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A curious email from Niederegger caught my eye. It documented a new product that curiously breaks from tradition as it doesn't feature Lübeck's famous export at its heart. Instead, the We Love Chocolate range boasts crisp chocolate shells surrounding "melt-in-the-mouth cocoa cream fillings."
For me, and a lot of others I suspect, the Niederegger brand is synonymous with a very distinctive quality marzipan from Hanseatic Germany.
It's not the first break from tradition for the company. Last year, I worked through a box of Niederegger Minis Bakery Style Pralines to try. While the flavours were strong and clearly defined, the eating experience wasn't as satisfying as with the marzipan bars.
Nevertheless, I was kindly sent a bundle of Niederegger treats via Hertfordshire-based Chocolates Direct, including a box from the We Love Chocolate range to test.
Clad in plastic film, the tall rectangular 100g box Is nicely decorated, with purple and brown hues to boot. The Niederegger Lübeck logo and We Love Chocolate text dominates the top section of the box. Beneath this is a graphic depicting the two varieties of chocolates in this pack, followed by a window through to two of the mini loaves.
Pink Berry chocolate loaves unsurprisingly benefit from pink wrappers while the Crispy Waffle chocolate loaves are clad in purple wrappers. The shapes of these clearly draw inspiration from Niederegger's marzipan mini loaves.
On the reverse, there's a brief overview in German and English, followed by the ingredient and nutritional lists, printed in English, German and French.
Niederegger We Love Chocolate Pink Berry & Crispy Waffle Box ingredients:
Milk chocolate (55%) (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa pass, emulsifier (soya lecithin), vanilla extract), dark chocolate (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa powder, whole milk powder, emulsifier (soya lecithin), vanilla extract), sunflower oil, whole milk powder, wafer granulate (potato starch, sugar, chickpea flour, cornflower, coconut fat, emulsifier (soya lecithin), table salt, natural flavouring), raspberry crunch (sugar, raspberry, starch, raspberry juice concentrate), natural flavourings, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin). Cocoa solids: 50$ minimum (dark chocolate); 33% minimum (milk chocolate). Milk solids: 14% minimum (milk chocolate).
The chocolates contain an average of 46.3% sugars. They may contain traces of nuts.
Niederegger We Love Chocolate Pink Berry & Crispy Waffle Box Review
Inside the box sits eight individually-wrapped chocolates. Four are in the Crispy Waffle variety while the remainder comes in Pink Berry.
The bright purple and pink paper wrappers set the products apart from their marzipan siblings. Underneath these, however, the chocolate pieces look remarkably similar once again, with the same shape as their famous mini marzipan loaves.
Each one features a generous milk chocolate shell (imprinted with the Niederegger Lübeck logo) and a soft "cocoa cream filling." You may well have guessed that the Crispy Waffle one has flecks of crispy waffle pieces inside it (blended with milk chocolate). The Pink Berry features crunchy pieces of raspberry mixed with dark chocolate.
I began by peeling back the paper wrapper on the Crispy Waffle chocolate, revealing a sweet and creamy cocoa aroma, together with just a hint of caramel. I bit through the reasonably thick milk chocolate shell to discover a firm-yet-yielding centre. By "cocoa cream filling", I expected an almost gooey centre, rather than a praline-esque centre. A general cocoa flavour dominates from start to finish, although it lacks character. The overall profile is sweet and creamy, with the wafer pieces adding crunch. It's nice enough, and I'd easily polish these off in front of the telly on a Saturday night, but I craved a bit more life from it.
Pink Berry starts off in much the same way, with a sweet and creamy cocoa aroma. But as soon as I bit into this one, tangy raspberry dominated the flavour right through into the aftertaste. It benefits from the playful addition of some crunch, while the dark chocolate filling is richer and less sweet than Crispy Waffle. Again, I'd easily polish these off in front of the telly, but out of the two, Pink Berry offers up more in the way of excitement.
Clearly defined flavours seem to be Niederegger's forte, and looking at the full We Love Chocolate range, Toffee Crunch, Coffee Crisp, and Liquorice Crush, together with Pink Berry, appear to be the pick of the crop.
This 100g box is certainly designed to look gift-worthy. It's small enough to be affordable yet presented nicely enough that it satisfies amply as a small token gift. While the chocolates were tasty, I still missed the marzipan. The chocolate for me seems a little lost without Lübeck's greatest export. In a product like this, the chocolate becomes the star of the show, so it needs to hold its own, yet I found myself craving more depth of flavour in the cocoa.
Niederegger We Love Chocolate Box Review
RRP: £4.50 | Niederegger | Shop now
These are enjoyable bites of chocolate presented in lovely packaging. Fans of Niederegger will notice the absence of marzipan. Crispy Waffle is nice enough but lacks a depth of flavour, while Pink Berry is all about the raspberry, with the flavour presented front and centre against a richer, darker chocolate backdrop.
Where to Buy Online
Niederegger's We Love Chocolate boxes are available from Chocolates Direct and Chocolate & More Delights°. You can buy the mini loaves individually as part of a Pick & Mix service at The Chocolate Emporium.
If Crispy Waffle and Pink Berry doesn't do it for you, there are several other varieties available in the same We Love Chocolate range, also in 100g boxes. Keep a lookout for Toffee Crunch, Black & White, Liquorice Crush, and Coffee Crisp & Double Choc. You might also be interested in the bumper 200g multi-flavour box that contains Pink Berry, Crispy Waffle, Toffee Crunch, and Double Choc.
Would you buy a product from Niederegger that didn't feature their famous marzipan? Let me know in the comments below.