23 February 2019

Jubel - Beer Cut with Peach (Sainsburys) By @SpectreUK

I haven't watched a Carry On film in years! I have certainly watched most of them, if not all and several times over. I grew up on that bawdy sense of humour and will always give a snigger to the great British innuendo. I can't help it… so when I last went to uni and found myself the oldest student by far, I was taken aback by how many younger students didn't get the double entendre. Many hadn't even heard of Carry On, which made me feel even older! So when someone says "peach" to me it doesn't necessarily mean fruit, or at least the type that grows on trees. In my experience neither go well with beer though, however don't let it be said that I don't have an open mind… snigger!

This is a beer that takes itself seriously though, you can tell by the label. The label is plastic free and the Jubel brewery, in Cornwall, is committed to low carbon emissions. This beer is gluten free and Vegan friendly. Not that I know many Vegans or any unfriendly ones! It's infused with natural peach, which is where it loses me a little. I do like peach, I rarely eat one… in fact I think our hedgehog had the last one that graced the fruit bowl in the kitchen. I do like peach yoghurt though, so that's a plus.

On opening the environment friendly bottle unsurprisingly this 4% volume peach beer smelt strongly of peach. This has to be one of the palest beers I've encountered. It's like shining white gold. However, after a certain amount of time trying to coax our hedgehog out from under a bush with it, I gave up and took a sip. In a blindfolded taste test I'd probably be easily convinced that this was a peach cider…

"I thought I caught a hint of malt there for a second, in the initial flavour?" I may say, "and there was that minute bitter herbal hoppiness towards the back of the flavour?"

"No, no… it's a peach cider!" said the trickster.

"Not really any cider apple there at all?" I'd mumble.

"They forget the cider apples!"



"Bizarre… Well, it was pretty fizzy! And it's definitely a peach of a drink!"

22 February 2019

Bonne Maman Coffee Creme Dessert (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Bonne Maman Coffee Creme Dessert

I was looking for a quick dessert, something which is a treat but which isn’t too big to eat. I spotted these desserts from Bonne Maman and couldn’t resist picking up the Coffee Creme variety. There are two smallish pots in the pack and I thought I’d try them out after dinner.
The pots are fairly small, but are neatly packaged with a pleasant chequered foil lid, reminiscent in design of the covers you used to get on hand made jams. The Bonne Maman Coffee Creme Dessert is beige in colour and surprisingly glossy to look at. I gave one a taste test and realised that I had assumed it would be a mousse in texture, but that it was actually quite wet and more like a thickened sauce. The texture wasn’t too bad when I got used to it, I had just been expecting something more fluffy. The flavour too was strong in coffee, but not quite as sweet as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong I drink espressos straight with no sugar added, but this is a dessert and my sweet tooth was craving a sugar hit.
I don’t think the Bonne Maman Coffee Creme Dessert was bad, it just hadn’t been what I was expecting. The coffee taste was rich though, and there was a nice creaminess to the flavour. I’m still intrigued enough to want to buy the dark chocolate version.

21 February 2019

Nairn's Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Biscuits (@NLi10)

Sometimes the biscuits that get brought into work are a little more exciting than others.  Take these Nairn's Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Biscuits for example.

Made by the purveyors of luxury Scottish Oat Cakes, but with a little more sugar and chocolate than normal, these seem to be marketed at the healthy snack end of the biscuit aisle.

And even though I mistakenly cut off some of the nutritional values off the picture you can see that there is a bit less of the bad things and a bit more of the good things than average. Plus the individual biscuits are very thin and portion control would probably be quite easy.  In the interests of science I ate 5.

They are sweet like biscuits but have the consistancy of a Hob Nob or more oaty biscuit than the very processed ones that appear in normal tins.  For me this is quite a welcome variation.  I love the mixed up texture, and would be happy to eat fatter, rougher versions of this rather than have the 5 thin ones in a sealed pack.

Overall though a win, and if you are looking to add a little nutrition to your biscuit, and lose a little sugar then frankly these are a great idea.  But you'll probably end up eating all 5 too.

20 February 2019

Pipers Matar Paneer Crispeas (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

I'm always on the lookout for alternative snacks to flavoured nuts, and these Pipers Matar Paneer Crispeas are made from marrowfat peas. They have a green colour to them in the image on the front of the packet. This sort of snack always reminds me of mashed and chopped up cooked Gremlin!
Matar Paneer Crispeas are seasoned based on a traditional North Indian recipe. I'm not going to pretend I know what it tastes like, because I'm fairly predictable and usually go for a Lamb Balti at the local curry house. From the ingredients it seems to have mostly every herb and spice I could just about think of if they whizzed passed me on a Generation Game conveyor belt, and these Matar Paneer Crispeas also have a touch of heat from Cayenne Chilli.

On opening the packet considering the Cayenne Chilli seemed to be almost an afterthought towards the end of the ingredients list, there was quite a thwack of it in the aroma of the multitude of greenish sticks. This was quite bizarre as there was barely any chilli flavour on eating, except a very mild chilli heat. I could also pick up on cinnamon, cumin and parsley in the smell, and also a touch of onion. The sticks were nice and crunchy, and there was plenty of mild curry flavours in these Matar Paneer Crispeas, which made them quite moreish. However, I did get the feeling that these are pretty heavy on the garlic and onion, so not good for kissing without a breath mint or two!

Information on the packet;
The 21g packet contains 91 calories, with 3.5g of fat, 0.7g of sugar, and 0.25g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

19 February 2019

Cadbury Hazelnut Chunk Brownie (Asda) By @Cinabar

Cadbury Hazelnut Chunk Brownie

I found these Hazelnut Chunk Brownies from Cadbury listed under New Products on the Asda website, but when they arrived from my online order I realised they didn’t actually have a “New” label on them. I haven’t seen them before though, and I do keep an eye on these aisles in the supermarket obviously.
I found the packaging to be a little bit basic. Part of me thought when they arrived that these cakes were in fact a bake your own type kit, as they were just is a flattish cardboard box. This wasn’t the case, inside were 6 small individually wrapped Hazelnut Brownies.
I unwrapped one and saw that there were quite a few nuts baked in and that they looked quite thick and soft. The texture is good, they manage to keep that heavy moist feel, while still remaining actually quite light. Clever. I think this is the perfect Brownie texture, and that combined with a vey rich chocolatey taste and plenty of cocoa, I found myself loving every bite. The hazelnuts add lovely wholesome texture and I ended up reaching for a second Cadbury Brownie.
The packaging might be a bit basic, but the quality of the Cadbury Hazelnut Chunk Brownie was spot on, and I think that is all that matters. Time to order a box of the plain brownie version of these without the hazelnuts, for research purposes of course.

18 February 2019

Belgian Milk Chocolate Wafer Bites (M&S) By @Cinabar

Belgian Milk Chocolate Wafer Bites (M&S)

There is a product that comes and goes in the UK called Kit Kat Pop Choc, essentially they are squares of Kit Kat completely coated in milk chocolate and sold in grab bags. I’ve seen them come and go several times over the years, with even a yoghurt version at one stage. I haven’t seen them for a while but as a fan of wafer these new Marks and Spencer Belgian Milk Chocolate Wafer Bites looked like they would be worth a try in their place.
As these are an M&S product the coating over the square of wafer is Belgian milk chocolate, to make them posh of course. There were quite a few in the bag and I gave one of the cubes of chocolate wafer bites a try. The first thing to note is that there is a lovely thick coating of sweet milk chocolate that was very lush. It is a rich thick melt chocolate and when you then hit the crispy wafer the texture is pleasant and thy are enjoyable to eat. These are nice chocolates to share, especially while watching a film, between the good quality chocolate coating and the texture they are fun and easy to eat. If you are a fan of Europe’s Kit Kat Pop Chocs and you can’t get them at the minute these new Marks and Spencer Belgian Milk Chocolate Wafer Bites look like something that will happily fill the gap until their next launch. Buy a couple of bags though, our didn’t last very long!