31 December 2009
Well the other day I wrote about Ginger Ale Kit Kat, and promised you that I had stranger flavours to come. Well here we are, in front of me I have a vegetable flavoured Kit Kat. I’m not as excited as you might imagine about this find. In fact the prospect of eating it made me feel a little ominous. Last time I checked vegetable and chocolate were not a natural fit!
When I ordered this bar from Cybercandy, it was labelled as being a Vegetable Kit Kat, but I was relieved that on the packaging there were photographs of carrots and apples. These apples gave me hope that the bar might be a little tastier than I imagined.
Opening it up and the base chocolate is a white chocolate, but it appears a light orange in colour, I assume because of the carrot content. It smelt reassuringly pleasant. The aroma was very sweet and fruity, I could detect apple, peach and a gentle undertone of carrot.
The taste was really something else, there was defiantly apple present, a tiny hint of carrot and something that made the whole thing taste almost floral. The flavour was familiar but it took me a while to work out what it tasted similar too, and then it hit me it tasted like a Pear Drops edition of Kit Kat. It has that strange juicy flavour that Pear Drops have, that doesn’t quite taste of ‘pear’ but are inexplicably nice.
I really like Pear Drops, so the Kit Kat grew on me and I enjoyed it. It is quite a sweet bar though, so I don’t think I could eat too much in one sitting. There are two mini bars within the box, both individually wrapped and one of those makes for a nice serving.
This is not the end of my adventures with strange Kit at flavours, there are more to follow, some just as strange as this one!
HAVE A GOOD NEW YEARS EVE EVERYONE!!!!!
30 December 2009
I spent a few minutes looking at this bar thinking it was just a little bit wrong. I guess psychologically I find 70% cocoa chocolate something that should be savoured, and Aero bars something that should be munched, so the two don’t fit together naturally. The bar is a limited edition chocolate Aero imported from Canada via Cybercandy.
Despite the fact the chocolate isn’t really in a form to be fully appreciated, it had surprisingly good flavour. The chocolate was sweeter than expected, but still had a nutty, rich and almost creamy chalky taste to the cocoa. There was surprising depth in the flavour for a chocolate bar of this type. It was really rather nice, and did seem like an indulgent treat with a nice cup of coffee.
29 December 2009
This is just another little bit of proof for you that we in the UK miss out on all interesting flavours of KitKat available abroad, particularly in Japan. To be honest I placed an order with Cybercandy for a couple of other flavours too, and Ginger Ale KitKat was by far the least strange, you will have to keep your eyes out for my write-ups of the other weird flavours!
The KitKat is made up with white chocolate coating the usual wafer. It smells wonderfully sweet with a really good tone of ginger mixed in. Despite the aroma, the prominent taste of this bar is actually lemon which I found quite surprising. There were sharp zingy soft lemon crystals mixed in throughout this bar which worked really well with the white chocolate, and made the bar rather refreshing. I wonder if these lemon crystals are supposed to add the fizz to a soft drink flavour bar. Ginger is present too, but it is rather mild but it does leave a nice warmth in the mouth.
This Kitkat was really refreshing, and I loved the zingy flavour, and I would definitely repurchase. I so wish we could have a few more KitKat flavours on proper UK release.
28 December 2009
Although not a replacement for Christmas Pudding on Christmas day itself, these cake slices certainly looked like a yummy seasonal snack. They smell aromatic, with a touch of brandy and spices, like cinnamon and rich dark sugar.
I think what surprised me was just how moist and fruity each slice was. Not only are the cakes slices packed with raisins etc, but there is a lovely layer of brandy sauce which adds the moisture and flavour. There is a thin drizzle of icing on the top, which doesn’t add too much to the taste, but does look rather pretty. These cake slices are yummy, but very rich! Still it is the season to indulge!
27 December 2009
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas cake! I choose this rather lovely cake as it looks like a good rich fruit cake, and it is in a convenient shape. I do find it a lot easier to cut an oblong cake, rather than a round one, even if it does lead to arguments over who gets the first slice with all the icing!
This cake was absolutely lovely. The fruit section is dark and flavoursome, sticky and succulent. The icing was nice and sweet and added contrast to the other flavours. The marzipan was quite a thin layer though, but for me that meant it was well proportioned, marzipan fans may well disagree!
I was very pleased with the cake, and it certainly went down fast enough with everyone who tried it!
24 December 2009
I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and hope you are enjoying the holidays! To celebrate the festive season I have found this rather Christmassy chocolate penguin.
He is a nestle penguin made of sweet milk chocolate and filled with Smarties. I do like the idea of having Smarties within the chocolate shell, it reminded me of how Easter eggs used to be, but perhaps it isn’t best to think about Easter just yet!
If you find this rather splendid Smarties Penguin in your stocking tomorrow, I’m sure it can’t help but make you smile.
23 December 2009
I think I have to start by saying just how cute these chocolates look. Each individually wrapped choccie is moulded into the adorable little mouse shape. This is another of my Aldi discoveries, and as I am new to the brand Shannon I hoped the chocolates tasted as well as they had been presented.
The milk chocolate is quite sweet, flavoursome but very smooth. Underneath it is a soft white filling that tastes nutty and creamy and rather delicious. I do love nut flavoured products, so I might be a little biased, but I found the filling rather lovely, I particularly liked that it had hazelnut pieces in it too.
The chocolates are quite sweet and rich, but I think the nutty tones balanced them quite well. I feel rather pleased with myself for buying two bags of these in the shop, as the first one didn’t last very long at all!
22 December 2009
I found these lovely looking chocolate sticks in Aldi, and thought that they might be some sort of Matchmaker type of product. In actual fact the chocolate sticks within the box are filled with a soft orange flavoured praline filling. The milk chocolate is moulded into a pretty twizzle shape which make them look rather nice.
The praline does have a strong but soft orange flavour, that I thought was really tasty. One of the people testing these choccies with me commented that they felt that the orange wasn’t quite sharp enough to be labelled as blood orange. I do agree with this, but still felt that the chocolates were fine even if the orange was not as zingy as it could have been. Overall the chocolate is well balanced and it makes for a moreish sharing treat.
21 December 2009
I really like Tyrrells crisps, and Welsh Rarebit is one of my favourite snack foods so I was quite pleased with myself for spotting these! I opened the pack up, took the aroma in and thought they smelt quite pleasant, there was a nice grilled cheese scent.
I split the large bag up amongst the testers, and pinched a crisp off one of the plates before giving them out. The initial taste was of that grilled cheese flavour, and just as I was starting to think that they tasted quite nice the secondary flavour kicked in. I assume it was meant to be a Worcestershire sauce/mustard concoction, but the only taste I could possible say it was similar to was, well there really is no nice way to put it, vomit. Obviously I tried one more just to make sure it really was as bad as I thought it was, but I’m afraid it was. It was such a strange taste, sharp, sour, and I felt they were not very nice. I just did not like these at all. The other taste testers were also unimpressed, so I’m afraid I have to give these a thumbs down. I will be sticking to the other Tyrrells flavours!
20 December 2009
Guinness Malta was introduced to me by a Nigerian friend at a party who was amazed that someone of vaguely Irish descent hadn't heard of this strange mixture of flavours. I drank some and it wasn't repulsive, but as I'd managed to find and review the malty Ovaltine biscuits I tracked these down too.
On the left we have the Guinness Malta itself, the cheaper canned variety. This is essentially a nice malty drink and non-alcoholic but with the taste of the Guinness stout mixed in. It's a bit like a more luxury Super-Malt. It's not bad but after about half a can any mere mortal begins to think that a more refreshing canned drink should have been purchased. Even Dr. Pepper.
It has more substance than your average canned drink though, and as a nice winter alternative it could be nice. My brain instinctively tells me that malt drinks should be warm so it isn't perfect.
The Guinness Foreign Extra is odd stuff. It's essentially the same as the Malta but alcoholic and with far more Guinness than Malt. It's also 7.5%!! I'm not a huge fan of regular Guinness, but this addition of the malty tang almost makes the drink sweeter and a lot smoother to taste. Like its more innocent younger brother it’s not a drink to be consumed fast for thirst quenching.
I recruited a 2nd reviewer with much more experience of Guinness drinking than myself and he said that "It hits you faster than ordinary Guinness" and “It's more bitter than I expected" but finished his bottle much faster than I did and moved onto other drinks.
In short these are well worth hunting down for fans of the Black Stout, but I don't think it's going to convert you if you prefer your drinks more transparent.
19 December 2009
Okay, so in reality this is just Cadbury’s Animal Biscuits neatly packaged for the seasonal festivities. As someone who rather likes Animal Biscuits, adding Christmas shapes to the mix is all the encouragement I needed to pick up a box.
The biscuits are of the creamy but crunchy variety, and half covered in milk chocolate, so what is not to love. There are rather sweet designs too, from, reindeers and stars through to snowmen and of course Santa himself.
Novelty yes, and not technically a true new product as such, but all the same these yummy biscuits are far from disappointing.
18 December 2009
This year's theme for Christmas chocolate snacks seems to be chocolate flavoured round shaped snacks. We've had Hotel Chocolat with Winter Berry flavour Munchkin balls, Marks and Spencer Snowy Balls and Cadbury's Snow Bites.
I’m certainly not complaining though as all of the above have been exceedingly nice. Lindt have followed suit and bought out milk chocolate Snow Drops.
Again I was a little disappointed to find milk chocolate and not white chocolate within a product that refers to ‘snow’ in its title. These choccies don’t make any effort to disguise themselves as being white and snowy, except with a light coloured shiny foil wrapper.
The chocolate themselves are really luscious, rich and creamy. The chocolate shell cracks and inside is a silky chocolate truffle, not dissimilar to Lindor eggs. It is safe to say I absolutely loved these!
17 December 2009
Well it has been a few days since I last did a Christmas related item, so I thought it was about time that there was something a little bit more Seasonal back at the top of the blog.
This items comes in a small sharing bag, and is called Snowy Balls, the idea being chocolate coated in a sugar shell and dusted with icing sugar. It reminded me of Cadbury's Snow Bites.
Despite it saying quite clearly on the front of the pack that the base chocolate is milk chocolate, I was still a little bit disappointed that it wasn’t white chocolate. I felt that that would have been more in keeping with the whole snow ball theme. Having said that, this product is not one which is lacking in sweetness by any means. The milk chocolate is sweet and creamy, and it is then coated in two different types of sugar!
These choccies are just a bit moreish, sweet and easy to eat. Great to pass round while watching a festive film or ideal tucked in a Christmas stocking. They do have a lovely novelty Christmas feel, and the icing sugar does add the necessary ‘snow’ cover!
16 December 2009
If you sit in that camp of people who really don’t like bananas, and avoid smoothies because of them, then I am pleased to announce a new banana free recipe. I actually like bananas, but I am aware that they do tend to be the major taste in most smoothies, even those that don’t bother to mention the fruit in the main section of the label.
Interestingly this smoothie does have its own unique taste, and its ingredients include spinach and nettle which were a little unexpected.
The drink is really very refreshing and zingy, and would be ideal on a hot summer’s day (sigh). The main taste that comes through is apple, and lime, followed by a surprisingly nice tang which tastes a little herby and I assume is the spinach/nettle concoction. The overall after taste is a lovely fresh kiwi flavour that gets left in the mouth. I thoroughly enjoyed this drink, I felt the fresh sharp flavours worked well, and the fact that it contains two of my five a day makes it a rather guilt free pleasure!
15 December 2009
I just wanted to start by wishing everyone a very “Happy Easter” and hope everyone has a good Easter holiday planned too. Or do we think it is too early for Easter wishes? Aren’t we in December? Don’t we still have Christmas ahead of us? Kit Kat don’t think it is too early! In fact their new bar states “Enjoy your Easter break” and doesn’t seem to be at all put off by the Christmas season!
Many thanks to DavidH who found this amazingly early Easter chocolate bar, and for very kindly sending one on to me. Thank you! Kit Kat have made an interesting move releasing an Easter bar this early, because it does draw attention to the fact that they never released a Christmas edition bar here in the UK and they just skipped ahead to the next holiday.
The bar is very cute though, the pack has a nice drawing of the Kit Kat Bunny, and the cartoon rabbit is also moulded into the chocolate inside. The bar itself seems to have thicker chocolate than on a regular Kit Kat, the expected wafer is present too, but I think the fondant layer is rather more generous than on a regular bar. Over all the bar tastes like an extra sweet and chocolaty Kit Kat and is rather nice! It would make for a lovely impulse treat, but might be more easily appreciated a little bit nearer April next year.
14 December 2009
A little while back a reader contacted me asking about a Swiss make of chocolate called Freys, and asking if I knew where to purchase it. I did have a good look around my usual sources, i.e. department stores, pound shops, importers etc, but sadly I wasn’t able to offer much advice. I then got a reply from the reader saying that they had contacted Frey’s directly and found that they manufactured the Swiss bars for Marks and Spencers. So I thought it was about time I mention some M&S choccie on my blog, and this Swiss bar seemed to be a good place to start!
“Mountain Bar” seems to mean that the chocolate is very chunky, with awkward sized pieces, difficult to break and eat, and filled with bits of nougat, i.e. a Toblerone style chocolate bar! Joking aside, the bar isn’t that difficult to break, but the triangular chunks aren’t the optimal size for biting. That aside, and the chocolate within this bar is rather yummy, it has a lovely strong cocoa flavour, and is obviously of a high cocoa content. It is very smooth chocolate and it melts wonderfully on the tongue, and the rich chocolate flavours really come through. The nougat adds sweetness to it, and makes the chocolate wonderfully moreish and tasty. I was very impressed with this bar and look forward to trying more chocolate in the range.
13 December 2009
As far as budget advent calendars go Kinnerton seem to have the market sewn up, it was either this or 'ooh look - another Malteaser, what a surprise'. Toy Story is always a safe bet as the films are genuinely good, and Pixar wouldn't allow them to release a sub-standard product, right?
2.3g of Chocolate and no picture. Nothing.
If I'd bought this for a child (instead of for myself) I think that child would now be crying. That child would be convinced that Santa dislikes them and that Buzz and Woody are laughing at them. Granted the blank insides show that the calendar may be made from recycled cardboard and the child may draw a picture inside to make the calendar more exciting, but I dread to think of the number of Dec 1st refusing-to-go-to-school tantrums Kinnerton have singlehandedly caused.
The chocolates size and lack of flavour was also disappointing but an advent calendar with no noticeable pictures isn't really in keeping with the holiday spirit. The calendar does have 25 doors, but I'm not really sure who will be rushing downstairs on Christmas day to see what shade of brown is behind the last door when there are gifts to be opened. I will keep the site posted incase there are hidden surprises waiting to be found.
Next year I think I'll go for the Malteasers one after-all...
12 December 2009
This bag of popcorn markets itself as a healthy alternative to crisps as an accompaniment to a sandwich. As it was the first time I’ve seen this popcorn in Pret, I thought I would give it a go.
I decided to have it with my lunch, but as it is a sweet product I ate it after my sandwich, sort of as a bit of a pudding back in the office. The popcorn is surprisingly white, but drizzled in streaks with a dark chocolate sauce and looks quite pretty. Surprisingly though the chocolate sauce streaks are really hard, and crunchy and shatter when you bite in. This is another product that fits into the category as a little bit too loud to eat in the office, am I the only one who thinks really loud crunchy food are a bit distracting for other people in a work situation?
In flavour the popcorn isn’t very sweet, but the chocolate does add a nice hint of cocoa and I enjoyed the bag, and it was quite moreish. It doesn’t taste rich, syrupy and naughty like other popcorn products, but it was still a tasty snack. I think I just need to stop being so self conscious about the crunching!
11 December 2009
I think I would like to start by telling you all the positive things about this bar. There is a lovely thick creamy sweet filling, that tastes nice and sugary. Coating this is a lovely layer of milk chocolate that is also creamy and sweet and there are brown sugar crystals embedded in the chocolate adding even more sweetness and looking rather pretty.
The bar is sweet creamy and really very nice and enjoyable, I’d happily buy it again. But I hinted in my first sentence that there was a negative, and there is a tiny one. I don’t think it really tasted of Crème Brulee, it was missing that special something in the flavour, the whole burnt sugar and richness. I think that coating the bar in white chocolate may have helped with the richness and may well have made it that bit more authentic.
Put aside the flavour not completely matching expectations and you still have a wonderful new sweet bar in the Thornton’s seasonal range.
10 December 2009
This is another purchase made possible by that lovely Swedish food section in Ikea. Kex biscuits consist of layers of wafer, with a layer of chocolate coating. They are sold in a multi bag and individually wrapped, so would be quite well placed for an occasional snack or lunch box treat.
I liked the flavour of these as I thought mixed in with the sweet chocolate and wafer was a nutty almost praline like taste. The chocolate coating was quite thin, and it wasn’t too weak in flavour, but it did leave a sort of dryness about the biscuit. Having said that, the snack as a whole was pleasant tasting and fended off my chocolate craving. These biscuits are perfectly pleasant, but I wouldn’t make a special trip to Ikea just to replenish my stocks.
9 December 2009
I found the concept behind this product a bit of a strange one. You have a meal, at the end of which you have dessert which could conceivably be cake, after which you may well have coffee and chocolate mints.
This box of goodies consists of bite sized pieces of chocolate mint cake. Where do they fit in? Are they the dessert or do they go with the coffee at the end of the meal? I think they might be a bit much as a second pudding (I’m just not convinced about serving mini cake after a slice of cake), but they are not substantial enough to be a main pudding either. I put my worries aside and had them with coffee in the middle of the day, I’m such a rebel.
To be honest the second you bite in, you will realise the very best time to eat these is - straight away! There is a layer of soft sponge, topped with a light fondant and mint crystals, all wrapped up in the usual lovely chocolate. The peppermint is of a decent strength, the fondant is ultra light and creamy, and those peppermint crystals add a lovely crunch.
The combination of textures was just spot on, as was the flavour, the chocolate and mint worked beautifully and these were just so easy to eat. Yummy, moreish, and I’ll definitely be buying more, even if I can’t work out when they are officially supposed to be eaten!
8 December 2009
I do like a soothing mug of hot chocolate from time to time, so it felt only right to try out Hotel Chocolat’s wintery sounding cinnamon variety. On the back on the pack it suggests that the best way to make the drink is using the hob, but that it could also be made in the microwave. I opted for the microwave method, which was a little harder, as the milk needed to be quite hot for the contents to melt, and I tried to avoid it boiling over. It did take a fair bit of persuasion to dissolve, more than other hot chocolates I’ve tried, but I found giving it a whisk with a frother finished it off nicely.
The taste was very different to what I was expecting. The drink wasn’t very sweet, but the cocoa gave a fantastic dark flavour. The cinnamon added a lovely warmth and spice, and the aftertaste was wonderfully nutty. I got used to the flavour very quickly, and thoroughly enjoyed the mug, but if it is a little too dark it would be easy enough to add a spoon of sugar to sweetened things up.
The drink has such lovely tones and serious cocoa flavours, that it is definitely worth the extra bit of stirring to make it. I’m certainly getting another tub of this for Christmas time!
7 December 2009
Sadly barbecue season was a bit limited this year, but this does not mean that we can’t spice up our meat on the grill indoors. I think trying Extra Extra Hot seasoning certainly counts as spicing things up. That is no typing error by the way; this product really is Extra Extra hot.
I decided to try this seasoning rub on chicken as, crazy as it sounds, any other meat wouldn’t feel right for a Nandos spice to me.
The chicken smelt absolutely amazing while grilling. The house was filled with wonderful spices and aromas which were far stronger than I thought they’d be. I decided to serve the chicken with couscous and a sour cream dip.
The chicken tasted wonderful, but was very hot! There was a seriously strong burn, but it was lovely that there was more to the depth of the flavour than just heat. I was pleased that the other spices shone through, including a rather nice garlic flavour mixed in. The sour cream dip helped to calm the heat, but if you are serving it up to people with a delicate palette, less is more and don’t forget the water jug! But for those who like their spices you won’t fail to love this!
Labels: other savoury
6 December 2009
I like Thai food. I like the fragrances and the noodles and the tendency to throw everything in one big wok until it's safe to eat at which point it is considered 'ready'.
Usually the supermarkets like to try and up-sell me from this basic Thai experience by adding in little packages around the experience, like fresh lemongrass, more expensive noodle varieties and Thai style crackers. On most occasions this is highly unsuccessful, as these restaurant like additions tend to get in the way of the fantastic speed which one wok dishes can be prepared.
These Thai Vegetable Crackers had one important distinction, they were 25p. That's not a 'nearly gone off' discount or a special offer, this is a small bag designed for two people to have a small amount of cracker before the main event meal starts. And - importantly - they are vegetarian (or at least suitable for vegetarians) as they do not contain prawn extract for flavour like the Chinese version.
Flavour-wise these are quite nice, they taste faintly of Thai curry and have a nice little kick to them which sets the taste buds off. Surprisingly for an own store brand crisp style product the actual crisp is quite nice too and has a satisfying crunch to it.
As a little treat or in a bowl as part of a dinner party these would go down quite well - easily outdoing those £1+ bags of crackers you tend to see in supermarkets. Short of frying your own (which is good fun but time consuming) I'd say this is the best value Thai Cracker you are going to get at home.
5 December 2009
This bar isn’t officially a Christmas bar, but with its wonderful cinnamon spice, it really ought to be! I picked up this bar in Waitrose because I was aware that it had been quite a while since I last tried a Rococo bar, and as someone who loves cinnamon I thought that this was a must try.
The bar is made up of wonderful sweet creamy milk chocolate, with a good flavour of cocoa, and a rather well balanced dose of cinnamon. I thought it was nice to see a bar with cinnamon on its own and not mixed with other spices too, there is something very pleasing about the purity of the flavour.
It may not be an official seasonal bar, but it would be lovely being munched during the usual run of Christmas movies.
4 December 2009
This is another seasonal purchase from that rather wonderful chocolatier Hotel Chocolat. Apparently the chocolate is grown by a British cocoa grower. I don’t think this means that the cocoa is grown in Britain, so it must mean a British person living abroad? I think I may be unclear as to the principal of labelling the pack in such a way, but I guess it isn’t worth worrying about.
Back to the product which consists of small balls of shortbread biscuit coated in a berry flavoured white chocolate. The biscuit inside adds a nice crunchy texture which makes them rather munchable. The chocolate on the outside is creamy enough for you to know you are eating good quality white chocolate, but the berry flavour also shines through. It tastes almost like forest fruits and is rather sweet and pleasant.
This pack would be ideal as a stocking filler, or nice to share. Either way once open the moreish nature of this item means it won’t be around for long!
3 December 2009
It has to be said as Special Edition flavours go, ‘Orange’ doesn’t seem the most exciting flavour particularly at this time of year. I was hoping for some added cinnamon spice, or something that makes it that little bit extra special, and perhaps even Seasonal.
Not to worry though, as orange flavoured cake slices go these are rather tasty. The vanilla sponge is sweet creamy and full of that freshly baked sponge flavour. The striped icing provides the orange hit. It is well balanced, sweet, zesty and its flavour does not overpower the rest of the cake slice.
So all in all a well executed cake slice, with a lovely fresh flavour, but my only niggle is that they are not very Christmassy! I might just be being a bit picky on this one, and I do have to concede that overall the cakes do get a big thumbs up from me!
2 December 2009
Hotel Chocolat certainly know how to present their chocolate, opening one of their items is never likely to disappoint. This rather beautiful bar is swirled one side with dark chocolate and orange coloured white chocolate, whereas the other side is dark and embedded into it are orange pieces. It certainly is a lovely looking bar.
The taste does not disappoint either, there is a good strong cocoa hit from the sumptuous 70% chocolate, the white chocolate and orange flavour and sweetness and a wonderful zesty taste too. What follows on the palette is the gentlest hint of warmth from the chilli, it is subtle, unmistakable but surely wouldn’t offend even those with delicate taste buds.
This is thoroughly yummy chocolate, and the warming sweet orange flavour does taste lovely and Christmassy too.
1 December 2009
I do quite like nougat but one of the things with it is that sometimes when you buy it you find it ends up being quite tough. This particular item was labelled as ‘fluffy’ which is why I had the temptation to purchase it.
Unfortunately though the caramel rippled inside the nougat must have toughened the overall texture, as I felt it was far from fluffy. Even opening the pack and trying to tease a piece out was difficult, and required a bit of tugging, never nice when you are trying to share! “Here have a squeezed and squashed misshapen cube of nougat, which I had to use force to free from the cube it was sitting next to.”
That aside the nougat looked beautiful, with its tiger stripes, and softened up with a bit of initial chewing. The flavour was gorgeous, rich sweet dark caramel mingling with the gentler nougat flavour, it really was quite impressive. Worth a purchase as the flavours provide such a nice combination, I just wish it was a bit softer!