31 January 2009

Penguin Double Chocolate Big Stix (Waitrose)

I take it back when I wrote here that it was unusual to see the word ‘New’ on a penguin packet, but I was clearly wrong. Less than two months later I found another new Penguin product. This is not a complaint as I love new products!

When I opened the box I was surprised that the ‘big stix’ were actually surprisingly long and thin, with two in each pack! The ingredient ratios don’t seem to work well together though, certainly not as well as a regular bar. There is a little too much biscuit and not enough yummy cool fondant. This makes for a much drier product and it’s not a regular Penguin beater.*

*No penguins were beaten or harmed during the production of this write-up.

30 January 2009

Rowse Luxury Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread (Waitrose)

Whoever came up with idea of chocolate and nut spread should have their hand shaken, the idea is genius (as said by a big nut and chocolate fan). Rowse went one step further and as such deserve a great big hug. They did what Rowse do best and added honey to the mix. Yes, that’s right Belgian chocolate, hazelnut and honey in a spread – genius.

The spread itself is sweet and chocolatey, with a good taste of nuts and a hint of honey. Its not at all sickly, as it has been carefully combined. Divine on toast.

29 January 2009

Walkers Crispy Duck and Hoisin [Sauce] (Asda)

Well ages ago I told you about Walkers holding a competition in which people could suggest flavours. Fast forward five months and they have started making the six which got the most votes on the website.

Those six are:
  • Onion Bhaji
  • Builder’s Breakfast
  • Crispy Duck and Hoisin
  • Chocolate and Chilli (really)
  • Cajun Squirrel (I'm not joking)
  • Fish and Chips
The idea is that the public now vote for their favourite of these six and they manufacture the winner more permanently. The six trial flavours are available until May 2009.

As you can see from the picture above, I have managed to get my hands on the Crispy Duck ones. I will update you with more flavours when I get hold of them, and of course let you all know my favourite. Do let me know what you think of them if you’ve been lucky enough to get hold of some.

The duck crisps do smell very aromatic when you open the packet; there is the distinct hint of spices that make up Hoisin sauce. Biting in and it becomes apparent that the strongest flavour is spring onion, followed by a good amount of Hoisin and the subtlest hint of duck. The duck flavour is somewhat mild, but this doesn’t make the crisps bad. Far from it an onion overtone in a crisp is never a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and am looking forward to trying the others.

28 January 2009

I Love Milka Pralines [That’s the genuine product title!]

This is a very nicely packaged box of Milka chocolates. I’m sure I have mentioned before how much I like Milka? It’s not like I have a whole section dedicated to how wonderful Milka chocolate is...

Anyway, onto this fine gift set. Inside the pretty heart shaped card box is a sealed tray with several heart shaped pralines displayed inside. Each one consists of thick yummy nutty Milka chocolate which coats a soft nutty praline filling. They just sort of melt in the mouth. Divine.

It’s true, I really do love Milka Pralines, the packaging is quite correct.

27 January 2009

Thornton’s Chocolate Cake (Sainsbury’s)

And now for a treat, oddly enough purchased from Sainsbury’s but I suspect also stocked in Thornton’s itself!

This cake consists of three layers of chocolate sponge, with a chocolate cream in between each, and coated in milk chocolate. Decorating the top are five Thornton’s chocolates.

The sponge is lovely and moist, and the chocolate in the cream filling is sweet and creamy and compliments the cake well. The milk chocolate coating is a good quality milk chocolate, and cracks satisfyingly when you dig the fork in. Lovely.

In fact the only negative comment that I have on this cake is that when it was being sliced up, it became apparent that there weren’t enough chocolates on top to go around, you really want one per slice!

26 January 2009

Chocolatea (Selfridges)

I don’t usually comment on the price, and I do like to think that snacking and treats shouldn’t be affected by the price, but as this is rather expensive, I couldn’t help but mention it - £15 is the retail price. For fifteen pounds you get just two cups worth of tea and two bars of chocolate, one dark and one dark but flavoured with tea. I happened to purchase it in the sale though, so it can be bought cheaper.

I brewed the tea, read the paperwork and tucked into the chocolate.

The tea itself is a smokey black tea, I think I recognise the flavour as being Lapsang Souchong (not a particularly expensive tea, around £2.50 for a box of 50 teabags).The first bar of chocolate was a very nice dark chocolate, but I felt it didn’t go that well with the tea. To be honest though, I’m more of a chocolate and coffee fan than chocolate and tea. The chocolate however was a good quality bar and full of flavour. The second bar of chocolate was flavoured with the same tea, but very mildly, and it has a hint of a smokey flavour, but nothing too smokey.

The packaging is nice, the spiel in the box is pleasant, all in all it’s fine. It is one of those products where you pay for the packaging though; nice tin, very nice write up on how to taste the chocolate, and how tea complements the flavour, but not that much in terms of quantity of product.

25 January 2009

Maltesers Bunny [MaltEaster Milk Chocolate Filled Rabbit] (Waitrose)

It wasn’t too long ago I was telling you about Maltesers and Friends, and how the Maltesers chocolate egg was lacking enough of that magic malt filling. Then I stumbled across this, which is what I thought at the time of purchase was a giant Malteser!

The design of the product is very sweet, although prematurely Easter related!

As it happens the filling isn’t pure Maltesers, it is filled with a malted mousse and small bits of Maltesers to add crunch. The chocolate is thick and rich, and the centre is absolutely lovely, better than having a pure Maltesers filling. Gorgeous!

24 January 2009

Marmite Gift Set (Selfridges)

I have a helper today helping me write – Paddington.

I’m sure you have all seen the adverts with Paddington bear and his new found love of Marmite, instead of Marmalade? Well there is now a gift set available showing his new alliance. Perfect for those of you who know someone who is a Marmite fan, or just want to treat yourselves.

I am not going to do too much of a review of Marmite for you, after all ‘you either love it or hate it’. I am in the love it camp, Marmite on toast with a bowl of tomato soup – heaven. The salty, meaty (but vegetarian) Marmite and sweetness of the soup make for combination perfection.

23 January 2009

Gü Chocs – Liquid Caramel Chocs

Now I don’t want to get a reputation as someone who hangs out at chocolate websites, but I guess it is to be expected. Anyway I was looking at the Gü website, as you do, and I noticed a competition on the side of the website to win Gü chocs, I entered, I won. It is bizarre that someone with a website like mine should win so much chocolate, but it is a very pleasant coincidence! If my exceptional luck continues and I win the lottery, I will let you all know!!

I have never even seen these chocolates in the shops, I only know Gü (and Frü) for the desserts that they sell, so receiving this in the post was rather nice!

The packaging of these is rather smart, and even the inside of the box has a nice pattern on it. The chocs themselves are wonderful. The 70% cocoa shell on them breaks easily and bursts a buttery sweet caramel goo (for want of a better word)! The caramel is listed as having a salty flavour, and there is, but it is very gentle. The sweet caramel compliments the bitter chocolate coating and I thoroughly recommend them.

22 January 2009

Sun Maid Fruit Fingers [Dipped In Chocolate] (Boots)

I previously wrote about the yoghurt version of this bar and thoroughly enjoyed it. This too is lovely, moist and very fruity. The chocolate works well, just adding a nice cocoa hint.

But something on the packet of this item got me thinking, it states 'with 100% real fruit' and the more I think about it the more I realise it is an odd phrasing. If I mix a tub of butter and sugar, and add one grape to it, then that would be made 'with 100% real fruit’ because I didn't add a ‘fake’ grape!

I'm not trying to criticize the bar, I know what they mean, and bar is genuinely one of your five a day and full of fruit, I just thinking the wording is strange!

Anyway this makes for a lovely snack that is satisfying and full of vitamins, and the chocolate makes for a nice touch.

21 January 2009

Weight Watchers Apple Crumble Slices (Sainsbury’s)

This is a small cake bar, made up of apple sponge on a soft pastry base, sprinkled with spices. They smell very nice probably as they have a good coating of cinnamon! The flavour itself is pleasant, with a good taste of apple offset by the spices. The texture is fine, a little firmer that it looks (as it looks like a fluffy light sponge), but it is also dryer than I expected, which unfortunately is the element that means I wouldn’t repurchases them. Also for 90 calories per slice, I do think there are some cereal bars on the market that are nicer and more satisfying.

20 January 2009

Tradtional Swiss Army Milk Chocolate (Switzerland)

From the Swiss collection I have previously mentioned.

The packet states that this is the Traditional Survival Portion of Chocolate for the Swiss Army, complete with Caffeine to rejuvenate. The packaging is ace, it made me not want to open it till an emergency!

I happened to eat the bar when I was very sleepy after doing an early shift at work, but still wanting to be awake later in the evening. By the end of the bar I had the very strange feeling that I wanted to run round the room, but also fall asleep (I’ve always been quite sensitive to caffeine)!

I thought the chocolate itself was gorgeous; sweet milky and with golden cornflakes that add a honey like flavour and a bit of a crunch to the texture. The base chocolate has that alpine nutty flavour that made me love it.

19 January 2009

Ramune [Carbonated Soft Drink] (Mount Fuji, Birmingham Bullring)

Firstly a note on the place of purchase of this item, Mount Fuji, it is a Japanese shop and restaurant in the centre of Birmingham, and it sells an interesting array of Japanese products and food. I previously mentioned it as a place to purchase Pocky, but really if you are looking for somewhere different to eat give it a try!


When I was last in there we asked for lemonade, and got asked if we meant Ramune, as it is Japanese Lemonade. This is what arrived!

The green item in the photo next to the bottle is the ‘key’ you have to place this on top of the bottle, and press down for a few seconds to dislodge a glass marble. I’m not joking it is sealed with a marble, and has a health warning on the packet about supervising children opening it!

The drink itself doesn’t taste exactly like lemonade, it is sweet, in fact it is VERY sweet. I would describe the taste as lemonade flavoured bubblegum! I know that may not sound like a compliment, but I have a sweet tooth and found it very refreshing!

18 January 2009

Müller Vanilla with Dark Chocolate (Sainsbury’s)

I used to quite like the Muller chocolate yoghurt that got discontinued a year or so back. It didn’t exactly taste of chocolate, but it was very nice. That’s the weird thing about chocolate yoghurts in general, they never quite taste of chocolate, some are good and some are bizarrely bad. Muller was my favourite.

This yoghurt is rather nice vanilla with dark chocolate bits. Before tucking in it never dawned on me that this might be the replacement for the chocolate yoghurt that I lost, but there is definitely a similarity in flavour. This is the new improved version; the vanilla has a good base tone and the small specks of dark chocolate add the flavour without significantly changing the texture. A new regular purchase for me!

17 January 2009

Kitchen Guru – Chicken Madras (Selfridges)

This product is essentially a recipe for Chicken Madras with all the spices required pre-measured and attached to the card. The extra ingredients which had to be purchased fresh were listed on the back of the pack (well they couldn’t really attach raw chicken to the card)!

The recipe is easy to follow. This particular curry was cooked all in one pan, simply adding the appropriate ingredients at the given time.

And the results:

The finished article didn’t have too much sauce and had a lovely authentic taste. In fact it is a gorgeous curry, with lots of flavour, and good spice. Really nice, well worth giving these spice cards a go. They are really fun to use too.

Mr Bunbury’s Email

In reference to the things I wrote about Mr Bunbury’s Madagascan Brownies and Mr Bunbury Biscuit Cakes, he sent me an email:

Dear Cinabar

Thank you so much for you lovely comments on our Brownies and Biscuit Cakes. As a new small business it is very heartening to read! It is always nice to hear that others love eating our products.

Do try the Mr Bunbury Millionaire’s shortbreads as well. Do let me know what you think of them.

With best wishes

Mr Bunbury
Cheers guys, I'll keep an eye out for the Millionaire’s Shortbread.

16 January 2009

Lindt Petits Dessert Tiramisu (House of Fraser)

Having thoroughly enjoyed the Crème Brûlee Lindt bar, I was very pleased to find another from the ‘Petits Dessert’ range; Tiramisu.

The chocolate has the lovely aroma of fresh coffee. Biting in I could see that the chocolate was delicately layered, mimicking the real Tiramisu dessert, with both a dark layer and a creamy layer. The dark layer was a truffle and was where (I think) the coffee flavour originates from. The paler layer was more creamy in both texture and flavour, with biscuit pieces that added a light crunch. A very nice bar, particularly for the coffee fans!

15 January 2009

Vosges Haut Chocolate – Mo’s Bacon Bar (Selfridges)

As strange combinations go, I have covered some curiosities, but this has to take the biscuit. My first thought was:

Bacon + Chocolate = Madness

Oh yes folks, its a chocolate bar with pieces of bacon inside. I saw it mentioned in the press though, and obviously had to hunt some down.

During the first first bite I spent the entire time trying to get over the concept, it turns out that the bacon is a little chewy too which doesn’t help.

Tucking in a little more I let my senses digest the flavours and found the bar to be smokey and rather salty. It is not bad, it’s just very different, it reminds me of the salt chocolate I have previously talked about. It did grow on me the more I ate, but I won’t be rushing out for another bar! Strange, but worth a try!

14 January 2009

Mr Bunbury’s Madagascan Brownies (Sainsbury’s)

A few days ago I wrote about Mr Bunbury’s Biscuit Cakes, and I have now made the discovery of another product in the range, Brownies!

These Brownies have the same fabulous packaging as the Biscuit Cakes which do, as Katie commented, look like something out of a children’s book. Inside this magical packaging are five rather scrummy Brownies. I think these are the only Brownies that I have purchased that actually taste home made. They remind me of the Brownies I used to make when I was a kid, in those boxes you could buy with the ready to use cake mix. They are moist and chocolaty and have a lovely soft texture, and yet just melt in the mouth. A very nice treat.

PS I have bought something crazy to write about tomorrow!!!!

13 January 2009

Cadbury’s - Carnival Competition

This is just a mention of the fact that Cadbury’s are running a promotion called “Is there a Carnival in the box?”. It is currently on a variety of thier chocolate bars e.g. Dairy Milk and Boost.

Essentially you enter the digits from the barcode on your promotional bar, and play the game on the website listed on the pack. There are quite a few prizes, ranging from holidays, consoles through to chocolate!

So in summary, I ate, I entered my code, I played the game and I won choccies!!!
Couldn’t help but smile when this arrived in the post!

12 January 2009

Aero Egg (Spa)

Pay no attention to the weather or date, clearly I was wrong yesterday, the shops have made up their mind, it is almost Easter and the eggs are in the shops! Though I can’t really complain if it means more new products to talk about!

The latest on the ‘new’ front is this Aero egg, which is about the same size as a Cadbury’s Crème Egg, but filled with Aero bubbles instead of egg fondant. Surprisingly I found it quite tough to bite into, the honeycomb structure of the Aero bubbles would obviously make for a sound engineering construction! Other than that it is the usual Aero chocolate and is rather nice! Do you think Cadbury’s will release a Wispa Egg to compete? How cool would that be!

11 January 2009

Maltesers and Friends Mini Eggs (Spa)

Okay, above me there is a calendar that clearly states that the date is January, and yet in front of me is a bag of mini Easter eggs. I know that they are mini Easter eggs as they have a white Easter Bunny on the packet. Yes, I realise that just a few days ago I was excited about finding the first Cadbury’s Crème Eggs, but that’s different, they are clearly New Year eggs!

Anyway, on with the product... There are four different varieties of mini eggs in the bag; Mars, Milky Way, Maltesers and Galaxy. The product is called ‘Maltesers and Friends’, but I don’t really know why as the majority of the ones in my bag were Mars eggs! On with the selection:

Milky Way Egg – Had a filling flavoured like a Milky Way bar, but I’m sure it is less fluffy.
Mars – Like a mini Mars bar and my favourite.
Galaxy – This is solid Galaxy chocolate.
Maltesers - Rather like the one in the Celebrations box, but with much more chocolate and not enough malt!

Actually these are an Easter version of Celebrations, in foil rather than the posh wrappers.

10 January 2009

Sun-maid Fruit Fingers [dipped in yogurt] (Boots)

This is clearly designed for children’s lunch boxes, but does have a little message on the back so as not to discriminate, “but remember they’re not just for kids”.

This is the yoghurt version, and inside the pack are two sticks of (mostly) fruit condensed and partially coated in yoghurt. This may not sound exciting, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how nice they are.

The texture is somewhere between firm and chewy and is very satisfying. What got me was how tasty the sticks were, really nice, sweet and (dare I say it) healthy! It counts as one of your five a day! I also purchased one of these coated in chocolate (still healthy), review to follow.

9 January 2009

Mr Bunbury Biscuit Cakes (Sainsbury’s)

I love the box! These are indeed very nicely packaged; it’s a one colour box which is nicely presented to look hand drawn. The bars are individually wrapped, excellent for keeping fresh, as I quite often open biscuit type products and they go soft before I finish them (I like to try, but not to scoff)!

The biscuit cakes themselves are very thick but moist. When you bite into one there are a good range of textures to be discovered within the bar, from crunchy biscuit bits through to soft raisins. All of these ingredients are beautifully complemented and fused together with a good amount of chocolate. Very nice, went lovely with my coffee.

8 January 2009

Lindt Petits Dessert Crème Brûlee (House of Fraser)


A dessert in a bar is a different idea, but that is exactly the concept behind this item, it’s a crème brûlee chocolate bar!

Ripping back the foil, and the most amazing aroma appears from nowhere, sweet sugary goodness. Biting in, I discovered that this bar has a crème brûlee filling, inside a milk chocolate case. The filling consists of a sweet toffee scented cream, with pieces of crisp caramelised sugar.

It encompasses a crème brûlee dessert perfectly, with both the cream and burnt sugar neatly enrobed in chocolate. This bar should be sickly, but it really isn’t, it is remarkably well balanced and works like a dream.

7 January 2009

Frey Supreme Vanilla Bourbon Noir Chocolate (Switzerland)

Nobody panic, I haven’t yet run out of the bars from Switzerland which I had for Christmas. Next up from that collection is this 60% dark chocolate flavoured with vanilla.

Unfortunately I couldn’t really taste any vanilla in my chocolate, and so doubting my own taste buds, I got a second opinion from another taster who confirmed what I thought – indistinguishable vanilla. That is the negative part over. The chocolate itself is absolutely divine. It is really rich, good quality cocoa which I very much enjoyed.

Maybe the vanilla does give this a subtle undertone of flavour that I can’t quite consciously pick up, but either way, very nice chocolate.

6 January 2009

Ben & Jerry’s Baked Alaska Ice Cream (Sainsbury’s)

This ice cream had a ‘new’ symbol on it in my local super market, I suspect it was probably ‘new’ in Summer (the concept of leaving a ‘new’ label on an item past the acceptable ‘newness period’ is something that winds me up)! But anyway I hadn’t tried this flavour before, so it is still new to me!

The ice cream comes with a message about global warming, and is designed to raise awareness about environmental issues. I liked the pun on the packet: “if it’s melted it’s ruined” in reference to the melting ice caps, but also the ice cream!

So on with the ice cream itself… it is a vanilla based ice cream, with white chocolate polar bears (cute) and marshmallow swirls (allegedly). It’s a very mild ice cream, as the flavours are all quite subtle. The vanilla flavour is pleasant and the white chocolate is of a good quality. I can’t really tell you about the marshmallow swirls, as I couldn’t really locate any, they are rather well mixed in! The ice cream is nice enough, but I prefer some of Ben and Jerry’s more exotic flavours.

Finally, isn’t a Baked Alaska supposed to contain meringue?

5 January 2009

KP Baked and Seasoned Large Peanuts Thai Sweet Chilli

The drawing on the front of the packaging isn’t that clear, but I was convinced that these nuts would have a thick coating on them. But no, they are as stated on the packet just seasoned nuts in a bag.

They don’t really have that much flavour, there is a sweetness, and a very gentle bit of spice. The chilli isn’t anywhere near being strong enough to offend anyone, even those with a delicate palette. They didn’t taste ‘Thai’ to me in any way.

The mild flavours do make these nuts a bit of an anti-climax in my opinion, and strangely enough I didn’t think they were particularly morish.

4 January 2009

Taste the Difference Scotch Beef Burgers Filled with West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Chilli (Sainsbury’s)

These burgers should come with a warning on the packet; “Do not under any circumstance serve this product in a bread bun unless you are partial to wearing chilli cheese!!!” Seriously this is the most dangerous burger I have ever eaten; it literally bursts hot liquid cheese. I unwittingly went for the bread bun and had to use extreme concentration to avoid a mishap, the sort of concentration levels worthy of being used by a contestant on The Krypton Factor! In conclusion, these burgers would be far safer on a plate eaten with a knife and fork.

That aside, the meat in the burger is tasty, full of flavour. The juicy meat is kept moist by the filling. The cheese itself also has a good cheddar flavour, but the chilli is disappointingly rather mild, some may see that as a positive though.

3 January 2009

Arla - Café Met - Mochalatte (Waitrose)

Okay I except this might not be the classical time of year for iced coffee drinks, but the cold weather outside does not put me off and the shops continue to stock them, so I couldn’t resist!

This makes for a lovely drink. I tasted hints of sweet caramel and coffee. The drink is very smooth and it is one of those drinks that just goes down a little too easy!

After yesterday’s discussion about the definition of ‘Latte Macchiato’, I couldn’t help but lookup ‘Mochalatte’, and it turns out that it is supposed to have a mix of chocolate and coffee, which is what I suspected. I really enjoyed this drink, but I could taste no cocoa in it, unless I misinterpreted the caramel flavour (but I usually have a good nose for chocolate)!

2 January 2009

Chocolat Alprose – Swiss Premium Chocolate – Special Edition: Latte Macchiato (Switzerland)

Okay, here we go - another bar from Switzerland!

This bar lead to a long conversation about the meaning of the phrase ‘Late Macchiato’, and it turns out it means literally ‘milk stain’. It is so called as the milk is stained in the preparation of the drink by half a shot of espresso.

This chocolate, although it is not clear on the picture, does have a different coloured lighter centre, so lives up to its name! The chocolate is sweet and delicate, the creamy centre has a gentle milky coffee flavour and the bar just melts in the mouth.

1 January 2009

Cadbury’s Crème Egss (WH Smiths)


I hope you all have a fab 2009!

And what does this time of year mean? Cadbury’s Crème Eggs are back in season!!!
Woohoo!!! I do like Cadbury’s Twisted Bar, but there is something very nice about the first Cadbury’s Crème Egg of the year!