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Commercial Meal Taste Off: Chocolate Desserts + DIY Version

Dessert to me is something that is essential for hiking. Often the thought of what I’ll be fixing will keep me going the last mile or two on long days. So needless to say I like good desserts!

So recently we tried out a couple commercial desserts that are similar and also have an easy DIY version to make on your own farther down.

The competitors:

Alpine Aire’s Chocolate Hazelnut Bavarian Cream, weighing 4 ounces for $4.98:


Mary Jane’s Organic Bavarian Chocolate Mousse, weighing 5.1 ounces for $6.10.

Each are prepared in a similar fashion: add cold water and stir well, then let sit till the mix sets/thickens. Serve up and eat. There are some real differences though. The Alpine Aire version has a considerable amount of fat due to the chopped Hazelnuts added, where as the Mary Jane is nearly fat free. The pouch sizes are considerable as well. The MJ one is easy to handle when mixing up the dish, the AA one requires a long handled spoon and knowing your knuckles will get covered. On both you need to knock the corners to get all the powder mixed, the AA has bigger corners to trap more mix.

The end results are both make a pudding dish that have an odd airiness – which if one has mousse at home, the mousse is lightly textured, not pudding like. Still, it is fine for eating.

As for the taste of the two, the Mary Jane is the winner – it is cleaner and simpler tasting. Though it has an “organic” flavor and is not as sweet. My issue with the AA one was the Hazelnuts were overpowering – I like them, but maybe a bit less. It also did not get as thick as the MJ one.

Now onto what I would do instead of buying a dessert! Make it myself! Not only will it make more, it costs a lot less.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding

In a quart freezer or storage bag:

1 4-serving box of instant chocolate pudding

2/3 cup instant milk (preferably full fat Nido brand)

Also bring:

2 Tablespoons Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread

1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Add to the bag 2 cups cold water and seal the bag tightly, pushing out most of the excess air. Shake the bag for a good 2 minutes, making sure there is no powder in the corners. Open the bag and stir in the Nutella spread. Seal the bag up tightly and stash somewhere cold (a protected spot in a cold creek, river, lake or snowbank). Let set up for 15 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the chocolate chips and dish up.

Serves 1 to 4 piggies for dessert.