31 March 2024

Pink Shreddies - Raspberry & White Chocolate Ltd Ed [@NLi10]

 Breakfast time is great - there are loads of options.  Here we see another new limited edition for Asda - tickled pink Shreddies!

I'm only here for the raspberries!

Oh - 25p to charity per pack (assuming they sell all 126,600 packs) - I can get behind that too!

They look like normal Shreddies, but do have the Nesquik vibe to them

And this looked pinker in real life - I promise!  The flavour is there though - and yes - you could just sprinkle some milkshake powder on your cereal like we did as kids.

Fine enough - but not worth a special trip to Asda.

And a happy Easter too - here is Flo investigating the chocolate bunny I got from nanna.


30 March 2024

Dippy Egg Mini Whips (Marks and Spencer’s) By @SpectreUK

Dippy Egg Mini Whips (Marks and Spencer’s)

Happy Easter! At this time of year I love to eat a whole large chocolate Easter Egg in one siting. These Dippy Egg Mini Whips might not be all that big, however, made especially for Marks and Spencer's they should be pretty tasty. They seem to be meant as a posh Cadbury's Creme Egg, with a mallow and orange sauce twist.
Dippy Egg Mini Whips (Marks and Spencer’s)

On first sight of these "milk chocolate filled with mallow and an orange flavoured sauce" Dippy Egg Mini Whips, they were dusty milk chocolate coated whips with a chocolate orange aroma. As you can see from the photograph, on biting into one, there was a lot of mallow and a little orange sauce. Having said that, the orange sauce was pretty strong in flavour.

Popping them one at a time into my mouth, and washed them down with a mug of Jaffa Orange Chocolate tea* all went rather well together for a lovely dessert after my meatballs and pasta dinner. Yum.

Have a great Easter :-)

Information on the packet; The 120g bag contained 496 calories per 100g, with 24.5g of fat, 53.8g of sugar, 0.13gof salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Dippy Egg Mini Whips (Marks and Spencer’s)

29 March 2024

Choccy Hot Cross Bun Bites (M&S) By @Cinabar

Choccy Hot Cross Bun Bites (M&S)

Today is Good Friday and a bank holiday (public holiday) in the UK, so we have a long weekend for the Easter break. Apparently I’m not allowed to open any chocolate eggs until Sunday, just so you know what kind of mean environment I’m in. Until then, I needed to find something seasonal but sweet that I could munch on.

We recently popped into M&S as I had some birthday vouchers to spend, and along with a nice new top, I got us a few treats from the food hall. I picked up this bag of Choccy Hot Cross Bun Bites and thought today seemed like the perfect day to give them a try.

Choccy Hot Cross Bun Bites (M&S)

In the bag, the chocolates are a little plain-looking. I was hoping they would be round like a hot cross bun and have an iced or decorated cross, but there are just small rectangles. The taste was good, though; the milk chocolate coating was a decent thickness; the filling was sweet, buttery, and sugary; and it had a really good blast of spice. The flavour was stronger than I thought it would be; there was quite a punch of nutmeg and ginger, which was lovely. There were also raisins dotted around, giving it a nice bit of texture and sweetness. The flavour was good of these Choccy Hot Cross Bun Bites, but I do think they were missing a treat by decorating them with a cross.

Choccy Hot Cross Bun Bites (M&S)

28 March 2024

Easter in Miniature - Mini eggs Orange & M&M's eggs [@NLi10]

 There are an increasing number of competitors for the Cadbury Mini Eggs crown, including new bags of just the Orange ones.  I know we've covered these before, but it's a nice excuse to buy a couple of (tiny - 80g!) bags and have a sample.

Here is the full selection - at least from a mini Tesco on they way to Nannas. 

All subject to confusing Clubcard Pricing, but essentially just over a pound, for just under 100g of coated chocolate.

So - Mr fox - which ones best?

Well, the mini eggs are bigger than the M&M ones - which means you get less in a bag but that each individual one is more satisfying.  They have the classic Mini Egg addictive taste on the outside of the shell, and it seems like an orange flavoured version of the classic Cadbury (not Dairy Milk) crumb.  The new owners have failed to spoil mini eggs - and they are surprisingly affordable in the huge bags (from Waitrose).

The M&Ms aren't as disappointing as feared - they have chosen not to give them the M&M stench (that you can smell in the air near the M&M world in London) and these just taste like the default Mars chocolate.  The small size means just one is disappointing, but two is a nice mouthful.  And the shells look amazing - even if all my Ms were faded.

Overall though - I'd rather just have a bag of normal Cadbury Mini-eggs, mainly because I like the Pink ones best.

27 March 2024

Wasted Degrees Amber Rye ale (The Wee Beer Shop) By @SpectreUK

Wasted Degrees Amber Rye ale (The Wee Beer Shop)

I love rye beer. I'm just putting that out there as a bit of a disclaimer to start with. This 5% in volume Wasted Degrees Amber Rye ale sounds right up my street. Made in Scotland, hops of Mandarina, Bavaria, and Cashmere were added in the brewing, as well as I'm hoping, a whole spicy heap of red rye, some barley, oats, and wheat. Oh, this should wash down my Shepherd's Pie a treat tonight.

On opening the can there was a glorious spicy rye aroma, with a touch of orange from the Manadrina hops. This red amber coloured ale tasted of sweet and spicy biscuits from the rye and malts, a touch of herbal bitterness and a hint of orange flavour, with even a slight smokiness. Wheat and a full body of oats sat neatly in the background as all those glorious spices of rye and sweet amber malts, as well as herbal zesty hoppy bitterness took centre stage. I'm so glad I insisted on having a second can in the order from The Wee Beer Shop.

26 March 2024

3 Hot Honey Hatchlings (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

3 Hot Honey Hatchlings (Waitrose)

As I had an order placed with Waitrose, and that is a bit of a treat, I decided to see what chocolates they have for Easter. There were plenty of gorgeous eggs, but I was after something I could legitimately snack on before the big day, a treat for myself. Gosh, work has been stressful recently, so a chocolate fix was in order.

3 Hot Honey Hatchlings (Waitrose)

I found these Hot Honey Hatchlings and they sounded a little bit different. They are made with a 65% dark chocolate filled with Mexican honey caramel and a touch of chilli powder, so a very traditional recipe for chilli chocolate. The chicks look lovely and nicely moulded. The chocolate is nice and thick, and there is a lot of filling. I bit in and tried not to let the honey-flavoured liquid inside run down my chin. The first flavour is from the chocolate; it is rich, dark, and full of flavour. Then there is the sweetness of honey, and then a gentle tingle from the chilli, which grew into a bit of a burn and some serious warmth. 

These Hot Honey Hatchlings are very well balanced; they have a complex flavour, but all elements have their moment, and I found that really impressive. They are also a super cute-looking Easter treat, which is rather nice. 

3 Hot Honey Hatchlings (Waitrose)

25 March 2024

Hot Cross Buns White Chocolate and Lemon (Waitrose) By @cinabar

Hot Cross Buns White Chocolate and Lemon (Waitrose)

I’m still enjoying finding new Hot Cross bun varieties, and as we needed a top-up grocery order, I decided to have a bit of a splurge and found myself doing a Waitrose order. This is their own brand Hot Cross Buns with White Chocolate and Lemon. They certainly sound like a nice twist, and here's hoping they work.

I opened up the pack and could smell the lemon, which is a good sign. I split them in half, and I could see a small amount of white chocolate, but there weren’t a lot of chocolate drops that were visible. As always, I popped the two halves in the toaster on a low setting, and after a very short while, I could hear a drip and sizzle. Perhaps toasting these wasn’t my best idea! Still, once they popped, they looked okay, but they were a little sticky to get out of the toaster. On the bright side, this meant that the white chocolate was more prominent than I thought they were. 

I buttered the sticky buns and gave them a try, and the flavour was lovely. There was a good balance of sweet and creamy white chocolate and a nice, sharp edge from the lemon. The buns were fluffy too and had a good texture. If I found myself doing another Waitrose order, they are definitely something I would pick up again, as they are a lovely edition. 

Hot Cross Buns White Chocolate and Lemon (Waitrose)

24 March 2024

Percy Pig & Colin Catepillar - eat their faces! [@NLi10]

 Marks & Spencer have had a lot of fun with their character brands in recent years - to the extent that virtually everything is themed to Percy the pink pig or Colin the Catterpillar if it can.  Here we see a prime example - eat the chocolate faces off the cake as a Thorntons style chocolate lollipop! These are very much a part of childhood shopping trips.

At £1.75 for 26g of chocolate I can see why these were a begrudging treat.

I chose the raspberry flavoured Percy as my treat with Colin in the bag for my partner. A welcome pick-me-up for showing Nanna round the shop.Great flavours and decent chocolate quality. Worth the admission price

We went to the cafe after - and I’d planned to get a Percy Pig Frappe (poor guy) but they’d run out of blender ice! I settled for tea and a wrap.

I chose the egg wrap as it seemed nice and healthy - but what’s this…

…oh no - Percy is in this too!  I’d not consciously chosen the smoked ham, but all of the themed messages must have snuck in.

I’m not sure that M&S would be wise to theme the pork based sandwiches to Percy, I think it might cause a few too many questions.

Very nice wrap though - good egg and veg. And as always the M&S tea was perfect.

23 March 2024

Waffle & Maple Syrup Blueberry Coffee Stout (The Wee Beer Shop) By @SpectreUK

Waffle & Maple Syrup Blueberry Coffee Stout

Play Brew have created this crazy sounding Waffle & Maple Syrup Blueberry Coffee Stout as a breakfast beer. At 6.5% in volume, I just shouldn't go trying to operate heavy machinery at work straight afterwards. I also say "crazy sounding" because of the amount of different flavours involved. In taste there should be sweetness from the Canadian Maple Syrup, and French Vanilla. Somewhere in there is waffle flavour. There should also be a little fruitiness from the natural blueberries and honeyberry added in the brewing. However, these flavours could, just could, be totally overwhelmed by the roasted coffee. We shall see.

On opening the can there was certainly sweet maple syrup, creamy vanilla and roasted coffee in the aroma. On pouring this jet black Waffle & Maple Syrup Blueberry Coffee Stout, the liquid almost oozed into my waiting beer mug. On taste there was the fruity topping of blueberries straight away, and bitterness of herbal hops, with creaminess of vanilla and a sweetness from the added maple syrup. I could actually taste a little waffle underneath all those flavours, and then the roasted coffee woke up and pounced, taking my tastebuds off into the aftertaste with a good wallop of malts. This is certainly is a waker-upper of a flavoursome stout. I wouldn't mind waking up to this on a lazy day in bed with a good book. Now where are my reading glasses?

Waffle & Maple Syrup Blueberry Coffee Stout

22 March 2024

Caramelised Biscuit Hot Cross Buns (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Caramelised Biscuit Hot Cross Buns (Aldi)

I am very much enjoying Hot Cross Bun season. I’ve been trying quite a few traditional ones, but I do like picking up some of the flavoured ones too. Although there are savouries around, my heart is drawn to the sweeter varieties. I picked up a pack of these Caramelised Biscuit Hot Cross Buns which I found in Aldi. 

I split them in half and popped them in the toaster. As I was waiting, I looked at the back of the pack, and it suggested adding biscuit spread as a topping. I wish I had noticed that in the shop. I thought the best plan was to just add some butter and try the Caramelised Biscuit Hot Cross Bun without the addition of any jam or other flavours that may affect it. 

I gave them a try and could definitely pick up on the biscuit taste, but these were much milder than I thought they would be. They are sweet, but not sweet enough for my tastes. There are patches of biscuit spread in the mix, and these are nice, but not every bite has that flavour hit. The conclusion is that I should have bought a jar of biscuit spread, but these should have been okay without it. 

Caramelised Biscuit Hot Cross Buns (Aldi)

21 March 2024

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Fingers - Salted Caramel Flavour [@NLi10]

 As a child I got a little tin of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Fingers each Christmas - the tins are mostly still around too! Back then - in the mid 80s - these were a big deal, and something to respect and treasure. Now? Cadbury’s really don’t put any effort into them.

30p off due to short date (more - shelf space for Easter I think) so let’s have a look.

The usual, modern version, slim fingers are inside. Not quite enough to justify the box size anymore so they always rattle around.

And they basically just put the caramel flavour in there somewhere and called it a day. I mean - no wonder these failed!

No salt for the salted caramel. No honeycomb in the biscuit. No variation to the chocolate other than a quick spray of the flavour. No effort. No sales.

Very disappointing 

20 March 2024

Nestle Lion Brownie (B&M) By @SpectreUK

Nestle Lion Brownie

I do love sinking my teeth into a Nestle Lion Bar. I also love the Lion Bar White Chocolate version. So when Cinabar saw this multipack of Limited Edition Nestle Lion Brownie's, she knew that she likely wouldn't see them for dust. She was right. Of course, me being me, I couldn't help compare them with the original Lion Bars. Well, it's more chocolate for me.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but on opening the wrapper the nobly Lion Brownie actually smelt like a Chocolate Brownie. On first usual Lion Bar wrestling bite the Lion Brownie lived up to the original Lion Bar's expectation of chewy and crunchy, but this Brownie had a darker centre flavoured with Chocolate Brownie. I certainly liked the flavour. It was like an original Lion Bar had swallowed a Chocolate Brownie, and then it was being swallowed by something much larger: Me. Yum.

Information on the wrapper; There were 4 bars in the multipack. Each bar had 146 calories, with 6.6g of fat, 14.9g of sugar, and 0.19g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Nestle Lion Brownie

19 March 2024

Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition

I’m lazy. I take shortcuts. I buy pre-prepared grated cheese. I hate grating cheese. Buying a bag of pre-grated cheese did make me think that I had perhaps maxed out my lazy skills, but it turns out I was wrong. Heinz and Cathedral City Cheese decided to take things a step further; instead of adding cheese to baked beans on a jacket potato, now we can get beans and cheese in a tin. I’m bizarrely excited, but I did manage to find a tin of Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition.

As my jacket potatoes were nearly baked, I opened up the tin and heated the baked beans and cheese mix. The contents looked like regular baked beans, but there was clearly a creaminess to the colours and a slightly thicker sauce. I poured it over the potato and tucked in. Wow, this was a seriously generous portion of cheese mixed into the beans, and they were perfect. The flavour of the Cathedral City cheese shone through; rich and creamy, but flavoursome and the lovely tomato base of the beans was a perfect contrast too. I have no idea why this hasn’t been done before. This Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition is absolute genius and is even simpler than buying grated cheese, so yeah, this will be my new go-to. 

Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition

18 March 2024

Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate

I have bought another novelty hot chocolate, and it doesn’t get more novelty than this; Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate. I found this in Aldi as part of their Dairyfine range, and it did make me smile. Here we have a white chocolate unicorn, filled with marshmallows and milk chocolate drops. The idea is that you drop in hot milk and have an amazing hot chocolate, which is really quite simple.

Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate

So once home, I opened up the box, heated some milk in the microwave, and set up the TV, ready to show the latest episode of Dragon's Den. I put the unicorn in the mug, and it nearly filled it! This is a big chunk of chocolate. 

Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate

I added the hot milk, and it soon melted from underneath and shrank into the mug. 

Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate

The top melted too, and out popped the chocolate drops, and the marshmallows rose to the surface. The best part of this hot chocolate was that I then added a spoon to the mix and found that the whole thing dissolved and mixed super easily; this was not expected given how much chocolate there was.

The flavour was yummy; it is very sweet and very creamy, as a white hot chocolate should be. The addition of the chocolate drops was brilliant, as it enhanced the cocoa flavour and brought a bit of balance. The marshmallows were lovely too; they looked pretty and added a nice bit of sweetness to the drink. 

This Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate made me happy and was something I would buy again. It would make a lovely gift or treat in an Easter basket, even if it isn’t bunny-shaped. 

Sparkle The Melting Unicorn Hot Chocolate

17 March 2024

Chocolarder 72% Ashaninka Peruvian Rainforest chocolate [@Nli10]

 We first found this brand because of the insanely dark 100% variety we found on holiday once, but now it's showing up in a few more places it's worth dipping back in - especially as this version is likely to be a bigger hit with the masses.

This is purest chocolate, treating the raw product like an art form or an expensive wine.  At nearly £5 for a 70g bar you'll instantly know if this is something that's for you.  

The packaging is as considered as the journey it's take to get to you

and every step is like unboxing an expensive gadget - but necessary for the plastic-free safety of the bar inside. And oh what a bar!

This is certainly giftable chocolate if you know someone who appreciates the stronger and more sensual side of the snack.

The tasting notes are indeed spot on - this has a fruity richness that suggests hints of sweet treats that are not one of the two ingredients (cocoa, sugar).  The red fruit is the main flavour, tasting almost like a winter fruits pudding, with the sharp aftertaste of the cocoa providing the rest.  

Where as the 100% dark was the perfect accompaniment to a sweeter treat this is perfectly snackable as it is - but I rarely have more than a couple of bites at a time - enough to savour the flavour but not so much that you loose track of all the sensations.

I'll definitely return to the brand just to see how they've taken on other styles of chocolate.  A big hit for me.

16 March 2024

Play Brew Co Minty Breath Beer (The Wee Beer Shop @WeeBeerShop) By @SpectreUK

Play Brew Co Minty Breath Beer

It's Saint Patrick's Day on Sunday, and I fancy a stout to celebrate. I do have a bottle of Guinness in my beer fridge, but I guess most beer and stout lovers know what that tastes like. So, Cinabar found me this Minty Breath, Dark Chocolate and After Dinner Mint Stout to write about instead. I do love After Eight Mints, and generally receive a box in with my other Christmas presents.

At 5.7% in volume, Minty Breath was brewed in Middlesbrough, by Play Brew Company. Barley, oats, wheat, milk sugar, cocoa, hops, yeast and natural flavourings (I'm guessing mint) were added in the brewing. The back of the can suggests flavours of hops, mint, and dark chocolate. It being a heavy stout, there may be a crisp flavour of hops with sweetness of chocolate and malts, and a refreshing minty flavour.

On opening the can there was a smell of creamy sweet chocolaty goodness with a minty accompanying aroma. There was an underlying minty freshness to this deep dark stout. The mint tickled the crisp herbal hops to begin with. The mint doffed it's hat to the sweet roasted chocolate malt and slightly wheaty oatiness of the stout. The mint struggled to march through the roasted coffee at the back of the flavour. Yet march through the coffee the mint flavour did, and off merrily into the aftertaste.

I found this a rather flavoursome jovial stout. A pleasing bite, followed by a creamy chocolate sweetness, with a stout body, and that unfamiliar minty taste flowing straight through. Great stuff. I'll have to have another pint of this Minty Breath when I have some After Eight Mints around Christmas time.

15 March 2024

Mini Cheddars Cheesy Specials: Cheddar and Roasted Tomato (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Mini Cheddars Cheesy Specials: Cheddar and Roasted Tomato

Cheese and tomato is a classic combination and a favourite filling for when I do toasted sandwiches. I admit I’ve never actually roasted a tomato, but I’m sure the heat in the sandwich maker part counts as something similar. Today I’m trying the new Mini Cheddars Cheesy Specials: Cheddar and Roasted Tomato, which sounds like something that was just waiting to happen for a new product.

Inside the pack are small bags with decent portions of the biscuits. They are coated generously with a good sprinkle of seasoning. I gave one a try and found them to be tasty but quite mellow. The cheese flavour is good, but that is what Mini Cheddars always do best. The tomato just adds a little bit of mildness; there was a hint of the flavour and it brought with it a touch of sweetness, but as pleasant as they were, I don’t think the addition of the roasted tomato is going to cause a revolution. 

I will happily munch my way through the multipack of Mini Cheddars Cheesy Specials: Cheddar and Roasted Tomato, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy another bag. I’ll happily wait to see what the next limited edition is when it comes out. 

Mini Cheddars Cheesy Specials: Cheddar and Roasted Tomato

14 March 2024

Tyrell's black garlic & sour cream crisps from Waitrose [@NLi10]

 My partner brought home this big sharing bag of Tyrell's black garlic & sour cream crisps from Waitrose for alongside lunch

She's already had a decent amount before I got to the bag so this isn't a full portion

As you'd expect it's the good quality Tyrrells crisp with the strong flavours and ingredients that are the thing that you are supposed to be tasting.

Thing is - I just wasn't that keen!  I think the sour cream trend in crisps is not one that I'm on board with, and although I love garlic I just couldn't get behind this.

The crisps are great quality, and would go great with a salad or sandwich as a side.  But - for me - I just didn't enjoy them and only had a couple.  My partner however loved them and has said she'd buy them again (especially as she knows she'd get the whole bag to herself).

Guess it's just a taste dependant thing - good job there are loads of other flavours to try in the range.