once you open this you can't reseal it so you need to store them in an air-tight container.
The brownies are square and are fairly small (I can quite happily eat two) and weigh approximately 35g each. There are 5 in the packet which isn't good if you are sharing them, you'll need to cut the last one in two! They cost around £1.69 but are sometimes on special offer.
The brownies are made in the UK but use sugar from Malawi and South America and cocoa from various countries. I like how they tell you where the ingredients come from, its interesting to know.
On the front of the packet they state that it contains 41% Fairtrade sugar, 4% Fairtrade cocoa powder, 7% cocoa mass and 1% cocoa butter. There are other ingredients listed on the back including eggs which are free range which is good to see. For those with allergies they do contain egg, gluten, milk, soya, wheat and may contain traces of nuts.
Nutrition wise, one brownie (approx 35g) contains
So you don't need to be a dietician to know that they aren't particularly good for you. But how do they taste?
The brownies are quite thin and I found that I could eat two of them as they are quite small. They have a lovely firm coating which you bite into to which then gives way to the squidgy soft inside. They taste very sweet, chocolately and very yummy. They just melt in your mouth.
I love these and would definitely buy them again. They are really nice moist tasting brownies and are a lovely treat. The fact that they are fair-trade and workers get paid a fair wage is a bonus and makes me feel that I am doing something to help whilst enjoying eating them! I will be buying these again when I feel like a little chocolate treat.