“ Brand: Gu / Type: Caramel „
Birthdays are wonderful times, particularly when they result in a stash of good wine and chocolate. Folks know me well enough now and both of these items regularly feature under the layers of posh and not so posh wrapping papers.
Gu, as a brand, are probably best known for their chocolate desserts found in the chiller cabinets of most major supermarkets. They are a high/mid market brand, priced above the likes of Cadbury but well within reach for those on an average wage. Until said birthday I was not aware that they produced anything other than desserts.
Packaged simply in the now trademark black box with a white Gu logo there's nothing particularly inspiring about the initial impression. My first reaction was, in fact, to wonder whether they needed to be refrigerated. Whilst I might deliver a packet of these to a friend for an informal occasion they probably wouldn't have the presence to make it onto my list of "acceptably packaged and available in supermarket boxes of chocolate suitable for gift giving"!
Whilst we're on packaging, there is, to my mind, some rather unnecessary printing inside the box. It doesn't add to the quality or feel of the product in my opinion but then maybe it's being used to off-set the rather pedestrian, modern feel to the exterior.
The chocolates themselves are packaged in a cellophane bag which again, in my opinion, cheapens the product. I've no objection to bagged chocolates but, for some reason, prefer the foiled bags that one might find cheaper commercial truffles in rather than boring clear cellophane.
The first thing that will strike you about these chocolates is visual, textural and olfactory - it's the cocoa. Each ball (about the size of a Malteser) is dusted in dark, powdery cocoa which gives off that dry cocoa scent, feel and look. The dryness of the cocoa is also the first taste sensation that one is greeted with. It's also the last.
I think part of the problem with these sweets is their size. They're just too small. Whilst I'm a firm believer in small pieces of good quality chocolate there's too much trying to go on in these little balls and, alas, much of the taste sensation is lost in the small size.
No sooner has my brain registered the fact that the cocoa dusting has gone than there's a flash of slightly salty caramel before the dry cocoa aftertaste returns as the chocolate has gone. One bite and you'll have swallowed the lot!
I did try to break the sweets down. Biting into a ball revealed more of the caramel, a sweet yet salted number that almost hits the spot (or would if it wasn't masked by the dryness of the cocoa powder). The caramel is not as salty as Green & Blacks salted caramel and is, perhaps, a tad too sweet. It's pleasant nonetheless. There's just not enough of it. I'd expect a liquid choc to ooze... this barely makes it out of the shell.
It's almost impossible to describe the dark chocolate as the combination of cocoa dusting and salty caramel manages to disguise the real taste and texture of the chocolate itself. The finish to the chocolate is quite long at the back of the throat, as one would expect from a high cocoa solid chocolate (this is 70%) but absent sitting and licking both the inside and outside of each ball I have no way of establishing whether there's a good snap to the chocolate! The chocolate is dry and lacks obvious sweetness, contrasting well with the sweetness of the caramel.
The whole chocolate feels very insubstantial in the mouth - too small for its own good. There's a depth of flavours that should work yet there's not enough of them to allow the time to discover the taste and texture changes. The sweet/salt combination, the dry/liquid textures, the hard/soft combination should all work to entrance, but they just stop short. I tried, I really did, but the urge to bite (possibly due to the very dry sensation of the cocoa powder) was too strong. And one bite and the whole is gone. I tried a couple in succession but that over-bearing cocoa saw to it that this produced the same taste result.
Retailing at around £3-4 a box I just don't see what market these are pitched at. They're not right for gifting, they wouldn't cut as an after-dinner nibble. They're obviously mass produced. They're certainly not an everyday item. With around 20 or so chocolates in a box that's a very expensive, very small mouthful.
I won a packet of Gü Chocs in an online competition. The postman brought me a square black box with a picture of a dark brown round chocolate covered in cocoa power with light brown liquid seeping out of it. The box said "Liquid caramel chocs" and contained 110g of chocolate balls! The box looks very expensive and posh in black with white/silver typing. I opened the lid to discover that the inside of the box was also black with a white pattern that looked like expensive wallpaper. Inside the box was a clean bag containing about 25 marble shaped and sized balls. The balls were light brown and coated in powder. According to the website http://www.gupuds.com you can buy these for £4 a box, which I think, is very expensive for a small box of chocolates although I was surprised how many chocolates were inside the box!
Well these smelt lovely sweet and chocolaty. I popped the round ball into my mouth and was met by the very disappointing taste of very dry powdery cocoa I was not at all keen on the first taste. After sucking all the dry chocolate powder off the ball there was, a lovely taste of sweet dark chocolate there was a thick layer of thick creamy dark chocolate that dissolved slowly in my mouth. I really enjoyed the chocolate it was long lasting and very sweet tasting once I had sucked my way through the chocolate my mouth was filled with cool runny caramel, which tasted a bit gritty. I think this was sugar it was tasty but an odd texture inside my mouth. The caramel was very sweet and tasty! The caramel was very thick and syrupy but it did not last very long however the taste of the sweet dark chocolate lingered in my mouth nicely for a little while. I really hated the cocoa flavour at the start of eating this but the chocolate inside was very tasty and moreish!
Overall, I would not buy these for one they are very expensive and secondly the powder is horrid! If you like, cocoa powder then these is probably for you! These round balls of chocolate dusted (heavily) in cocoa power with dark chocolate and runny sweet caramel were not a winner for me but I still managed to eat the whole box!