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Harris & James Bean-To-Bar Snack Bar Reviews

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When you think of chocolate snack bars, you'll most likely picture the sugar-laden bars that satisfy a craving. Be it gooey caramel, peanut butter, wafers, fruit or nuts, the recipe for success is broadly the same - cheap chocolate with a high sugar content filling.

Suffolk-based bean-to-bar chocolate maker Harris & James is turning that idea on its head, with a line of gourmet snack bars made with craft chocolate. They've created a range of snack bars for your bean-to-bar chocolate fix on the go at a great value price point. Think of it as a luxury takes on classic chocolate bar favourites.

I received a trio of the snack bars as a Christmas present from my family, so couldn't resist sharing them with you.


Packaging

Each of the snack bars weighs between 48g and 60g, and has a price tag of £1.85, which feels like incredible value for money, given the packaging, ingredients and bean-to-bar chocolate used in the recipe.

Harris & James Bean-To-Bar Snack Bar Reviews
A trio of bean-to-bar chocolate snack bars

The bars are clad in foil backed cream paper wrappers for freshness. They have a luxurious craft feel about them. While the wrappers carry 'plastic free' text, I'm not sure how easy these are to recycle as the foil is bonded to the paper.

The H&J logo appears on the face of each wrapper, along with the product name. The Salted Caramel wrapper allows space for the product description to appear on the face, while the other two have this tucked along the side.

On the rear, you'll find the ingredients list and nutritional information. You'll also find a batch code and cocoa origin stamped onto each one, giving you an idea of where in the world the cocoa was grown.

There's a list of allergens too, along with a notice these bars may contain traces of gluten, peanuts and tree nuts.

While these are packaged like snack bars, these indulgent treats are to be savoured, not wolfed down. One bite and you'll realise these are on another level to your typical petrol station chocolate bars.


Harris & James Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar Review

Harris & James Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Milk chocolate (cocoa mass, sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin, natural dulce de leche flavour), inclusions (glucose syrup, sweetened condensed milk, butter, sea salt). Cocoa solids: 40% minimum. Milk solids: 23% minimum.

  • Weight: 48g
  • Sugars: 46%
  • What they say: Finest smooth milk chocolate with buttery caramel and sea salt shards.

The concept of this bar is very simple. It's a 40% Ecuadorian milk chocolate bar with shards of sea salted buttery caramel on top.

A sweet, buttery aroma tempts you in, and you won't regret taking a bite.

The smooth chocolate is divine, with a gentle smokey, and mildly fruity notes, with rounded with lactic notes. The chewy flecks of rich buttery caramel dotted on top enhance the flavour and add to the overall texture, with the hint of salt just helping to lift everything that little bit higher.

Caramel notes run throughout the flavour and into the aftertaste. It's a rich, dark gooey buttery caramel flavour, which compliments the Ecuadorian chocolate perfectly.

It's got everything you want from a chocolate bar - it's sweet (but not overly), salty, and above all, flavourful. It's a delicious bar that fills you with enjoyment and begs you to take another bite.

Harris & James Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £1.85 | Harris & James | Shop now

A delicious blend of flavourful Ecuadorian milk chocolate, buttery caramel flecks and sea salt. It's utterly divine and you'll struggle to hold back from nibbling it all in one go.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 4.6


Harris & James Peanutty Chocolate Bar

Harris & James Peanutty Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Peanuts (40.1%), sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, salt, sunflower lecithin. Cocoa solids: 40% minimum (milk chocolate); 40% minimum (white chocolate). Milk solids: 23% minimum (milk chocolate); 29% minimum (white chocolate).

  • Weight: 60g
  • Sugars: 30%
  • What they say: Chunky salted peanut butter blended with caramelised white chocolate enrobed in finest bean to bar milk chocolate.

The core of this bar is a peanut butter and caramelised white chocolate centre, enrobed in 40% Ecuadorian milk chocolate bar.

The aroma is full-on American peanut butter. The aroma has a top note of salty roasted peanuts with a creamy milk chocolate vibe beneath.

This bar delivers everything you could want in a peanut butter chocolate bar - sweet, salty, nutty, creamy, and bags of flavour. The peanut butter centre is intense, creamy and pliable, with chunks of roasted peanuts adding texture and the caramelised white chocolate adding sweetness. The relatively thin creamy milk chocolate shell loses its nuances to the overwhelming power of the peanut butter centre, but lends its creaminess and a very subtle cocoa vibe to the mix.

The flavour of roasted peanuts lingers in the aftertaste of this rich snack bar.

Harris & James Peanutty Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £1.85 | Harris & James | Shop now

If you love peanut butter and chocolate, this bar has you covered. Generous quantities of peanuts work in harmony with the caramelised white chocolate core and the milk chocolate shell.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 4.6

Harris & James Hazeleta Chocolate Bar Review

Harris & James Hazeleta Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Hazelnuts (26.5%), sugar, cocoa mass, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, wheat flour (calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamine), sunflower lecithin, soya lecithin, rapeseed oil, dextrose, bicarbonate of soda, salt, antioxidant, rosemary extract. Cocoa solids: 40% minimum. Milk solids: 21% minimum.

  • Weight: 60g
  • Sugars: 34%
  • What they say: Smooth hazelnut praline with crisp wafer pieces and roasted hazelnut nibs, enrobed in finest bean-to-bar milk chocolate.

Creamy, toasted hazelnuts lead in the aroma, with a creamy, lactic undertone to boot. Appearance wise, it follows the same chunky shape as the peanut bar, although I noticed a very minor surface fat bloom to one corner of this one.

Brace yourself for a decadently rich, crunchy, slightly chewy centre. Hazelnut certainly dominates in this rich chocolate bar, dwarfing the nuances of the 40% Ecuadorian milk chocolate.

The roasted hazelnut nibs help to add crunch to the bar, while the wafer pieces had lost their crispness, becoming chewy in the process.

The hazelnut and wafer pieces jostle for pole position in the aftertaste, while the fruity characteristics of the milk chocolate bubble away underneath.

Personally, I'd like to see the wafer pieces disappear from this recipe, as I think they detract slightly from an otherwise flawless hazelnut chocolate bar.

Harris & James Hazeleta Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £1.85 | Harris & James | Shop now

Rich, decadent and filling, this hazelnut praline chocolate bar is incredibly indulgent. I loved the crunch of the hazelnut nibs but found the wafer pieces chewy and distracting.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 4

Where to Buy Online

Head to the Harris & James website where you will find all three bean-to-bar snack bars available (£1.85 each).

I dare you not to fill your basket with tasty treats from their website. It's full of bean-to-bar chocolate goodies, including chocolate biscuits, pralines and bonbons, chocolate assortment gift boxes, hot chocolate options, and the classic chocolate bars, of course.

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Would you ditch your cheap chocolate bars for these gourmet alternatives? Let me know in a comment below.

Disclosure: I received three Harris & James Bean-To-Bar Snack Bars as a Christmas present from my family. I was not asked by H&J for a review. My opinions are my own.

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