28 January 2020

Topitoff Discs (The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co @ChocPizzaCo) By @Cinabar

Topitoff Discs The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co

I read a recent article in a newspaper that quotes Heston Blumenthal and his disappointment in his customers who focus on taking pictures of their food rather than eating it. I understand what he means, from a chefs perspective the focus will be taste. Appearance though is important and that these photographs and social media sharing are celebrating the visual side of food which is also important. I say this because this product is very much about appearance. Yes it is chocolate based, but it is meant to make your hot drinks look beautiful more than anything else.

Topitoff Discs The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co

This product is made by The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co and they are called Topitoff Discs. I received them as a birthday gift too which is certainly an occasion for indulgence. They are designed to be put on top of a hot drink and to mainly look pretty. They are made of Belgian chocolate but the Topitoff Discs are thin and I don’t think will add lots to the flavour, they do look amazing though. Although these would work rather well over a cappuccino I decided to add them to a mug of hot chocolate. There are 12 discs in the pack and they vary in design. I chose one with red decoration and then gentle popped it on the top of drink. I was very pleased that it floated like it was supposed to. I took photos, obviously and I will be posting on Instagram.

Topitoff Discs The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co

It says to let the Topitoff Discs sit a for a minute or so to melt which I did and my first sip you could taste a extra touch of chocolate in the flavour, it was sweet and actually quite tasty. I guess it was like having a dollop of chocolate sauce on top. It changed the flavour of the first couple of sips, and the last when some of the chocolate had settled at the bottom of the mug. It is good quality chocolate so it is a nice addition but it isn’t that much of a change to the original drink.
I was really pleased with how smart these looked and I think they really make the drink look fab. They make me happy and I love the way they look, which I think is job done. Sorry Heston until they develop a way of sharing flavour my Instagram is going to be filled mostly with things I’ve been eating or drinking, the prettier the better.

Topitoff Discs The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co

27 January 2020

Maltesers Biscuits (Asda) By @Cinabar]

Maltesers Biscuits

These are the new biscuits from Maltesers which sounds like an excellent way of developing the Maltesers range. The most stand out thing on this box of Maltesers Biscuits is the large label saying ‘More to Share’, presumably these biscuits are also available in small packets, but these were the only ones I saw in Asda. I’m always happy to have a big box of biscuits though, so would have chose these any how.

Maltesers Biscuits

Inside the box are curious looking bobble shaped biscuits. Maltesers decided to ditch the round shape as a concept and instead went for a trio of small round biscuits stuck together forming a long biscuit. The insides are quite golden in colour, they clearly went for the malty look.
I have to say I was impressed by the flavour, the Maltesers taste was the star of the show, I thought it might be a little lost but it shone through beautifully. The chocolate is good too, sweet and creamy, but it also helps to recreate the Maltesers flavour. The texture is good, crunchy but light and they soon dissolve in the mouth, much like regular Maltesers. I think these are good new product for Maltesers and they are very much in fitting with their signature chocolate balls. They have lots of the flavour of the original which is impressive.
I like the fun shape of the Maltesers Biscuits it made them stand out as something a bit different and the packet didn’t last long. Although these are currently an exclusive to Asda, they will be appearing in other supermarkets in about a month’s time, but are worth hunting out.

Maltesers Biscuits

26 January 2020

Gregg's Vegan Steak Bake Is a Disappointment To It's Parents (@NLi10)

I like Gregg's food. I like Gregg's vegan sausage rolls better than their meat ones.  I like Gregg's steak bakes.  Logically then I should like the new Vegan Gregg's steak bake - right?


Nice lattice work - you aren't going to mistake this for the standard carnivore one!


Wait - is that mince? In a real steak bake you have lots of lovely textured chunks of meat - that's why you choose 'steak' over 'beef' - you want chunks.

What Gregg's have created here is a vegan beef patty.  I mean that's probably fine if you've got the right flavour to the gravy, the texture to the meat, and some veggies to add to it, a touch of spice maybe?  But if you are just going to pop some tired Quorn in a brown slime and call it a day then I'm not sure I want to play anymore.

There is a reason the buzz for this died down so fast - they just aren't a patch on either the meat options or the current veggie options that sit next to them on the shelves.  I'm sure that someone like Fry's could teach Gregg's how to add texture inside the thing, and if PieMinister can make reasonable vegan fillings then I'm sure its possible. I'd rather just not have lunch than eat this again - or have lots of other Gregg's cakes.

The pastry was great and not noticeably different even though that was vegan too - the pastry is a win - the rest is a hard fail.  I'm not sure they will be selling many of these so if you do want to subject yourself to a terrible bake you better be fast.

25 January 2020

Eternal Session IPA - Northern Monk (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK


I first thought this beer was called Northern Monk, because the typeface is so big on the can. Reading the can a bit more and the brewery is called Northern Monk, whereas the beer is called Eternal. It's called Eternal Session IPA, because the can states that beer has been brewed for several thousand years, and this beer is to pay homage to that.

A session beer is generally fairly light on the alcohol by volume (ABV), so workers could have a beer during their breaks or lunchtime in the past and then get back to work and not be too 'hammered' whilst using a steam-hammer or whatever. I used to have a quick half and a packet of crisps in the pub when I was at work in the afternoons in the distant past. It was a good treat for my morale, but those days are pretty much gone as far as I can tell.

Eternal is 4.1% volume… It's slightly cloudy golden in colour with a sweet pale malt smell to start with, and then a citrus bitterness at the back of the aroma. On taste the sweet pale malt shines through initially, which is closely followed by a slightly herbal bitterness, a citrus bite and then a touch of sweetness probably from crystal malt into the aftertaste. I must say that it does pay homage and is reminiscent of many pale ales I've had in the past. This is not a bad thing at all, especially as a homage to thousands of years of brewing beer. This is a very tasty beer with a decent bite, and I would certainly have it again.