I am always curious about baked 'crisps' as an alternative to the usual fried variety. I was particularly worried with these as they are labelled on the back of the packet as 'mini biscuits', which didn't imply that they were thin and crispy. As it turns out, the snack did have a thin crispy texture which I really liked. The fact that they are made with Bertolli Olive Oil does seem to improve both the texture and flavour compared to other baked snacks I've tried. I chose the sweet chilli and red pepper flavour, and they did taste remarkably nice and Mediterranean. I noticed hints of tomato, herbs and paprika adding to the rich taste of peppers. However, where was the chilli? I could barely notice it. There seems to be a theme with snack manufactures steering away from chilli with a burn, in case it is too much for consumer’s taste buds. However if you are buying a snack labelled as 'chilli flavoured' isn't it reasonable to assume that the purchaser likes a little heat? Anyway the product itself makes a really very nice snack full of Italian flavours, but I was rather disappointed at the lack of chilli.
Bournville is one of the staples of British chocolate. It is a dark chocolate that has been available for years. I noticed the packet even states, “By appointment to the Queen”. It isn’t too dark a chocolate and has a good sweetness without any bitter flavour. This is a new bar consisting of the classic Bournville chocolate with an extra hit of orange mixed in. The orange flavour in this bar is gorgeous, rich and sweet and full of flavour. The pieces of chocolate each contain slithers of orange peel which add a wonderful fruity taste and have a lovely soft texture. The darkness of the chocolate mixes well with the orange, especially as it is such a good natural yet zingy flavour. The orange zest rejuvenates this Bournville bar, and makes for a remarkably nice chocolate that I can’t recommend enough.
This is a new idea from Robinsons and is an all natural fruit cordial. That means that there are no artificial colours or flavourings, and that the ingredients are completely naturally sourced. I really like the combination of orange and passionfruit, the two flavours complement each other well. The orange is the first taste, and then the passionfruit settles in. For me this tasted very different to the cordials I usually drink, as I have been having the sugar free and they are just so noticeably different. With the sugar free they tend to be sweeter, but the sweetness stops quite quickly and there is very little after taste. This cordial definitely leaves a gentle passionfruit sugary flavour in the mouth. It is a very refreshing drink, and I do like the concept of it being all natural. One thing about the ingredients though is that it means that once open, it needs to be stored in the fridge. The bottle is slimmer than a regular bottle so that it will fit better in the fridge door. I am having my second glass now, and I just can’t remember if I put the bottle in the fridge or in the cupboard – it is no use, I’m going to have to go and check!
Galaxy is a creamy smooth milk chocolate with a wonderfully grown up flavour that isn’t over sweet. Mixed in with this are small bits of dark cookie crumbs. I love the texture that these add as they nicely break up the chocolate. They are made from a dark chocolate cookie which adds flecks of extra cocoa too. Galaxy always melts in the mouth becoming a thick gloopy chocolate and is noticeably creamier than other bars. The cookie pieces are a lovely addition to the chocolate and are a well chosen filling. I should point out that this isn’t completely a new bar, the Cookie Crumble has been available as a ‘big’ bar for some time, although I haven’t tried it before. It is labelled as ‘new’ though as it is newly available in this snack size pack. There is also an on the pack promotion to win some books, so don’t forget to enter your code from the wrapper on their website!
Okay, at first glance you might be thinking that Ben and Jerry have been making Phish Food ice cream for quite a long time, and you would be right. However, this isn’t Phish Food ice cream, this is Phish Food frozen yoghurt. The concept is of course the same as the ice cream, a chocolate base with caramel, marshmallow and dark chocolate fish shaped pieces but lower fat. The chocolate yoghurt is rich and flavoursome, and does properly taste of chocolate. You would not be able to guess that it is in fact yoghurt from the taste, as it is too tasty for that. The extras add nice taste and texture too, there is nothing quite like finding a chocolate fish, and the marshmallow is gooey and generously proportioned. The one thing I do have to say though is that it is not quite as creamy as regular Phish Food, but it is still superior to many full fat alternatives. It makes a yummy dessert and it is a bonus that it is lower in fat too.
This is another Easter treat for the approaching season. Recently I saw the first Cadbury’s Crème Egg advert which pointed out that they would soon be off our shelves until next year, isn’t it mad how quickly time flies? This Lindor egg is manufactured by Lindt and is a little bit smaller than a Cadbury’s egg. It is wrapped in a black foil wrapper, with a design not dissimilar to Lindt Lindor Truffles. I suspect this is an egg shaped version of the truffle in black. The chocolate shell of the egg seemed thinner than other chocolate eggs I’ve tried, but was made of a fine quality dark chocolate. The egg split quite easily into two halves, making it easier to eat. To taste, it was rich and full of cocoa flavour. Inside was a silky dark chocolate truffle that filled the taste buds with an intense chocolate hit. The shell consists of 60% cocoa, and is balanced by the smooth filling. If you have tried the truffles, then you know what to expect from this Lindt egg, a little bit of luxury chocolate presented in a perfect size for a treat.
Do you remember the Salsa Baguette I wrote about the other day? Well this is manufactured by the same company but is a Mexican style ice cream. I took this straight from the freezer and served immediately and to my pleasant surprise found that it was easy and soft to scoop. I find myself having to leave some ice creams out for a few minutes to soften, or use a hot spoon, but this variety was no problem at all. It consists mainly of a vanilla ice cream and is topped by a red sauce, which is strawberry and ginger flavoured. The vanilla section is one of the creamiest and fluffy ice creams I’ve had; it just melts beautifully in the mouth. The topping adds sweet strawberry flavour and the ginger isn’t overpowering it just adds a gentle warmth. The combination is perfect, the ice cream is heavenly.
This makes a hot chocolate drink made with milk, but instead of using a powder or granules it is made with a solid chunk of chocolate. The chunks are packaged in a card carton, which looks like a milk carton, and inside it are purple foiled chunks of hot chocolate solids. Each chunk is about the same size as a ‘fun size’ bar.
I do have to admit it was quite good fun to make this hot chocolate, and there was something very nice about melting giant chunks in hot milk. After my first sip of the drink itself I immediately rechecked the ratio of milk to chocolate chunks to confirm that my measurements were right. Unfortunately they were which meant the disappointing flavour was exactly as the product was supposed to taste. I have no idea how adding four chunks of chocolate to my pan, could have created such a disappointingly mild flavour. It tasted like chocolate scented milk, and was not the rich ‘hot milk chocolate’ as promised on the pack. It wasn’t horrible, but it just didn’t have a very strong taste. It is a shame, I so wanted this drink to be good as I so love the concept.
Dime is a chocolate bar in its own right, and so technically this is a chocolate bar with its special filling being another chocolate bar. A chocolate bar inside another chocolate bar, now that doesn’t happen every day! Both Milka and Dime are made by Kraft foods, which goes some way to explaining it. If you haven’t tried a Dime it is a mix of almond, caramel and butter. In fact it is like an almond version of Peanut Brittle and it is a very crunchy bar. Obviously a regular bar of Dime consists of two main ingredients; chocolate and almond brittle, which is exactly the same ingredients on the Milka & Daim bar. This makes it even more of a curiosity. A regular Dime bar though consists of a big piece of brittle covered in chocolate, where as this bar is mainly Milka and has small bits of almond brittle within it. The smaller pieces add a gentle caramel crunch and just a little extra sweetness allowing you to enjoy the Milka flavour with a hint of Dime. It's a great flavour and I preferred it to regular Dime bars (but then I am a self confessed Milka fan girl)!
I found this in Lidl and thought that it would make a nice change from the usual garlic or garlic-cheese breads available. When I took this out of the oven, it left a lovely rich tomato smell in the air. The bread itself is soft and fluffy on the inside, with a perfectly formed crispy crust on the outside adding a crunch. The salsa spread is a generous portion, and has a flavour not dissimilar to tomato flavoured chilli con carnie. There is a richness to the bread as the salsa is also quite buttery, and tastes almost meaty. There is also some spice to the product and it has a pleasant mild hint of chilli. This rich tasty flavoursome bread deserves to be appreciated when it is served, and would go lovely with a mushroom or creamy type of soup.
I can’t express how excited I was to discover that Arctic Roll had been re-launched, and I have already written about how great the Original variety tasted. I have kept my eyes open since then for the chocolate variety, but it has taken me nearly a month to locate one! The Triple Choc refers to chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate sponge (I like how these people think). The ice cream is creamy but with a good taste of chocolate. I don’t think there is enough chocolate sauce, the sauce that I tasted was lovely, but it was only in occasional bites. The raspberry sauce in the Original variety is more pronounced. I don’t know why a thin layer of sponge around ice cream works so well, but it does. It might be the textures combining, or it might just be the nostalgia, but the point is it works, and it’s fantastic!
Firstly I am a big fan of Angel Delight. I know that it clearly isn’t a new product and I am often disappointed in the supermarket when there aren’t any new Angel Delight flavours. When I had my first visit to Lidl I found this European version of an instant whip and I couldn’t resist buying both flavours. To mix up the contents, it is much the same as Angel Delight, add milk and whisk for a few minutes. I then scooped some of both varieties into glasses (making pretty layers) and sprinkled some chocolate on the top! After chilling in the fridge I was ready to tuck in.
There are two flavours, the Latte Macchiato and Stracciatella. Both varieties have little flecks of chocolate imbedded, which look attractive. The white stripe is the Stracciatella and has a vanilla base, and is creamy and smooth. The brown stripe is the Latte Macchiato variety and has a wonderful light coffee and cream flavour. The chocolate bits in both enhance the taste. The texture is very similar to Angel Delight too, firmer than a regular pot of mousse, but still very light. The chocolate flecks don’t add any gritty aspect to the texture. I really enjoyed the desserts and thought they looked rather attractive served in glasses. A definite repurchase.
I think this might be my first experience of Milka’s white chocolate, which makes this bar even more exciting. Mind you it is always a pleasure to experience a new Milka product. As per the Sledding Special (Vanilla Pudding / Crème Caramel) I’m not sure I can explain why a ‘Snowboard Fun Special’ is represented by forest fruits yoghurt, but I guess it doesn’t matter too much, the important thing is the taste. Inside the white chocolate shell is a splodge of red forest fruits jam and wrapped around that is a layer of yoghurt flavoured filling. The jammy centre consists of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries. The white chocolate is creamy, as is the yoghurt but the fruit is sharp and flavoursome, making a wonderful contrast. A good combination and a must buy for white chocolate fans.
It is interesting how the label on this drink refers to the product as being a ‘smoothie’, and that it makes no reference to the idea that it might be a milkshake. It reminded me of something that happened last summer in one of the chain coffee shops (I can’t remember which one). A teenager was in the queue in front of me and asked for a banana milkshake, and the person at the counter apologised and said that they didn’t sell milkshakes. The assistant failed to mention that they had 'banana frescato’ on the menu, a drink which consists of banana flavouring, milk and ice mixed together.
Anyway, I would describe this as a chocolate orange milkshake, but I do have to give the makers of this drink some credit though. Using the word smoothie they are trying to get across that the drink is smooth and creamy, and it really is. There is a silky chocolate taste, with a very natural hint of orange. The orange flavour lingers on the palette long after the chocolate flavour has passed, which is a good thing I hasten to add. It is nicely packaged, aiming to be a little bit luxurious, and very tasty. A hint more sunshine outside, and this drink could be my choice for the Summer.
After the fantastic Phileas Fogg Poppadoms with Indian Red Chilli, I have been really looking forward to trying the Tortillas that they have in the same range. I decided to tuck into them as an accompaniment to a Chilli Con Carnie, and they went rather nicely together! They have a good crunch, and good authentic base flavour. There is a nice hint of sour cream on the chips, but I felt the chilli flavour wasn’t strong enough. I know that I was eating them with a Chilli sauce which may affect the taste buds, so I deliberately saved a few to have after my taste buds had recovered. I conclude that they contained only the vaguest hint of chilli, they are labelled as ‘mild’ chilli, but to be honest I could barely taste it. I felt that they were good, but not as outstanding as the Poppadoms.
This is another new product in the Cadbury’s dessert range and it is supplementary to the Fudge flavour I tried earlier this month. This Mini Eggs variety is listed as a limited edition, so it seems reasonable to assume it is part of the Easter products appearing on our shelves. Inside the pot were two containers, one filled with liquid chocolate and one that contained five Mini Eggs. I was a bit disappointed that there were only five eggs, and that they are full size Mini Eggs. They are quite big (despite their name) and as such they don’t mix that well with the liquid section. I had a moment of thinking ‘why am I putting these eggs in my dessert’? The positive side is that the liquid chocolate is full of the usual Cadbury’s goodness, and the eggs themselves are lovely. As a future improvement, I think this would benefit from mini – Mini Eggs. Imagine Mini Eggs but a quarter of their size, tipped into luscious Cadbury’s liquid chocolate. Yummy.
Well, we have had Pancake Day, so we really are approaching Easter scarily fast. I feel a bit more accepting of this than when I first came across some of the Easter offerings in January.
This Mars Egg is essentially a Mars bar transformed into the shape of an egg. Inside the Mars chocolate shell one half is filled with the expected soft Mars nougat and the other half is the thick gooey caramel. The combination obviously works, Mars have been doing it for years!
The chocolate is thicker though in the egg than in the bar, which I really liked. The egg shape makes it just a nice treat sized chocolate fix!
The shape of this chocolate is different to the other Milka bars I have written about so far. The bar isn't flat like most Milka chocolate bars, as the pieces are triangular shaped bubbles . Each bubble contains a chocolate orange mousse and is encased with Milka's dark (50% cocoa) chocolate. I think for this sort of chocolate bar it is just the right percentage, full of flavour, without being bitter. Each triangular chunk is a little too big to eat whole, but they do look the part in terms of appearance. The chocolate is rich and luxurious, and each bite is flavoured delicately with a hint of orange. The orange flavour is not too strong or overpowering, but the sweetness complemented the chocolate well.
I have two flavours to try from this range so far:
Chocolate Malt – this was a creamy flavoured biscuit stick with a chocolate malt flavour filling. I was expecting a Maltesers like edge to this biscuit, but the taste was only vaguely malty, and had more of a dark chocolate flavour. They are still very nice biscuits though.
Tiramisu – this is the flavour that impressed me the most. Again the filling was contained in a creamy plain biscuit stick. The contents had a very authentic Tiramisu flavour, with a lovely hint of coffee and mascarpone cheese. It was very different, and very tasty.
Both were as morish as regular Pocky and well worth seeking out.
Colas involve rather a large amount of personal choice. Am I a Coca Cola or a Pepsi fan? Well to be honest it is Coca Cola for me. Although I think I should say that one of my favourite drinks is Fentiman's Cola. Fentiman's is an all natural cola, with an 'original' taste. This caught my eye when I was in Waitrose, it is Pepsi's version of an all natural original cola drink. The can isn't very big and it only fills three quarters of my glass, but this aside I took my first sip. The drink wasn't as sugary as I thought it would be. In fact I can't help but compare it to Fentiman's Cola, (which tastes exactly like liquidised cola bottle sweets) and be disappointed by the lack of sweet flavour. The drink also isn't as fizzy as regular cola's, which is surprising as canned colas tend to keep their fizz better than bottled. I did like the drink though, it was very pleasant and refreshing. I rate it above regular Pepsi, but Fentiman's and Coca Cola are still my favourites.
I found this dark chocolate coated popcorn in Selfridges. There were two varieties, with an offer attached - 'buy one get one free'. I picked up the milk chocolate version as my 'free' bag, and so expect to read about that soon. But for now, on with the dark chocolate variety. To summarise my first bite... well, it wasn't good. I thought the strange taste might be the reason they were on special offer. The flavour contains a mix of salted popcorn and a splash of dark chocolate. Sweet chocolate and salt, that just did not seem right. I didn't like it at all. Then a few moments later I had this strange desire to try another piece, just to make sure. This time I was expecting the peculiar flavour, and it didn't seem nearly so bad. I decided to try another, then another, and at some point I changed my mind from hate to love. I don't think I have ever had my opinion change from one extreme to another so quickly! Oddly enough I am really looking forward to trying the Milk Chocolate version. If you do buy some of these and you find yourself not liking the first taste, give them a chance as they might just grow on you!
These are by special request from ‘Jim's Chocolate Mission’, who asked me to keep an eye for this new product. Walkers already make Marmite flavour crisps, so these do seem an odd addition to our shelves. Still, what follows is a write up of Unilever’s version of Marmite crisps. Unilever’s are sold in black packaging, where as Walkers bags are yellow. In flavour, well what can I say; they have a strong dose of Marmite goodness. There just is no mistaking the fantastic taste; the crisps are even speckled with tiny brown dots of Marmite. Marmite is perfect for crisps with its meaty (although vegetarian) strong salty taste. The Walkers variety always seemed a little toned down for me, and I know non Marmite fans who would still indulge in the Walkers crisps. I wouldn’t advise it on these ones, as these have a more authentic stronger flavour. I think they are heaven and give them the thumbs up!
In appearance this is identical to the Sirius Musli Bar with chocolate, I wrote about a few days ago. I was expecting there to be some dried banana visible, but there was none. In flavour though, the banana is very much present. It is hard to write about banana as a flavour, I know people who both love and hate the flavour, I guess it is a lot like marmite. I think the best way to explain it is that the bar has a strong, but natural tasting banana flavour. Bear in mind though that my favourite type of bananas are those that are so ripe they are practically brown and I do have a sweet tooth! This combined with the chocolate makes it a very sweet, but pleasant bar with a good texture.
I’m not sure where this bar originates from, but it is somewhere in Europe. Lidl have a tendency to sell plenty of foreign products and make them readily available throughout the UK, eventhough we are not really that product's target audience. The bar consists of milk chocolate covering soft nougat with hazelnut chunks, and a layer of caramel. The chocolate is not very thick, and its flavour isn't very defined. The most prominent features of the bar are that it is both quite chewy and rather sweet. The hazelnuts only add a light flavour. I don't think that there are quite enough nuts or enough cocoa in the chocolate. Okay, but not something I'd buy regularly.
This bar has a strange title. I am not sure how a vanilla or caramel filling would represent Sledding. I had to double check the translation, but sure enough (see photo above) there is a drawing of children with a sledge, so I don’t think I made a mistake. The bar has the usual Milka milk chocolate coating and a soft filling. In texture the filling is the same consistency of the Milka Cream, a soft melt in the mouth feel. In flavour there is a strong taste of sweet caramel. I would describe it as somewhere between kinder egg chocolate (i.e. the milk and white) and a bar of Caramac. Either way, a lovely filling and a rather luscious tasting bar.
There are quite a few different Cadbury's desserts already available, including Flake and Crunchie. This pudding is following the same formula. Consider it to be an unhealthy version of a Muller fruit corner yoghurt. There is a tub of liquid chocolate and a side serving of Cadbury's fudge pieces coated in Cadbury's chocolate. You then tip the fudge chunks into the liquid chocolate, mix it up and enjoy. The Cadbury's fudge is exactly the same fudge as found in the bar, with the expected vanilla and butter flavour. And now for the science bit: the chocolate ratio is higher as the smaller pieces have a higher surface ratio. They go nicely with the liquid chocolate, although the dessert is quite rich. I think I prefer the Crunchie variety more though, as the difference in textures is more pronounced.
NB. I'm not sure how to properly refer to the liquid section of this pudding. I chose ‘liquid chocolate’, as I had already ruled out 'chocolate yoghurt' and 'chocolate sauce'. But you get the idea, it is somewhere in between all three.
This bar consists predominantly of small tightly packed rice crispies, stuck together with some honey syrup substance. Also crammed into the contents are muesli grains and nuts. The base or the bar has been neatly dipped in milk chocolate. The bar has a good firm consistency that makes the bar satisfying and filling. The flavours work well and the bar isn't overly sweet, which makes it nice for a quick easy breakfast. However, and this may be my sweet tooth talking, if a bar is labelled as 'chocolate', I want more than just a thin layer on the base, I want chocolate chips too! I also picked up a box of the banana variety of these bars and the write up of that will follow shortly.
Well I have a fabulous selection of Milka bars in front of me, and am having problems choosing which to open. I decided to choose the bar with the strangest ingredients combination. Milka says that this bar represents ‘Water’ out of the four elements, and to convey this they chose; cream, watermelon and popping candy as the ingredients. I can’t help thinking they wrote a load of different ingredients on bits of paper, put them in a Tombola, and pulled three out at random! Even the most liberal minded chocoholic (such as myself) would consider this to be a curious combination! It is a strange thing, but here in the UK we seem at home with certain flavours mixing with chocolate (i.e. orange and mint) and items outside this norm do seem a little mad. Anyway, this bar consists of the finest Milka milk chocolate covering the creamy white soft filling, which is the part flavoured with the watermelon and containing bits of popping candy. Well I will tell you something that I discovered that surprised me, and that is that watermelon goes wonderfully with chocolate. The fruity sweet flavour and the chocolate combine like a dream and make a gorgeous refreshing bar. One more thing needs a mention though and that is the popping candy. After you finish eating you become aware of this crackling in your mouth, it’s not unpleasant, just a bit of a novelty. But don’t worry, it doesn’t distract from the excellent flavours.
I only discovered the wonders of Pocky very recently, when I was introduced to them by some work colleagues. Before then I had never seen this kind of biscuit before. I was immediately a convert though, and since then I have been purchasing them from import shops whenever I’ve seen them. Kraft foods obviously felt that they could catch on in this country too and has released this product: Mikado. To say it is similar to Pocky Chocolate would be an understatement. The card box opens the same way, revealing the expected silver foil pouch. Inside this were the expected biscuit sticks, dipped in chocolate, just leaving a gap of clean biscuit to hold. The coating on them consists of thick, sweet and velvety milk chocolate and underneath is a flavoursome creamy biscuit stick, with a perfect crunch. They are such a simple idea and they work so well, perfect for snacking on the go. The biscuits only take seconds to eat, and one doesn’t seem quite enough, so you end up reaching for another, and another. Something caught my eye on the box the ‘Glico’ logo and I knew that I had seen it before. These aren’t a Pocky imitation; they are the genuine Pocky launched in this country. Have a look at my previous reviews of Pocky, the packaging shows the same manufacturer’s logo ‘Glico’. I am assuming from the packaging that Kraft Foods and Glico are in partnership. The new name Mikado comes from the original game for Pick-Up-Sticks, and there is indeed a similarity between the game pieces and the biscuits. I guess ‘Pocky’ doesn’t have the greatest connotations in the English language. If you are yet to try Pocky, or if you love them but have problems finding stockists rest assured these wonderful snacks are now available in supermarkets everywhere. Here is hoping more flavours follow soon.
Writing up the army ration pack recently, reminded me that I started a quest for the best instant hot chocolate, and that I hadn’t added to this recently. The army box included a fabulous chocolate orange drink that was impressive and full of flavour. Taking a glance at the hot chocolate section in the supermarket, I noticed that the Highlights sachets had undergone a makeover. The sachets have been redesigned and the recipe has also been improved. The drink mixed up easily with the hot water, making a darker than usual looking drink. The flavour was very enjoyable, being good and sweet, with the added taste of strong chocolate. If they could add in the magic element that Aero hot chocolate has, which thickens the water and adds texture to the drink, well then it would be perfect. Those bubbles in the Aero drink do make it the winner so far.
When I looked at this bar, my first thought was that it consisted of a slab of dark chocolate with a slice of Milky Way on top of it, but I was wrong. It is actually dark chocolate with rice crispies hidden within it and the topping is a chunk of chocolate chip cookie. This bar is a lot harder than the Caramellow, it was surprisingly tough on the teeth. The chocolate is not very sweet, the cocoa content is 74% which explains this, but I was still expecting something sweeter. The biscuit and rice crispies add a crunch to the texture, but don’t make it any easier to eat as the chocolate is so hard. The biscuit and rice crispies also don’t add any sweetness to the flavour, which is what my taste buds were expecting. The bar is dressed as a playful fun item, but the palate it would suit is more refined. If it wants to be fun, it needs some caramel to add softness and sweetness. If it wants to be a traditionalist’s bar, it needs to lose the texture of the rice crispies and biscuit. I think this bar is a little confused, and is the most disappointing of my Hotel Chocolat purchases so far. I do like dark chocolate, but I just couldn’t get on with this bar.