How you view Cadbury’s Eclairs depends on who you are exactly. They’re a kid’s dream, a dentist’s livelihood and a parent’s nightmare all rolled into tiny little balls. I’ve been eating them since I was tiny (when a bag of chocolate Eclairs was one the ultimate treats) but haven’t had one for a good number of years. Until now.
For those of you who haven’t lost a tooth in the past on one of these bad boys, they’re ‘caramels with milk chocolate centres’. Sounds innocent enough. I can assume you though, that the description does not capture their essence in the slightest. These are probably the chewiest things the world has ever seen- they’re far more chewy than chewing gum which should surely be the most chewy thing there is?
I hadn’t actually intended to buy these for review. I’m always on the look out for interesting bars and bags of sweets, but I only bought these because of how they came packaged. You see, I remember Cadbury’s Eclairs coming in big sharing bags that got passed around school classes at the end of term and stuff. I’ve also seen them before in tins of Miniature Heroes which are around at Christmas time in particular. But I’d never seen them in a single packet like you can see in the photos. Ever. 21 and a half years on this earth, and I’ve somehow managed to miss them.
You get 10 Eclairs per packet, each one individually wrapped in a paper covering. They appear kind of like Rolos; golden foil inside an outer paper wrapper and of course cylinder shaped. The fact that they’re round puts them in a tiny minority of chocolate products. Everyone just seems to pick regular rectangular shaped bars. Not here though. These Eclairs are round and proud.
As far as the packaging goes, kudos to Cadbury here. Not because it’s amazingly pretty or thoughtful (it isn’t…it’s ok but bog standard) but because NOTHING is contaminating the Eclairs here. There is an outer wrapper. (Ok, all chocolate needs to have an outer wrapper of some sort, it would be a bit weird buying chocolate bars out of the hands of the shop assistant). But inside that wrapper is the golden coloured foil. That’s also reasonably normal. But inside those two layers of packaging, Cadbury also individually wrap each Eclair up. These are safe as anything!
It’s hard to describe just how rock hard these are. You can bang them on the table and they’ll make a banging noise. You can try and squeeze them and hurt yourself doing so. You can try and bite into them without sucking first, in which case you WILL lose at least a couple of teeth in the process. But nor are they like a hard boiled sweet- Cadbury’s Eclairs have a sticky kind of feel to them from the outside unlike boiled sweets. They’re pretty much unique really; hard caramels are fairly rare, but hard caramels which are slightly sticky and have a chocolate interior…well I can’t think of a single comparison.
They all look totally random too. There isn’t a ‘perfect’ Eclair as they are all completely different. Far from being perfectly round you get lumps, bumps and holes on the outer layer. They all have a dull and generic sweetness to them, but nothing strong or particularly interesting. I remember Eclairs having a toffee like smell and flavour when I was little, but they smelt much more plain that that.
Whilst the chocolate appears dry and whitish in colour in the photos, this actually works very well as a concept in taste terms. You see, because you HAVE to suck on the caramel a little first (no freak of nature can chew into the centre of these straight away- even Jaws would fail) the chocolate warms up. So when you have finally finished sucking on the caramel outer layer (a process which can easily take 3 or 4 minutes if you want to make it last) the chocolate centre has turned warm and gooey. It is lovely really- that pleasant milkiness that Cadbury’s milk chocolate always has, but almost more like a chocolate brownie.
The texture of the outer caramel casing is remarkable chewy as mentioned before. These must have been keeping dentists in jobs for decades. Sadly though, whilst they are enormous fun to suck on and chew, the caramel’s flavour is pretty lacklustre. It’s flavourless and boring to be frank. Had it had a dominant flavour of some kind, be it butter or toffee…well I would have loved these. Instead, the caramel is just like sucking on a piece of chewing gum after you’ve chewed all the flavour out of it.
I love the idea of these Cadbury’s Eclairs and I’l continue to eat these every now and again. Just to prop up the dentistry industry because I’m a caring guy like that. There is a tin of Miniature Heroes sitting downstairs in my house packed with Eclairs, and I’l eat a few of them over this Christmas period that’s for sure. Eclairs are one of the longest lasting sweets that I’ve ever eaten as each sweet can last for 3 or 4 minutes if you choose to really savour them and melt them gradually in your mouth before biting into the chocolatey centre.
The milk chocolate centre is clever as it’s impossible (or as good as) to get to until the caramel is warm. Therefore by the time you get into the middle, it’s slightly warm and delicious. I just wish the caramel was better… it’s non-descript and sooo plain.
Eclairs are a sweet that have been around for a long time, and I’m sure they’ll stay that way.