Personal Shopper: Dark chocolate rice cakes
Dark chocolate rice cakes, writes Katy McGuinness, are the thinking person's sophisticated afternoon snack. But are they all created equal or are some versions better than others?
Bunalun Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes 9/10 (100g, Widely available, €2.29)
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These organic dark chocolate rice cakes from Irish company Bunalun were the favourite of our testers, a sophisticated bunch with many decades of afternoon snacking under their belts. The dark chocolate - which makes up 60pc of the ingredients by weight - has real depth of flavour, they said, and the rice itself is nutty and tasty. The only complaint was that they would have liked a tiny bit more chocolate, but they agreed that it's hard for there ever to be enough. 485 calories per 100g and 81 calories per rice cake.
LifeForce Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes 7/10 (100g, widely available, €2.49)
These dark chocolate rice cakes from Co Meath-based LifeForce Foods are made without added sugar and are suitable for diabetics. The dark chocolate coating - which makes up 50pc of the ingredients by weight and contains 54pc cocoa solids - is sweetened with xylitol, a natural plant-based sweetener, making these a good choice for anyone keeping a strict eye on sugar consumption. They are chewier and not as crisp as the Bunalun version. 412 calories per 100g and 69 calories per rice cake.
Dunnes Stores Chocolate Coated Rice Cakes 6/10 (Dunnes Stores, 135g, €1.89)
Our testers were disappointed with the lack of flavour in the chocolate coating on these rice cakes from Dunnes Stores, which makes up 60pc of the ingredients by weight. The rice cakes themselves are pleasant and less chewy than the LifeForce version. If quantity is more of a consideration than quality, there are eight rice cakes in the packet, compared to six in the others. The packet is also significantly cheaper than either Bunalun or LifeForce. 486 calories per 100g and 82 calories per rice cake.