Food24 tastes: Malted chocolate balls – and we found our favourite
Careless Whispers: Which malted chocolate balls are the best?
Let’s talk about the fanciest, most snackable chocolate treat: the milk chocolate ball, filled with a light and crispy malt puff biscuit. We noticed recently that there are a few different brands available on South African shelves, so we set about tasting and comparing them.
Naturally, the Food24 team were thrilled to participate and we put in motion a complicated distanced taste test at our various homes across Cape Town.
We tested 6 samples of chocolate malt balls. We included the obvious contenders:
- Original UK Malteasers
- Cadburys Tumbles
- Woolworths Chuckles
- Mr Sweet
Where we did our shopping
We bought these samples from Spar, Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay.
A huge consideration was the price, as these chocolate balls tend to be more expensive than other chocolate confectionaries. The Tasters tasted all samples blind and were unaware of the brand or price while scoring.
Here are the scores from our tasters – scroll down for the winner!
6. Mister Sweet 4.6/10
Mister Sweet makes some of our favourite sweeties (Sour Worms, anyone?) but they failed to impress here with the chocolate balls. The quality of the chocolate was the weakness here with one Taster commenting: “Chocolate sheared off as you bit into it, and a thin coating of what was admittedly very disappointing chocolate.” while another noted, “Nice, just nice. Like a cup of tea. Nothing amazing to report here.”
Rumour has it that Mister Sweet produces some of the leading no-name chocolates for South Africa’s major retailers, but you didn’t hear it from us!
5. Regal 5.5/10
Regal, Checkers’ own brand for chocolate treats really impressed us with their Quality Street Christmas offering (so many green ones! Read it here: We tested Quality Street against two alternatives and an import – here’s our favourites) These definitely had a ‘budget chocolate’ taste, but we think they would be great as a cake decoration or in a Rocky Road mixture. Tasters said: “The chocolate is quite frankly unpalatable, waxy and leaves a dreadful aftertaste. The centre was flavourless. Really nasty taste in the mouth at the end.” Another Taster had other ideas, stating “Best malt flavour, best crunch”.
4. Maltesers 6 /10
Maltesers are the original malted chocolate ball, imported from the UK and with a price to match! We included them in this test, but they can be quite hard to find. We eventually sourced them at a well-stocked Spar. The appearance of these was dull and a bit dusty looking, which might be a result of having travelled so far.
Tasters said “Yoh, this malty centre is amazing! So much flavour. Great overall texture and flavour. My fave.” and another Taster was obviously taking this very seriously and pronounced “I find this one confusing. The centre has a lovely honey flavour but the texture is terrible – the centre is very crunchy and the chocolate falls apart with the first bite, which means you don’t have a cohesive, melt-in-your-mouth experience.”
3. Lindt 6.8/ 10
These are a little different, in that they don’t exactly have a malted puff centre but rather a puffed rice or corn combo (think breakfast cereal!). They are definitely the smallest of the treats, and the chocolate was undeniably the best quality. One Taster summed it up nicely: “Excellent chocolate but the centre is just weird!”. At this price, these are for real chocolate fans or if you are trying to impress someone.
2. Cadbury Whispers 7.7/ 10
Everyone loved this sample, and it’s obvious that Cadburys chocolate is the flavour profile that most South Africans identify with and can recognise. Tasters said: “Yummy centre – very malty flavour. Good thick coating of chocolate, and good crunch to the whole thing.” and, “A taste sensation. Like music to my tastebuds😋
My mouth knows this one, we are old friends.”
Many thought that these were the fancier Woolworths ones, so if you’re a fan of those ones maybe try Whispers at a lower price?
And the winner is:
1 Woolworths Chuckles 8.23/ 10
Sneaking ahead of Cadbury’s, Woolworths Chuckles take the prize! Tasters loved these, commenting “Classic. This is what the others are moulded on. Like the nutty tones in the malt. Yes please, more.”
The rules of Food24 Tastes:
– All tasters tasted and scored all 6 samples.
-The samples were tested at different times and locations to maintain social distancing/
– The samples were not labelled and tasted in random order.
– Each sample was rated on Texture and Mouthfeel, Taste of Centre and Taste of Chocolate.
– This article is not sponsored in any way, and Food24 was not paid to come to any particular result. Our taste tests are always unbiased and intended for your entertainment, however, you may have come to this article through various paid-for advertising.