Friday, June 17, 2011

Nestle Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters

Skinny Cow Dreamy ClustersSkinny Cow, the line of low fat ice cream made by Nestle, has come out with some candy which is also trying to position itself as being low calorie. In reality it’s just portion control.

I already reviewed the bars, called Heavenly Crisp, and today I’ll tackle their new Dreamy Clusters. The Dreamy Clusters come in dark chocolate and milk chocolate, but since I was buying a full box of these and they were $4.29 each, I only picked up one. (I’ve spent close to $15 on products for review this week, which is a bit steep for me when the average cost of a review item is about a buck.)

The package describes Dreamy Clusters as crunchy crisps and creamy caramel drenched in dark chocolate. That actually sounds fantastic. Kind of like a 100 Grand bar but in dark chocolate.

The box contains more than the wafer bars, there are six packets and each is just shy of one ounce. So the value is a bit better.

Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters

The ingredients start off pretty good for candy, but go a little awry after that:

Dark Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Rice Flour, Polydextrose, Maltitol, Vegetable Glycerin, Wheat Flour, Nonfat Milk, Butter, and less than 2% of: Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Cream, Milk Protein Isolate, Sugar, Baking Soda, Yeast, Barley Malt Extract, Palm Oil, Carrageenan (Vegetable Stabilizer), Soy Lecithin, Salt, Erythritol, Disodium Phosphate (Emulsifier), Caramel Color, Natural Flavor.

Maltitol & erythritol are sugar alcohols. They are less sweet than glucose, fructose or sucrose but also have a slightly cool effect on the tongue and can have some side effects (such as intestinal gas and a laxative effect). They don’t make up a large portion of the candy itself, but their presence means that the flavor and satisfaction may be affected.

Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters

The pieces themselves are quite small. But that’s no big deal if you think of them as tiny chocolates from an elegant box. I got five pieces in my bag, and I opened two bags. So I’m going to guess that’s the norm. (I also felt the other bags in the box and they seem to be the same, maybe I need to invest in a Candy Blog ultrasound machine.)

The packet that holds them is senselessly large - it’s five inches by four inches and each piece is about an inch in diameter. It does protect them, none of them were smashed though all were scuffed up.

Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters

The pieces smell great. They’re bumpy and though they vary in size, they’re pretty consistent in their construction. Each piece is made up of a caramel center with a dark chocolate coating studded with a crisped rice product. The caramel has a good pull, though it’s not a large reservoir, it only provides a small amount of chew and a large hit of salt. The dark chocolate coating is quite sweet but of good enough quality that it didn’t seem chalky or overly bitter. The main notes were raisins and a generic woodsy flavor. The crisps were salty, light and crunchy. They were bigger than the strange new things that they put in 100 Grand bars these days, so I found them pretty satisfying as a textural element. They didn’t have much of a malty cereal flavor.

Five pieces was actually satisfying. The portion sounds small (about half the mass of a Snicker or 3 Musketeers) but the fact that there were five pieces and they had a lot going on (especially if you bit them in half instead of popping them in your mouth whole) might make these a decadent little treat.

I’m annoyed by the use of the sugar alcohols and exceedingly long ingredients list. In a chocolate candy, sugar is not what racks up the calories, fat is. However, instead of substituting the inimitable cocoa butter for something else, they left it in, and just added the crisps which are part air and part lower-calorie fiber/carbs. The nutritional panel for these is decent enough - there’s actually 1 gram of protein and it says 3 grams of fiber.

It’s hard to give these a resounding endorsement because of my misgivings about their marketing (emaciated cows are appetizing?) and their ingredients. Also, the price is needlessly precious - you get half as much candy as a 100 Grand, but somehow it costs four times as much? (I’m basing that off of a $1.25 package of 8 fun size bars of 100 Grand which weights about 6 ounces.) However, these are nicely done for a candy marketed to dieters. They do taste good and without knowing that it’s “diet candy” I’d still eat them.

Related Candies

  1. Glico Pocky Cookie Crush
  2. Crisp Angell Organic Candy Bar
  3. Hawaiian Host Maui Caramacs
  4. Gimme Calcium
  5. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  6. Fling: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut
  7. 100 Grand Dark

Name: Skinny Cow Dark Chocolate Dreamy Clusters
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Gelson's (Silver Lake)
Price: $4.29
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:50 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewNestleCaramelChocolateCookieKosher7-Worth ItUnited States

  1. I feared you’d be able to taste the sugar alcohols. I think you’d have to eat a whole box to get enough of them for an upset stomach..but that’s always a possibility if they tasted this good.

    Comment by Rodzilla on 6/18/11 at 6:42 am #
  2. as always, another great review!  These sounds pretty darn good.


    Comment by Jonny on 6/18/11 at 8:28 am #
  3. Does anyone know how to get Dreamy Clusters (Dark Chocolate) in Canada? No retailers carry them and no online companies seem to ship them to Canada. It’s the weirdest thing.

    Comment by Sarah on 11/12/13 at 4:29 pm #
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