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Back in July I purchased a box of filled chocolates from The Chocolate Factory in Thornton le Dale and Hutton Le Hole. They have now kindly sent me a selection of their bestselling loaded chocolate bars to taste.
These monster 200g chocolate slabs feature a base of Belgian milk or dark chocolate and a selection of toppings, from crystallised ginger to Turkish Delight.
Available in the Thornton le Dale and Hutton Le Hole shops as well as in a multipack online, I'm told these slabs of chocolate are a very popular line and a favourite with customers young and old.
Come with me as I test out these bestselling chocolate bar flavours.
Each of the bars is sealed inside a clear plastic bag, with just the brand's logo sticker on the front and a QR code on the rear (which links to their website). I couldn't find the ingredients list or allergen information on the bars or online.
The face of the chocolate bars all follow the same look, featuring a 24-piece classic chocolate bar design. The rears of the bars are loaded with the inclusions.
All the chocolate bars exhibited a nice glossy shine, although there was a mild surface mottling on the milk chocolate bars. Each bar had a clean and crisp snap and broadly divided up into the 24 expected pieces, with the exception of the Turkish Delight bar, which broke into around a dozen pieces thanks to the large jelly cubes.
Dark Chocolate & Crystallised Ginger Loaded Chocolate Bar Review
- What is it? A dark chocolate bar with chunks of crystallised ginger sprinkled on top.
- Tasting: The only dark chocolate in this line-up, the aroma is mildly smokey, earthy, and woody. There's a hint of vanilla, but a noticeable lack of ginger notes. By contrast, as soon as the chocolate hits your tongue the ginger reveals itself and dominates throughout. The mildly bitter cocoa notes fade into the background as the ginger expresses itself at the forefront. The crystallised ginger adds crunch and a fiery heat at the back of the throat, while the sweet dark chocolate does it's best to balance this. The chocolate has a slightly grainy quality to it, which the crystallised ginger enhances. Into the aftertaste, there's a mild bitterness but there's also a lot of sweetness which helps to counteract this.
- Verdict: Dark chocolate and ginger are best friends that go way back. Fans of crystallised ginger will undoubtedly love this bar. The ginger cubes add an expressive fiery kick to a sweet dark chocolate.
Milk Chocolate Buttons Loaded Chocolate Bar Review
- What is it? A milk chocolate slab generously topped with yet more milk chocolate buttons.
- Tasting: The aroma is sweet and buttery, with strong butterscotch notes. Relatively quick to melt, the chocolate releases a creamy and buttery flavour, with caramel and toffee notes at the forefront. Overall, it's a very sweet treat. Into the aftertaste, the flavour fades fast, leaving a vaguely sweet trace behind.
- Verdict: A milk chocolate slab with milk chocolate buttons makes this bar especially sweet. Kids will love this bar the moment they set eyes upon it. Personally, I found this the least exciting of the four bars here and think The Chocolate Factory's Orange Button Milk Chocolate Bar might be a better alternative to add another dimension to the overall flavour.
Milk Chocolate Fudge Loaded Chocolate Bar Review
- What is it? A slab of milk chocolate liberally topped with small cubes of fudge.
- Tasting: Once again, the aroma is sweet and buttery, with strong butterscotch notes. The aroma of the fudge pieces doesn't really come through, and its flavour doesn't add much to the taste either, other than more sweetness. It adds a pleasant chew to the texture of the chocolate bar, but the caramel and toffee notes in the creamy and buttery milk chocolate prove overwhelming for the fudge to compete. In the aftertaste there's glimmers of the flavour of fudge, but these quickly fade into a general sweetness that lingers for a while.
- Verdict: Another sweet bar, and one with so much promise. It undeniably features a generous helping of fudge pieces, but the fudge itself isn't characterful enough to add flavour to this bar. Kids will love it, as will those with a sweet tooth.
Milk Chocolate & Turkish Delight Loaded Chocolate Bar Review
- What is it? A milk chocolate bar loaded with a dozen chunks of dusted Turkish Delight.
- Tasting: I was most excited about this particular bar. I love rose-flavour Turkish Delight, and am fond of it paired with milk chocolate. In the aroma, all I could detect were those powerful sweet, buttery, butterscotch notes from the milk chocolate. I had expected a bouquet of rose aromas but these were nowhere to be seen. Bite into one of the cubes of Turkish Delight and those sweet rose flavours finally reveal themselves. The jelly adds a subtle rose flavour but isn't overly forceful that it tastes like a mouthful of potpourri. No, this gentle floral aspect plays very nicely with the caramel notes in the chocolate. The rose flavour lingers in the aftertaste which was also pleasing to discover.
- Verdict: For me, this is the best bar out of the four. The sweet, chewy rose Turkish Delight works in harmony with the creamy qualities of the milk chocolate, and there's definitely a good ratio of Turkish Delight to milk chocolate here.
The Chocolate Factory Loaded Bars Review
RRP: £5.99 | The Chocolate Factory Thornton le Dale and Hutton Le Hole | Shop now
A good assortment of topped chocolate bars, featuring classic flavours and minimal packaging. My picks are the Dark Chocolate Ginger bar and the Milk Turkish Delight bar. If you like sweet chocolate, chunky 200g slabs, and generous quantities of toppings, you'll like these bars.
Where to Buy Online
You can buy these chocolate slabs online via The Chocolate Factory's website here. Slabs are available in groups of four, and are priced at £23.95 including delivery.
The slabs are also available to purchase individually in The Chocolate Factory's shops in Thornton le Dale and Hutton Le Hole.
Which slab sounds like it'd be your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.