* Prices may differ from that shown
On the premise that they are sold in Holland and Barrett so they can't be too bad for you, I recently bought two packets of these "Organic Dark Chocolate Rice Cake Thins", also referred to chez fizzytom as chocolate covered beer mats. They are made by Kallo who are known for making a variety of cardboardy rice confections (among other products).
The packaging of this particular Kallo product does look a bit more opulent and luxurious than some of their other products. Everything from the red and gold text, the appealing pink and deep red background image and the picture of the chocolate covered side of a couple of rice cakes gives the impression that these are a delicious quality product.
I do usually have some rice cakes in the house to snack on if I have a while to wait for dinner or I'm dashing into the house to pick up my books en route to my Italian class, in which case I'll grab a couple to eat dry on my way. They might not be the most exciting or tasty snack in the world but they are relatively healthy and don't make a mess (the latter is important for me, I should wear an adult bib). Therefore these rice cake thins appealed to me on the grounds that they are healthier than a biscuit but still provide a chocolate hit and that chocolate is dark - my favourite.
Each one is about the size of a conventional beer mat and about twice the thickness of one. There are eight of these "chocolate dipped beer mats" in each packet so they are relatively expensive compared to, say, a packet of chocolate digestives or Hobnobs. One side has been coated with a dark chocolate coating - not pure chocolate, alas.
The rice cake snaps with a satisfying noise and sensation when you bite or break a bit off. Unfortunately, at the same time the chocolate topping breaks and I find that sizeable pieces of it fall from the top. This means that, in order not to waste any of the precious chocolate, a plate is essential.
Rice cakes can be quite bland but these ones are made from wholegrain brown rice which gives them a slightly nutty flavour which is much more acceptable. The star of the show, however, is the chocolate coating which is made using real Belgian organic chocolate. It is very rich and has a good depth considering it's not pure chocolate. The coating is quite thin but the quality of the topping means that you still get a good chocolate hit.
I find that one of these cakes is enough with a cup of coffee and I don't feel tempted to reach out for another; the rice is quite filling and the chocolate should give medium term satisfaction to anyone craving a chocolate hit. Coming in at just 53 calories per thin these seem OK but there is also a fat content of 2.7 gram per thin. Kallo do point out on the packaging for this product that, in comparison, a single chocolate digestive provides 88 calories.
Of course, calories aside this product does have some other advantages. It's naturally gluten free, it uses only organic ingredients - cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter and rice, and it uses a wholegrain brown rice too. These thins are also suitable for vegetarians.
Not surprisingly this product has a long shelf life - the packet I picked up in November was good until August 2011. The packaging should keep the product in good condition but, once open you really need to keep them in an airtight container or place the packet inside another bag and keep sealed. One day, in a hurry, I put the just opened packet in the cupboard as I rushed off to work, intending to wrap it properly as soon I got home but in the meantime the ones nearest the open end of the packet had ever so slightly started to warp! If you don't wrap them well, any rice cake will quickly go stale and these are no different.
I really like these rice cake thins but if you really don't like rice cakes - and so many people don't - they probbably aren't for you, even with the addition of the chocolate. If you don't like dark chocolate, you may be interested to know that Kallo also do a milk chocolate version (I don't eat milk chocolate much so haven't tried these).
Holland and Barrett currently sell Kallo Chocolate Rice Cake Thins for £1.79 which is slightly cheaper than online organic and ethical food retailers.
My husband has always been one for snacking on rice cakes but they really never appealed much to me. I ate them briefly when I was pregnant with my first child as they seem to stave off the morning sickness but to be quite honest it was like chewing cardboard!
Whilst food shopping a few weeks ago I saw these dark chocolate rice cakes so put them in the trolley for hubby. Never once did it cross my mind that I would eat any of them!
Whilst unpacking the shopping at home I was feeling rather peckish and thought I would try one of these. So how were they? Well let's begin, are we sitting comfortably? Okay..
Organic chocolate rice cakes are made by Kallo and come in packs of eight large, square rice cakes. They are covered in either milk chocolate (yum) or dark chocolate (double yum) and I chose the latter.
The pack is a burgandy and brown colour and stands out on the shelf at supermarkets because of the colours. To describe the packaging best would be to say it's similar to a crisp packet, with the foil inside to keep the rice cakes fresh.
Each rice cake is 53 calories (and contains no artificial additives) and is coated with thick dark belgium chocolate..sounds good so far?
I bit into the rice cake expecting to think it would be cardboardy and didn't think the added chocolate would make that much of a difference..boy was I wrong! What I was met with was a rice cake that had a crisp texture and the chocolate totally worked well with it. It didn't take over and drown out the rice cake it complimented it perfectly making it very moreish!
I am still not keen on plain rice cakes at all but the dark chocolate variety is a different ball game altogether! They aren't cheap, expect to pay around £1.89 upwards and are mainly available from health food shops as well as some large supermarkets.
A nice and surprising little treat!
In the never ending healthy eating battle I am always on the lookout for fun things to eat that are still good for you. However, I cannot resist chocolate (I'm sure you can tell this by my various reviews on chocolate bars) and have found a really great snack with chocolate that is fairly good for you.
They are Organic Milk chocolate rice cakes covered with Belgium chocolate. They are made by the company Kallo. According to their website Kallo are a family run business which was set up over 20 years ago. They specialize in great tasting healthy snacks and are apparently one of the biggest users of organic ingredients in the baked products industry today. So, this sounds like a good start, but what does the product taste like.
The rice cakes come in a packet of 8. They can probably be best described as rice cake slices as they are quite thin and do look like a slice. The rice cakes themselves are what I call a traditional rice cake, it is just made out of puffed rice and squashed together. It is probably only half a centimetre thick. The rice cake contains wholegrain brown rice as its main ingredient. The rice cake itself has the look of that white packaging that you find on electrical equipment! I know rice cakes are not everyone's cup of tea as they are quite dry and bland and these are very bland but if you do like that taste then these rice cakes are definitely for you.
The cakes are topped with Belgium chocolate, yum. The layer of chocolate is quite thin but definitely enough to give you a nice chocolaty taste in every bite. The package of eight has a weight of 90g. Each slice only contains 57 calories which is great. I would say you probably need to eat two slices at any one time in order to feel like you are full or that you have had a nice snack. So that's 114 calories which is not too bad and much less than your average chocolate bar. The only contain about 2g of fat too so this is also a great health benefit.
The rice cakes are also gluten free so people following that diet can eat them which is good as my mum needs to eat a gluten free diet and she has a lot of problems trying to find nice tasty food that is gluten free.
You can buy these rice cakes at health food stores such as Holland and Barrett and on the internet. I'm not sure whether they sell them in high street supermarkets because I haven't looked there but there is generally always a Holland and Barrett around so you can find them quite easily. Each packet costs £1.62 which I think is a really good price and well worth it. If you are looking for them you will find them in a brown package with purple on the outsides and a picture on the rice cake on the front.
A great healthy find and one I definitely recommend!!
Coated with smooth Belgian chocolate.