9 December 2016

Christmas Gingerbread Teacakes (Marks & Spencer) By @Cinabar

We have put our Christmas decorations up and I am now in the full swing of Christmas spirit. So I apologise that this is the second gingerbread themed item in a week, but I am loving all the Christmas spices.
These new Gingerbread Teacakes are from Marks and Spencer and are part of the new Christmas range. They also have a gold shiny decoration on top so appeal to the part of me that likes a bit of Christmas novelty too. I can’t help it, they were shiny.
There are six teacakes in the packet, and the gold decorations are pretty on top but are essentially just sugar. These do add a nice bit of texture and crunch to each one. In fact those crunchy sugar sprinkles in combination with the chocolate, mallow and soft gingerbread do make a wonderfully diverse mix of textures that I thought was seriously satisfying.
The flavour of gingerbread was surprisingly strong. The ginger and spices were very warming and full on, with the mallow and chocolate complementing the fiery taste. I thought these were fantastic and I loved the fact they were a no holds barred approach to the flavour. There is no way you could miss the gingerbread with these, and all the Christmas flavours meant they are perfect for this time of year. A fab treat to be enjoyed with a nice cup of coffee, what better way to reward completion of your Christmas shopping.

8 December 2016

A KFC Christmas Experience (by @NLi10) @KFC @KFC_UKI

It's hard to get into the Christmas spirit these days, it seems that barely any stores are doing anything special to get us excited.  Thankfully Kentucky Fried Chicken - KFC - have created a seasonal (pun intended) delicacy to excite our tastebuds and make the wait for Christmas Morning that little more bearable.

Here Father Christmas's brown sack has a lovingly designed white box packed with all the trimmings.

One box is said to be 1270 kCal. After my mishaps with these numbers previously I decided to double check this. 1270 is however the real total, and it doesn't suggest that this is for the large which I had, and it shows corn in the picture and I had beans. It also has 77% of the recommended salt for the day - presuming that you don't even open the provided sachets! Because I learnt a new word this week I can suggest that the act of consuming this will be Obesogenic, but it's Christmas and nothing says Christmas like over-eating. 

Our lady of unrestricted calories provides for us one large portion of fries (no added salt, never added salt) a lovely little chicken bone, a tub of smokey beans, and our main event - a second box with the signature burger in.

So far it looks like a fillet tower burger. This used to be my go to at KFC until they invented the twister wraps, and then the burritos which are just the wraps with more salad and more rice and some kick-ass sauces. Did I mention KFC is my favourite guilty pleasure fast food restaurant? 

Inside we see that Santa has indeed been, and that there is red cranberry sauce atop the chicken burger. This is less than on the posters, but more than FB friends had suggested. I hadn't expected that to make much of a difference to things really, but the sweetness of the jam and the saltiness of the American yellow slice create a nicely varied bite. Is it almost too indulgent? I guess so, it's by no stretch of the Food triangle a balanced meal, and it really is a bountiful haul of calories, even before you factor in a giant full fat Pepsi and fries. This said, it really is for me a treat, and not something I could feel too bad about eating as a one off. The main effect of the ensemble was to remind me that I do quite like the original recipie chicken - something I'd never usually order these days - and that the burger was a nice change.

I jokingly suggested to colleagues that I could happily eat one of these meals every day up to Christmas, and while this was clearly a joke (KFC don't deliver and I'd struggle to get to a restaurant after my 7th or 8th day) I really do think I'll have a second one before Christmas. 

Other than providing parallels to the gradual fattening of Christmas I'm not sure that adding berry jam to a burger is enough to be a truly festive meal, but as an interesting experience and a talking point this works fairly well.  Merry Christmas Colonel, hope your cholesterol allows you to make it to the next one. 

7 December 2016

Cofresh Rice Sticks (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I’m always on the lookout for alternative snacks to crisps and nuts, especially with a bit of spice to warm me up at this time of year. This Indian chakri style spiced Rice Sticks from Cofresh seem to fit the bill. The crunchy bobbly sticks (see photograph) have quite a hot spice to them, eventhough they had a one chilli rating on the packet. With dominant flavours of ginger and green chilli, as well as other spices possible cinnamon and cumin. They have a deceptive heat about them as the full range of flavours hit my tastebuds first making my mouth water, and then the chilli burn filled my senses. After a few handfuls I could feel sweat building on my brow and nose. Definitely a winter warmer and there’s plenty in the packet to burn out your friends as an alternative snack during a Christmas buffet party. They weren’t oily to the touch so are good for grabbing. Perhaps have some cucumber raita on the side for dipping (or bathing in after several mouthfuls!) or failing that some mayonnaise.

Information on the packet;
300g at 143 calories per suggested 28g serving, with 7.3g of fat, 1.4g of sugar, and 0.5g of salt. Suitable for vegetarians, the ingredients are; rice flour (51%), vegetable oil (rapeseed oil), wheat flour, potato starch, ginger, sesame seeds, sugar, green chilli, vegetable ghee, spices, salt, and citric acid.

6 December 2016

Gingerbread Spice Chocolate (Rococo) By @Cinabar

Situated next to the rather fabulous Chester Grosvenor Hotel is a very beautiful chocolate shop. This particular shop is filled with so many intriguing items and flavour combinations that although the shop may be small you will find that you still need browsing time. The man behind the counter said I should take my time to take everything in before I make my selection. #pressure
Having nearly bought so many things I fell back on my usual plan, and asked him what was new, he showed me this chocolate bar and said it was their Christmas edition, phew, the decision was made.
Like the style of the shop the bar is very prettily packaged with its cute gingerbread men on the front. The inside of the card wrapper is also filled with information about the brand, and looks very smart. The pieces of chocolates are rectangles all with the brand name on them.
The chocolate looks dark, but is a milk chocolate with a rich 40% cocoa content. Cinnamon is a favourite spice of mine and this bar hit the mark perfectly, there was a rich warmth of spices as the ginger and nutmeg started, and the cinnamon lingered. These are the Christmas spices I love, and the seasonal twist was perfect for me and with those warming spices. I did think that there wasn't much flavour of biscuity gingerbread and went back to look at the pack, I had sort of missed that this bar was actually gingerbread spice, rather than gingerbread, which to be fair they nailed perfectly. Chester is quite far away for me to travel too, but when I'm next there I will make a point of visiting Rococo and picking up another interesting bar as a treat.

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