“ Type: Other Spreads „
There are numerous chocolate spreads on the market, many of which are based on, inspired by or at least use the brand name of a well known chocolate bar - Galaxy, Milky-Way, Cadburys (Dairy Milk) and so on. However few are as good as Nutella, the original chocolate hazelnut spread, and so don't get a look in from me. This changed when I came across a jar of Milka Schoko-Crème, a chocolate spread from the Milka chocolate range made by Kraft.
If you've traveled in mainland Europe, or shopped in Woolworths over here, you've probably come across the Milka range. Originally developed circa 1901, the original alpine milk chocolate bar has spawned many spin-offs, from different flavoured bars to boxed chocolates to clothing and collectable memorabilia, all bearing the purple cow logo. It's this cow and the general purple packaging that jumped out at me in the spreads aisle and alerted me to the fact that Milka now comes in a spreadable form.
The jar is standard jam-jar size, made of a plastic that masquerades as glass, and has a thick lid that screws on securely. This is not all that important because the product is not runny and so not liable to spill if tilted, but they have included it anyway in order, I believe, to find a way to get some more purple onto their packaging, making it eye catching. It certainly worked for me. Once inside, above the spread there is a thin sheet of gold foil, the kind often used to retain freshness and to show it's not been opened previously. This peels off easily, leaving a smooth surface to the content - no bubbles or blobs here. It looks on the surface (and literally on the surface) like it is a well-made product that has benefited from careful attention at the production stage.
The spread is a good rich brown colour, much like the chocolate bars. Unfortunately it doesn't smell much like a freshly snapped piece of a bar of Milka - the spread is much sweeter and has a strange tinge to it. It is definitely a spread rather than a jam, jelly or hunny, but has a consistency that it still much thinner than Nutella. It spreads easily without defacing soft bread, but this is only when kept in the cupboard. The instructions on the jar say not to keep it in the fridge, and if you did I imagine it would go the same way as Nutella, becoming too solid, cracking, and being hard to force out of the jar.
The spread has a definite chocolate taste, though the extent to which it tastes like Milka is debatable. It is much sweeter than the chocolate, and in some respects tastes like a cheaper version of the bars. It is also ever-so slightly grainy - like a cake mix you've attacked with a wooden spoon, but still has a few tiny sugar granules remaining. On the plus-side, it is a very creamy spread, and melts in your mouth if you eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. Nutella has a hazelnut taste to it, and I often feel regular Milka has a bit of a nutty bite to it too, but there's none of that in this spread. This spread is also lighter than Nutella, but that's not necessarily better - I end up eating more of this to get the same result as I would with Nutella, for example.
The marketing department behind this product seem to have decided to market is as a 'healthy' condiment: the jar has a tall glass of milk and a freshly sliced piece of bread spread with a thick layer of this chocolate cream. Wholesome. Healthy. Natural. That's what I think of when I look at the packaging. And then I read the ingredients and remember that it's basically all sugar and cocoa. Yum, yes, but a health food? No. At just over 500 calories per 100g it has a nutritional make-up similar to most chocolate bars.
The spread does not deteriorate with age - as long as it remains within it's best-before date it seems to be fine, and can last for several months when open though as with Nutella, my eating rate is a little quicker.
I like this spread as it's a novelty and a reasonable substitute for Nutella, but it's not quite the same as a nice bar of Milka. That said, it is very flexible and can be used in a variety of ways, for example:
** For breakfast or a snack, spread on fresh crusty bread or on toast
** Again, for a pudding or snack, it goes well with Scotch Pancakes, crepes or waffles, especially if accompanied by vanilla ice cream, or cream
** It is a good topping for ice cream - just pop into the microwave for a minute or two and pour over your favourite flavour
** It melts exceptionally well, I think because it is thinner than Nutella which is all too easy to fry by accident. Adding solid chocolate, and cream (or not it works well without too) you can make a nice chocolate fondue dip to dunk fruit or marshmallows or pretzels in
However in the long term if my main reason for eating it were to make chocolate sandwiches, and I lived in France or Germany, I would instead choose to by the 'chocolate slices' Milka make over there which are thin pieces of Milka made to be put in between pieces of bread, or simply use a regular bar of Milka for the proper, authentic taste. To sum up, as school reports tend to say, this one "Tries hard could do better".
About £1.20 but hard to find in this country - try delis and smaller grocers.