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I regularly buy the Options hot chocolate individual sachets to keep in my desk drawer at work. They are a handy little stash to have readily available for that mid afternoon chocolate fix.
I started buying them a few years ago, and my initial purchase was purely based on the fact that they were on offer. The Options jars do represent better value for money, however the sachets are much more convenient for me at work. You can normally find the sachets on offer at one of the supermarkets, I do buy them at full price if I've ran out and can't be bothered hunting around for any on offer though, they are only just over 30 pence each at full price. They are currently on offer in Sainsburys where you can buy 6 sachets for £1.50, so I've been stocking up.
I've tried all of the flavours over the years, and one of my absolute favourite flavours is from the Indulgence range - the Indulgence Chocolate Brownie flavour.
The Options Indulgence range does contain more calories per sachet than the regular Options range. Each sachet of the Indulgence Chocolate Brownie contains 60kcal per cup when made up with hot water, compared to around 40kcal per cup for the regular Options range. Even so 60kcal per cup is hardly a lot, and it's certainly a lot less than scoffing a chocolate bar for my mid afternoon chocolate fix! As with all of the other flavours you can add a dash of milk to this to make the drink a little creamier, but I personally don't think that this flavour needs any milk, it's the perfect chocolatey taste when made up with just hot water. I suppose that if you prefer you could also make up this drink entirely with hot milk.
As the name would obviously suggest this is hot chocolate flavoured with chocolate brownie, I'm not sure however that it does taste like a chocolate brownie. What I can say though is that this has a gorgeous deep and velvety chocolate taste, it's sweet - but not too sweet, or sickly sweet, it's just a rich chocolatey sweet. It's absolutely delicious and it really does satisfy my chocolate cravings, that's high praise indeed coming from someone who if left to their own devices would eat chocolate for every single meal! One of the reasons that I really love the Indulgence Chocolate Brownie flavour is that this one definitely doesn't taste like a low calorie hot chocolate drink - which the Options range is. I think that the Indulgence Chocolate Brownie is actually a very rich and luxurious creamy tasting hot chocolate drink, it tastes divine and very indulgent - hence the name I guess!
We have a water cooler at work that also dispenses boiling hot water, so I just add the sachet to my travel mug, fill up with the boiling water from the water cooler, stir to dissolve the powder and that's it, a gorgeous chocolatey treat. Even now after years of buying and drinking these I'm still quite gobsmacked that they are low calorie, especially this one, it actually tastes like a really indulgent treat. OK I'm not kidding myself it doesn't taste quite as good as a hot chocolate made with huge chunks of proper Belgian chocolate, but for just 60kcal and fact that it's easily whipped up in seconds with hot water it's not actually a bad alternative at all.
I know hot chocolate drinks are more of a winter thing but we drink them any time of year. Up until now I always bought Cadburys Hi Lights simply because Options doesn't mix very well and often ends up lumpy, but a couple of weeks ago I bought Options because it was on offer and quite a bit cheaper than Cadburys.
The flavour I got was Chocolate Brownie, not one I had tried before and it sounded really nice. A 224g of Options costs £2.89 and you can also buy a single serving sachet for 38p or 4 for £1. These are Tesco prices.
Options comes in a plastic curvy jar with a simple screw top lid. The chocolate brownie jar is brown and a pinky colour. It has Options Indulgence written in a blue and gold bubble on the front along with the flavour and the calories which are 60 per serving. The jar has a swirly pattern on it and the GDA's for 16g which is classed as a serving. These are as follows:-
The directions are given on the back of the jar along with more nutritional information. To make a mug of the hot chocolate drink the directions are to add 4 teaspoons of the powder to boiling water that has slightly cooled. Now personally I find 4 teaspoons of this far too much and only use 2, however this is just my personal preference and you may find you need the full 4 teaspoons. Also after I've put the powder in my mug I always add a little bit of cold water, the same amount as I would add for milk in tea. This not only makes it a more drinkable temperature but also I like to really mix the powder well with the cold water to help get rid of the lumps that I always seem to have got when I've made Options in the past.
When I opened the jar and took a sniff I was disappointed, the smell of the powder doesn't resemble chocolate in any way, in fact I really find it hard to say what this actually does smell like, I can only say it isn't chocolate brownie!. However the taste of the powder is very chocolaty, its rich and smooth.
So I guess the proof is in the drinking, I made us a mug each and put my feet up.
Once made up the smell of this is spot on. I really does smell like a nice rich chocolate brownie and the taste is even better. Its smooth and has a rich chocolate flavour without being too sweet. I wouldn't describe this drink as creamy, the chocolate flavour is more of a dark chocolate. Although it contains sweeteners it leaves no nasty after taste in the mouth.
I especially like this mid afternoon. Lunch is long gone and dinner seems an age away, this is when I am more likely to pick at the biscuit tin. I find 60 calories of this keeps me going and saves calories. Of course its lovely on a winters evening too.
Occasionally I throw caution to the wind and we have one of these with marshmallows, cream and chocolate sticks. Very nice especially with a good slug of Baileys in there too.
The only problem with this drink, as with any other Options I've tried is it doesn't melt very well and can end up a bit lumpy. I have found the best way to reduce the lumps is to add the little bit of cold water to the powder and mix like crazy, this does remove most of them but you do still get left with the odd one.
I love the Options Chocolate Brownies, in my opinion its one of the best flavoured chocolate drinks on the market. Its reasonably low in calories and gives a warm rich chocolate kick when you need one.
I know i've stated before that I don't tend to drink much hot Drinks, but I find that I reach for a Hot Chocolate more when i'm on a Diet. This is because I am getting something nice and sweet and the calories are lower as well. I would say I don't overly have a Sweet tooth, but you know what it's like when you know you "can't" have something, you sort of want it don't you.
Options has come a long way from the Belgium Chocolate range. In my cupboard there is ususally the Chocolate one and the Mint Chocolate and I hadn't needed to go down the aisle to get any different ones as I had stocked up, but there is a new range called Options Indulgence, which this flavour is part of. I would say that they are more fancy flavours in respect that this isn't just a normal Hot Chocolate, but in fact a Chocolate Brownie.
The Sachet for this is alright. Not sure if you get this flavour in the larger tub size, The sachet does enough for 1 Mugfull and is small enough to pop in your bag. I often take a few in to work with me. It is easy enough to open by ripping the corner off and just pouring the powder into your Cup or Mug.
This cost me 38p from my local Asda but was on a 3 for £1 offer as I think is often run on Options sachets in this shop.
So how did this taste? Well not all that much different to the Belgium Chocolate in a way, but I felt that you could taste a couple of different Chocolate tastes in here. It is a rich Chocolate taste which is quite sweet as well. It certainly fixed my Chocolate craving.
This has 60 calories per sachet, so a little more than the normal Options range, but worth it in my view.
A really nice and different "special" range which will be 1 which I buy now and again.
In winter time I love nothing more than curling up on the setee infront of the TV with a hot drink, my hot drink of choice being hot chocolate. I have tried many brands over the years but quite recently I have become a huge fan of Options hot chocolate mainly due to the variety of flavours and the fact that they taste scrummy and are not too bad for my waistline!
After trying a few of the regular flavours I was drawn to the indulgence range with the chocolate brownie flavour taking my fancy. If you don't already know, Options hot chocolate are available in tubs or handy one serving packets. To make you simply tip the contents of the sachet in to your mug and add 200mls of hot water, give it a brisk stir until all the powder has mixed in and then sit back and enjoy. You could also add a splash of milk to make the drink even more luxurious though the hot chocolate tastes equally as delcious without.
The chocolate brownie flavour is simply divine! It's rich without being sickly and you can definately taste the chocolate, the drink is silky and creamy - a pleasure to drink. The flavour has just the right amount of sweetness and isn't bitter in the slightest, neither is it terribly sugary. They got the taste spot on when they made this and it does remind me of chocolate brownies, that lovely comforting taste of milk chocolate and cocoa, yum!
Options hot chocolate is available in most supermarkets and they usually have an offer on the sachets for 3 for around the £1.00 mark. If you haven't sampled the delight that is Options you should do so as soon as you can, other hot chocolates do not compare. The flavours and varieties that Options offer is second to none!
As the weather starts to get colder I up my intake of hot drinks. There's nothing better than being inside all warm and cosy with a nice cup of hot chocolate when it's miserable outside! I picked up a few sachets of instant hot chocolate mix to use at work, as this allows me to prepare my drinks quickly. I have tried the Options hot chocolate range before, but this was the first time I had noticed the new selection of flavours from the Indulgence range. One 16g sachet costs 38p and I chose the Chocolate Brownie flavour.
Options Indulgence say: "...velvety, gorgeous Chocolate Brownie so irresistible..."
Directions for use: for a perfect mug of Options...Boil some water and let it cool slightly. Empty a sachet into your favourite mug, add a dash of water and mix into a smooth paste then fill with hot water and stir well. For a creamier drink try adding a dash of milk.
I always prefer to mix up my hot chocolate powder with milk to form the paste. This seems to make a creamier more satisfy hot chocolate, and you also get a lovely bubbly frothy effect when you add the water. As you can see from the instructions these are very easy to make. Simply open the sachet, pour in the entire lot of hot chocolate powder, mix into a paste and then top up your mug with hot water.
The resulting drink was very rich in flavour. The amount of powder in the cup was a full 16g sachet, and to be honest I think this was far more than necessary. Judging by eye I would say that I usually use about half of that amount when I am mixing up a hot chocolate from a jar and spooning out the right amount. It was a little bit sickly and gave the drink a different consistency, it was very thick considering it was made with just hot water and a small splash of milk.
I would say it tasted quite like a chocolate brownie dessert, there was a sweet warm flavour with a slight bitter hint of dark chocolate. It is lovely when you are in need of a soothing, comforting hot drink and it lived up to its name as it did feel very indulgent. The drink left a pleasant aftertaste and satisfied my sugar cravings for the afternoon.
It is very convenient to have the powder in an individual serving pouch, but I think if I were to buy it again I would probably only use half a pouch per mug of drink, in effect getting two hot chocolates from one sachet. The flavour was nice but a bit full on due to the large size of the serving. This is really nice for an instant hot chocolate and it is quick and easy to prepare. Handy sachets in a nice flavour but not quite right for one serving.
Typical Values per serving:
Energy 252kJ 60kcal
Ingredients: Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (20%), Whey Powder, Acacia Gum, Sugar, Chocolate (10%) (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Flavouring), Dried Glucose Syrup, Skimmed Milk Powder, Vegetable Oil, Whole Milk Powder, Thickener (Xanthan Gum), Salt, Flavourings (contains Celery)*, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Anti-Caking Agent (E551), Stabiliser (E340), Sweeteners (Acesulfame K, Sucralose).
*I found this quite surprising - luckily you can't taste the celery!!
After trying the chocolate fudge from the indulgent range I then decided to try the brownie one of which I was expecting just as good things now the other had been so nice! I finally sampled it this morning whilst catching up with some review reading.
Unlike the other options range these are in a dark brown sachet with a fancy little design on the front which is a different colour depending on which flavour you have. This one has a paler shade of writing on it which is also shiny along with also telling us it has 60 calories per cup which is the same as the other flavour I have tried.
Preparing the drink:
Of course you start off by pouring the mix into a cup - as with the other option drinks these need a really good stirring to get all the lumps out! I always make these with mostly milk too rather than just water as I think it makes these drinks taste much nicer because they are then creamier. I could smell the powder really strongly as soon as I opened the sachet - much stronger than the normal ones I thought as I could still smell it when I turned away to get the milk out of the fridge. When I added the milk and started stirring it the aroma was really powerful and smelt divine.
I can't really say it was overly obvious that the flavour was extremely different to that of the fudge one I tried first as they are both very rich - however I did feel this one was possibly creamier almost. Also I found it to be slightly less rich in terms of the chocolate flavour and this made it actually more enjoyable as you could have a nice big mug of it without it starting to be sickly. However if you have as sweet as tooth as I do then you wouldn't mind either way.
When I bought these they were on offer as 3 for 2 in Asda and each was priced at 38p so around the same price as the normal ones. Of course whilst on offer it is not too bad at all per sachet so I would look out for these type of offers which always seem to run every now and again anyway across most supermarkets.
I did really enjoy this drink as it was very nice in terms of flavour, the chocolate was lovely and rich without actually being too rich and the texture was also very creamy. I would probably say this one would be better for those who don't have a very sweet tooth but, want a nice hot cup of chocolate maybe before bed or on those cold days. I think I would probably actually choose this one over the fudge one as first choice now that I have tried them both as even though the flavour is still strong it is a milder version and makes it therefore more enjoyable to drink.