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Panic stations! It's an emergency! There's no chocolate to hand! Eeeeek! There's only one thing for it... "In case of emergency, break the glass!"
We're used to seeing those little red boxes line walls in offices, shops and hotels, commanding you to break the glass in an emergency to raise the alarm. Vegan and social enterprise brand Nono Cocoa has come up with a quirky (and tasty) interpretation of this with its bright red emergency chocolate stash gift box.
Designed to resemble the classic red emergency call box, this vegan chocolate box contains 16 chocolates in a variety of flavours to help calm your nerves. It's a fun and quirky gift that's ideal for vegans and non-vegans alike, and would undoubtedly make a great Christmas gift idea for firefighters, electricians, building maintenance operatives, and quite frankly anyone with a sense of humour.
The fire red board box comes with a clear plastic lid, printed with the text "in case of emergency, break the glass!" in white. It's like a supersized version of the box you see on the walls in offices, shops, schools, and hotels, only way more exciting as you find chocolate inside this one!
A large paper menu, listing the 16 flavours inside as well as information about the social enterprise, wraps from the inside out and underneath the box, helping to keep the chocolates safe during transit.
The ingredients list appears on this pamphlet:
Nono Cocoa Emergency Vegan Chocolate Gift Box ingredients:
White and dark chocolate (cocoa butter, rice powder, coconut nectar) (45%), rice cream, dates, sunflower oil, linseed oil, maple syrup, baobab, raspberry, strawberry, beetroot, pineapple, cherry, spirulina, camu camu, pandan, coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, Greek coffee, pumpkin seeds, amaranth, sunflower seeds, puffed rice, natural extracts (lemon, orange, lime, lemongrass, cherry, rose, marzipan), D-mannosa, y-Tocopherol antioxidants, tri-calcium, Celtic salt. Cocoa solids: 72% minimum (dark chocolate).
Perhaps the cutest aspect of my emergency gift box is the inclusion of a solid dark chocolate firefighter's axe. Decorated with edible bronze shimmer dust, the axe compliments the emergency alarm box perfectly, and finishes the gift off in a way that nothing else could achieve.
It's fun, whimsical and utterly adorable!
Nono Cocoa Emergency Vegan Chocolate Gift Box Review
Lifting the lid reveals a colourful and enticing selection of chocolates.
The menu card for this emergency supply of chocolate reads as follows:
- Rose Flower - Bulgarian wild rose, d-mannose, baobab, coconut and raspberry.
- Cinnamon Apple - chunky cinnamon shell with soft centre and lasting cinnamon spice after-taste.
- Toasted Coconut & Pineapple – A soft pineapple and coconut centre.
- Blood Orange – Dark chocolate filled with blood orange sauce.
- Lemon Chocolate Star - Turmeric spiced, sweet ‘milky’ chocolate with lemon filling.
- Cherry - White chocolate with cherry and cranberry.
- Nono Signature Strawberry Cup – Soft strawberry conserve.
- Mojito Flower - Fresh mint and lime with crunchy amaranth and pumpkin seeds.
- Lalinda’s Coconut Cream – A ‘milky’ shell with coconut cream and shreds.
- Saffron Flower – Golden chocolate with turmeric, saffron and orange.
- Raspberry fruit – Made with highly potent freeze-dried raspberries.
- Ginger Lemon - Ginger spice with soft lemon in the middle.
- Blue Marzipan Flower - A chocolate flower with a soft nut-free marzipan centre.
- Pandan & Lemongrass - Lemongrass and rice milk.
- Greek Coffee Cup – Dark and white chocolate with a Greek coffee crunch inside.
- 'Milky’ Vegan Caramel – A no-added-sugar, butter-free and milk-free caramel.
While the menu card teases milky, boozy and nutty-sounding chocolates, the recipes are, in fact, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and alcohol-free. Nono Cocoa uses superfoods (rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants) to create its flavours, and ensures the chocolates are free from the top 14 common allergens.
I had the pleasure of tasting a few of these recipes in the Nono Cocoa Rainbow Collection earlier this year. I urge you to check out that review and collection too.
Rose Flower combines a delicate floral flavour with a zesty, sherbet-like sensation, combining different-but-complimentary aspects. Cinnamon Apple is a taste of winter, with the warming spice dominating the flavour through to the aftertaste. Toasted Coconut & Pineapple carefully balances fragrant coconut against a subtle pineapple backdrop, creating a wonderfully tropical flavour. Blood Orange serves up a deep, tangy flavour with a hint of characteristic bitterness, enhanced by the chocolate shell.
The golden Saffron Flower packs an explosion of zingy orange flavour, contrasted by an earthy-yet-floral aspect that morphs into an almost-herbal characteristic. Similarly, Ginger Lemon leads you down a zesty lemon path before suddenly taking you down a spicy path as the fiery ginger flavours develops.
Blue Marzipan Flower deserves a special mention, as Nono Cocoa creates a natural blue colour and a seemingly-impossible nut-free marzipan that tastes just like the real deal. It is an amazing, nut-free, refined-sugar-free substitute that faithfully mimics the flavour and texture of traditional marzipan. It needs to be tried to be believed.
That leaves nine brand new flavours for me to try that Team Nono devised over the last year. I couldn't wait to tuck in, so grabbed my hammer and 'smashed' through the glass to release them (okay, I may have chomped the axe down and lifted the lid on the box, but your get the picture!).
Lemon Chocolate Star
A meek lemon aroma arises from this star-shaped chocolate, which boasts a dark chocolate base and vibrant (yet natural yellow) colour chocolate top. This chocolate has a firm texture and a subtle lemon flavour that is delicately balanced against rich cocoa notes. It's not an overpowering citrus flavour, and it works in harmony with the chocolate.
There's a touch of sweetness to create balance with the bitterness from the dark chocolate. Into the aftertaste, the lemon notes persist alongside the cocoa notes to continue the theme of balance in the lingering flavour.
I love anything flavoured with cherry, and eagerly looked forward to this bite. The aroma doesn't give too much away. This chocolate has a firm, quite dry texture with a classic red cherry flavour. It's quite subtle, and there's a hint of tartness in the mix to add depth. I craved a little more sourness and a richer, longer lingering cherry flavour, though.
In the aftertaste, the cherry flavour vanishes quickly, leaving a fairly neutral aftertaste. There's a creamy mouth feel that remains, though.
Nono Signature Strawberry Cup
If you follow Nono Cocoa on social media, you may recognise this design from founder Alessandra Bester's red and white nail art. This naturally red chocolate cup is decorated with white spots to look like a strawberry.
While it looks pretty, it doesn't give much away in its aroma. It's only when you bite into it do you get the rush of strawberry flavours. The crunch of shell contrasts nicely with the soft centre, while the flavour is a mix of classic strawberry jam and fig roll flavours. The overall flavour is sweet, with just a hint of tartness, which helps elevate the experience. You're left with an aftertaste of strawberry jam and a smile on your face, thanks to this joyful chocolate.
When I think of a mojito, I'm transported back aboard a cruise ship sailing beneath the Mediterranean sunshine, without a care in the world.
Being Nono, this is an alcohol-free chocolate, so the focus shifts away from white rum and onto the zesty lime and fresh mint combination. In this chocolate, lime dominates from start to finish. It's king in the aroma, in much of the flavour, and into the aftertaste. Mint makes a brief appearance in the tasting right at the very end, but it can't compete with the citrus notes.
Crunch is provided courtesy of puffed rice, which also imparts its own flavour, most noticeably in the aftertaste, which I wasn't too keen on in this particular chocolate.
Lalinda’s Coconut Cream
Coconut chocolates can sometimes be a bit of a let down, but this recipe from Nono team member Lalinda is an absolute delight. It layers different coconut components to create a cohesive, rounded coconut flavour.
There's a coconut aroma to tempt you in, followed by a medley of textures in tasting. The soft and sweet coconut centre balances out the dark chocolate. The crunch of dedicated coconut adds to the experience. The aftertaste is dominated by coconut, with a subtle dark chocolate undertone.
This one put up a good fight against the Greek Coffee Cup chocolate for the title of best flavour in this box. It came in a very close second, but should definitely be tasted, if you can.
The mild aroma and pretty design all suggest a raspberry chocolate, and this happily follows through into the taste.
It's full-on vibrant raspberry, with jammy flavour notes alongside a hint of fig roll. The crunchy dark chocolate shell pairs nicely with the tart, zingy paste, and the raspberry seeds add extra crunch. A satisfying raspberry flavour lingers in the aftertaste.
Pandan & Lemongrass
A faint lemongrass aroma and lovely green shell doesn't prepare you for the intensity of this little bite. As you crunch through the thick shell, the flavour is intense, with a powerful hit of lemongrass paste that wallops you across the face from start to finish. There's a hint of spiciness too, that develops more towards the end and into the aftertaste. The subtle nuances of the pandan are lost amongst the noise from the lemongrass, which lends an almost savoury edge to the flavour. The intensity fades into the aftertaste, but the lemongrass flavour lingers for a long while afterwards.
I like Nono's use of a bold flavour here to create something edgy and a little bit experimental, although I'm sure it might be a touch too intense for some folk.
Greek Coffee Cup
A Greek Coffee recipe appeared in Nono Cocoa's Identity collection, and back then I noted that while the coffee aroma and flavour were both strong, there was an unpleasant bitterness to it, with earthy and grassy notes dominating the flavour.
Nono has reworked the recipe, and hit upon the perfect coffee chocolate blend that is my absolute favourite flavour in this collection. A dark earthy aroma and a pretty shimmery visual appearance tempts you in, and as you bite into this treat, you're transported instantly to a cosy coffee shop. The crunch of the shell is enhanced further by the crunchy roasted coffee bean that hides inside, along with a filling that evokes imagery of the perfect dark espresso. It's rich and deeply satisfying. As a coffee chocolate lover, I would gladly consume a box of these.
'Milky' Vegan Caramel
Creating a vegan caramel is a brave feat, and not for the faint-hearted. Sugar, butter and cream, with a dash of salt will give you a delicious salted caramel recipe, but it's hardly vegan, is it? So, what's Nono's dairy-free milky vegan caramel like?
Well, it has a creamy, buttery, butterscotch aroma to it, which is a great start. The crunch of the chocolate shell gives way to a butterscotch paste inside. The paste is grainy, but exhibits a sweet butterscotch flavour. There's a subtle hint of salt in the mix, and I like the fruity strand of flavour that appears and develops towards the end of the tasting. The aftertaste is that of a creamy butterscotch flavour.
Is it a salted caramel as we know it? No, but the paste certainly delivers creamy, butterscotch flavours without a drop of dairy products in sight. It's certainly an impressive result.
Overall, this is another great collection from Nono Cocoa. The presentation of this box, styled as an emergency supply of chocolate, is a winner in my books. It makes for a great gift for someone, ideal for a birthday, Christmas, anniversary or even as a pick-me-up for someone who's going through a tough time.
There's a wide range of flavours and flavour combinations in this box, so there's something for everyone. My favourites are the Greek Coffee Cup and Lalinda’s Coconut Cream. I'd love to know which one's float your boat, so be sure to leave me a comment below once you've tried them.
Nono Cocoa Emergency Vegan Chocolate Gift Box Review
RRP: £12.50 | Nono Cocoa | Shop now
Fun and whimsical packaging means this box of chocolates has instant gift appeal. A wide range of flavours means there's something for everyone in here, more so as the recipes are free from the top 14 common allergens. These chocolates not only taste good, but by purchasing a box, you're helping a social enterprise too. If you need an emergency box of chocolates, you've found it.
Where to Buy Online
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