31 March 2023

Lemon Drizzle Cake Hot Chocolate (Whittard) By @Cinabar

Lemon Drizzle Cake Hot Chocolate (Whittard)

I drink hot chocolate all year round, but this new Lemon Drizzle Cake Hot Chocolate from Whittard goes some way towards justifying a more summery drink for warmer days. It hasn’t been warm today, it has rained and rained. We have been out for the day having a look around Shugborough Hall, and the rain hammered down. We made the most of the day, but by the time I got home, I was ready for a hot chocolate, so I decided to give this new one a try.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Hot Chocolate (Whittard)

I opened up the tub, and inside was a pale hot chocolate that had a lovely lemony aroma. This is made with white chocolate as the base. I added the powder to hot milk, and it mixed in nicely, creating a white drink. It smelled lovely, sweet, and lemony. I gave it a taste, and the flavour was divine. It had a sweet lemon taste, but with a cake-like baked flavour all mixed in. It was sweet, but the white chocolate also made it soothing and creamy. It was just the pick-me-up I needed after a day exploring in the rain. I’m all for summer hot chocolate, but I wouldn’t mind if the weather warmed up too.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Hot Chocolate (Whittard)

30 March 2023

Kellogg's Crunch Nut -but- Salted Caramel (@NLi10)

It's breakfast time! Kellogg's have released an extra flavour of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes - and it's not too bad!

Everyone likes Crunchy Nut Cornflakes - especially in countries where the wavelength of the sunlight doesn't cause humans to generate vitamin D for a large portion of the year.  Kelloggs realised this and spray it on the cereals and then advertise that it's "The Taste" that's causing the cravings and not the vitamins.

Seriously - buy a decent Vit D supplement! 

Here we see the details of the new flavour twist.  And the lie about the taste.

Lets add some fresh stuff too...

So with a few raspberries on top it looks so far so similar!

And the smell is a little more caramel than usual, but the taste is very much the burnt caramel that the trendy foods all had about 5 years ago.  And you know, it's not bad!  It's a little more interesting than the standard version that I've been eating for 40 years, but not so different that you don't know which brand it is.

There is a little bit of a tax on these as they only come in the small boxes so it'd work out very expensive for a daily cereal so these are very much going to be a treat, but I think I'll be trying more of these soon.

29 March 2023

Cadbury Twirl Strawberry Flavour (B&M) By @SpectreUK

Cadbury Twirl Strawberry Flavour

Spring is here and the strawberries are out. Well, of course, they're generally out most of the year, but Spring kind of signifies strawberries and fresh fruit and veg to me. It's the growing season, so I'm going to try a Cadbury Twirl Strawberry Flavour Diary Milk Chocolate bar to celebrate. Of course, I'm not going to write about fruit.

I have always loved strawberries and chocolate, especially soft centres, however this Cadbury Twirl Strawberry Flavour was "strawberry flavoured swirls and curls coated in Cadbury Diary Milk Chocolate. On opening the bar there was a delicious aroma of strawberries and Dairy Milk Chocolate. Just the mere smell of the bar had my mouth watering.

Cadbury Twirl Strawberry Flavour

On taste there was more of a Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate taste to these Twirl's sticks with sweet strawberries towards the end of the flavour and into the aftertaste. They were certainly very tasty indeed, but from the initial smell, I thought there would be a stronger taste of strawberries throughout the flavour. Still, I would get them again for sheer indulgence.

Information on the packet; There was 103 calories per stick in the 39g bar, with 5.8g of fat, and 11.0g of sugar, and 16mg of sodium. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Cadbury Twirl Strawberry Flavour

28 March 2023

Caramelised Biscuit Flavour Hot Cross Buns (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Caramelised Biscuit Flavour Hot Cross Buns (Aldi)

There do seem to be a lot of interestingly flavoured Hot Cross Buns out this year, and I am on a quest to see if they are worth it. My gut instinct is that I am a bit of a traditionalist, but let's see if these Caramelised Biscuit Flavour Hot Cross Buns can sway me. 

I opened up the packet, and there was a rich caramel scent that hit me, and I have to say it was absolutely lovely. We had these lightly toasted, and again, the aromas while they were cooking were very promising. I added a bit of butter and gave it a taste test.

The flavour was rich, sweet, and tasty. I could pick up a heavy amount of caramel, spices, and that lovely promised biscuit taste. They definitely achieved their mission, and the spiced biscuit worked well in place of the spices you would expect to find in a regular Hot Cross Bun. There was a little voice in my head asking me why there weren’t any raisins in the mix. Apparently, I favour the traditional buns, but these Caramelised Biscuit Flavour Hot Cross Buns are still a delight. 

Caramelised Biscuit Flavour Hot Cross Buns (Aldi)

27 March 2023

Belgian Milk Chocolate Office Bunnies (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Belgian Milk Chocolate Office Bunnies (Aldi)

It is coming up to Easter, and that mean chocolate bunnies! These super smart Office Bunnies are from Aldi and made by Moser Roth who makes a lot of chocolate for them. There are two varieties available, Dark chocolate with Salted Caramel and Blonde Chocolate with Milk Chocolate Salted Ganache. Both sets of chocolate office bunnies look smart in the box and even have their office ties on, presumably to do the administration work for Easter. The two different types are almost mirrored images of each other, one with caramel inside and one on the outside.

Belgian Milk Chocolate Office Bunnies

Dark chocolate and Salted Caramel

I bit into one of these, and most importantly, the crack of the chocolate was perfect; it had a lovely bite to it, but it still gave nicely to the lush caramel within. Inside there was smooth runny caramel, with a hint of salt, and loads of rich brown sugar and toffee like flavours. The coating was very good quality dark chocolate.

Belgian Milk Chocolate Office Bunnies

Blonde Chocolate with Milk Chocolate Salted Ganache

The chocolate has a lovely rich sweetness to it, almost candy-like. Again, the bite was really good in terms of texture. The chocolate filling contrasts well with the blonde toffee-flavoured coating, and I liked the touch of salt.

They taste as good as they look.

Belgian Milk Chocolate Office Bunnies (Aldi)

26 March 2023

Cofresh Punjabi Samosas and Garlic Naan at home (@NLi10)

I live in an area with loads of Asian people - which means that even our local supermarkets have great options to try - for Eid, or just because its raining and the take-away is far.

Here we have a couple of Cofresh things - they make loads of great crisps so lets give their real food a try.

I've never had oven baked samosa before - traditionally they are fried - but I figured that it'd be healthier.

And of course we used authentic sauce. Oh. I had authentic sauces but only the milder ones and I figured that with the spicy (oh boy were they spicy) samosa that I needed a hot sauce to stand a chance.  This was only English strength hot though so was pretty medium in the end. Nice though (and on special!)

So here we have Quorn, peas & sauce, with the samosa and the garlic naan.  I think the naan needed a little longer, but was almost as soft and flavoursome as the ones that I get from my local High Street (4 for a £1) - a win!

The Samosa as mentioned before were really potent, and smaller than the fresh ones that we buy by the box for work.  I liked it like this, you can have too much potato, and the balance of crispiness to heat was great.  They burnt a little (my oven is terrible for evenness of heat) but were still great.

Overall much nicer than the pre-made takeway at home kits and the rest can sit in the freezer until needed (along with my paratha collection).

Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

25 March 2023

Strangers Brewing Farmhouse Rhubarb Saison (Wee Beer Shop @WeeBeerShop) By @SpectreUK

Strangers Brewing Farmhouse Rhubarb Saison

Spring is finally here after some long dark chilly and damp months behind us. What better way to hail the damp and sunny days of the growing season with a Farmhouse Rhubarb Saison. First created in Belgium, Saison in French, or Season is traditionally spicy and tangy from the type of yeast used to ferment the pale ale, and it is beer that is usually of low alcohol.

Strangers Brewing Company have created this 6.2% in volume Farmhouse Rhubarb Saison, which is produced with local rhubarb grown at Narrowboat Farm, in Linlithgow, in Scotland. Ginger was also added in the brewing for some extra spice to this Saison. So I'm rather looking forward to this fruity tart pale ale, and shall drink it this afternoon while the sun is still shining between the showers and the clouds.

On opening the can there was indeed a tart aroma mixed with pale malt. From the colour of the can I was expecting a pinkish rhubarb coloured pale ale, and was pleasantly surprised by its rich dark golden colour instead. This Farmhouse Rhubarb Saison lived up to its name on first taste. There was a little sour rhubarb to start with, a bitterness of herbal hops, and then warming spice from the yeast and added ginger to chase away the cold damp showers. This fresh, crisp, spicy pale ale was perfect for ducking back indoors every time the heavens opened, which is often at this time of year. Cheers.

24 March 2023

Magnum Double Star Chaser Popcorn (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Magnum Double Star Chaser Popcorn

Today there was sunshine (as well as rain and rainbows), so I took advantage of the opportunity to crack open a box of Magnum Double Star Chaser Popcorn ice creams.They have been waiting for the first spring rays of sunlight to be opened, well, that was my excuse anyway.

Magnum Double Star Chaser Popcorn

Inside the box are three milk chocolate coated ice cream, flavoured with caramel and popcorn. I was quite interested to try these as I do love popcorn. I bit into it, and the first thing I noticed was how lovely the texture was on the milk chocolate, it had lovely crispy bits that worked well. There is lots of popcorn flavour in this ice cream, and it was sweet, rich, and a little salty. The caramel layer was super generous too, and it was absolutely divine. Both the texture and the flavours were spot on, this is a new winning combination from Magnum and a proper treat. We need more sunny weather and another box of these for the weekend. 

Magnum Double Star Chaser Popcorn

23 March 2023

Lindt Store - 300g of the round ones please (@Nli10)

 While at the oddly named Resorts World (it's just some shops & restaurants) near Birmingham Airport for my sister's birthday party I popped in the Lindt shop.  You got a discount if you made it up to 300g on the Lindor Pick & Mix - so I did!

I think this cost us £10, but compared to the lower weight values is a lot more cost-effective.  It's always more expensive than their pre-selected boxes.  That said - 6 weeks later we still have some left for late-night treats so it's been a good choice.

Origianlly I was going to take pictures of the different flavours as we ate them, here we have Macha & Pistachio versions!

but they all look the same!

Some have different coloured middles

The mango one almost looks fruity in the middle and has a white outer

As do the cookies & cream and Strawberries & cream ones

Some are a little quirkier

This is a carrot umbrella - awesome - it's solid chocolate however and almost certainly cost twice as much as the light fondant balls.  Darn.

Flo was oddly interested, but cats don't get chocolate!

So overall - they all taste like the thing they are supposed to taste like - Lindt's Lindor have always managed that.  And there are a few new favourites, but there isn't quite as much variety in the flavours - it's either deep flavours like coffee or fruity ones.  I think I'd like more ferero roche style ones with layered textures too - although those would probably raise the weight pretty fast too.

I got to try some of the chunkier ones which was nice. 

These unfairly were almost last in the bag, but their rich, nutty textures were probably the most interesting of the lot.  More like a cube from a chocolate box than a Lindor really. 

definitely something I'd buy a slab/box of in the future for older relatives that like it a little nuttier.

Overall though decent value (while not cheap).  As a nice after-dinner nightly treat these were a lovely little luxury.

22 March 2023

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs White (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs White

I haven't had Terry's Chocolate Orange for a while, and I certainly haven't tried these Terry's Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs White before. Obviously brought out to celebrate the chocolate egg season, or Easter as some people call it, these white chocolate and orange eggs should go down a treat.

The back of the packet stated that these Terry's Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs White had a crispy orange coloured egg shaped shell, with a white chocolate centre flavoured with orange oil. They sounded ideal for a quick snack or pudding with a tub of low calorie ice cream.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs White

You can see the almost fluorescent orange eggs in the photograph. There was a strong smell of orange oil from the bright shiny eggs. They had quite a crunch to get into their creamy white chocolate insides. They were very tasty indeed, mainly of orange oil though, well mostly of orange oil, well I'd maybe go as far as to say that they were predominantly tasting of orange oil, and then with a little creamy white chocolate at the back of the flavour. Having said that, I'd still have them again though.

Information on the packet; The 80g packet contained 120 calories per 6 eggs at 22.8g, with 6.3g of fat, 14g of sugar and 0.07g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs White

21 March 2023

Cadbury Delights Orange and Caramel (Asda) By @cinabar

Cadbury Delights Orange and Caramel

Last week I tried out the Cadbury Delights Salted Caramel, and today I went for one of the other new flavours, Orange and Caramel. These bars are in a multipack box, with 5 in the pack. They are individually wrapped and have lower calories at just 91 per bar. So they are perfect for a calorie-controlled diet or a lunchbox treat that isn’t too bad for you.

Cadbury Delights Orange and Caramel

Once the box is opened, you can see the bars are quite thin, so it isn’t just a lower calorie recipe; it is also a smaller product size. I gave one a taste, and they are still a nice treat. There is plenty of zingy orange, and it was well balanced with the chocolate. I did enjoy the flavour. The nougat and caramel are a little sticky on the teeth but still enjoyable to eat. These are a nice sweet treat, and I like the idea of a lower-calorie bar, but they were tasty and I still fancied chocolate, so I may have eaten two, which may have missed the point.

Cadbury Delights Orange and Caramel

20 March 2023

Quaker Caramel Fudge Porridge (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Quaker Caramel Fudge Porridge

I don’t eat porridge very often, so I rarely buy a whole box, unless I’m using it for baking, of course. I just had a fancy for some chocolatey porridge and spotted this Quaker Caramel Fudge Porridge online and added it to my basket. The porridge is made in the container, you open the lid, add hot water, leave it for a few minutes, then stir and eat. Super simple.

Quaker Caramel Fudge Porridge

 The flavour caught my eye as it is caramel fudge, and the moment the hot water hit the oats, it smelled lovely. There were sweet toffee and chocolate tones, and I couldn't’ wait to give it a try. The taste test was also really positive, provided, of course, you have a sweet tooth. If you don't, I’m not sure you would buy a flavour like this anyway. The porridge mixed up nicely and even had fudge pieces in it, which was a nice touch. The chocolate was good, and all the caramel-like tastes came through. This isn’t an every-day porridge but does make a nice treat at the weekend as something a bit more indulgent.

Quaker Caramel Fudge Porridge

19 March 2023

Is THIS the best vegan (streaky) bacon ever? (@NLi10)

We like bacon here - I even have a PhD in Bacon Theology - but it’s important to represent all three of the strands, regular, turkey and plant.  Today we are looking at the latest and greatest vegan bacon so far.  THIS (the brand) have made real strides in updating their bacon range from the lovely fish-strips that we’ve bought a lot of to this which at least looks like bacon too.

The package explains they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this - and it shows.

It’s glistening and feels a bit like meat - I instinctively wanted to keep washing my hands.

And I fried it up in the lovely coconut oil

And it crisped up nicely

So I found some lovely spicy paratha out of the freezer and zapped those too.

So I had bacon ish pancakes ish for dinner

And it held up quite well. The bacon has a varied texture (the main problem of the last one) actually bubbles and fried like you’d expect and tasted like bacon usually tastes. We will certainly be having these again - although they are far too realistic for my veggie partner!

18 March 2023

Restless World West Coast Pale Ale (Wee Beer Shop @WeeBeerShop) By @SpectreUK

Restless World West Coast Pale Ale

Restless World constantly moving, constantly learning, constantly changing. The leopard never changes his spots is a myth. We all change everyday, learn more about life and how to tackle the hard times, love and savour those moments that are precious in our memories, trying not to dwell on those hard times, but that's even harder. We try to improve our minds, our bodies, our outlooks on love and life and grow through our time here. One life, constantly moving, constantly shifting in a Restless World.

This Restless World right before me is a West Coast Pale ale from Elusive Brewing. At 4.5% in volume it's ram packed full of hops, from Yakima, Citra, Chinook, Simcoe, and Columbus. There should be quite a citrus bitterness to this pale ale, with smoky, herbal and pine notes, and I'm hoping for a little sweetness from the malts and a little spice, as we all do in our Restless World.

On opening the can there was an excited jumble of aromas bursting out, with citrus and herbal hops, and the sweetness of pale malt in the background. On taste this deep golden murky pint had a sharp bite of herbal hops cutting through all that citrus, and then smokiness, as well as that spiciness I was hoping for followed closely by pine notes and sweet pale malt to finish off into the aftertaste. Restless World certainly had an ever moving palate of flavours throughout each mouthful. As life itself, this Restless World is ever moving, ever changing and never dull.