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Click pic to view comments Confirmed sighting: Home-made "Mars Christmas"
Posted: 09:35 Wed 10-12-2003. Price: A special prototype, it is... priceless!. Nutritional unusualness: The rich fruityness of Christmas in a kommon kandy koating.
"Kaptain Korolev" reports: The Kaptain carried out a dangerous experiment, it produced results. Go and view, view what the Kaptain has done on a cold Tuesday's eve in December... (go to Geocities page for original procedure, or see below for modern variation).

...Yes, in the wake of discussions on limited editions we'd like to see, the Kaptain has only gone and made his own Mars Christmas - described in his own words as "the same old chocolate bar but with marzipan replacing the toffee and fruit cake in place of the soft nougat". And washed down with a glass of Christmas Coke (coke with rum cake flavouring), no doubt. For those seeking more traditional blood-sugar boosting, "Mike Gray" meanwhile failed to provide photographic evidence of an "unspeakably huge" 39.99 Kraft Toblerone he saw in Wigan Tesco, reporting: It was like arriving in a small corner of the supermarket designed for giants, a place in which a mere mortal could no longer lift a mere Toblerone bar. It weighed an extraordinary 4.5kg. Sadly only available in milk chocolate, it was still an extraordinary sight to behold.


Posted: 09:53 Wed 10-12-2003 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: Not to detract from the Captain's achievement, but I wouldn't have used the microwave quite like that - if I have any luck with my approach this weekend I'll let everyone know...
Posted: 10:24 Wed 10-12-2003 by "Kaptain Korolev" # permalink comment
Comment: The Kaptain is unfortunately inexperienced in kandy-pie construction, he found it to be difficult, the chocolate not responding to his commands.

In the end the sight of the partially complete Mars Christmas gave the Kaptain kake hunger and he hurried to complete it's production. If he had taken a little more kare then perhaps things would have turned out differently.

The Kaptain eagerly awaits Snackspot's effort, The Kaptain will also perhaps try again...

Posted: 10:31 Wed 10-12-2003 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: Hey congratulations nevertheless K - whatever else is achieved in this field, history will remember you as the pioneer, with all others merely licking the recipe bowl of giants, so to speak.

On a similar note, how many varieties of Quality Street are available in supersize format now? Snackspotter Lee Maguire had an excellent idea where you could put a whole bowl of them next to the bed of someone who's just woken up from a coma, to make them think that they'd woken up in Gulliver's Travels or something.

Posted: 13:20 Wed 10-12-2003 by "charl" # permalink comment
Comment: i would like to question the kaptain as to his retainment of the caramel. was it laziness at the paucity of chocolate topping to be separated or was it functional?
Posted: 16:10 Wed 10-12-2003 by "Daveybaby" # permalink comment
Comment: To my mind the caramel is an important part of the Mars' contribution to the project. Otherwise you might just end up with boring old chocolate coated christmas cake (which, lets face it, we're all soooo tired of by now), instead of the majesty that is the Mars Christmas.
Posted: 16:20 Wed 10-12-2003 by "Daveybaby" # permalink comment
Comment: Oh, and i can confirm the existence of the stupidly large Toblerones. They've been around for quite a while now (at least 5-6 years by my reckoning) - they used to have them in the Hasting Tescos a few years back, though i havent seen them for a while.

I dont have any pictures what i took myself, but a cursory google produced http://www.yap.com.au/artcomp/peoplechoice.php which has a picture of a giant toblerone at the bottom, surrounded by what can only be described as teenage girls stroking it as if it were a giant phallus. Or maybe thats just my take on things.

The only thing which has ever stopped my buying one (apart from the sheer embarrasment of carrying it to the checkout) is - how the hell do you break off a triangle? Its hard enough with the normal large ones if theyve been in the fridge - but you'd need a sledgehammer to dent that beast.

Posted: 16:30 Wed 10-12-2003 by "Alex" # permalink comment
Comment: theres the Big Green One, The Toffee Stick, The Purple One and I think red for Quality street.

Any confirmation on the availabilty of Liquorice Skittlees in poundland?

Posted: 17:01 Wed 10-12-2003 by "charl" # permalink comment
Comment: ah, hastings tesco. the only supermarket i've been in with incumbent pigeons.
Posted: 19:18 Wed 10-12-2003 by "Kaptain Korolev" # permalink comment
Comment: The Kaptain replies to Charl about the retained karamel:

The Kaptain left the karamel intact as he felt it was needed for the Mars Christmas to be a bona-fide Mars-Kandy. Without the sticky karamelo the Mars Christmas would be nothing more that chocolate coated Christmas kake slice. Something would have been missing....

The Kaptain encourages everyone to have a go and enjoy 'The Taste of Christmas'

Posted: 19:21 Wed 10-12-2003 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: but be careful if taking yours abroad - fruitcakes are "dense and could hide a weapon": http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/12/10/Consumers/fruitcake031210
Posted: 19:27 Wed 10-12-2003 by "charl" # permalink comment
Comment: agreed, i was just querying your original plan. i don't think it's feasible to do in a low carb style (peanutbutter, glue and a chocolate laxative coating maybe...). boo.
Posted: 05:32 Thu 11-12-2003 by "Adrian" # permalink comment
Comment: fantastic! that should inspire a spinoff - a site that showcases repurposed and reimagined snacks. I'll nominate my Anazac Bickies made from Bounty and Rolled Oats...
Posted: 09:44 Thu 11-12-2003 by "BigD" # permalink comment
Comment: Not as mad as you think. Burtons were trialling Fruit & Spice Wagon wheels a couple of years ago, and as we were testing them in house they had normal wrappers on them, I can't describe the shock of expecting a normal wagon wheel and getting a christmas pud in chocolate ...
Posted: 13:30 Thu 11-12-2003 by "Kaptain Korolev" # permalink comment
Comment: An idea..... the Kaptain could become a Mars Christmas vigilante!

He would modify Mars bars into Mars Christmas' and then re-seal them in their original wrappages. These primed taste bombs would then be planted in deserving locations to give kandy-kustomers a festive thrill-taste. The kandy-kustomers would be over joyed demand more of this treat-taste from Mars who would be forced to start production! A win for all.

The Kaptain would admittedly have to improve his product techniques particularly in the field of the visual aesthetics before such a plan could 'come together' in the words of George Peppard.

Posted: 18:56 Fri 12-12-2003 by "Anna" # permalink comment
Comment: Alex - Liquorice Skittles spotted in Poundland, Sheffield (11/12/2003) - 5 packs for £1!

I would have bought some but liquorice makes me want to vomit....

Posted: 21:59 Sun 14-12-2003 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: New Mars Christmas-making process! Step 1 - Assemble ingredients (slices of fruit cake, 150g bar of Galaxy, bag of toffees):

Step 2 - Melt toffees (2 per "bar"?) by putting them on a plate over some boiling water or something (caution, steam will be *extremely* hot!):

Step 3 - Drizzle the semi-liquid toffee onto the cake slices, and leave to harden (don't worry too much about how it looks at this stage, as the toffee will smoothen itself out as it cools):

Step 4 - Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in microwave (keep stirring and don't microwave it for more than a few seconds at a time, or it will start to burn - really).

Then "paint" the molten chocolate onto the sides and top of the bars with a knife (to be honest, this was the trickiest bit, as bits of the cake kept breaking off into the chocolate, and I was trying to do it in a bit of a hurry - as I thought the chocolate would solidify again - but in fact it stayed molten for ages):

Step 5: Yes, in that picture, they do look a bit like monsters from Dr Who. But stick them in the fridge for a few hours until the chocolate hardens, then take them out and enjoy!

Posted: 12:50 Mon 15-12-2003 by "Kaptain Korolev" # permalink comment
Comment: But where, the Kaptain wonders, is the the marzipan. Marzipan is the foundation of the Christmas cake, the Mars Christmas cannot be complete without it!

The Kaptain commends snackspot though for his superb piece of kandygineering. Snackspot seems to have a skill with the kake and pie, the Kaptain does not.

In the third image the chocolate coated kandy-treats look like small creatures. The Kaptain can imagine a scenario where he would chase these small kandy creatures around the landscape and catch them with a spear.

Posted: 13:30 Mon 15-12-2003 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: Cheers for the comments, K - and sorry about the marzipan, which didn't come as part of the original cake, and I don't like very much in any case. In fact, some of the test subjects I tried it out on commented (after finally managing to chew through the toffee layer) "Thank god you left out the marzipan, nobody likes that bit anyway" ;)

I, too, was broadly pleased with the results - until I reached the chocolate "enrobing" stage, the spectacular results of which you can see above. I think it was my overconfidence at this stage that led to my downfall, or as Jeff Goldblum puts it in Jurassic Park - "The complete lack of humility for nature that's being displayed here is staggering..."

Posted: 16:27 Tue 16-12-2003 by "Nebbish" # permalink comment
Comment: Has anyone else noticed that women love marzipan? It's like catnip to them. I'm thinking of taking a block out with me when I go clubbing.
Posted: 17:59 Fri 19-12-2003 by "Saramond" # permalink comment
Comment: That's cause it's sweet! Mars Christmas idea rocks Kaptain, will be making some myself (with marzipan!)
Posted: 21:48 Fri 19-12-2003 by "Kaptain Korolev" # permalink comment
Comment: Yes, the Kaptain likes the delicious marzipan and feels it to be one of the most important components of Mars Christmas.

On the evening of Christmas day when the Kaptain enjoys a slice of a fine Christmas kake he will make sure he is the one who first cut-a-cuts at the kake's soft icing. In this way the Kaptain can secure for his eating pleasure the greatest piece of the kake for the marzipan lover, an edge piece. Around the edges of the kake the marzipan and icing also coats the sides of as well as the top surface. Thus for the given mass of kake-pie the Kaptain receives a much higher ratio of marzipan:fruit kake.

Tomorrow the Kaptain will go shopping for a Christmas kake, the marzipan being the factor that decides his purchase.

Posted: 22:31 Fri 19-12-2003 by "euroGenie" # permalink comment
Comment: Kaptain, why not try to reverse-engineer the original bar. after cooling cut off the bottom chocolate, empty the nougat out. first replace it with a strip of marzipan, then add the cake (press it in!). i guess the bottom chocolate will fuse enough when back at room temperature...
Posted: 21:35 Sat 20-12-2003 by "Cederic" # permalink comment
Comment: Just to confirm on the toblerone spotting: In November 1996 I purchased a 4.5 kilo Toblerone bar in Wolverhampton.

I ate some in Wolves, some in Epsom and some in Slough. It took me until January to finish it.

To give you an ideal of scale, each individual Toblerone triangular segment was somewhere approaching ten inches on each side, with a width of four inches at the base. Even the tip of the triangle/pyramid was big enough to fill your mouth.

That was a quality bar of chocolate. I wish more firms would make bars of such size.


Posted: 07:04 Mon 22-12-2003 by "Adam" # permalink comment
Comment: I haven't noticed that women love marzipan, in fact, the converse. My sister hates marzipan. She says she can't stand the "fake taste of real almonds". I, however, am not a woman, and I love marzipan. I must agree with the Kaptain that the corner pieces are best.

Incidentally, mad props to the Kaptain for his pioneering work. If there was a Nobel Prize For Chocolate, he'd be a shoe-in!

Posted: 15:17 Mon 22-12-2003 by "Alex" # permalink comment
Comment: Thanks Anna! No avail though in Wakefield. But its relatvely near Sheffield.
Posted: 18:06 Mon 22-12-2003 by "Gonzo" # permalink comment
Comment: They've got the giant Toblerone at Clifton Moor 24hr Tesco in York, too.

Or at least they did last week. I saw two Tesco employees having some difficulty hefting the sizable confections onto a shelf.

Posted: 22:32 Tue 23-12-2003 by "Swoosh" # permalink comment
Comment: I had a giant Toblerone a few years back - or rather, my brother & his wife did - I got two chunks, which took several days to gnaw away at. Appalingly bad for the teeth, but a real feeling of achievement on finishing them!
Posted: 13:32 Fri 26-12-2003 by "Lozzy-G" # permalink comment
Comment: Giant Toblerone. Yes. I've had one (well, part of one, over a period of several months) and can confirm that it is a genuine challenge to separate a segment from the bar without cheating and using power tools. Simply wrapping both hands round the peak of the segment mountain and heaving (with a sturdy person at the other end of a toblerone) can render you upside-down and possibly unconscious at the far end of the room, proudly clutching your piece of choc. Only real tactic is a subtle chiselling, or a hacksaw. The fun alone makes it good value ! Woolies is a good place to find these, wherever you are.
Posted: 19:45 Fri 26-12-2003 by "bob" # permalink comment
Comment: i have got a 5kg bar of cadbury and a jelly baby that was 1 meter high
Posted: 12:01 Tue 30-12-2003 by "AMoulder" # permalink comment
Comment: It's not the size of your jelly baby, bob - it's what you do with it that counts
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