31 January 2021

Bacon Milkshake - Vegan style! @alpro @deliciou (by @NLi10)


I bought some magical bacon flavour dust - if you've not read about it then catch up in part 1!

This started out fairly logically - if bacon flavour dust works on bagels - does Nesquik strawberry dust work on bagels too?


And lightly dusted!

And - it's like a really cheap version of jam.  Has the flavour of strawberry but none of the good bits of texture.  It did get me thinking though - it's probably quite easy to do the reverse.

What would bacon milkshake taste like?!  We used to make all kinds of milkshakes as kids.  Fizzy drinks were incredibly rare in my family growing up - it was all high juice and similar healthy squash.  Ribena milkshake is awesome if you get the amounts right (it's basically a liquid pudding) - and you can even make an orange juice based shake, but that wasn't always as successful.

It's slowly becoming easier to get hold of the best Alpro (the no sugar, no roasted one is the absolute best) so I'm happy to use some up here.  

And I can spare some maple-bacon magic Deliciou dust for this experiment.  I guess this is about half a teaspoon?

It went a bit orange, and the smell wasn't as overpowering as with the powder on dryer things. Maybe I'm getting the hand of it.  The orange looks unnatural too.

And the taste? 

It's drinkable but it's not a pleasurable experience.  It's essentially a garlic and onion milkshake - the bacon smell is very much present but the flavour isn't as strong as with the bagels.  This is probably for the best.  There are lots of little bits floating in the milkshake too which is a little offputting.

Not one for the recipe book then, but one to mark as 'done'.

Other suggestions from people so far have been -
  • with scrambled eggs (great idea)
  • with hot chocolate (even worse idea than the milkshake)
  • in curry (another good plan)
  • and of course - with pancakes as I originally planned when I ordered this!
I may save the write up of the last one for pancake day, but if people want to see if the others work then do let me know via twitter or comments.

30 January 2021

Camden Show Off (Asda) By @SpectreUK

Camden Show Off

I don't believe I've tried a lager by the Camden Town Brewery before, so I'm pretty excited about this Show Off beer. It's sported as a show stopping juicy pilsner lager brewed with an array of other malts such as; Carapils, Munich, and also wheat. Bavarian lager yeast was used in the brewing with a vast variety of hops such as; Magnum, Chinook, Simcoe, and Mosaic as Kettle Hops; Chinook, Simcoe and Mosaic as Whirlpool Hops; and Chinook, Simcoe, and Mosaic as Dry Hops.

The hops and malts combined in the brewing are sported on the back of the can for producing a crisp and clean, juicy and hoppy flavour. It sounds to me like this show stopping lager really does want to Show Off, so what does it taste like?

On opening the bright orange can there was an instant citrus and herbal hoppish smell. I could detect the grapefruit flavours in the aroma from the Chinook hops, mixed with the more tropical flavours from the Simcoe hops, with the somewhat herbal earthiness from the Mosaic hops, which merged with the sweet pilsner malts to finish.

This golden almost straw coloured lager is not too bubbly and poured with a cheerful head. On taste Show Off really comes into its own. The powerful mixture of tropical citrus and herbal earthy hops springs to the fore, creating a biting freshness to begin with. The sweet pils malts and a little wheat merge with these hoppy flavours smoothing their crispness into the aftertaste. This is a complex craft brew from a favourite brewer of mine. It's a proper Show Off ;-)

29 January 2021

Coffee Mate - Snickers Edition (Import via Amazon UK) By @Cinabar

Coffee Mate - Snickers Edition

Following on from my write up about Salted Caramel Coffee Mate I couldn’t resist having a look on Amazon (the UK site) to see what options there were for sale for other Coffee Mate varieties. There were lots actually although all imports, French Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, Irish coffee and then I spotted Coffee Mate Snickers Edition and suddenly it was clear what I was going to buy!

So the box arrived and it was a cute dispenser in card board, I made myself a coffee and added a serving of of the Snickers Coffee Mate. The drink had a lovely creamy flavour of chocolate and nut, but it was a little mild I added a second serving and ended up with such a delicious coffee. It was mostly like a mocha but the addition of peanut was super soothing too. You really could taste the yummy Snickers.

I thought when this huge box of Coffee Mate Snickers arrived that I had over ordered and that there was a real risk I wouldn’t like it, now I know I need to use two pots per coffee I’m more worried about running out! This is the perfect afternoon pick me up, soothing but still works well with the coffee.

Coffee Mate - Snickers Edition

28 January 2021

Maple Bacon Bagels - but vegan as there is no Bacon - just @Deliciou ! (@NLi10)


Christmas is a magical time, where many things occur - including an increased susceptibility to the adverts that pop up in the Scrabble game my family play.  One of these things was from Australian Dragons Den and is a powder that makes anything taste like Bacon.  This is a perfect joke sister present - but the postage etc was much more reasonable if you got two.  So I got the Maple Bacon variety where as she got the original bacon.

In the video advert, people on the street tip the dust onto something - then eat it - and go - bacon!  I figured it wouldn't really be like that, but as I do like seasonings I figured it would at least compete with the Little Chef maple bacon pancakes breakfast I miss from our road trips.

At home I'd tend to use bagels instead

No MSG? Why not - it's proven that the colours in the food were the problem and MSG is great!  

It is suitable for vegans though which is fascinating.  I've long held that the best part of bacon is fried salt - which is vegan in theory - so I wonder what they use.

Sugar, salt & garlic?  Fine by me! As I suspected, this is not copying British bacon, but the more American style crispy streaky stuff. Not a problem for me!

It also said a serving size was 1g - much more than I'd used on my pre-review trials.  So here we have an approximate g.  The Gino D'Acampo scales are terrible for small measures like this - but it's close enough.

We toast the thin American-Style bagels.

We butter our control bagels (science) and conclude that they are decent.  Not as good as my usual brand, but we are in a pandemic afterall!

And on the other bagel we blend the bacon dust into the spread!

At this point its easy to get the maple syrup smell, and realise just how similar this stuff is to brick dust.  You really don't want to breath this in - and getting it on your hands means they will smell like maple for a good while.

It doesn't look like bacon, but with the increased amount from measuring out, and the realistic setting for the bacon this does work surprisingly well.  I'm not sure a blind taste test would lead English people to bacon as the first choice due to the sweetness of the maple - but on bagels & pancakes like bacon and syrup should be this works.  

I'm not sure it's cost effective, and I don't think it's something I'll finish without deliberate effort (at least 65 servings here!), but I'm certainly going to be using it as an ingredient in lunches and other things to see just how versatile this flavour powder is.

Part 2 is here! - and is Milkshakes?!

Part 3 is Here - and is Pancakes!

27 January 2021

Twirl Breakaway (GB Gifts) By @SpectreUK

Twirl Breakaway (GB Gifts)

I'm being showered with import chocolate at the moment. Cinabar has bought a stockpile of chocolate from GB Gifts. Last week it was the Cadbury's Flake Luxury. This week it's a Cadbury's Twirl Breakaway. Well, I did mention how much I like Cadbury's Twirls, so it seemed a natural choice for Cinabar to buy from the website.

A Cadbury's Twirl Breakaway is two fingers of chocolate, not in an 'up your's' sense, but more of a lean towards the traditional Cadbury's Twirl. These fingers or sticks have swirls and curls of chocolate in between layers of crispy wafer coated with Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate. It sounds pretty good, eh? Well, only if you like wafer. The trouble is... I don't like wafer. I'll likely eat a wafer if someone insults a cone of ice cream with one, but I'd prefer a Cadbury's Flake in a cone of ice cream any day. Having said that, in one ice cream shop I had a stick of fudge added to my ice cream cone, which was amazeballs!

At around 108 calories per stick this Cadbury's Twirl Breakaway is fairly healthy. Having said that, an original Cadbury's Twirl weighs in at 114 calories per stick, so not much difference there. I have worked out quite a bit in the kitchen gym, so I have an original Cadbury's Twirl to eat also, as a sort of compare and contrast.

Twirl Breakaway (GB Gifts)

On opening the Cadbury's Twirl Breakaway there was a crunch from the crispy wafer at the top of the bar. As you can see from the photograph, there is wafer just under the milk chocolate coating at the top and bottom of the Cadbury's Twirl Breakaway stick. The curls and swirls of chocolate give a Dairy Milk Chocolate creaminess mixed with the chocolate coating. The wafer melted in my mouth pretty quickly.

These Cadbury's Twirl Breakaway are a very tasty alternative to an original Cadbury's Twirl, which I rather enjoyed straight afterwards. Both Cadbury's Twirls variations complemented each other very well indeed. Although in a taste versus calories battle I'd go with an original Cadbury's Twirl on its own. They both were washed down with a white hot chocolate drink. Pure bliss.

Twirl Breakaway (GB Gifts)

26 January 2021

Nando’s Perinaise Garlic Peri-Peri Mayonnaise (Asda) By @Cinabar

Nando’s Perinaise Garlic Peri-Peri Mayonnaise

I often buy regular Nando’s Perinaise from the shop as a dip for chips, it is one of my cupboard staples, along with the Nando’s Peri-Peri Salt sprinkles which I put on all sorts of things from eggs to chips. I like a little spice and these products are perfect for me as they add a bit of heat without a killer burn. I went to buy my usual mayo and the shop was out of stock so I picked up the garlic edition; Nando’s Perinaise Garlic Peri-Peri Mayonnaise.

This sauce is still labelled as medium and as I like garlic too I was looking forward to trying it. We had some chips and squeezed a portion of the sauce on the plate. I dipped a chip in and gave it a taste and thought there was a lot of garlic and that the sauce was quite creamy. Chips and garlic works well together and I was really enjoying the combination and munching away. After a while I noticed the chilli heat was starting to warm up and that there was actually quite a bit of chilli too, it snuck up on me with the warmth but it was a lovely addition. I’d gladly buy this one over the regular Perinaise as I thought the garlic worked so well, especially with chips. I’m looking forward to trying it out on chicken burgers too.

25 January 2021

McVities Hobnobs - The Fully Coated One (Asda) By @Cinabar

McVities Hobnobs - The Fully Coated One

I really like Hobnob biscuits, they have a good oaty flavour that works well. Recently I tried the special edition Brownie flavour Hobnobs and I wasn’t sure about the variety. There has been a theme recently of biscuits flavoured with desserts some have been more successful combinations than others. The Brownie ones had a very sweet flavour and it distracted from the oat taste too much, they were ok but they are not a re-purchase. These new McVities Hobnobs -The Fully Coated One sounded much more like me, the original biscuit just with more chocolate. Everything is better with more milk chocolate right?

I eagerly tore into the packaging and stared at the sparse plastic tray inside trying to work out how they made a pack with so few biscuits look so big from the outside. Seriously this is all there was in the packet…

McVities Hobnobs - The Fully Coated One

Okay the lack of biscuits aside the one I had was gorgeous. There is still lots of that wonderful oat flavour and crunch and the chocolate is increased as the base is covered too but this balance works well. The milk chocolate and golden oat flavour, they are a triumph together. One of these McVities Hobnobs The Fully Coated Ones was very filling too which is just as well really as there aren’t anywhere near enough in the pack!

McVities Hobnobs - The Fully Coated One

24 January 2021

A British Brexit Hamper for Christmas - Tea & Fudge (@NLi10)

I love(d) being part of the EU - Summer 2019's reviews were mostly me on a train exploring Eurofoods.  For Christmas one of our granddparents bought us hampers - and the first choice for us was out of stock so we got this one - tea, biscuits, and snacks - perfect!

Well - the theme is a little flag waving - but as the people that bought it are also very much fans of the freedom to explore Europe it turned it into an amusing talking point (and doesn't take away from the quality contents).

Like this Union Jack Tea.

Ten lovingly individually wrapped tea-bags from a luxury British Brand is nice.

Packed in India of course - which isn't EU - it's the Colonies.

From my point of view this is more fascinating as a cultural item due to all the languages on the box - this is intended to be sold to non-brits (or maybe Ex Pat in Britain & France) that miss tea that goes well with milk (Lipton is best drunk black with a little sugar, PG/this is best with a little milk and no sugar).

I always like it when the bags tell you how to make it - I still want to turn the import tea version of this into a 'Tea shirt'   Maybe this is so Americans don't use the water out of the coffee temp machine.  That's not suitable for proper British Tea!

And it brews up quite nicely, it's a really smooth and underpowered cup of tea.  Very much for the tastes of people who don't like green tea, and makes English Breakfast seem like Builders Tea.

A very refreshing cuppa, but not one I'd chase for personal use.  I'd love to gift this to someone who misses Britain though - it's perfect for that!

Next we have some Very British Fudge - I mean if you ignore that sugar and palm oil aren't from England anyway.  Maybe the only other ingredient (condensed milk) is from local dairies - that tends to be why they sell fudge in the rural areas using local clotted cream.

I like sugary things, but fudge doesn't really hit the spot for me.  This tastes of strawberries as advertised (british!) but has flavouring and not actual strawberries (also very British these days!).  I'll stick to the tea.

The hamper is a perfect gift for someone to take back to Europe with them (or some Remain believers that want to chuckle that so little of it can be made in the UK).


23 January 2021

Iconic Pale Ale (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

Iconic Pale Ale

I'm drinking up some of my American Pale Ales to celebrate the new President. I'm hoping he's going to be good for the USA and the rest of the World. He's already rejoined the World Health Organisation and signed America back into the climate agreement. I'm hoping he's going to heal some if not all of the bitterness that seems to be running wild in our news from America recently.

I enjoyed an American Pale Ale last week. Iconic is another American Pale Ale. This 4.4% volume Pale Ale was brewed by the Williams Brothers' Brewing Company in Scotland. Iconic won the Great Taste Award in 2018. I might be late to the party again on this one, but so is the new President. So we can both make up some time now.

On opening the bottle I noticed that there was a more herbal bitter hoppish smell rather than the grapefruit citrus of last week's Pale Ale. This deep golden Iconic has a sharp almost smoky bitterness to start with. This herbal smokiness travels throughout each mouthful and is touched by the sweet caramel flavours in the malts, which smooth out that crisp smoky bite from the hops into the aftertaste. I must admit that I haven't tasted an American Pale Ale like this Iconic before. I rather liked it. I would certainly agree that it is Iconic. Much like the new President... One can only hope!

22 January 2021

Hazelnut Latte and Velvetiser (Hotel Chocolat) By @Cinabar

Hazelnut Latte and Velvetiser (Hotel Chocolat)

It was my birthday yesterday and although I didn’t get to see all my family and loved ones I did still get spoilt by them. Thanks to all for all the lovely prezzies, they are much appreciated. :-) I was lucky enough to receive this new kitchen gadget from my brother, a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser and a box of (Chocolate) Hazelnut Latte to try with it. It has been quite a while since I have wanted a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser, everyone who has tried them say they make the best hot chocolate and as I drink a significant amount it obviously appeals, but the gadgets are expensive so I never quite got there. This Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser is a smart bronze colour, and makes one drink at a time. You simply add milk, the chocolate powder / sachet and press the button, you get hot chocolate a couple of minutes later. It makes it by heating the milk and continuously whisking while it works, this adds air and also means you get a smooth lump free finish.

Hazelnut Latte and Velvetiser (Hotel Chocolat)

I added the milk to the fill line inside the Velvetiser, then I poured in the sachet of Hazelnut Latte and set the machine off. It whirled and hummed away and I poured my finished Hazelnut Latte drink into a mug. I took a sip and was completely blown away by the drink, it was rich and sweet from chocolate, wonderfully nutty and had lovely dark tones of coffee too. The texture was silky and it was just so good. The hazelnut was perfectly balanced, the chocolate was divine and I savoured every sip of this gorgeous coffee. I can’t wait to try out some of the more traditional chocolate varaties too. I know I love a kitchen gadget but this really is something special. :-)

Hazelnut Latte and Velvetiser (Hotel Chocolat)

21 January 2021

Walkers Sensations Streetmix - Mumbai Style (@NLi10)

Living in a pretty Asian area I'd never really considered picking up the westernised version of Mumbai Mix - there are lots of really really authentic versions in most of my local shops.

That said - when these Walkers were presented to me I had to try them.  They look the part, although they possibly have a more nutty focus than the ones we've looked at before these are probably a lot easier to get hold of for most people

So what do we get - crackers & rice sticks, and two kind of peanuts - all with their own textures and flavour and enough spice to keep you interested but not so much you'll be rushing for a drink.

I've never seen coated peanuts in the real versions, but those are the star here - just a little crunchy parcel of flavour.

Perfect for home cinema snacks as you can pick and choose your nibbles and have a lovely tea alongside the spices.


20 January 2021

Flake Luxury Edition (GB Gifts) By @SpectreUK

Flake Luxury Edition

This Flake Luxury is an import Cadbury's chocolate bar from Australia. I'm sure at some point in the past we had Cadbury's Flakes here in the UK called Flake Dipped, which were covered with Milk Chocolate so they would not be so... flakey... but then they may have given way to Cadbury's Twirls. I love Cadbury's Twirls. I haven't had a Cadbury's Flake for quite a while. It's not that I dislike them. Not at all... it's just, well, they're flakey!

I fully expected this Cadbury's Flake Luxury to taste like Cadbury's Twirl. It looks a little like a Cadbury's Twirl on first biting into it, but the milk chocolate flavour is slightly less creamy and more leaning towards the cocoa side. It's still silky smooth though and disappeared into my mouth pretty quickly, I can tell you. It wasn't at all messy, and so was reminiscent to the Cadbury's Twirl in that sense. It just didn't taste like a Cadbury's Twirl.

Flake Luxury Edition

I had a Cadbury's Flake straight afterwards, as I workout a lot, so I could get away with the extra calories. And I can concur that it was very flaky but still went mostly in my mouth. I used to eat Cadbury's Flakes in a bowl or on a small plate so I wouldn't drop bits of chocolate everywhere. Having said that, I thought the original Cadbury's Flake is slightly tastier and more had more of a creamy milk chocolatey flavour to it than the slightly cocoa heavy Cadbury's Flake Luxury version, but that maybe just me!

Flake Luxury Edition

19 January 2021

Aero - Dark Chipotle (Canada via GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Aero - Dark Chipotle

I spent some time browsing import chocolate on the internet and found some strange items that would never get released here in the UK, among them is this Aero Dark Chipotle bar from Canada. I think chilli chocolate flavours were on trend in the UK in about 2008 / 2009 but I haven’t seen much like this for quite a while. I remember Lindt doing ‘hot’ bars mixed with fruit. They are a bit of a novelty but can work well. As a fan of Aero too I couldn’t wait to give this bar a try.

Aero - Dark Chipotle

So this Aero Dark Chipotle is a bubbly dark bar with a layer of Chipotle truffle that is a dark red in colour. My bar was broken a little in transit, but I broke a piece off for a closer look at the bubbles. Then I gave it the taste test. The bar is a dark chocolate, and the rich tones of cocoa are the predominant flavour. I braced myself for the chilli and it was very mild. The spicy warmth did grow and even managed a slight heat tingle but it was in no way strong. I prefer this, it managed to add a gentle warmth to the rich cocoa and it gave it a wonderful Mexican feel without it being too spicy to enjoy. I always like the texture of Aero too, with its soft bubbles of chocolate. This was an impressive bar, it wouldn’t be my usual cup of tea but I’m so glad I tried it. It is grown up and different, and a nice change from the 2020 / 2021 trend of chocolate and orange.

Aero - Dark Chipotle

18 January 2021

Dr Pepper Cotton Candy (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Dr Pepper Cotton Candy

Disclaimer alert; when we started this blog my sweet tooth was a contributing factor, I have a high sugar tolerance. I buy sweets and enjoy sugary flavours. Sometime I realise that products that make me happy because they are so sweet may be too much for others and this may well fit into this category. ;-)

Dr Pepper Cotton Candy

So candy floss (or cotton candy as the Americans say) is already pretty sweet anyway being basically heated and spun sugar but this product thought it could do with an extra level and this Dr Pepper flavoured Cotton Candy, which I bought online from an import shop. Inside the bag the candy floss came out in a pressed into the shape of the bag. It didn’t look very appetising, something about the pink colour made it a bit off putting. Brains? I broke a piece off though and it was nice a fluffy once torn.

Dr Pepper Cotton Candy

The flavour is super sweet, sugary and all those flavours of zingy Dr Pepper which is similar to cherry coke but somehow sweeter and sharper, I’d forgotten how much I like Dr Pepper. This is such a fun and sweet thing to eat, it reminded me of fairgrounds and was flavoursome and almost fruity and tart all in one. Yes it will be sweet and sickly for some but for I loved it and I want more Dr Pepper Cotton Candy!

Dr Pepper Cotton Candy

17 January 2021

Biscolata Mood - Bigger Biscuits with a horoscope built in! (@NLi10)

 We've talked about this brand Biscolata twice before - about a year apart.  Each time they add a little twist to the formula and I have an excuse to talk about them again.

Of course I never need an excuser to buy them

They are a bit international in their packaging - but all the horoscopes are in Polish!

And there are loads

Thankfully the biscuits can be enjoyed by all - and you get a decent amount - enough to share - and they are bigger thane the original version so the centres are more liquid.

And they are really clearly labelled so lets see what's in store for me

via the magic of Google Lens

So - a romantic prize awaits me & every day is a new reward!

Well - I guess that the prizes are mainly more snacks that come from this very tub.  Full of flavour, great crunchy biscuits and lovely smooth fillings.  Always a hit.