“ Brand: Thorntons „
For Mothers Day earlier this month, my two boys (with a little help from their Dad) decided to treat me to some Thorntons chocolates. I have long been a fan of Thorntons chocolates, although find some of their more well-known collections, such as the Continentals, a little uninspiring. Thankfully, I had dropped enough hints about liking the Dessert Gallery to find this small but perfectly formed box under the wrapping paper.
The Dessert Gallery, like many of Thorntons special collections, doesn't come cheap, priced at £7.50 for a 210g box. This might sound like a big box but, be warned, it only contains 16 small but perfectly formed little chocolates. There is an even smaller box available (75g for £2.99) but, quite frankly, why anybody would buy a box so small is beyond me! As a gift, they are going to look pretty meagre and as a treat for yourself, they will just leave you aching for me so you may as well admit defeat and go for the bigger box.
The name on the chocolates does give some clues to their contents as each individual chocolate is 'inspired by' a traditional dessert. This gives rise to such temptations as 'creme brulee' and 'lemon meringue', which are co-incidentally two of my favourite desserts as well as being two of my favourites from this collection.
I wouldn't normally review each chocolate individually but this box contains just eight varieties (two of each) so I have forced myself to sample each and every chocolate (bar one), purely for the purposes of this review obviously.
*Summer Fruit Pudding*
This is one of my personal favourites as it looks so pretty sitting in the box and doesn't disappoint on taste either. This chocolate features a bright pink jelly on the top and is encased in a round chocolate 'cup'. Biting in reveals a tangy fruit mousse under the jelly. This tastes of real fruit (not flavourings) and has the texture of crushed raspberries, pips and all, so not one that will appeal to everybody. (My two year old picked this straight out of the box because of the bright pink colouring, took a bite out of it and then put it back in!)
This has a creamy toffee sauce centre, sprinkeed with finely ground toffee speckles on top. At the base, there is lots of gooey runny toffee with an unmistakeable taste of something alcoholic (apparantly toffee liqueur) with what tastes like a thick layer of white chocolate on top. If you like drinks such as Dooleys, I'm sure you will enjoy this one!
I'm not personally a big lover of nuts and this is essentially a praline filled chocolate, with little pieces of shortbread mixed in for an unusual texture. No doubt, nut lovers would go nutty (sorry!) for this one with a whole almond sitting prettily on the top.
*Double Chocolate Mousse*
This is a very rich chocolate truffle which is a little too bitter for my rather unrefined tastes but likely to be appreciated by lovers of dark chocolate. I like the topping of white and milk chocolate shavings on the top of this chocolate but find that the truffle itself leaves a slight bitter aftertaste.
One of my favourites, this is really light and fruity with a gorgeously thick lemony goo oozing out of a white chocolate cup, topped with tiny crispy little pieces of meringue. Yum! I haven't seen this particular chocolate available loose or within any other Thorntons collections which is a real shame as I would certainly buy them.
Sorry, but I detest the smell and taste of coffee with a passion and not even the needs of a Dooyoo review could persuade me to knowingly sample one of these. My husband duly complied and gave me his verdict...'Nice.' Now you know why I'm the one who writes the reviews in our household!
Almost as lovely as the genuine article, this features the hard sugary topping associated with a creme brulee as well as the runny creamy centre. Divine! This is the one that starts arguments in our household!
This is another one with an attractive pink crisp sugary topping and has a centre featuring not only the cherry Kirsch flavouring you'd expect, but also a layer of marzipan. Personally, I'd probably prefer this without the marzipan and maybe with some chopped up cherries inside instead but I'm certainly more than willing to devour this variety anyway.
And that, sadly, is the end of the box! As a combination, these do work well together and there is enough variety to keep everybody happy and to avoid these becoming far too rich and cloying. I love Thorntons and these certainly don't let the brand down in any way. Mothers everywhere can safely put these on their wishlist for birthdays, Christmas and any other special occasions!
Available from Thorntons stores nationwide as well as Thorntons online.
Part of my recent order at Thorntons.co.uk was this box of luxury chocolates. At £7.50 for a box of 16 they are an expensive indulgence, but as they were included as part of a 3 for 2 promotion and I had eyed them up in store I had to buy a box to see what they were like.
As I have now 'sampled' the majority of the chocolates in the box I feel qualified to be able to review the contents and give my thoughts on the selection given.
The box itself has been attractively designed and has an Art Deco look to it; Thorntons don't skimp on the quality and the packaging inside and out has a premium look and feel to it. Removing the outer plastic wrapper and getting into the box reveals a single layer of luxury-looking chocolates and in the centre you have a long, thin folded piece of card with "Menu" printed on it.
The menu has been created by one of the "Master Choclatiers" - Barry Colenso who was a Chef Patissier in some of the world's finest hotels including the Savoy in London. These chocolates are his own personal favourites translated into chocolate form and are claimed to be chocolate puddings at their best.
Unfolding the menu you are shown the contents of the box and a picture of the chocolate it relates to, as there are only 8 different choices to chose from I will review each selection individually so that you know what you are buying and will give my opinion on each of the chocolate themselves:
Summer Fruit Pudding: Described as being a "Quintessential English dessert" the chocolate has a fruit layer of real strawberry jelly topped by a layer of raspberry cream. Housed in a circular milk chocolate cup this was one of my favourites in the box. The strawberries and raspberries are sweet and tart and this one made my mouth water, the chocolate is thick and creamy and you get a full flavoured chocolate with this one. 5/5 from me.
Toffee Mousse: Described as being a "Truly special toffee treat for Thorntons toffee lovers" this has a base of toffee liqueur mousse topped with toffee sauce and a scattering of toffee pieces on the top, all contained in a dark chocolate square cup. Not as nice as it sounds, the dark chocolate is very bitter compared to the sweetness of the filling and doesn't quite work for me, I would have preferred a milk chocolate cup, but for those who like dark chocolate this would be a favourite. 3/5 from me for this one.
Crème Brulee: Described as being the "Queen of Desserts" The milk chocolate circular cup contains a creamy centre which is topped with crunchy Demerara sugar. Lovely to bite into and the middle is very rich; the chocolate again is creamy and rich. Not that much taste after the exciting topping but very nice all the same. 4/5 from me.
Kirsch Torte: A Kirsch marzipan centre topped with a cherry sugar, pink in appearance and contained in a square milk chocolate cup. A nice combination from the tarty cherry and Kirsch but not one of my favourites, I found the taste to be strange and not that nice. Maybe because I'm not all that familiar with Kirsch anyway this didn't rate that highly with me. 2/5 from me.
Almond Torte: A dark chocolate, rectangular cup containing a nutty praline centre with shortbread pieces contained. Topped with a whole almond (which I didn't eat as not keen on almonds) this was a nice chocolate, the dark cup offset the very sweet interior and without the almond made for one of my favourites out of the whole collection. 4/5 from me.
Double Chocolate Mousse: Claimed to be "Everything that the best dessert should be" this is a square, dark chocolate cup containing a mousse of white and milk chocolate topped with chocolate pieces, a very nice choice, the mousse is light and contrasts the outer bitter cup well. Another favourite scoring 4/5 with me.
Lemon Meringue: A white chocolate circular cup containing a zesty lemon centre topped with meringue and white chocolate pieces. This was my favourite of them all; the white chocolate combined with the very sweet and tart lemon made a beautiful combination, the meringue was light and fluffy. 5/5 from me - Gorgeous!
Tiramisu: Described as the "King of Desserts" a rectangular milk chocolate cup containing mascarpone, brandy and coffee topped with amaretto granules. This is very, very rich and the coffee flavour is strong. Nice enough but a bit too much for me and not one I would have again. 2/5 from me.
That's all the chocolates that are in the box, there are 2 of each making 16 in total. Not a box of chocolates to sit down to watch a film with but not really enough to have as a full dessert after eating a meal. I'm in two minds overall with these chocolates, the majority are delicious and you can see that they have been made with care and with attention to detail. For the price they are luxurious and an indulgent treat which would make a wonderful present for someone who is into their chocolate. I did enjoy them and whilst they were wildly expensive they still represented fairly good value for money. I wouldn't buy them again as a box of chocolates just to have in the house but would consider buying them as a special gift for someone and that's where I'm in 2 minds over them. For a gift - brilliant, for a nibble when wanting a chocolate fix - not so ideal.
Overall for me, taking into account the taste, attention to detail and price a fair rating would be 4/5 Dooyoo stars. I would definitely recommend the Lemon Meringue variety if you can buy them individually in a Thorntons shop and the Summer Fruit Pudding is a delicious choice for something out of the ordinary.
An impressive choice from Thorntons and would certainly make for a special and thoughtful gift for someone, available online and instore from Thorntons, my box cost £7.50 but was included in the "3 for 2" offer online. Would make a great stocking filler present for someone you love or buy them for after Christmas dinner when you are sat with the family watching the queens' speech. Lovely.
=== What are Thortons? ===
Thorntons was created in the year of 1911 by Joseph William Thornton. There are almost 400 Thorntons chocolate shops around the world and over the years, various websites, cafes and other offspring have been created. Thorntons is now the UK?S largest manufacturer of specialist chocolates. Thorntons is home to various delicious chocolates in many types including the classic chocolates, continental chocolates, Eden chocolate collection and Dessert Collection! As well as catering for the majority of buyers, Thorntons also makes sure people with intolerances aren?t left out and there are now various different collections and chocolates suitable for people who have allergies. There is also an organic chocolate collection.
===So why choose the Dessert Collection?===
Well, as I said above, Thorntons do sell a huge variety of chocolates, my favourites probably still remained either the Classics, or the superbly tasty Continental Collection. Now, the Dessert Collection would not appeal to me at all, and I wouldn?t have gone in to the shop and bought a box myself. I?m not overly keen on chocolates which are mixed with things such as fruits so I doubted very much that I?d be keen on the Dessert Collection. However, after baby sitting for my three little cousins, my auntie kindly gave us a bottle of wine (for my mum?of course), and a lovely box of Thorntons Chocolates. Mum and I were fairly doubtful when we realised what the Thorntons chocolates were, but decided there was no point in putting them too waste, and the next evening we decided to try them out.
Obviously, these aren?t a box of chocolates you are going to buy while out for a quick chocolate fix. In fact, I think they?d be most suited to a more formal occasion such as a dinner party or a special present. They?d be just perfect to give as say, an after dinner treat with a coffee and I?m sure that the guests would appreciate getting to chose there own mini dessert. Although dessert flavoured, they aren?t meant for substituting as a real pudding, as they are pretty small and not very filling!!
===The Collection Itself===
The Dessert Collection of chocolates were inspired by everybody?s favourite desserts. They were then created into delicious chocolates. Inside the chocolate box, there are various dessert favourites, including, Double Chocolate Mousse, and Crème Brulee. There are as I said a wide variety of different flavours in the collection, and definitely something for everybody. I wasn?t too thrilled by some of the options but I decided to give it a try anyway!
===The Chocolate Box===
What I found very unusual, was that the chocolates came in a white box. I always thought that Thorntons had a gold coloured box but I have since learned that not all of them are. The dessert collection box was actually quite attractive but not as outstanding as the others. In the usual gold writing style, ?Thorntons? was written, which was very posh looking. There was no pictures of the chocolates concealed inside, which I found quite unusual as usually there are some tempting images on the front! There was a picture of a shining white dinner plate on the front though which hinted at the fact that the chocolates secreted inside were actually real desserts; obviously they were not though! Although these are the Dessert Collection, the proper title for these chocolates are ?Dessert Gallery?, and these words were printed underneath the Thorntons signature in a thin gold writing. Overall I thought the box was really quite attractive but definitely not the prettiest.
===Inside the box===
I am pretty sure these chocolates come in various different sized boxes, as well as being able to be bought as individual chocolates from behind the counter. The box I had though, contained two layers of chocolates, two of each different type. Each chocolate was in its own little dent, sitting quite prettily actually. The two separate layers were separated by a gold sheet of what seemed like cardboard(but I know it wasn?t!). This reassured me that the chocolates were fresh and had been kept in good condition. The chocolates were spread out across the box, so it looked very neat and tidy, and not a mess in anyway. This gave me even move confidence that the chocolates would be an exceptionally high standard.
===The chocolates themselves===
The selection in the box is quite magnificent and I was thrilled when I discovered there were some flavours that appealed thoroughly to me!
Tiramisu: The tiramisu chocolate was very attractive to the eye and looked quite delicious. I?m not usually to keen on desserts like Tiramisu but I decided it was worth a try anyway. In my opinion, the chocolate looked like a tiny little bed. Wrapped inside a milky looking chocolate, was what only could be described as a blanket of little chocolate shavings. Biting into the chocolate I was immediately hit by a really creamy taste. I looked into the centre of the little chocolate and was met by what looked like only two layers. On the bottom there was what looked like a light brown mousse, though it didn?t taste very chocolate like. There was a very strong coffee smell, and a slightly bitter almond taste. I only managed to eat half of this chocolate, as it didn?t taste nice in my opinion at all. My mum tried the second of these chocolates and agreed; it was horrible! I?m sure if you like Tiramisu though, it would be great.
Double Chocolate Mousse: I was really excited about trying the double chocolate mousse, and when I read the description on the mini card I was provided with I couldn?t wait to tuck in. This chocolate was very pretty. The outside of the chocolate was what looked like a dark chocolate shell. I?m not too keen on dark chocolate but the inside appealed more. When I bit in I was immediately drawn to the unusual taste that the outside had- it wasn?t dark chocolate but it definitely wasn?t milk. It tasted really nice though, but not as nice as the inside. When my teeth sunk into the smooth creamy inside I was in heaven. It was delicious. It was definitely milk chocolate, and it had an unusual caramel-ish taste to it too! It was gorgeous and definitely my favourite. My brother tried the second of this chocolate and really enjoyed it though he did comment on the unusual taste of the chocolate shell!
Kirsch Torte: This chocolate was really quite pretty. I didn?t try this though as I?m not keen on cherries at all. It was really attractive though; the shell on the outside was quite big with two contrasting colours; a white chocolate on the bottom half and a milky looking chocolate on the top half. Inside the shell, was kept a topping of sprinkled pink cherry sugar. I didn?t like the smell of it at all though. It had a really almond/marzipan taste and this put me off even more. My mum and brother tried this chocolate and neither enjoyed it at all. These described the coating as ?disgusting? and apparently the inside tasted of ?the Bart Simpson cake he had when he 8 that made him sick?. It is definitely safe to say that this one didn?t go down to well.
Crème Brulee: I was excited about trying this chocolate too. It wasn?t overly attractive though- a milk chocolate shell held in a bleak brown sugary looking substance. It smelt delicious though- really creamy and resembling toffee quite a lot. Biting in I was in heaven. The chocolate on the outside gave a crunch, and hurt my tooth a bit, but the taste was gorgeous. As I had thought and expected, it was incredibly creamy, and tasted like caramel. The top of the inside was very sugary and quite hard, and that contrast in textures was splendid. My mum really enjoyed this chocolate too, and actually bought three single Crème Brulee chocolates the other day. Definitely worth a try!!
Summer Fruit Pudding: I wasn?t overly keen on trying this one. Firstly, it looked pretty horrible. The regular milk chocolate shell secreted what looked like a pale pink jelly. The thing that put me off the most was that the ?Jelly? had a huge red splodge in the middle, which I wasn?t sure was meant to be there. I took a little nibble off the chocolate and was reassured when it was just as delicious as the previous. The inside of the chocolate wasn?t too much of a let down. It was a weird texture, and a weird flavour too. I thought I tasted blueberries and blackberries at first, but by the time I?d munched my way through it, it was beginning to taste like raspberry. I did like the chocolate, don?t get me wrong but it wasn?t by far my favourite. My brother enjoyed this chocolate and munched it down in one mouthful- I think it was a success.
Almond Torte: After the disaster of the Kirsch Torte with my family, I was extremely reluctant to try this one, however (apart from the almond on top), it looked delicious and was surprisingly letting off a delicious sweet smell. I gave my mum the almond on top as I hate them and she said it was really nice and was caramelised too which I guess is not so bad. I bit into the chocolate and was immediately shocked by what was contained inside. There were tiny pieces of nut, which I really enjoyed. I am not too sure whether they are almond or not but they certainly didn?t taste of almond. There was also some crumbly shortcake inside. It was delicious and I could actually make out the butteryness which came from it. I really enjoyed this one and I am ashamed to say I polished off the other one too!!
Lemon Meringue: I was really intrigued by the stunning looking lemon chocolate. I don?t usually choose white chocolate chocolates but this one looked to good to resist. Inside the bright yellow/white cup, there was an extremely citrussy looking lemon ?cream?. On top of the cream were around 7 puffs of meringue. I lifted this chocolate up to my nose to take in its delicious zingy scent- it was gorgeous. The chocolate was utterly divine and I wanted another afterwards. The meringue was nothing special, just puffy and light but the inside was gorgeous and very strong in flavour. I wanted the other but unfortunately my mum polished it off- enjoying just as much as I did.
Toffee mousse: The final chocolate was the toffee mousse and I was really looking forward to trying it. However when I noticed it was a dark chocolate based one, I was a bit upset as I love toffee but hate dark chocolate. None the less I tried it. I wasn?t too keen on the chocolate if I?m honest. The chocolate cup was bitter and not to my taste and there was a horrible after taste which actually resembled alcohol! The toffee mousse was gorgeous though and really did taste like the real Thorntons toffee. My mum really enjoyed this chocolate though and said she?d eat another one if she had one.
===Prices and where to get them?===
Now, as I mentioned, I didn?t actually buy these chocolates myself, infact we were given them to us as a present. However, for the sake of the review I was going to write I did a little research and found out a bit about cost and availability. I was actually quite surprised to hear that this particular collection of chocolates is only available in Thorntons itself. I was positive I?d seen them in Asda about 3 months ago. This may have been the case and they have just been discontinued in supermarkets but I?m not too sure.
The Thorntons chocolates like I said, come in a few different sizes, so I will give you the prices per 100g. Per 100g, these chocolates cost quite a large £3.57. I definitely wouldn?t pay that myself for a box of chocolates as I?d have been probably happier with a big bar of Dairy Milk however as a present I didn?t mind. I do think this is quite a staggering amount of money and unless you know your going to enjoy them, I would opt for buying a single dessert chocolate from behind the counter. Although these sells for about 60-70p each, it will end up giving you a larger saving in the long run!
===Nutrition and can I actually have them?===
I?m quite lucky in that I?m not allergic to anything that is included in chocolates such as milk however some people might not be so lucky! Consumers allergic to nuts should definitely stay away from the nut chocolates such as the almond ones, and although the non-nut including chocolates don?t contain actual nuts themselves, I recommend being really careful if sampling the other chocolates as they have been made in the same place and probably on the same machinery. Unfortunately, they are not suitable for Lactose Intolerants. The dark chocolate is not guaranteed to be lactose free either as the milk chocolates and dark chocolates are made on the same machinery, yet again and although the machines are cleaned thoroughly before using again, it is not 100% tested that there will not be traces of lactose on or in the dark chocolates.
===Would I recommend?===
It depends really. If you are a huge fan of all desserts, sticky and sweet, and are a chocoholic, then yes these would be perfect. They are very sweet though and can get a bit sickening. They would not suit children, and my little brother who is 11 did not like them at all. They?d be great for a Christmas present or birthday gift if you don?t grudge splashing cash on some chocolates, and they?d be good for an after dinner treat at a dinner party or such like! I don?t know the exact nutrition but I think it is common sense to eat in moderation and if you are on a serious diet I wouldn?t recommend going near them. Overall though, they were fairly enjoyable, and if I was ever offered one again, I know what one I?d go for.
===Yum I loved these?what else do Thorntons sell?===
This is a question I?m sure most people will be asking after sampling just one of Thorntons Chocolates, and the answer is, well, a whole lot more!
Thorntons do a wide variety of different products, which I will explain briefly.
Thorntons Toffee is perhaps what they are most famous for. Not only do they sell their delicious creamy, yet incredibly sweet regular toffee they also sell various different varieties including rum and raisin, brazil nut, chocolate toffee, treacle toffee and fruit and nut.
As well as the scrumptious toffee, they also sell fudge which comes in a wide variety of flavours again, including the delicious sounding vanilla fudge, strawberry and cream and rum and raisin.
Of course, toffee and fudge may not be your type of thing, and if this is the case, you can opt for one of their many collections of chocolates.
Obviously, as I have just written about, there is the delicious Dessert collection. However if these are a bit too fancy and you prefer something ?normal? or ?Plain?, then you can choose to buy the Thorntons classics. These include some scrumptious sounding chocolates such as country caramel, butter fudge, strawberry velvet and chocolate dream. (Review will come later).
The Continental section of the chocolates supply chocs including caramel crème, hazelnut slice, vanilla truffle, mousse au chocolat and Madagascan vanilla truffle.
Thorntons have recently introduced a new collection of Chocolates called the Fusions Collection. We had these at Christmas and they were quite odd. Including delicious flavours such as the unusual milky caramel flavour. The Fusions collection are very special and extremely different in that they combine some unusual flavours together including different herbs and spices.
The Eden collection is quite unusual too I think. The chocolates in this collection are mostly fruity combinations including flavours such as mango, strawberry and passion fruit. Normally I am not a fan of fruity chocolates but I have to admit these sound really quite nice!
There are many more collections including the Revelations, and Moments which are all equally as tempting! There is also a diabetic collection for the people who enjoy chocolates but are diabetic, and a delicious organic section too. Overall, I think it is fair to say that Thorntons caters for a wide variety of chocolate lovers and I?m pretty sure there is something for everyone in the chocolate collection!!
Thorntons does a range of kid sweets too including chocolate buttons and fudge squares as well as doing gift sets, lollies, hampers and all other sorts of things!
===Where can I find Thorntons?===
Like I said at the start, there are now 400 stores. There are stores all over the country! Most are found on high streets and in shopping centres. Thorntons shops can get quite busy and I?ve witnessed this first hand. On Sunny days there is often long queues escaping from the front doors, with people of all ages queuing up to retrieve one of there delicious ice cream cones!
The name "Dessert Gallery" kind of gives away the contents of this box of chocolates from Thorntons. Each chocolate is a miniature version of a dessert, apparently the favourites of Barry Colenso, the Thorntons Master Chocolatier.
- Summer Fruit Pudding -
Raspberry cream topped with a layer of real strawberry jelly, all in a milk chocolate cup.
- Toffee Mousse -
A dark chocolate cup the filled with treacle toffee sauce, topped with a few tiny pieces of Thorntons special toffee.
- Crème Brulee -
A rich, creamy filling topped with golden Demerara sugar, in a milk chocolate cup.
- Kirsch Torte -
Dark and white chocolate cup filled with kirsch marzipan, topped with cherry flavoured sugar.
- Almond Torte -
Milk chocolate cup with shortcake pieces and chocolate praline, all finished off with dark chocolate and a whole almond.
- Double Chocolate Mousse -
My favourite! Chocolate truffle in a dark chocolate cup, with chocolate flakes on top.
- Lemon Meringue -
Zesty lemon with small pieces of meringue, in a white chocolate cup.
- Tiramisu -
Mascarpone, coffee and brandy, topped with amaretto granules in a milk chocolate cup.
The chocolates are presented in a long rectangular white box with a small see through-window on the left.
The fold-out "menu" is stuck down in the middle of the box.
Energy - 68 kcal
Protein - 0.7g
Carbohydrate - 7.5g
Fat - 3.8g
Fibre - 0.4g
Sodium - 0.01g
Overall I'd recommend them. They'd make a lovely gift for someone or a nice treat for yourself. They do actually have a taste of the real desserts, but with the addition of chocolate. They're a pleasant change from the usual box of chocolates.
Lily O'Brien's do a similar chocolate dessert collection, which are delicious. But it's a while since I had them so couldn't really compare to this Thorntons collection.
A 210g box, containing 16 chocolates retails for £7.50. That's quite pricey, but they're not your regular strawberry cream or hazelnut surprise chocolates.
16 dessert inspired chocolates.