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!

17 February 2019

Sushi Sandwiches - Avocado Chicken & Bacon (@NLi10)

A friend of mine shops in Marks & Spencer’s and alerts me to (and buys for me) their wonderful lunch offerings. As I’ve mentioned before - if our hospital ever gets one then I will be bankrupt.

A sushi sandwich it turns out it two slices of bread (rice) with a filling of luxury goodness (here Bacon chicken and avocado) wrapped in some seaweed so you can hold it.

There is also a sachet of yuzu and chilli dressing.

Look at all those ingredients!

And look at the yumminess of it all. It’s really fiddly to eat - like a roll you have to have a bite at a time. All of the bites are good though and one set of two was filling enough for a normal size lunch. I did eat some biscuits in the afternoon though. 

I’d have these again, once a week I think if I could!

16 February 2019

DE14 Flight Suit Orange Pale Ale (Sainsbury's) By @SpectreUK

I had one of those memory lapse moments yesterday. The one's where you're talking to someone about something and you just can't remember a word or name and it drives you crazy. I just knew I'd remember it after the conversation. I was at the gym being a bore as usual about the rehabilitation of my knee after surgery once I'd popped to the shops wearing my old (really, really old) cowboy boots. In the past I've amused Cinabar by walking like the mad robot cowboy in the '70's film Westworld. It's not like a John Travolta strut, it's something far more sinister. Westworld is a great Sci-fi yarn (not for everyone I suppose) about a futuristic holiday resort where the cybernetic robots end up going mad and trying to kill the guests. I just couldn't remember Yul Brynner's name until afterwards. It's all part of being off work for a long period of time and not keeping my brain in gear. Anyway, after parking my car at the shops I had managed scary Yul's walk for about three minutes before it hurt too much, which is pretty good considering up until now all I've managed is a dodgy limp.

I'm away with the fairies much of the time, daydreaming about everything and anything. So that's what this beer is about I guess… Flight Suit is an Orange Pale Ale from the DE14 Brewery in Burton-Upon-Trent. So bring out your fishy and or spicy meals to enjoy with this one, Folks. I thought I had a tuna sandwich tonight, but it looks like I have hot sausage rolls instead! Flight Suit has five different hop varieties for a super citrus burst, and a generous helping of Mandarina Bavaria hops to give this beer a marmalade aroma and an extra orange flavour. I do love marmalade on toast, but I'm not sure I'll get flight clearance to recommend this for a breakfast beer!

On opening the can this rather excitable 5.1% volume pale ale did smell reminiscent of marmalade, albeit a rather beery sweet barley and pale malt version of the breakfast spread. On taste this deep golden orange pale ale does taste orangy. Not the citrus blast I was expecting though. That bitter hoppy citrus often almost face twisting sharpness that can come with some orange pale ales. Flight Suit is pretty relaxing. It's more like Night Flight to Venus by Boney M. Yes, there's citrus bitterness on take off, but it didn't bother me in the slightest. I just sat back and waited for the flight attendant to pour the rest of my drink. The sweet malted barley came almost immediately soothing my tastebuds after the bitter citrus hops, and then the Mandarina Bavaria hops spaceship's thrusters fired, making me realise this is a beer to enjoy without food. And so the Mandarina Bavaria hops merged into the aftertaste with the sweet pale malt spiriting my palate to some far off orange planet allowing me to spacewalk in my Flight Suit with fantastic orange pale ale on tap.

15 February 2019

McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes Nibbles (WH Smiths) By @Cinabar

McVitie’s have brought out quite a few biscuits in their handy grab bad format, but the latest ones are a bit different. They have chosen to merge one of Britain’s iconic biscuits (well technically cake, but that is a whole different blog post) with their new format and have produced these new McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes Nibbles.
I have to admit before opening the bag I had made two incorrect assumptions about the product, firstly was that the size of the Nibbles would be the same size as others in the range ie small, and secondly that in order to encase the orange centre the biscuit would need to be hard. In actually fact the McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes Nibbles are a bigger than the others, I’m guessing around double the size, and a a more flatter shape too and they managed to use a firm sponge to keep the theming correct.

The flavour is surprisingly moreish, chocolate and orange does just work. There is a higher chocolate ratio here in this format, and it means you can really appreciate the darker flavour from the cocoa. The texture works well, the softness made them very easy to eat, and the little burst of Jaffa jam was perfect delivering a lovely hit of orange. These are my favourite item in the McVitie’s Nibbles range to date and they have totally done the conversion to this format justice. Pure munchy sweet chocolate orange heaven.

14 February 2019

Higgedy Valentines Pie (by @NLi10)

My partner went to Sainsbury's big new store in Selly Oak and came back with lots of great things for me to review (and the cats to view with suspicion)

The first of these is this fairly simple chicken & leek pie.  

Sorry - TRIUMPHANTLY simple free range chicken pie, with ham and leeks (range unknown). Surprisingly it says you could eat it cold.  I'd never really considered that with other brands - but Higgedy are the masters of the cold pies with seeds and yummy goodness on top - it makes sense they'd pre-cook all the ingredients.  And the insides are like something out of a farm shop - but more on those later - first we have to deal with the outside...

My partner claims that she didn't deliberately buy one with a big heart on the top for valentines day.  She may not of consciously noticed, there is a big window on the box though so clearly her brain did.  I accept my loving gesture on Valentines week and look forwards to further spontaneous romantic things.

The big heart pie forms part of a lovely nutritious meal too - with those crispy potato things I always forget to buy.

And the insides are as expected - huge chunks of meat that actually require cutting up! Recognisable leek and tasty ham.  I'd happily have these again as a variation on my typical Pie Minister, and I'm now intrigued about the possibilities of me taking these to work and eating them cold!