Scrolling through my Instagram feed one Sunday morning, I came across a post about custom made chocolate by Chocolab. I slammed the brakes on my scrolling finger and decided to stop and take a look.
Yes, my eyes were not deceiving me, I could order chocolate with various mix in’s based on whatever my heart desired. And I certainly desired some things!
Whilst I was on holiday in Hawaii recently, my first stop upon clearing customs was to find some U.S. chocolate! I’m a sucker for anything peanut butter based and I had plenty to choose from. After diligent research, I eventually awarded the Take 5 chocolate my favourite US chocolate. It had peanut butter, but also caramel, pretzels and peanuts and was a delicious mix of salty and sweet, soft but crunchy.
On my last day in Hawaii I headed to Walmart and Foodland to stock up on treats to bring home. I had to throw out a lot of clothes to bring about 5kg of chocolate home in my luggage! This included 16 Take 5 bars, which I admit to eating many of them, but I also gave a few out to my peanut butter fan friends. I now have only one left and I’m saving it for a really special (unknown) occasion.
So when I saw that Chocolab can make me something with similar ingredients, I knew that I was definitely placing an order. When you log on to their website, you pick from milk, white or dark chocolate and from there you can add a number of treats to mix in and they have a lot of variety to choose from.
To somewhat replicate the Take 5, I picked milk choc, with pretzels, peanut butter cups and peanut butter drops.
Another chocolate I love is a Whittaker’s chocolate that we don’t have here in Australia, which is White Raspberry. A Kiwi friend gave me some once which was a big mistake for her as she now needs to supply me with a fix every time she goes home.
To replicate this choc, I picked the white choc and looked for freeze dried raspberries, but the site only referenced ‘raspberries’ so I wasn’t sure if they were freeze dried and crisp like the Whittaker’s block. Instead I picked ‘freeze dried strawberries’ and then freestyled it a bit adding Nice biscuit pieces and toasted coconut chips.
Both blocks were about $10 each and I also added a double dipped choc coated Oreo for $1.50 and a white choc coated strawberry Oreo for $1.00. Postage was $7. Which to others that I told about my order seemed extreme, but to a foodie I think price is often not an issue…unless there are issues.
And so I waited. Eagerly. And waited. And waited… Toward the end of the week that I placed the order, I received an email apologising for the delay saying that they were swamped with orders and were gearing up with staff to manage the workload. They promised extra chocolate in my delivery to compensate. Ok, I’m cool with that. But then I waited some more.
After two weeks passed I was getting annoyed seeing all their posts on Instagram and Facebook of their creations when mine still hadn’t arrived. How about less photo taking and more chocolate making guys!!! I enquired about the delay and was told that my order was going out the next day.
Three days later my order arrived and as I walked out of the post office with it, I couldn’t help but think that the box looked smaller and was lighter than I imagined +$20 worth of chocolate would be. Then I realised in my absolute excitement about the concept that I hadn’t even looked at the weight of the chocolate block I would be getting before ordering. I get home and bust the package open and I’m disappointed. After waiting so long, my parcel was underwhelming.
The blocks were small. I weighed both of them and the white one was just 93 grams including packaging despite the label indicating 119 grams. The milk one was 113 grams, but again the label said higher at 152 grams.
My free ‘compensation’ chocolate was those 3.5 little squares of cookies and cream chocolate pictured. I was not impressed. Chocolate is an impulse purchase, you don’t want to be waiting close to 3 weeks for it. Nothing I order online these days takes more than a week to get here, often from overseas too.
I opened it all up and cut it up to try a little bit of everything and I have to say it was amazing! The Belgium chocolate is great quality and the combinations that I had picked worked really well.
I have noticed people commenting on some of Chocolab’s Facebook posts about the choc being too expensive and that ‘you could do it yourself’ much cheaper. Yes, you could but do you really want to buy all those ingredients for a little chocolate fix?
I also know that if I saw those blocks out at a market or an event like the good food and wine show, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay $10 for a block that was totally different to something I can get in Woolworths. But whilst waiting for my order, I happened to see choc coated Oreos for $2.50 a packet. This aggravated me more!
But all in all, I loved the choc and everyone that tried it did too, but the delivery delay overshadowed the experience. They obviously got too popular too fast. Who would have thought that would be a bad thing for a new business?!
Would I try them again, probably not, but if you are curious and have a choc combination craving that needs to be satisfied, perhaps you should give it a go as it truly was delicious. Hopefully they have their supply issues ironed out by now.