Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Original Chocolat Suisse Absinthe Surfin [Swiss Chocolate, Very Fine] (Switzerland)



Ok, I’ll admit I had quite a few interesting chocolate bars brought back from Switzerland for me for this Christmas, not just the Lindt Zimt & Koriander [Cinnamon and Coriander Seed] one I reviewed earlier.

This one is a dark chocolate with an Absinthe(!) filling. The bar has little sweetness; it is dark chocolate with a (very) strong bitter alcohol flavour. The liquor flavour mixed with the chocolate makes for an almost nutty taste. The alcohol had crystallised with the chocolate giving that light crunch synonymous with liquor chocolates. This chocolate is perhaps too strong for scoffing, but really good to share and well worth tasting!

Expect a few more Swiss bars in the near future!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Bahlsen Stollen Bratapfel [Baked Apple] Filling (Selfridges)


I have written about Stollen before, the traditional seasonal German cake. When found in the UK Stolen usually has a marzipan (sometimes described as almond paste) filling, but this one is a little different. This Stollen has a fruity filling with the flavours of baked apple, i.e. apple, cinnamon, orange and lemon.

The cake itself is moist and the apple and citrus flavours blend well with the fruit cake. The jam centre is very tasty and the idea of the ‘baked apple’ flavours make for a nice seasonal winter warming feel. It’s very different to regular Stollen, but very enjoyable.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Lindt Lindor Truffles (House of Fraser)


I found a bowl of these as part of the Christmas nibbles that were around this year. Each one has a hard shell of chocolate filled with a luxurious truffle. There are five colours, (the first three of which are remarkably similar).

Red – Milk Chocolate
Orange – Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Brown – Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut
Blue – Dark Chocolate
Yellow – White Chocolate

Each truffle is very smooth and creamy, and there is something very satisfying about cracking the shell and realising the filling which just melts in the mouth.

I would like to make a specific note of the peanut butter flavour, which is just too good for words. Peanut butter fans this is the fix you’ve been looking for!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Lindt Zimt & Koriander [Cinnamon and Coriander Seed] (Switzerland)


This was brought back from someone visiting Switzerland, I’ve not seen it here in the UK, which is a shame as I’d have thought the warming flavours would be a good seller in Winter.

The packet promises a taste adventure of spices, mixed into dark Lindt chocolate, and the bar does not disappoint. The chocolate is 47% cocoa, and as such is quite sweet and it mingles well with the ‘hot cross bun’ flavour of the spices. One of the people tasting this bar said a phrase which summarised it perfectly “Christmas in a chocolate”!

Come on Lindt, don’t forget your UK market, don’t keep this all just for the Swiss!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Ferrero Collection


Look what I found in my Christmas stocking!!!

Some time ago I told you about Ferrero Rondnoir, Ferrero Roche’s darker side! I was keen then to try Ferrero Garden, the white chocolate version, but had never seen it on its own.

Still not to worry, I received this lovely Ferrero selection box for Christmas, giving me the opportunity to finally try Ferrero Garden, as well as enjoy the traditional Ferrero Roche and indulge again in Ferrero Rondnoir.


Ferrero Garden starts with an almond coated in a coconut creamy fondant, inside a spherical biscuit, which has then been coated in white chocolate and dipped in coconut. It works really well, the crunch and the delicate flavours of white chocolate and coconut really work.

The selection box is wonderful, and I honestly couldn’t choose a favourite.

With these, Ferrero are really spoiling us!

Friday, 26 December 2008

Taste the Difference Heritage Christmas Pudding (Sainsbury’s)

Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday, festivities got the best of me. I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

Anyway, here is a belated post. As part of our Christmas dinner we naturally had a Christmas pudding for desert.

Upon opening the packet, we found a threepenny bit to bring luck to whoever it was given too. Interesting though that it should be ‘given’ rather than discovered in the pudding, which would have been a choking hazard!


It was a lovely rich pudding, full of fruit and nuts and very enjoyable, went down with some brandy sauce and I would happily buy it again next year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Lindt Santa - Sleigh


Wow, I have been given this as an early Christmas prezzie… isn’t it gorgeous?
A bag of Lindt choccies, on board a wooden sleigh, with a chocolate Father Christmas and a chocolate reindeer.

Very seasonal, and no I can’t review the chocolate yet, as I haven’t opened it!
But it does remind me to…

Wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!
Have a good one everyone!!!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Kshocolât Chilli Almonds


I was given these to try as they apparently have an interesting flavour. The packet describes them as a whole almond, dusted in chilli powder and coated in milk chocolate. They certainly sound like a taste experience and having now had one I can confirm they really are an ‘experience’.

Placing the chocolate in my mouth, the first taste is that of good quality milk chocolate delicately beginning to melt. Taking a first chew there is no noticeable chilli, just the flavours almond and chocolate. Then upon further chewing the subtle hint of chilli starts to come through. Then a stronger chilli sensation appears, and suddenly out of nowhere somebody threw a Molotov cocktail into my mouth, and I had to run for water screaming “Fire, Fire, Fire!!!!” Oh my, how they burn.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Santa Cake (Sainsbury’s)



Christmas is practically here and we have cracked open our Christmas cake. It’s a very nicely decorated cake, with Santa in the snow on top, with a selection of other iced decorations.

The cake itself has a rich fruitcake base, full of raisins and cherry pieces, this is coated in a layer of marzipan, and a thick layer of icing. It has very traditional flavours and is a lovely moist cake, with good quality icing. All in all I’m very pleased with this cake.

One thing though, the packing makes the claim “serves 24” but I can’t help thinking they would have to be twenty-four very meagre pieces.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème (Corner Shop)


Hershey’s isn’t one of my favourite chocolates; I always think the chocolate has a sour edge that doesn’t live up to my sweetness expectations. I have seen this bar a few times and always dismissed it because of the make. However Spectre and I popped into the local shop to pick up a bar of choccie to eat in the car. I spent ages choosing, and Spectre asked what the problem was, and I retorted that I couldn’t see anything new or different. He picked up this Hershey’s bar and asked if I’d every tried it before I said no, and before I had chance to comment it was paid for and in the bag…

I am very glad he did choose it too… it is absolutely gorgeous. No hint of sour, just creamy sweet white chocolate and mini bits of dark (Oreo style) biscuit to add texture and to complement the taste. The strong cocoa in the biscuit bits just work so well with the sweet creamy white chocolate. It is really, very nice. Even non Hershey fans will find it hard to resist.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Lily O’Briens Sticky Toffee Chocolate (Sainsbury’s)


This bar of milk chocolate is filled with a ‘sticky toffee’ liquid centre.

Those regular readers amongst you will be aware I have quite a sweet tooth. I like bitter flavours, but I know I have a bitterness limit. This is the first time I have reached my sweetness limit.

Honestly, the sweet milky chocolate and the overly sweet filling made for a sweetness overload! I had to resort to eating this occasionally and in small chunks. Now for a phrase I don’t often use but it does in my opinion describe this exactly – “sickly sweet”. Shame. Cadbury’s Caramel is a very similar concept, but that works perfectly.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Gewürz Spekulatius [Spice Spectacular Biscuits] (German Market - Birmingham)




I have barely done the German market this year, (mainly as I used to have a job that allowed easy access to the city centre, and now I work much closer to home). Spectre did bring these biscuits back for me, so that I’m not missing out completely.

These are what I would describe as biscuits for dunking. They are a hard biscuit and taste of Christmas spices such as ginger and cinnamon. Very tasty, and the bag is jam packed with loads of biccies. They are perfect for sharing over tea or coffee this Christmas.

I’m not sure they are actually an official Christmas biscuit though… the designs on them range from what looks like a goose, through to an elephant? I have no idea what the significance of these images are, can anyone shed some light on them?

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Taste The Difference Spicy Chinese Chicken Flavour Crisps (Sainsbury’s)



There is something very nice about crisps that taste like the flavour on the packet. It may sound like a simple request, but there are numerous examples that if you were given them blind and asked to describe the flavour you wouldn’t get anywhere near the wording on the packet.

That is why I like the Taste The Difference range, I always find they don’t disappoint. These crisps are crunchy, thick cut (but not too thick) and have a gorgeous flavour. They had a lovely tang, and I really could taste sticky Chinese chicken wings. Heaven.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Stir It Up… Dark Chocolate Mint Stirrers (Marks and Spencer)


I wrote recently about chocolate stirrers for hot chocolate and that now winter is here they are readily available again. The idea being that you stir an extra chunk of chocolate in your cocoa to make it extra nice.

Anyway, last year Hotel Chocolat stocked flavoured chocolate stirrers, for example their yummy praline flavoured sticks. This year I have searched high and low for any sort of flavoured stirrers, and had just about given up. Many places stock milk or plain chocolate ones, but anything more exciting than that seems near impossible to find.

So when I did finally discover that Marks and Spencers stock dark chocolate mint stirrers, I felt obliged to let you all know. Heavenly they are too, adding a good shot of mint, and really jazzing up the most basic of hot chocolate drinks.

On the packaging it states “Perfect for After Dinner Coffee”. Just as a side comment, I have tried these as it suggests in coffee, and although it does add good flavour, they don’t dissolve as well as they do in Hot Chocolate. Perhaps they would work best in a milk based coffee such as a latte, in my water based coffee I found chocolate mint sludge at the bottom of my mug!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Mr Porky - Pork Crunch (BP Garage)


Pork Scratchings seem to be a much underestimated snack, they just don’t seem to be very 'in' at the minute, which is such a shame. This claims to be pork rind, I’m not sure of the exact definition of pork scratchings, but to me this product meets that same description.

It’s hard to describe these as they are; light, yet solid; crunchy, but they melt in your mouth. I guess it is because they are aerated with bubbles.

I may not be sure of the science but the texture is spot on. The flavour too is lovely, meaty, nicely seasoned and not overly salty. They are a very nice snack and worth giving a try.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Doritos Collisions Chicken Sizzler and Zesty Salsa (Sainsbury’s)


A product for the indecisive! If you spend time trying to choose between Chicken or Salsa flavour corn chips, why not buy a bag with both. This is not two separate bags stuck together, but one bag with both flavours mixed up.

It’s a curious idea, but I can confirm that both varieties are really nice. They both have a distinctive flavour, the Chicken Sizzlers do have a meaty barbecue seasoning and the Zesty Salsa has a tangy tomato edge. Both are very nice!

If you don’t like surprises and you look closely at the Doritos you can tell the flavours apart by their colour!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Treo Cocoa [Brown] -7 Days (Home Bargains)



How can two different chocolate bars have the same name? How can there not be some identifier in the title? You know like ‘Mars Dark’ or ‘Maltesers White’ or ‘KitKat Caramac’ mmmm… (I may have distracted myself a little).

So this is the sister bar of the Treo I review yesterday, and yes it does have the same name. Note the packaging is different, but the name is the same!

The bar is different to the “Blue” as it is covered in delicious chocolate, but it still has the same wafer and cocoa spread inside. I found yesterdays bar a little dry, but it is amazing how much difference the chocolate coating makes. This bar just melts in the mouth. I can’t really explain why there is such a contrast when the bars are so similar, but there is, and this is the superior bar!

“I want a Trio and I want one now!”

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Treo Cocoa [Blue] -7 Days (Home Bargains)


Anyone remember the bar in the Eighties called Trio, well this is entirely unrelated, but has still made the jingle “I want a Trio and I want one now” get stuck in my head.

Treo consists of five layers of wafer, and four layers of cocoa spread in between. The bar itself is nicely presented, as the stripes do look attractive. Unfortunately I found this bar a little dry, as the there is just a little too much wafer, and not quite enough cocoa spread.

Eagle eyed readers will be wondering why there is the word [Blue] in the title of this item, well it is because there is a second slightly different Treo bar available, with (as far as I can see) no distinguishable difference in name or make, except the packaging is brown not blue. This review will follow shortly!

Now everyone sing along… “Not one, not two, but three three three, I want a Trio and I want one now!”

Friday, 12 December 2008

Heilemann Confiserie Praline-Tafel Himbeer Balsamico [Raspberry and Balsamic Vinegar Chocolate] (Germany)



Another treat from abroad, and sadly this isn’t a bar I have seen in the UK. I’ve tried quite a few strange combinations, from salt and chocolate through to pepper and chocolate. It seems only fitting then that I continue with condiments and try vinegar! (Not malt vinegar though; this chocolate has the sweeter Balsamic vinegar as a filling.)

The chocolate itself is dark and bitter, the raspberry filling is sweet and the balsamic vinegar adds sharpness. As a combination it is definitely a success, although is a chocolate bar that is best enjoyed in small chunks as the flavours are quite strong. Worth keeping an eye out for.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Goes Minty (Sainsbury’s)


It wasn’t too long ago I was telling you about Terry’s White Chocolate Orange and Terry’s Chocolate Orange Nut. I wasn’t keen on the nut flavour one (odd, as I am a nuts fan) but I just didn’t think it mixed too well with the orange.
I have to say I did have a short moment of worry when I saw this, because I thought to myself that it might be orange and mint – which would be just wrong. Thankfully though Terry’s didn’t make that mistake!
A simple combination of plain chocolate and fresh mint make for a far more enjoyable treat. The strength of the mint is similar to that of After Eights, and, after much consideration, I have decided I like this far more than a regular Chocolate Orange. It’s so nice!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Mrs Bridges Orange Marmalade and Honey (Black Country Living Museum)


I sense this bear spent the morning trying to decide on a topping for his toast.

Marmalade or Honey? Honey or Marmalade?

When he found this jar the solution became obvious:

Marmalade AND Honey!!!!

It’s a curious mix, and it isn’t something I’ve seen before. The bitter tang from the marmalade mixes with the sweetness of the honey and the flavours work amazing well together. A simple idea, with a wonderful result! I just can’t believe it isn’t readily available everywhere.
I picked this up from a day trip to the Black Country Living Museum, but if you see a jar - buy it, you won't regret it!!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Reese's Nutragous (Sainsbury’s)


Did anyone spot the curiosity in the title of this item? Well, it’s an American import bar, but it’s not being sold by an import shop, or even a department store, it’s being sold in Sainsbury’s. It surprised me as it isn’t usually so easy to find Reese sweets and chocolate. I have previously found Reese's Pieces, and have tried a few other Reese's products, but Nutragous is new to me.

The bar itself consists of a generous portion of thick gooey chewy caramel, with whole peanuts pressed into it and then coated in milk chocolate. It is a very satisfying meaty bar that you really can get your teeth into. Thumbs up!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Bahlsen – Lebkuchen Mischung Biscuits (Waitrose)



There is a correlation between Christmas and Germany. City centres have German markets at Christmas, and supermarkets fill themselves with German treats the second the calendar hits December! Thankfully supermarkets do, because it means Lebkuchen are available in the shops.
Lebkuchen (literally “love-cookies”) are a traditional spicy German biscuit.
These particular ones are both cinnamon and ginger flavoured, and are soft and spongy. They are very pretty biscuits, either decorated with icing, dark chocolate, or coloured sugar.
The ones that are coated in icing melt in the mouth, the coloured sugar adds texture, and the spices complement the dark chocolate ones so well… I honestly can’t choose a favourite.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses (Sainsbury’s)


Galaxy has brought this out as their Christmas bar. Three ‘kisses’ to be precise, i.e. three pyramid type chunks of lovely galaxy chocolate, part filled with caramel and part filled with a chocolaty mousse. The mousse and the caramel are on either side of the pyramid, rather than on top of each other, the idea being that you can experience both fillings. To be honest though it does all blend into one really. This is not a bad thing, creamy chocolate, sweet caramel and chocolate mousse, of course it works! Very tasty, but the three chunks make you feel more obliged to share, and so left me wanting more!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Hellama - Madonna’s Hazlenut Cream Biscuits


A jam-less jammy dodger? Well yes, it’s a jammy dodger style biscuit as designed by someone who prefers nuts and chocolate! (I personally feel there is a place for both!)
Essentially it’s a cocoa infused biscuit, with a layer of regular biscuit on top, cushioned between the two layers is hazelnut cream, and it bursts through the top too.

The biscuit has a good bite, and the praline-like filling is sweet, creamy and nutty and goes very nicely with the other flavours. These are lovely and very morish!!!

These aren’t a make I’d seen before, wonder if Madonna likes them?

Friday, 5 December 2008

Divine Dried Sliced Mango’s (Waitrose)

Take a slice of dried mango, add a good coating of Divine’s 70% dark chocolate, and surely you have a recipe for success? Well, I wasn’t fussed by them to be honest. The chocolate is the usual good quality you would expect from Divine, but the mango is dried, so not as sweet as it could be, and it is also a little chewy. Not bad, but nothing to write home about.

(There is a funny thing about dried fruit loosing its sweetness, I have had tried unsweetened banana before now that has barely been identifiable as not being potato).

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Taste the Difference – Slow Cooked Beef and Norfolk Ale (Sainsbury’s)


So I bit into one of these crisps, and could taste a very distinctive fine beef casserole. The flavour was very meaty, herby and had a hint of garlic. There is saltiness too, but it isn’t overpowering. Really enjoyed these crisps, the texture is nice, they aren’t as thick cut as some, but the quality is good. I think these might be a special ‘limited edition’ just for the Christmas season, but it is hard to tell exactly what ‘limited edition’ means; maybe they are just trialling a new flavour? If they are, these should be for keeps!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Percol Fairtrade Instant Hot Chocolate (Home Bargains)




Well we have another contender for the quest for the perfect instant hot chocolate. This is made by Percol, and is a fair-trade product.

It mixed up very easily, and had a slight froth of bubbles on top. In terms of taste it was very similar to the the Co-operative Fairtrade Low Calorie hot chocolate I wrote about a little while ago. It had the same wheat like after taste that was distinct in that particular drink. A wholesome grown-up flavour, but I personally prefer hot chocolate which is a little more sweet.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Penguin Wafer – (Sainsbury’s)


It’s been a while since I saw ‘New’ and ‘Penguin’ on the same packet! But it’s not a new flavour of the Penguin biscuit bars, it’s a whole new style of Penguin biscuit. In fact the regular biscuit has been replaced with wafer so they are a very different type of snack. Don’t worry, the distinctive Penguin chocolate fondant filling is still present, which is just as well. Am I the only one that thinks the filling is almost cool in temperature? The usual milk chocolate is still there too and it combines very well with the new addition of chocolate flavoured wafer. Surprisingly good!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Kinder - Day 1 of My advent calendar!!!




I had a mini egg consisting of milk chocolate which coated a creamy nutty centre. Yummy! No picture inside the advent calendar though, bit disappointed by that.

Monster Munch vs Monster Munch – Roast Beef



Well, it’s the review we’ve all been waiting for Monster Munch Roast Beef, for we all know the original Roast Beef Monster Munch was amazing!!!

As per the previous reviews of the Flaming Hot and Pickled Onion Monster Munch, Spectre was hired to complete intensive testing of the two available Roast Beef Monster Munch flavours. The old style larger version which was to be called: ‘Retro’, and the more modern smaller version referred to as: ‘Small’.

Small chunks of both varieties were tested in a blind tasting experiment by Spectre, and we patiently waited his verdict…Spectre spoke, and declared the Small to have the better flavour.

As I allowed the shock to pass over me, I tasted both flavours myself and felt that Retro had the better flavour, no comparison, and the better crunch too.

We discussed the issue at length, and then I remembered that it is MY blog, so I fired him (his taste buds were obviously broken at the time of the test), and hereby declared Retro to be the official winner.

Have you tried both Roast Beef flavours yet? Let me know what you opinions are on all the new / old Monster Munch varieties.