Halloween taste test

By
Jack Birch
Added
27 October, 2016

For kids Halloween means eating lots of sweets, too much chocolate and gorging yourself silly. As an adult it’s markedly different. Halloween is for eating lots of sweets, too much chocolate, gorging yourself silly, paying council tax and somehow going to work the next day with a sugar hangover. At Cooked.com we taste-tested the best Halloween treats that 2016 has to offer. So when you slump down on the sofa, turn down the lights, and sit down to watch Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, you will enjoy the best snacks available.

Winner: Hotel Chocolat Halloween Bites, £12.50

This box of chocolates has an arsenal of fun-house tricks, each of them a ghoulish delight. From the elegant Halloween carnival packaging to the imaginative chocolates inside, everything is executed with class. Highlights include the molten caramel filled chocolate oozy eye, which taste delicious but thrillingly evokes eating an actual eyeball  (a good thing), a bitter orange caramel ‘Boo!’ chocolate which is, as promised, ‘frighteningly good’ and the ‘Mousse Au Chocolat’ which doesn’t have anything to do with Halloween, but it delicious none-the-less.  The centrepiece is the riotously named Grim Treater – a silky smooth solid chocolate skull.

Halloween costume rating: The star attraction! Mixing a contemporary in-joke with a Halloween classic, this chocolate box really nails it. Heads turn when Count Trumpula or a Brexit Zombie enters the room. The best!

Asda Halloween ‘Smash Cake!’, £10

The showstopper. I love a Halloween performance piece. On top of this cake sits a pumpkin dome that you have to Hulk-smash to reveal the assorted pick-and-mix inside. It’s this slice of theatricality that elevates this cake to being anything more than disappointing. The dome, made of white chocolate dyed orange, was perhaps the best part of the cake. On the packaging there was a huge mixture of sweets that promises to come tumbling out after the smash, however, and rather disappointingly, there was only chocolate filled shells performing an unconvincing impression of Smarties. Where was my promised dolly-mixture and midget gems? The cake itself was slightly dry, but tasted fine. The Smash Cake would be great fun for a children’s party, although a full-blooded fight would break out over the honour of the initial smash…

Halloween costume rating: It looks good, sure. But is it style over substance? You can buy a ghoulishly realistic Frankenstein mask, but where's the love and care of a home-made costume? Looks good, but little to get excited about.

Tesco Ghoulishly Gooey Filled Cookies (with purple filling), £1

Let’s just get this straight, ‘Purple’ isn’t a flavour. The purpose of Halloween is to scare and revolt, and these Tesco ‘purple filled’ cookies certainly do that. Apart from intense, almost delirious levels of sweetness, these cookies do not taste of anything. This is a shame, because I really admired how they look. The ‘garish green’ is radioactively vibrant, and the ‘purple-flavoured’ goo looks impressive as it oozes out of the cookie. If only they had decided to make it a flavour that doesn’t exist.

Halloween costume rating: A pretty gross costume is good for Halloween, right? Wrong. The extra detail in making it look like your eye has exploded has started to freak people out. That guy or girl you want to flirt with won't look at you.  Too disgusting.

Tesco Halloween Doughnuts, £4

‘Perfect for Trick or Treaters’ the packaging claims. Of course. You wouldn’t want to eat them yourself. Eighteen unimaginative mini-doughnuts topped with a grim chocolate flavour sauce.

Halloween costume rating: Your mate Dave has turned up in jeans and a t-shirt. He may say, ‘well even Dracula had weekend clothes’. He’s fooling no one. Rubbish.

Hotel Chocolat Choose Your Poison, £5

A delightful box of liqueurs which embraces the Halloween spirit. (Spirit. Geddit.) The chocolates include a Black Cat Martini (a deliciously tart blackcurrant and liquorice flavoured vodka), Corpse Reviver (gin, triple sec, vermouth and blood orange) and a Zombie (a tropical mix of white rum with orange and passion fruit).  The highlight though is the Green Fairy: a liqueur with milk-softened absinthe. It blows your socks off, in more ways than one.

Halloween costume rating: The fun one! This Halloween costume screams having a good time. A twist on a classic, this is perhaps a devilled egg or a poultrygeist.

Tesco Toffee Apple Muffins, £1

When Mr Kipling’s Apple Pies die, the Tesco Toffee Apple Muffins is where they go to haunt. Like a spectre in the fog, you can only just about taste the apple (or the baby food replacement for apple). However, despite not having particularly bold apple flavours, the toffee dough works well and the texture, helped by the crumbled biscuits, is pretty good.

Halloween costume rating: Adding a cat mask and tail to your best black dress does not a Halloween costume make. Still, at least a little bit of effort was put in.


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