The radius chocolate milk is well stocked! Our sample included major brands and basic products, but also tablets claiming the origin of cocoa or Swiss milk. So what’s your opinion, what is the best milk chocolate on the market ?
A delicate taste
We have assembled a demanding jury around Jacques Genin, one of the best chocolatiers in Paris. Very sensitive to the precision of the aromas, our jurors criticized most of the aromas milk chocolate bars notes of “old”, dust, even cardboard, without obviously making the products inconsumable. The explanation is simple. While manufacturers develop bars that can be stored for more than a year, artisanal chocolate makers design their bars as fresh products to be consumed within the month of manufacture. “Milk chocolate is very fragile, even more so than dark. Easily absorbs odors. Its high fat content makes it particularly sensitive to oxidation, ”Jacques Genin warns.
All the tested tablets they have a minimum of 30% cocoa and are therefore placed in the category of “fine” or “superior” milk chocolate. “But this percentage is not a criterion of absolute taste”, underline Jacques Genin and Victoire Finaz, chocolologist. Chocolate is always obtained from cocoa mass (the raw product of ground beans) to which cocoa butter (the fat extracted from cocoa mass) is added. The percentage of cocoa adds the two. The potency of the “cocoa” flavor depends on the proportion of cocoa mass, but its content is rarely specified. In our sample, only Ethiquable indicates it (10% for a cocoa content of 32%). Beyond the percentages, the fineness of the taste and the consistency of a milk chocolate depend on the quality of the selected beans and obviously on the milk, always integrated in powder.
The lure of the geas
Sugar is the # 1 ingredient in the products tested. Powdered milk is combined with other dairy products (lactose, whey, cream powder, etc.), with the exception of Monoprix Gourmet and Ethiquable. Milka contains concentrated butter and Villars melted butter. All of them contain vanilla flavor, natural or not. Milka and Auchan include hazelnut paste. “It is added above all to provide fat because it costs much less than cocoa butter”, Jacques Genin explains. This dominance of sugar and fat places these bars more in the world of pastry than in chocolate.
While the tasters were quite strict about the taste, they appreciated the look and texture of the bars, both crunchy and very dark. Only one product stood out, Lindt, while the Ethiquable and Villars tablets split.
How did our test case on milk chocolate bars go?
Because of this classification of milk chocolate barsthe chocolate producer Jacques Genin welcomed us to his tea-shop in Paris (3And ). The tablets were bought in various supermarkets. We tasted them at room temperature and in random order. The chocolate squares were turned so that their mark was not recognizable.
Our ranking of the best commercial milk chocolate
8 – Bellarom, extra-fine milk: 20/08
€ 2.29 for 2 tablets of 200 g (€ 5.73 / kg) from Lidl
Pro: Thick dish that gives it originality, a feeling of crunchiness and generosity. Quite dark despite its fragile side.
Cons: Faded, grayish color. It smells mostly of sugar, very dry. Dusty notes. Dominant fats and sugars. Too much vanilla notes. Texture too consistent. Bad taste.
7 – U, sweet milk chocolate: 10/20
€ 1.27 per 100 g tablet (€ 12.70 / kg) in U Stores
For: Pleasant, sweet, milky nose and a little cocoa. Fine squares pleasant to bite, quite soft and melting.
Cons: dull color. Fragile. A little grainy. Notes of hazelnut, coconut and vanilla more than cocoa. Too sweet. Feeling more oily than milky. Lack of freshness.
6 – Ethical, with soft and dark milk, cocoa from the Dominican Republic: 10/20
€ 2.45 per 100 g tablet (€ 24.50 / kg) in U Stores
Good for: Very crunchy fine squares, fairly dark consistency. Notes of chestnut honey. Some notes of chocolate on the nose and on the palate.
Cons: boring. Sugar dominates the nose. Little cocoa. Very sweet. A little sticky in the mouth. There is too much fat. Lack of aromatic clarity.
5 – Auchan, with superior milk: 11/20
€ 1.59 per 100 g tablet (€ 15.90 / kg) at the Simply market
Pros: Nice color tending to black. Homogeneous and quite bright appearance. Nose with notes of chocolate. Pleasant smell and taste of milk caramel. Pleasant dark chocolate. A foundation.
Cons: A little faded. Too pronounced vanilla flavor. No milk and cocoa taste. Grainy texture Very sweet.
4 – Milka, with mountain milk: 11/20
€ 2.53 for 3 tablets of 100 g (€ 8.43 / kg) in the U Stores
Pros: very smooth appearance. Milky, chocolaty and sweet smell, crunchy texture then very tender, generously melting and creamy. Well milky.
Cons: lack of shine. Synthetic vanilla fragrance. Sensation of cocoa too discreet. Fats and especially sugar predominate. It makes you thirsty. Slight cardboard notes.
3 – Villars, Swiss milk: 11/20
€ 2.15 per 100 g tablet (€ 21.50 / kg) at the Simply market
For: beautiful light color. Fine, smooth and clean appearance. Crunchy squares. Very dark and round texture. Very milky with notes of milk caramel. and a pinch of cocoa.
Cons: weak smell. Notes of vanilla too present. Insufficient cocoa flavor Too sweet. A little sickening.
2 – Monoprix Gourmet: with milk, Santo Domingo cocoa, dark: 13/20
€ 1.38 per 100 g tablet (€ 13.80 / kg) in Monoprix
Pros: good looks. Chocolate and milk fragrance, freshness. A little bit of aromatic complexity. We smell like cocoa. Fine, crunchy square. Round and tender.
Cons: hard and brittle consistency. Short in the mouth. A little mushy and too sweet, it makes you thirsty. Cardboard notes.
1 – Lindt, extrafine milk, original recipe: 15/20
€ 3.19 for 3 tablets of 100 g (€ 10.63 / kg) at the Carrefour market
Pros: nice color. Smooth appearance. Pleasant nose of cocoa and milk with a touch of freshness. Very pleasant, fine, crunchy, melting and creamy texture. Notes of milk caramel and cocoa. Well balanced.
Cons: Not very bright. Light nose.
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