28 February 2022

Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns (Co-Op)

What an interesting sounding hybrid, mixing the seasonal treat of the Hot Cross bun with the Carrot Cake. There are quite a few interesting Hot Cross buns out at the minute, many just slight twists on the original (ie using blueberries), others going all out with non-traditional ingredients like white chocolate and caramel. Of all the varieties I have spotted, the ones I most wanted to try are these Co-Op Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns. I do love a nice piece of carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns (Co-Op)

I split the Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns open and could see the bits of orange carrot blended in, exciting. At some point it dawned on me while the toaster was cooking away that carrot cake is all about the spice (specifically mixed spice), as are regular hot cross buns (again mixed spice). I think what I bought are hot cross bun flavoured hot cross buns, with a small amount of carrot mixed in for good measure.

I finished toasting them and buttered them and gave them a try. They taste nice, sweet, and spicy. I loved the cinnamon from the mixed spice. I’m not going to lie I couldn’t pick up on the carrot. Perhaps I should have filled them with a cream cheese frosting for authenticity? They did taste good, genuinely maybe a tiny bit more spicy than some Hot Cross Buns but unless you see the carrot there isn’t much to tell really.

Random thought, I also add mixed spice to Anzac biscuits, so you know, in many respects, these are Anzac biscuit flavoured Hot Cross Buns too.

Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns (Co-Op)

27 February 2022

MI SO TASTY - Silken Tofu Miso Soup by @NLi10

I like Japanese food, but I don't really like mushrooms.  This means I tend to avoid things that use them as the ingredients in large ways.

I do like Miso soup though - even though I understand that Real Dashi contains mushrooms.  I blame my time as a teenager in the Japan Cultural Centre near Totenham Court Road buying the cheap Miso soup with fish food (tempura batter flakes) as it was the only way I could eat there.

Aged mushroom water - yum...

You get some cubes, & some paste

And you get a nice hot drink for a Feb evening starter before dinner.  Just the right amount of salty and tangy and umami and 'mouthfulness'.  Great split between two as a starter, or you could probably have one solo as an alternative to a nice cup of tea.

Have to bring your own flakes, but this tastes pretty darn close to the real deal!

26 February 2022

Hobgoblin Ruby Beer (Local Shop) By @SpectreUK

Hobgoblin Ruby Beer

I haven't drank a Hobgoblin beer from the Wychwood Brewery for a while. I do like a pint of Hobgoblin now and then, but I have an overstocked beer fridge full of beers that I want to write about, and also a diet of over exercise and strict calorie counting to think about.

This Hobgoblin Ruby Beer was bought by my mom from a local corner shop, and is a perfect excuse to have my cake and eat it (well, beer and drink it). At 5.2% in volume the back of the bottle mentions caramel and fruity aromas. It also tantalisingly mentions Chocolate and Crystal malts used in the brewing, as well Fuggles and Syrian Golding hops. So I'm looking forward to a toffee sweetness, a little chocolate and fruitiness such as figs, dates and raisins in this ruby ale.

This beer should go rather well with my steak and ale pie and assorted vegetables for dinner. On pouring out the bottle there was indeed a sweet caramel and a deep fruity aroma from the dark red almost brown ale inside. Hobgoblin Ruby Beer would work well with either a meaty meal or even as a pudding beer.

Personally Hobgoblin Ruby Beer tastes so good, I'd rather drink it on its own with a good book or black and white movie in the afternoon. The sweet pale toffee from the mix of malts shines through in the initial tasting, followed by mid fruity bitterness from the added hops into the aftertaste. Gorgeous… I would love another.

25 February 2022

Chiquito Churros (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Chiquito Churros (Iceland)

It is time for dessert. This is all about having the restaurant treat of Chiquito’s Churros at home, not from some delivery service but straight from the freezer and ready to go. I have a thing for cinnamon, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m a fan of Churros. I couldn’t resist picking up this box of goodies.

Chiquito Churros (Iceland)

Inside the box of Chiquito Churros we have the Churros themselves, some cinnamon sugar and a pot of chocolate sauce. The sauce is warmed through by putting it into some hot water to defrost. The Churros are baked in the oven for 10mins and then dusted with sugar. I checked on the Churros after 8mins and they looked okay to last a couple more but they were sizzling when they came out at 10 mins.

Chiquito Churros (Iceland)

I let them cool a little, then we are ready to dip them into the sauce. I gave the first Chiquito Churro and a generous plunge into the chocolate sauce and the sauce was all I could taste. Unfortunately, it turns out the sauce isn’t the best thing in this kit, it was syrupy, overly concentrated, and reminiscent of a 1990s milkshake mix. It almost took on the flavour of liquorice. The next bite I had was the Chiquito Churro just on its own, and it was a lovely, warm, sweet, sugary, spicey dough taste, and an absolute delight. I tried the dip again, less is more and once I got used to the flavour a bit I could handle it. Sadly though for me the sauce is the reason I wouldn’t buy them again, as good as the doughnut part actually are they needed a better dip.

Chiquito Churros (Iceland)

24 February 2022

MAROU - Ginger & Lime 69% BARIA by @NLi10

We are a big fan of Birmingham's Red Brick Market (website!) and it sometimes feels like i've done my weekly shop there.  On this particualr occasion I moved this bar to the side so it wouldn't get crushed and they accidentally scanned it twice - gah!

And at £3 the first time that's a pretty expensive bar of chocolate.

Having come all the way from Vietnam it's certainly exotic.

Part of me expected to say 'packaged by hipsters in London' on the back - so it's a surprise to see that it's made locally and shipped out.

And it's a luxurious proposition,

if not a little slender in proportion 24g! Hidden well in the picture above to look like 24 carat gold

The flavours though are dynamic and deep, suggesting that the whole bar is a serving is really overdoing it - each of these little snapped sections is more than enough to satisfy any taste cravings.

First you have the sharpness of the lime with a hint of the ginger burn.  The lime then sinks into the richness of the black chocolate - it's really sublime.  I've had it open for a while now, it's not for snacking, too powerful and acidic for that.  I can imagine this working well grated over something cooling like a cheesecake, but then that almost feels like a waste.

At the price this is certainly a high grade luxury treat, and not something children would ever want a 2nd crumb of.  I however would quite like to see what else they have on offer (but at the correct price this time).


23 February 2022

Nestle Lion Caramel Blond (GB Gifts) By @SpectreUK

Nestle Lion Caramel Blond

I do like a Nestle Lion bar every now and then. Their crunchy chocolatey goodness always goes well with a tub of low calorie ice cream for a tasty pudding. These new limited edition Nestle Lion Caramel Blond bars are double the caramel.

There are five bars in the packet and interestingly been as though these Nestle Lion Caramel Blond bars are made in Poland, the ingredients seemed to be in anything but English. Presumably these Caramel Blond bars have the usual Lion bar wafer, crisp cereal, and gooey caramel inside, but they will be coated with caramel blonde chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

As you can see from the photograph the Nestle Lion Caramel Blond bar is a creamy caramel colour, as it's coated with a sweet mix of creamy caramel and white chocolate. The crunchy cereal and wafer inside complemented the outer coating and also the gooey caramel provided a second sumptuous hit of sweetness.

This Nestle Lion Caramel Blond bar is a gorgeous bar of crunchy chocolate. I managed my calories pretty well throughout the day and had two bars with my low calorie tub of salted caramel ice cream from Jude's. All very creamy, sweet and feel good after a long day of working out and procrastination from work.

Information on the packet;
Each of the 5 bars has 148 calories, with 3.9g of fat, 15.8g of sugar, and 0.16g of salt. Unfortunately the ingredients were not in English.

Nestle Lion Caramel Blond

22 February 2022

Pop Tarts Bites - Frosted Strawberry Banana (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Pop Tarts Bites - Frosted Strawberry Banana

I’ll start by saying what we are all wondering. You don’t have to toast them. I rarely buy Pop Tarts these days, I do like them I just question when to eat them. Pop tarts are a little too sweet for breakfast and a bit weird as a treat during the day, so I end up not buying them unless some limited edition catches my eye. These Pop Tarts Bites with Frosted Strawberry Banana did catch my eye and I picked them up from the import shop. The flavour sounded nice but it was the size that made me curious about them. I liked the idea of a cute little bag of mini pop tarts to have with lunch.

Pop Tarts Bites - Frosted Strawberry BananaPop Tarts Bites - Frosted Strawberry BananaPop Tarts Bites - Frosted Strawberry Banana

I opened up the bag and found the pop tarts to be small but fairly thick and with a decent amount of frosting. The icing is a smart bright pink, but the biscuit/sponge base is a weird yellow in colour. I might be over thinking about the colour issue.

The flavour though is lovely and sweet, with strawberry being the majority taste and banana following in the after taste which reminds me of banana foam sweets. I have a sweet tooth and thoroughly enjoyed these soft bites. The calories are pretty low for the bag (150 calories), so despite the sugar hit, they weren’t too guilt-inducing. I’d happily have these Pop Tarts Bites with Frosted Strawberry Banana with my lunch again, I just need to see if anywhere more mainstream stock them?

Pop Tarts Bites - Frosted Strawberry Banana

21 February 2022

Aero Caramel Melts (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Aero Caramel Melts

So here we have another new caramel variation of a chocolate brand. I am in two minds about caramel. On one side, I love caramel and on the other, I want innovation, fun and crazy innovations. Fruity Cereal flavoured Kit Kat anyone? Yes please bring it on. At least these Aero Caramel Melts have a new shape that is at least a little bit different.

I opened up the bag and the aroma from the caramel was both strong and enticing. The discs of chocolate are small though, button sized and not too thick. I gave one a try and the chocolate did what it says, it really does melt in the mouth. These chocolates are super light and easy to eat, very easy if I’m honest. The caramel flavour is very rich and sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I have to admit I’d happily buy another bag, caramel works. I guess that is why companies churn it out. It is an easy win. I just think we are at a place where their next product is going to be Aero cubes caramel edition, but what I really want is something different like hot cross bun edition Aero. Come on guys chuck a bit more imagination at the problem.

Aero Caramel Melts

20 February 2022

American Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper by @NLi10

American 'soda' is pretty unique.  The Corn Syrup lobbyists have ensured that financial forces have given them a whole raft of flavours and textures that don't quite work in the sugar part of the world.

Case in point - here we have Dr Pepper but a Cherry Vanilla version.  It's from the parcel shop on my high - street who are delighted that I want to try all of the things.

It's both natural and artificial

On 2/3rds of the sides

98% water and corn syrup - 38g of the stuff! 2% colour and flavour.

So - how does it compare to English Dr Pepper?  It has less of the distinctive 'cough medicine' taste than I expected, with the cherry being just a little sweeter and the vanilla being more of the focus.

It's nice enough - but having been used to sugar based Dr Pepper it just doesn't hit the spot.  I opened this while doing a 2 hour stream and there was 1/3 of a can left at the end (but I'd finished all my water).  I'll stick to 2 Litres of the regular stuff for the same price - but always worth branching out.

19 February 2022

Thornbridge Bliss Point Pale Ale (Sainsburys) By @SpectreUK

Thornbridge Bliss Point Hazy American Pale

I'm sure we'd all like to reach our bliss point when drinking or eating something. The bliss of an ingredient that makes a drink or snack taste amazeballs. Well, this Bliss Point is a modern take on an American Pale Ale by Thornbridge Brewery.

The back of the can states that the mixture of four hops, which are ; Cascade, Simcoe, Azacca, and Citra, is slightly more 'mellowed' in strength than a more traditional American Pale. At 5% in volume Bliss Point is sported as having a hazy colour, with a pineapple and tangerine aroma, and has an orange citrus flavour to it. I'm hoping this American Pale Ale will go well with my takeaway Chinese sticky ribs and Pork Yuk Sung later on, which generally reaches a bliss point all on its own.

On opening the can of Bliss Point there was a fruity citrus aroma. The back of the can states that this smell should also be reminiscent of dragon fruit, which I admit I have no idea how that smells, and also mango. To me there was an aroma of orange and a little mango on popping open the can. They could have said "fruit of the never never land" for as much as I know about dragon fruit apart from the fact that it likes to rest in Dwarf gold hoards.

Bliss Point is indeed a bright misty shining golden pint of fizzy beer. It's definitely got a strong citrus tropical fruity aroma, with a heavy scent of orange and tangerine to it, with a little mango and perhaps some pineapple. On taste the orange and tangerine flavours in Bliss Point almost exploded in my mouth. These two flavours tumbled over the mild bitter hops again and again. Bliss Point certainly washed down my Chinese meal very well indeed.

Bliss Point is a triumph for honest beer brewers and orange pale ale connoisseurs. The flavour explodes with orange and tangerine right from the start, merging with the light bitterness from the tropical hops and finishing on a sweetness from the pale malts into the aftertaste. I'd certainly have a can of Bliss Point again with any kind of spicy meal and Chinese takeaway.

18 February 2022

Kit Kat Chunky - Cinnabon (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Kit Kat Chunky - Cinnabon

When I wrote about the Winter Edition Caramelised Biscuit KitKat, which is a UK product, we had a comment left by a regular reader. Zeddy suggested I should try a “real cinnamon Kit Kat”, like the Canadian version. I am a cinnamon fan girl. I hunt down cinnamon products, so I took up this challenge. Sadly, I couldn’t find the exact one that was mentioned, but here I present Kit Kat Chunky Cinnabon all the way from Dubai, or to be completely honest, via a UK import shop. This was the closest I could find, but it sounds like a good mix of chocolate and cinnamon, so it is all good. Cinnabon is a brand of bakers who specialise in cinnamon swirls, which, as you may have predicted, is my favourite pastry treat.

I ripped open the packet and the aroma of cinnamon was warm and heady and entwined with sweet chocolate. Heck, I’d buy a candle that smells like that. I bit in and my senses were all focused on the cinnamon, followed by sweetness and chocolate. What an utter delight. I love the texture of a Kit Kat and it has the same wafers as a regular Chunky so it is packed with all those crispy layers. I think this bar was pretty spot on for me; the texture, cinnamon and chocolate. It was worth the little bit extra in price for an import bar and I’m rather pleased I bought more than one. However, I’m still hunting for a pure Cinnamon Kit Kat from any country that makes them, but honestly I’m not sure how this Kit Kat Chunky Cinnabon could be topped?

Kit Kat Chunky - Cinnabon

17 February 2022

Luxury Garden Center Pies from Webb’s for Valentines Day by @NLi10

 For Valentine’s Day we decided to break out the frozen pies we got from Webb’s of Wychbold a few weeks earlier. Pretty expensive, but guaranteed farm shop quality.

My meaty version had some pretty good vital statistics, and is approximately a Christmas pie

Raw pastry!

Add some non potato chips half way through cooking

And get a luxury meal for 2!

Lovely mix of crispy and meaty. The cheese pie was apparently great too!

16 February 2022

Tayto Prawn Cocktail Flavour Crisps (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Tayto Prawn Cocktail Flavour Crisps

Cinabar found these Tayto Prawn Cocktail flavour crisps in a local supermarket. They may not sound very interesting, but she assures me that we don't usually have these crisps in this country. Tayto are the main brand of crisps in Eire, Southern Ireland. So as this blog is called Foodstufffinds, I thought I better let you know how they taste.

I've seen plenty of "hand cooked" crisps in my time, which is a phrase that frustrates me a little considering it would be very difficult to cook anything with your hands, but never mind. These Tayto are "Castle Cooked", which just makes them sound awesome. I chose to eat them with a roast chicken and barbecue sauce sandwich after a good workout session.

Tayto Prawn Cocktail Flavour Crisps

On opening the packet these Tayto Prawn Cocktail flavour crisps looked pretty much like any other brand of Prawn Cocktail crisps. They had the usual pinkish tint to them. On first crunchy taste they had a strong flavour of prawn cocktail. In fact they were very flavoursome and very nice indeed. I'd definitely have these Tayto crisps again, and I hope Cinabar finds some other flavours for me to try.

Information on the packet; Per 32.5g bag (very precise) there are 170 calories, with 10g of fat, 0.9g of sugar, and 0.5g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Tayto Prawn Cocktail Flavour Crisps

15 February 2022

Maltesers - Popcorn Flavour (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Maltesers - Popcorn Flavour

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about having flavoured varieties of Maltesers. The malty goodness inside is already spot on and the idea of adding a blast of some strong taste seems counterintuitive. This new Maltesers Popcorn Flavour is a limited edition in Australia and I have to admit did sound like it might work, the flavour sounds mild enough to maybe not overpower the malt. I couldn’t resist picking up a bag from the import shop to find out.

I opened up the bag and the aroma was a mega blast of popcorn. I might well have been wrong about it being a gentle flavour. I could barely pick up on the smell of chocolate, never mind the malt. I cautiously gave one a try and the flavour did not match the smell. These were regular Maltesers except for the fact they were dripping in butter taste and had a gentle hint of popcorn. I spent some time trying to decide if it was too much or whether I liked them. They were sweet buttery, malty bursts of flavour. This decision process went on until the bag was empty. I think that might be my answer right there.

Maltesers - Popcorn Flavour

14 February 2022

Cathedral City: Cheese and Ham Pizza (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Cathedral City: Cheese and Ham Pizza

It's all about the cheese! I bought this pizza because I was excited to see that cheese makers Cathedral City had diversified into new products. This one caught my eye as I do like pizza. I ordered it online and added it to my weekly grocery shop. I have to admit (again as it is becoming a habit) to not paying that much attention to the item and assuming that it was a Cheese and Ham pizza that there would be tomato sauce in the mix too. That is a prerequisite for pizza surely? Not this time though. It is just cheese and ham, nothing else. Taking it out of the box it did look disappointing.

We cooked the pizza and it did start to look a lot more enticing. I gave a piece a try and have to say the cheese on this pizza saves it. There was loads of flavour from it and it was reminiscent of cheese on toast, particularly with a thin and crispy base. The pieces of ham were good, and added a lovely meaty flavour, but I would have liked more slices given it was the only topping.

So when Cathedral City decided to make Cheese and Ham Pizza they really went with it and put aside the tomato base. I found the pizza far more enjoyable than I thought I would, but I am a cheese fan. I’m still pretty sure some tomato paste under than cheese would have perfected it.

Cathedral City: Cheese and Ham Pizza

13 February 2022

OZO - Pea Is Stored In The Balls - Vegan Pea Based 'Meatballs' by @NLi10

I filled the virtual trolley in January with all the Veganuary offers that I dared, but the one that was eaten last was these spookily authentic looking pea-based meatballs from Ozo.  I delayed this review a couple of weeks due to the Lunar NY pick-ups, we did eat these in January while they were still fresh!

I mean - these look like something from Vegan Grindhouse - they are clearly pinked up to appear to converted carnivores - stop doing that!!

They are odd, and sticky, but actually had a really appetising smell so I was happy to pop them in the oven.

Ah yes - beetroot - tricking meaty people into planty meals.  Got to love the styling and the barcode.

They kinda provided their own juices to baste in too - I drained it half way and that crisped them up a little - but I think next time I'd leave it to the end.

I popped some garlic and tomato sauce in with them for the last bit and served on premium sphagett and it was fantastic.  Like eating great quality meatballs, but without the grainy texture, and more of the sauce/herb flavour.

A win from me - my veggie partner wasn't quite as keen but did say she'd eat these again as long as I cooked them.

Another victory for the vegan meals.

12 February 2022

Northern Monk Mangoes on the Run Beer (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Northern Monk Mangoes on the Run Beer

The name of this Northern Monk mango pale ale rings a bell. I thought I'd written about it before. However Mangoes on the Run was a limited edition mango infused pale ale by Innis & Gunn. This Northern Monk Twist Edition of the same ilk is 5.4% in volume and was brewed in collaboration with Drew Millward.

I'd say that Cinabar bought this Northern Monk mango pale ale just to torture me much like the Innis & Gunn offering, but I actually bought this beer myself. Mainly because I couldn't remember disliking it. I know that it was rather busy in flavours, especially with herbal hops and mango fruitiness, which should go well with my fried chicken, smiley faces and salad in a while. I never really grow up, in fact I swore when I was twelve that I never would, so smiley faces and alphabet potatoes are a must on the odd occasion.

On opening this Mangoes on the Run there was a familiar fruity mango aroma with herbal hops right behind it. This cloudy pale golden ale poured with a quickly disappearing head. On first taste this mango India Pale Ale has a fruitiness from the mango that is almost juice like in strength, the herbal hops struggled to shine through here, and then a little sweet malts into the aftertaste. 

This Mangoes on the Run had a slightly different flavour to it than the original Innis & Gunn. To be honest I'm still not sure I liked either, mainly because I don't like mangoes, well, asides mango chutney with a good curry. I just simply can never seem to eat enough of that.

11 February 2022

Heart Go Pop Choc Corn (Marks & Spencer) By @Cinabar

Heart Go Pop Choc Corn (Marks & Spencer)

I love the idea of the popcorn bars you can get at Marks and Spencer and frankly I am happy to make any excuse to buy them. The latest is their Valentines edition, Heart Go Pop Choc Corn. This bar is stunning, the packaging is all reds and pinks, but the bar itself is just lovely to look at too. On top of the popcorn we have pink chocolate hearts, white chocolate, milk chocolate and pink shelled chocolates, it is such a smart looking bar.

I broke a chunk off and it actually breaks apart pretty well, which is against the odds when you look at. I only dropped one candy chocolate on the floor while sharing some out, which I’m putting down as a win. This bar is all about the texture, each piece is so interesting to eat. The popcorn pieces are big and fluffy the chocolate creamy and sticks everything together and the decorations are crunchy. It is a delight to look at and delight to munch on, I love varied texture. These bars are fairly pricey but for a quiet night in, curl up on the sofa, share some posh popcorn in the form of this Heart Go Pop Choc Corn bar and stick on a good film. Sometime the simplest things make for the best evening.

Heart Go Pop Choc Corn (Marks & Spencer)