20 November 2018

Salted Caramel Mince Pies (Aldi) By @cinabar

I have been very impressed by all the new Christmas items coming into Aldi, and on our last shop even picked up an impulsive buy of a fibre optic Christmas tree that changes colour. It is super cool. It definitely hadn’t been on the shopping list, but neither had these Aldi own Salted Caramel Mince Pies. There are so many fab seasonal temptations, and I can’t seem to stop myself. Lights, glitter or novelty and I’m on it.

So these new pies consist of regular mince pie filling topped with salted caramel sauce all in a pastry case, so yes a touch of novelty. I tucked in and was pleasantly surprised by the fact the caramel sauce was still distinct inside, it hadn’t blended in with the mincemeat at all. The flavour was quite a blast of sweet, the filling didn’t really need the toffee like flavours and tones, but it did manage to carry it well. The pastry was fairly thick, but was lovely and buttery, as well as being fairly soft. I liked the salted caramel with the filling, but my taste buds have a high tolerance for all things sweet. This may have come across in previous blog posts. :-D Having said all that these are rich and one satisfied me perfectly, a second would have been very indulgent!

19 November 2018

Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel Cheesecakes (Asda) By @Cinabar

There are some indulgent desserts arriving in the shops for the winter and Christmas seasons, and some of these are from the big brands. Cadbury have brought out these Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel Cheesecakes, there are two pots in the pack, and they looked like a nice treat so I picked them up.

The pots have three layers inside, a biscuits base, a chocolate cheese cake section and a caramel topping. I tucked in and a few things confused me. Firstly the biscuit base was loose. If I’m making a cheesecake at home I press the biscuits bits into the base of the tin making them firm. These were quite loose, not a problem, just an observation. The next part was a bit more weird, the chocolate section was so chocolatey and light and airy I actually went back to the box to check this was supposed to be a cheesecake. Had it not said so I would have guess it was a divine chocolate mousse. It tasted really nice, loads of sweet creamy chocolate, but I think it missed the boat by having the cocoa overpower the cheesecake flavour. The top layer of caramel was fab, almost sweet golden syrup like, I could have eaten a tub of this on its own!!! Yum.
In conclusion this is a very tasty dessert with all the flavours of Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel and plenty of chocolate, it is just not too strong on the old cheesecake section. Sadly it is called Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel Cheesecakes and not mousse dessert.

18 November 2018

Green & Black’s Velvet Edition - two kinds (by @NLi10)

Ok, I admit it. There was a short while where I picked up far too many interesting chocolates and have got very behind on eating them. I think I was up to ten full size bars.

Here’s a couple I picked up from Cadbury’s World in the summer.

Essentially they are very similar, lovely Dark Chocolate, almonds and very flat. The only real difference is that the second one has orange in it, and I think the first he had more almonds.

Here is the just almonds version, nt too exciting visually, but the smell and taste is great. Lovely texture changes and deep flavours. But I’ll prrobably gift it to the office. Why? The orange version is just that little bit more special.

Looking pretty darn similar, but smelling and tasting of oranges makes this a win for me. Imagine a flat orange Toblerone and you aren’t far off. Lovely and festive without trying too hard. A nice little indulgence.

17 November 2018

Sadler's Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

Even after the end of October and Halloween has been and gone, I always think November is a spooky time of year. This 4.5% volume Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager from Sadler's Brewery, in the Midlands, has a spooky skull on the front of the bottle with hops for eyes. It's supposed to look like a regular lager, but have a strong hoppy aroma of zesty Mediterranean Lemons, as well as subtle sweet malts. So if it's supposed to look like a regular lager, I'm hoping it doesn't bloat me like some regular mass produced off the shelf lagers can do!

On opening this Hoptical Illusion there was a very understated fizz. I know I wasn't expecting a champagne pop, but I usually get more than that when opening a bottle of beer or carbonated cider. I worried slightly and checked the date on the label, no that was fine, so I had a sniff. If Mediterranean Lemons smell so understated I'll stick to some other ones! Not that I sniff lemons often, but usually they are pretty sour without getting too close.

On pouring this Hoptical Illusion the fizz did liven up a little and this golden beer does look like a regular lager. On taste I'd say that the smell transcends perfectly, I'd argue against a mega citrus blast of lemons though, as the herbal hops fought against and mostly overwhelmed any flavour of citrus hops. Having said that, there is certainly nothing wrong with the flavour. The herbal hops have a good bitterness to start with, which almost instantly complements the sweet malts, whilst the citrus hops reared their lemon flavour towards and into the aftertaste for a slightly complex journey through my tastebuds. It also didn't blow me up with wind, so I'd certainly have this Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager again, but be a little more wary of what the label says.

16 November 2018

Limited Edition Tassimo Costa Gingerbread Latte (Asda) By @Cinabar

At this time of year I do like the Christmas and Winter drinks that become available in the coffee shop chains. Sometime though it is nice to have a seasonal drink at home. We have a Tassimo machine and Costa makes drinks for this, this year they have brought out a packet of Limited Edition Tassimo Costa Gingerbread Lattes. There are eight drinks in the box and to make one you have to use two of the T-Discs, a milk based gingerbread flavoured one to start and then top it up with an espresso, which I think is standard and that part has no flavouring. Can I also mention size here, this is the largest drink size you can get from a Tassimo, it is a mug's worth but not a large mug. The largest drink you can order in a Costa coffee shop is practically bucket sized! :-D

I made myself a drink and gave it a good stir. There was a light ginger aroma but mainly the scent was off coffee.
I gave it the first sip and found the flavour to be far more subtle than I thought it would be. The gingerbread flavour does add a warming touch and a little sweetness, but it is far from being too sugary. If I had ordered a Gingerbread Latte in a Costa store I’m sure it would have come loaded with sweet syrup, covered in cream and topped with one of those cute miniature gingerbread biscuits, and probably some more syrup over the cream top too. This is a much cut back version. I’m sure you could add your own cream easily enough, but the sweetness isn’t there. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it is just different, a toned down version. This made it very drinkable and enjoyable but not necessarily as much fun as you’d hope for in a Christmas drink.

15 November 2018

Nestle Extrême - salted caramel and white chocolate cone (Ocado) by @NLi10

I’ve been pretty good recently, not automatically adding puddings to every Ocado order I do, keeping the freezer reasonably spacious. Sometimes though you need to make sure you have some spare indulgent treats floating around. I spotted these, didn’t even see they were a big brand like Nestle and picked them up.

The Extrême is an odd beast, being basically a Cornetto but with more flavours, layers and luxury. There really is only soft textures here, but as the pic above illustrates there is a lot going on.

The multipack branding is plain.

The cone  itself is glorious, and stacked with chocolate and caramel. And it’s the same all the way down, getting sweeter as it goes - which is pretty interesting.  By the end of it I’d totally bypassed my internal caramel limit and was a bit overwhelmed, but I persevered. Enjoyable but just a touch too much - you REALLY - need to enjoy caramel with this one.

My partner will likely happily finish the other two while I explore the pot of vegan hazelnut ice cream we’ve had since the summer.