Today, the 4th of July 2012, is in fact my 21stBirthday. So admire the dedication to this site that I’ve got another review for you guys to read haha! The product under my microscope (well, I haven’t got an actual microscope, those things are damn expensive and as I’m a politics student, also a little pointless!) is Hotel Chocolat’s Orange Tangs.
Hotel Chocolat Orange Tangs
I found these in my local Hotel Chocolat shop on offer. Normally priced at £8.50, they were half price at £4.25 because their best-before date was coming up. Now I’m a sucker for three things in life; 1) A pretty smile, 2) any product which says either ‘new’ or ‘limited edition’ on it, and finally 3) a bargain. At just £4.25 for a pretty large tub of these, I felt I had got a bargain here.
What are ‘Orange Tangs’ I hear you say? Well Hotel Chocolat describe them as “pure orange juice set with a little pectin and enrobed in dark chocolate”. In my head, these were the top two parts of a Jaffa Cake in stick form. Which was actually not that far away from what they were in reality as well.
Now the first comment on these Orange Tangs in that they’re perfectly snack sized. They seem quite small (probably roughly the size of a Cadbury’s Finger) but, possibly because of the dark chocolate element, they were much more satisfying. Chocolate Fingers can be eaten by the bucket load in my house, but two or three of these were enough to dampen the chocolate craving.
They came packaged very well in my opinion; foil wrapped and securely housed in the tub you see above, they arrived in excellent condition. The labelling on the tub itself was simple but clear. The packaging was also well thought out in that the tub contained at least 30 ‘Tangs’ so were likely to be consumed over a period of weeks rather than a single sitting. Rather than a rubbish cellophane wrapper which you have to mess around trying to fold over to keep fresh after opening, this foil and lid combination made it very easy to pick a couple out and then leave it in a cupboard for a day or two.
They smelt like orange jelly really. Having made a lot of jelly in my time (don’t even ask why!) this was a slightly more orangey version of Hartley’s jelly. Very pleasant and fruity, and thankfully not chemically in the slightest (which I’m presuming is because these are made from real orange juice.) There was a slight scent of the dark chocolate after I really inhaled deeply, but those cocoa notes were definitely secondary to the orange…which is what you’d expect and hope for given that these are called ‘orange’ tangs.
The Tangs themselves were not quite as I had expected- but in a good way. The outer layer of dark chocolate was very, very thin. The slightest bend in them meant that the chocolate broke. These are called Orange Tangs, they smell orangey, and after taking a few out of the tub, it was clear that the dark chocolate was just a side show to the orangey centre.
Despite it only being a thin coating, the dark chocolate could still be tasted though. It was surprisingly sweet actually. At only 50% cocoa solids, this was more of a halfway house between Hotel Chocolat’s 40% milk chocolate (which is superb) and an out and out dark chocolate. The chocolate was decent enough here, but in my opinion it could have been a little darker and semi-bitter to contrast the fruitiness of the orange centre. I understand though, that Hotel Chocolat might be worried about putting people off by using overly dark chocolate; the majority of people undoubtedly preferring milk chocolate to dark.
The ‘orange tang’ was exactly that. Tangy. Whilst these might have smelt like orange jelly, they certainly didn’t taste like it- the orange flavour was a lot sharper and more acidic than jelly, as you would expect I guess…orange jelly being aimed predominantly at children whilst these Orange Tangs being produced for adults. The texture of the orange centre was a little unusual, as it wasn’t jelly like at all. It was very soft but ever so slightly chewy as well. It didn’t melt in the mouth, instead slowly giving off a fruity taste until bitten and chewed, when a sharp and orangey flavour explosion took place.
These Orange Tangs are a decent product from Hotel Chocolat. At about 35 Tangs for £8.50, that works out at roughly 25p per chocolate. A little pricey but definitely competitive in the market in which Hotel Chocolat operate. When considering their value for money, it’s also important to remember that these will last for a while if you’re only picking at a few chocolates at a time. I paid £4.25 as they were on offer, and that was an absolute snip really.
They aren’t perfect for my taste buds. I’d certainly prefer a slightly darker chocolate to offer a really strong cocoa flavour against the fruity orange component here. However they were still enjoyable to pick at, with the natural sweetness from the orange, alongside a citrusy sharpness and fading away to a warm chocolate aftertaste.
Don’t be put off to any dark chocolate haters- these aren’t overly bitter and scary like more bold dark chocolate products out there. I’d class them far more as orange sweets with a slight cocoa element. Would I buy them at £8.50 in the future. Occasionally. Would I buy them at £4.25 on offer? Yep, in fact I’d probably pick up a few of them.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to enjoy some birthday cake! A brief search on Google would suggest (at 21 years of age) that I can now drive an HGV here in England, buy a pint of beer in Tajikistan and rent a car in America. Could be a busy 36 hours ahead…