As I was buying their Banana Forever bar a little while ago, I scanned Zotter’s list of products and something stuck out a bit as not really fitting it. But, as I’ve said before, the interesting thing about Zotter is that not many of their bars really ‘fit in’ to what is generally considered normal. So, as stands to reason, the bar which leapt out at me as not fitting in with everything else they offered was one of the ‘abnormal’ Zotter bars, which means that it’s a normal bar for most people’s tastes! No bacon or cheese, but instead just a standalone caramel bar…
Coming in the standard 70g Zotter serving, this intrigued me. That’s because- having tried one very unusual flavour in their Bacon Bits bar, and then a less strange but still unusual Banana based chocolate- the Zotter Butter Caramel was absolutely normal in every way. And I was very interested to see how successful Zotter are when they stick to more commonly used flavours where it is easier to compare them quality wise. I mean, was the bacon in their Bacon Bits bar good? Honestly, tastes are all relative to other tastes, and as I’d never eaten bacon and chocolate before or since, I have no idea how good the bacon was really.
Here though, they have created ‘dark mountain milk chocolate filled with butter-caramel-cream’. As a caramel lover, and somebody who has eaten a lot of caramel in my time from stuff costing 50p to stuff costing ten times that per chocolate, I’m much better placed to assess exactly how good (or not) Zotter’s caramel bar really is.
The outer appearance tied in with the other two bars of theirs I have reviewed; it’s their 70g hand- scooped range of course. What the hell is hand-scooped chocolate? Well I can’t answer that, but I’d genuinely love to hear from any readers who do know how that name comes about…hand-scooping chocolate is a pretty weird sounding activity I have to say. Like potato poking or cheese rubbing…it just sounds wrong to me.
I say it every time, but I do really like Zotter’s presentation and aesthetics. The wrapper design is utterly unique and much more thoughtful than some of the MNC’s come up with, who (for a bar like this) would have just written BUTTER CARAMEL in orange letters and spent £20 million marketing it to a very particular social group who aren’t even interested. No, Zotter come across as a lot more considered with their chocolate- they know that their consumers are likely to be into their chocolate a bit more and therefore want everything to feel a bit special. And Zotter deliver that here again; the paper wrapper looks great, the gold foil wrapper adds a touch of class and it feels like a real treat before you’ve even started eating it.
When cutting into the Butter Caramel to take a cross-section photograph, I got a slight surprise. The bottom lighter coloured layer was very soft and was obviously the ‘cream’ layer referred to in Zotter’s description of the product. But the amber coloured top layer was tough, much more like a chewy toffee than a traditional caramel.
And the whole thing smelt daaaaamn buttery. It was delectable, it really was. There were a few caramel and vanilla notes to it as well, but predominantly this was an indulgent smelling buttery bar. The chocolate looked much more like a conventional milk than I had expected; at 50% cocoa solids and described as a ‘dark milk’ by Zotter, I had thought it would be darker in colour and smell much richer. Instead it was very much a milky milk chocolate to my eyes and nose.
The bottom layer, a lightly coloured cream, was velvety smooth in texture…almost like eating actual butter as it melted so quickly and silkily in the mouth. I used to do that as a small child by the way- literally eat butter with a tea spoon out of the tub. I’m guessing I’ve either got a strong heart, or my ticker is going to give up the ghost by the time I’m 25. If I suddenly stop reviewing, you’ll probably know that it was the latter! Anyway, the caramel cream layer was delicious as mentioned; the consistency was so fantastically smooth and the flavour so intensely buttery that it really was a treat to eat.
The top layer of caramel was initially very firm, but it softened extremely quickly once in the mouth. From being a chewy, tough consistency, it quickly became lush and soft. It had lovely toffee and vanilla notes alongside the caramel sweetness, and the two layers combined tasted incredibly luxurious to me.
The chocolate coating was quite thin, and there wasn’t a great deal of richness or chocolate flavour to the bar at all. The Butter Caramel is ALL about the caramel flavours. Ain’t no chocolate getting a look in here. Perhaps a dark chocolate would have come through a little more, but to be honest, this is a cracking albeit very sweet chocolate bar from Zotter and I’m not going to complain.
My first two reviews of Zotter products have been tinged with disappointment. They’ve got a great reputation in the foodie world as creators of innovative and interesting stuff, but both the Bacon Bits and Banana Forever left me a little cold. I’m delighted to say that their Butter Caramel definitely befits Zotter’s excellent reputation though, and this is a very nice bar of chocolate indeed.
Both inner layers are terrific, and ensure that this is buttery, creamy, sweet and generally indulgent tasting in every way. It probably could have done with a little more emphasis on the chocolate too for my tastes, and a dark chocolate coating would have added an extra oomph to the bar in my opinion. However I liked it none the less, and my view of Zotter has changed as a result of eating this…I thought that they might be a company basically doing ‘novelty’ bars after eating the two previous products. But this is a bar of great quality and cracking flavour.